Comments (11)

Sep 11, 2018

Factset for every associate and shared access to a couple of Bloomberg terminals at my firm. And obviously excel

    • 1
Jan 8, 2019

Thanks for the response. What would you say is Bloomberg than Factset?

Jan 8, 2019

I use Excel and Bloomberg exclusively. Factset is mostly used as a cheaper version of Bloomberg for people who do not need to interact with the market. My guess would be that both are similar but that Bloomberg is more widely used so when you use sell-side models they often include Bloomberg links + Bloomberg has the chat which is very usefull when you interact on a daily basis with brokers.

To do deep fundamental analyses Bloomberg and Factset are close to useless (except to get the consensus) as all the numbers you use should be taken for the company's financial reports. For quick analyses that are more event-driven you need to get numbers quickly and it's more okay if they are not 100% accurate so Bloomberg or Facstet can be a real gain of time.

Jan 8, 2019

Thanks for the comment Exodus. Appreciated

Most Helpful
Jan 9, 2019

When I started we were on Bloomberg but then we switched to Factset. I personally hate Factset relative to Bloomberg. The numbers on Factset are often materially wrong, even for some of the largest/most high-profile companies, and then when you reach out to them to let them know you always get push back, even when you show them how simple math moving through line items doesn't add up. I worked my way through a few layers of factset staff and eventually learned that there's no one really checking the numbers. They're all pulled automatically via whatever filing combing software/algorithm they use. Knowing that, when you dig into the mistakes yourself and cross reference it with the actual filing, you can easily identify what went wrong and why the system made the mistake. It is however, incredibly frustrating to find mistakes over and over again that really should be simple fixes for a company focused on financial data, and it's a waste of time to dig in and find out what went wrong. At this point we've been on Factset longer than I was on Bloomberg, so I can't really say if Bloomberg has similar issues, but I did not find any when we were on it, nor do I notice any when I use Bloomberg now (we still have access to a shared terminal). We generally go through the filings in depth and build models by hand (not API linked), so it is what it is, but we do have somewhat of a quant model to score stocks that is factset linked and is where the mistakes generally create problems (if something is scored inaccurately due to bad data).

I'll also add that I typically find the Bloomberg help desk much more knowledgeable and helpful than Factset. Reaching out to Factset's help desk is a complete waste of time 9/10. They generally just do the same shit you've already done and arrive at the same 'i don't know' answer that you originally reached out to them for arriving at yourself, and it will take them 45 minutes to get there.

To address your original question, pretty much everything flows through excel. Historically we have always taken notes in word, but I'm getting accustom to Microsoft OneNote now, which seems more efficient so far.

    • 6
Jan 9, 2019

THANK YOU. This is a theory I have locked away in the conspiracy section of my brain for a year because no one seems to say it out loud (at least at my previous buyside gig, on the sell-side it's becoming more immediately apparent that FactSet is useless). So many glaring discrepancies in numbers and inconsistencies handwaved away. I just can't trust FactSet anymore, she's hurt me one too many times. The most frustrating part to me is that the Excel add-in would make building/updating models so much easier if only the numbers were reliable.

    • 2
Jan 10, 2019
NeedSomeHelp:

THANK YOU. This is a theory I have locked away in the conspiracy section of my brain for a year because no one seems to say it out loud (at least at my previous buyside gig, on the sell-side it's becoming more immediately apparent that FactSet is useless). So many glaring discrepancies in numbers and inconsistencies handwaved away. I just can't trust FactSet anymore, she's hurt me one too many times. The most frustrating part to me is that the Excel add-in would make building/updating models so much easier if only the numbers were reliable.

I pretty much only use it to quickly grab filings now, I don't trust any of their numbers and I'm not going to waste my time auditing audited financials lol. Also, the Bloomberg news feed is way more robust than Factset's. Sometimes I'll look at our intraday and see one of my names is up or down an abnormal amount. Check the Factset news stream on it and there's nothing. Pop on Bloomberg and there's 4-5 headlines.

    • 3
Jan 10, 2019

WOW! Thank you a lot for you through response. Very helpful to know the good and bad of both sides. I am little shocked that the models are still built by hand and not API linked, but again the reliability of those APIs are tricky since BB or Factset makes changes all the time and I have seen quants model go bust. Thanks again.

May 2, 2019

If you think Factset is bad, just wait until you try Thomson Reuters Worldscope. It'll make you pull your hair out.

Agreed that BBG is the highest quality source.

May 11, 2019
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