If you want to tap into the global news on all matters to do with finance, then you can’t do much better than going to www.bloomberg.com. It is a name synonymous with finance and news related stories, and as such it is an absolute must to have saved in your favorites’ folder.
It is the comprehensive and in depth nature of this site that makes it worth taking a good look at, but once you’ve visited once be warned – because you will be going back for more.
This is perhaps one feature of this website that you will notice right from the word go; it is a very involving site that really draws you in, and it has plenty to keep you interested and intrigued.
Starting with the home page
The one thing that strikes you before anything else when you first arrive on the home page is the fact that the background is black and the writing comes in many different colors – blue, orange and white, among others.
When you see that fact written down it sounds more like a mess than one of the world’s leading websites, but the fact that this site carries off such an unusual combination as successfully as it does tells you a lot about the professionals who are behind it. They have taken every step necessary to make this site both accessible and professional looking, and they have done an excellent job of it. A lot of people will tell you that you should never use a black background on a website because it can make it harder to read all the content, but that certainly isn’t the case here; in actual fact it works in exactly the opposite way!
The second thing that comes across as you explore the home page is that this site is focused on the entire world. This fact is evident in several ways. Firstly you will see the time for three different areas of the world indicated in the top left hand corner of the screen – New York, London and Tokyo are all mentioned. The right hand section of the screen also contains data for the Americas, Asia and Europe, which you can click between quite easily to get a worldwide picture of what is going on.
The breaking news section further cements the global dedication of this website, since it features an ever changing selection of the biggest stories happening around the world, many of them with a monetary or financial slant. There is also a thin light blue strip across the top right hand corner of the screen which constantly displays various news headlines that are breaking all around the world. You can click on any one of these as they appear in order to find out more about the story shown.
A further scroll down the page also reveals that there is plenty of news on currencies, stocks, bonds and virtually every other financial matter you could think of, giving you a great insight into how financial products are performing right round the world. There is much to get your teeth into here, and this is confirmed by a small link right at the bottom of the home page which takes you into the site map. You probably won’t need to use it too much though, since the site as a whole is very easy to use.
There are also direct links into some of the most popular videos currently available on Bloomberg; you’ll see as you find out more about this website that it doesn’t just rely on web pages with written content to get the news out about what is going on in the world today.
You will also see a promotional feature for the Bloomberg professional service, which further displays the level at which the company is keeping up with the times and providing services which are of interest to many people on many different levels. No matter whether you have a Blackberry or you have your eye on the Bloomberg keyboard, you’ll find this particular page well worth a look.
What sections are there to explore?
The main sections can be reached by clicking on any of the links appearing in blue near the top of the page. As with many websites, as soon as you hover your mouse over any of the sections you will see a drop down box appear with all the sub-sections of that part available to see at a glance.
The market data section is indicative of the rest of the site, given that it goes into a lot of detail and has a separate page for each part – so you’ll see pages on currencies, stocks, bonds and so on.
Taking a look at the currencies page by way of an example, we can see that the page itself is compact and easy to understand. There is a chart in the center of the page which shows the most up to date data that the site has available. This is shown for the eight top currencies in the world, including the US dollar, the Euro, the Hong Kong dollar and the Japanese yen, among others.
Perhaps the most useful part of all these pages though is that they all follow roughly the same format. There are two sections on each page, entitled related links and related news. This is excellent as it immediately highlights other areas of the website that you will find useful. It also helps you to become familiar with the website and how it is laid out in a much shorter amount of time. This means you can get on with making good use of the huge amount of information and advice it has to offer, rather than having to struggle to work out how the site can and should be used. The bigger a website is, the more important it is to use a structure that is easy to navigate for the visitors who use it, and this is something that Bloomberg.com does very successfully indeed.
Speaking of news, you can also search the news section of the website by using the search box at the top right hand corner of the screen. Simply enter your search words and hit the go button to see what results are returned to you. Much like any other major search engine it will tell you how many results were found, but it lists them in order of the date they were posted, so you will always see the most recent news items first. This could be a lot, since there are many news stories appearing on www.bloomberg.com every single day. A search for the keyword ‘currency’ returned over 26,000 results, for example.
If you go directly into the news section you will see that it too is split into many different segments. You can select your news depending on the region of the world you are in, the type of news you would like to see (so for example if you want only to see information on the economy or politics, you would simply click on that option), or Bloomberg exclusive stories.
There is another section which everyone with an interest in the financial markets will find particularly useful, and that is the investment tools section. This is packed with information that will make your life easier when it comes to sorting out your finances. There is a comprehensive financial glossary containing thousands of terms explained in an easy to understand fashion, and it contains a lot of common financial acronyms as well as general terms.
Finally there is a CEO spotlight section, which gives you an in depth look at the CEOs of various big name companies, and reveals a lot of interesting information about their particular area of interest. This feature is brought to you by way of video, and again it adds another measure of depth to an already outstanding website. It’s not just a case of the CEO plugging their business either – each report is brought to you by seasoned professionals and concentrates on getting to the facts each time, often highlighting global issues as well as those affecting the company which is mentioned in the report.
How user friendly is the website?
Considering the website is so large, it is quite amazing how user friendly it really is. No matter what page you are on it is very easy to get to another section without having to backtrack at any point or struggle to find the links you need.
The news items are very useful too, with a detailed news story developing from each news headline you click on. Everything is sub-divided down into manageable sections and despite the global reach and penetration of the site it is simplicity itself to use.
Another feature which stands out with this site is that it uses many more up to date ways of getting in touch with its visitors. It understands that some people prefer to read, while others prefer to listen and still others would rather watch a news report.
That’s why it has developed a range of user friendly podcasts on various subjects, which you can easily subscribe to at any point. Areas such as the markets, economics and news can be brought directly to you to listen to as and when you wish, rather than accessing the website continually.
The TV and Radio section also links into Bloomberg television, which has a whole host of programs designed to appeal to those interested in the financial markets and other areas of interest. These are scheduled and shown in different countries and regions of the world, which again cements the fact that Bloomberg.com is a website which has everyone’s best interests at heart.
What is the single best feature?
There are plenty to choose from as far as the Bloomberg.com website is concerned, but we would have to choose the section that is far more comprehensive than any other website gets near to. That is the section in the investment tools part of the site that is called, quite simply, Calculators.
Now you would expect to see a currency calculator on a website such as this one, but there is plenty more than that to explore. Virtually every kind of calculator you could ever need is included here for your use, and this is what puts this website in a league of its own.
The currency calculator is quick, simple and easy to use, and gives you access to virtually every currency in the world – far more than a lot of other sites which feature calculators. But there are plenty of others besides this one – a cool forty nine at the last count.
Some of these are only relevant for those people living in America, since they deal with issues which are connected to laws and rules that apply in that country. A good example of this is the Roth IRA calculator. This doesn’t detract from the usefulness of the section though, since there are ones which will be of use to anyone and everyone who has an interest in financial matters.
This is certainly one of the most comprehensive websites of its type in the world today, so its small wonder that it receives the amount of daily traffic that it does. Michael Bloomberg is the man who gave his name to this site, and it is heartening to know that the idea he had back in 1981 has reached such heights today.
It is difficult to pick out a single feature which makes this website rise above all the others. Perhaps that is because it is the overall effort and detail which have gone into the website that have made it the success it definitely is. It matters little which exact area of finance related information you are interested in; if there is any information on that area which is relevant and newsworthy you can be sure you will find it on www.bloomberg.com.