Bloomberg vs. Factset - Best for Buy Side Work?

To those of you in the Asset Management space, I just wanted to get a gauge of your preferences regarding Bloomberg vs. Factset...we're a small firm, so cost forces us to pick one. Would be using it mainly for fundamental research, sell side consensus and building models when we're looking at global equities, with some *light* research on the fixed income and alts (HF/PE) side. Currently testing both, and my impression is that Bloomberg just provides more information...Would love to hear people's experience and why they prefer one to the other.

Thanks!

Comparing FactSet and Bloomberg

In the financial services world, Bloomberg and Factset are the two primary data platforms used by wall street firms. However, the platforms are used for different purposes by different pockets of the industry. We discuss the uses and benefits of each platform below.

Bloomberg Terminal Pros and Cons

Bloomberg is ideal for anyone on the buy side, in sales and trading or asset management due to the chat feature discussed below.

  • Bloomberg has more than triple the users of FactSet. This number comes into play with Bloomberg's instant messaging feature which allows you to chat with any other Bloomberg user.
  • Bloomberg has the best data in the fixed income space.
  • Bloomberg is double the price of FactSet
  • While the user interface can be a bit challenging for a beginner, Bloomberg does offer a course to help you become completely proficient in its terminal. Bloomberg also offers 24/7 live assistance.

The take away, Bloomberg is better suited asset management but it is not as useful for roles like investment banking.

Factset Platform Benefits and Drawbacks

  • FactSet is half the price of Bloomberg and offers a simpler user interface.
  • It also offers certain formatting and macro shortcuts. FactSet offers similar features to CapitalIQ when comes to sifting through data. FactSet makes it possible to go directly to the most important line items of each financial statement.
  • Factset offers comprehensive sorting of financial data and estimates.
  • FactSet is better for tasks like building pitch books.
  • FactSet falls short when it comes to equity research.

In summary, Bloomberg is the better platform for asset management.

Is Factset or Bloomberg Preferred by Users?

Bloomberg seems to be the preferred platform among Wall Street Oasis Users.

Anihilist - Sales and Trading Associate:

Bloomberg is the best of all platforms IMO. Factset is "competent", but I'd still suggest going with Bloomberg.

Also, not sure if you can do it with factset (I'm sure you can), but using Bloomberg excel add ins to pull data is pretty nice feature.

WhaleofWallStreet - Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager:

Bloomberg hands down - especially if you are using it on a daily basis. It justifies the cost. I've used both in the past.

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Comments (12)

Jan 15, 2014

I prefer Bloomberg, but not enough to justify a price premium. Factset meets 95% of my needs at half the cost.

Jan 16, 2014

Thanks, definitely good to know! Would love to hear thoughts from others here as well!

Jan 16, 2014

Bloomberg is the best of all platforms IMO. Factset is "competent", but I'd still suggest going with Bloomberg.

Also, not sure if you can do it with factset (I'm sure you can), but using Bloomberg excel add ins to pull data is pretty nice feature.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Mar 1, 2016

FactSet "live codes" for Excel are impeccable. In fact, FactSet was the first to do this. When I was running these terminals side-by-side, I always used FactSet to run screens and produce spreadsheets, as they were much more user-friendly.

Jan 16, 2014

Factset haha...that's like wearing sweatpants to a nightclub.

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Jan 16, 2014

Reuters Eikon! Just kidding, I like Bloomberg best (I do not run a fund).

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

Jan 16, 2014

We use Factset and numbers are consistently materially wrong.

Best Response
Jan 21, 2014
Simple As...:

We use Factset and numbers are consistently materially wrong.

Agree with this, but...I would take Factset over CapIQ and ThomsonOne in a heart beat. Bloomberg is the best though. When I brought up the fact that Bloomberg is fucking sweet, sell-side research management had this to say:

    • 2
Jan 16, 2014

I always refer to Factset as "the smartest kid with down syndrome" so that tells you what I think of CapIQ, etc.

Anything Chapelle is an automatic SB from me. That's State Law.

Jan 21, 2014

I have both and haven't logged into Factset for probably 6 months now. I don't know the price difference, but if you're going to be using the system on a regular (daily) basis, BB will probably be worth the premium.

Mar 3, 2016

Bloomberg hands down - especially if you are using it on a daily basis. It justifies the cost. I've used both in the past.

Mar 11, 2016
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