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What is a Bloomberg Terminal or Bloomberg Machine?

The Tool of Choice for Serious Professional Investors

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If you are new to investing or Wall Street, you may have heard about the Bloomberg terminal or Bloomberg machine as it is often known. What is it and why are people addicted to them?

When someone talks about their Bloomberg, it is not so much a piece of computer hardware as it is a subscription (that costs - at the bare minimum - between $1,500 and $1,800 per month) to a top-of-the-line financial, regulatory, and market database. Investors can literally access, crunch, analyze, and store information on their favorite companies while, from the very same screen, teleconferencing with a colleague and monitoring the relationship between the United States dollar and the Japanese Yen. For professional mutual funds, hedge funds, private partnerships, insurance companies, banks, and other financial institutions, a Bloomberg terminal is considered an absolute requisite.

The company that offers the Bloomberg Professional Service, as the subscription is known, is controlled by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City.

Don't worry if you don't have a Bloomberg terminal. Most investors aren't going to have one, nor should they need it. Now, if you happen to see one on television or in your broker's office, you'll be in the know.

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