Looking to join Bloomberg or Financial Times but not sure if they are worth $250/year or which is better?

I bought yearly subscriptions to Bloomberg Digital and Financial Times Digital and used them religiously for months. Below is my guide on which is best suited to your investing needs.

  • Summary of article: If you’re looking to gain deeper insights into investing and what is really going on in the economy, memberships to BB and FT digital are both worth their weight in gold.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Benjamin Franklin

Why I decided to trial Bloomberg & Financial Times

To make money investing, you need unbiased and reliable data. I found this out very quickly when my own market views did not match the mainstream media.

I’ll give you two examples of this with CNBC and MarketWatch.

These news sites don’t question the narrative – they simply amplify what governments or central banks want to make you think.

During COVID-19, CNBC kept pushing content that made readers assume we were in for a V-shape recovery. I was surprised at how certain they were when economists said that it was highly unlikely:

Is CNBC’s content biased?

CNBC is pro-Trump, so their content is always angled to a rosy economy because it gets him votes.

I want to see the entire picture, not an abstract that is pushing certain agendas. You’ll get more reliable and unbiased reports at Financial Times and Bloomberg.

I don’t have any issues with CNBC doing that – it’s their business and they are free to run it how they want.

But I can’t rely on them for authoritative content on the economy.

I found MarketWatch to be click-baity, and they love to throw ideas around like there could be a 10% jump next week, and a 30%- crash the following week.

MarketWatch – The BuzzFeed of marketing news

MarketWatch makes money from ads, and many of their ads are about learning how to trade and trading sites giving sign-up bonuses.

That’s why they make so many bold predictions – so their users will click the ads and start trading.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use both sites today, but I use them mainly to get an idea of retail investor sentiment.

Buy the rumor, sell the news.

Both sites have value and you can gain a lot from them, but there’s so much noise in their content that you really need to know how to read between the lines, which can be tough.

These sites are just two examples of many free news sites. They all come with a huge trust factor warning.

If I only followed these sites then I know I would put myself at a major disadvantage. I’d be drinking from the same fountain as arm-chair traders.

And that’s why I decided to trial Bloomberg and Financial Times Digital. Were they really that good?

Bloomberg Digital Review – is it a reliable source of information?

I bought the Bloomberg Digital subscription, which is billed yearly at $290.

Their deals change all the time, and they have a monthly trial at $1.99

Before paying a big lump sum, try their digital trial for $1.99 per month.

Pros of the Bloomberg Digital subscription

Bloomberg is a reliable source of market information. I was blown away by the content that Bloomberg provides.

Joining Bloomberg Digital felt like I had walked through a magical door and there was a new way to think about the economy.

Bloomberg Digital is a very reliable source of information. The writers have well-formed ideas, and most importantly they are not afraid to question central bank and government policy and the impacts it can have on markets.

Bloomberg doesn’t amplify the narrative; they question it and discuss the positive and negative effects it can have on the market.

The secret to being successful from a trading perspective is to have an indefatigable and an undying and unquenchable thirst for information and knowledge.

Paul Tudor Jones

For example, here’s an article that discusses the moral hazard that the US Fed brought to the stock market. Through policy actions, have they created a stock market where buyers think they cannot lose?

And if so, is that a problem?

Whether the writer is correct or not is for the reader to decide, but I like how they give their reasons on how a policy may cause a bubble. I did not see this nearly enough on free market news sites.

Here’s another example from one of Bloomberg’s anchors’ posts on Twitter:

Whether the comments are correct or not, I like that Bloomberg is unbiased by telling all sides of the story.

Bloomberg Digital is very easy to use: The Bloomberg homepage is well laid out and is like an Instagram feed where you can keep swiping down and get an overview of every major market category.

Huge time saver!

bloomberg big homepage
The full length of Bloomberg’s digital subscription homepage

Bloomberg Live: If you want to be updated around the clock, Bloomberg Digital gives you access to Bloomberg Live, their TV show.

Bloomberg Live

I don’t watch Bloomberg Live all that much, but you can re-watch shows and their replay format offers bite-size clips of the shows to focus on the best bits.

Bloomberg comes up with its own data: It can be hard to visualize data when it’s just in words. Bloomberg Digital’s charts and graphs break that down and make it easy to understand.

bloomberg grahs
Pretty graphs!

Bloomberg has a cryptocurrency section: There’s usually a new post every week.

bloomberg has a cryptocurrency section

Whereas many cryptocurrency news sites publish a weighted bias toward Bitcoin, Bloomberg Digital’s crypto section is more grounded to the truth of Bitcoin sentiment.

Bloomberg gives Bitcoin the right amount of attention to the size it plays in most portfolios (1-2%). If you want to join Bloomberg only for its cryptocurrency news, go elsewhere.

Bloomberg Digital is global: Sure, it focuses a lot on the USA, and rightfully so – it’s the biggest economy in the world. 

But you’ll also find daily content from all over the globe including Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. 

They will talk about emerging market currencies, bond offerings, government policies and everything else that is worth knowing.

We often forget that there is a world outside of USA stocks, but Bloomberg Digital reminds you of that daily.

Bloomberg Opinion: I joined Bloomberg because I wanted to hear what expert economists think, and their opinion section does exactly that.

I love reading it – it’s my favorite section.

bloomberg opinion
Bloomberg Opinion

You get a great mix of ideas and thoughts on what is currently happening and will happen next in various sectors. You can also receive emails each time your favorite author publishes a new post.

You do not get stock picks. Bloomberg Digital is not that type of news site.

You can listen to all their articles: If you don’t like reading, Bloomberg has many articles where you can listen to audio versions. However, the voice is robotic and annoying, so I don’t use it for that reason.

Listen to bloomberg articles

Cons of the Bloomberg Digital subscription

Honestly, the cons are very limited with a Bloomberg Digital subscription.

They don’t tell you what to buy: If you’re looking for a site that will tell you what to buy and when to sell, Bloomberg does not do that.

Bloomberg provides unbiased, reliable data on the economy.

It does not give you top stock picks. It does talk about sectors with promise and if X and Y happened then why it would be good or bad for a company.

You’ll need a good grasp of economics: If you do not understand the meanings of hedge, inflation, deflation, securities, backstops, how bonds work, margin, leverage, moving averages etc, then Bloomberg Digital can be hard to understand.

Bloomberg’s audience is investors who have a sound knowledge of economics. Reading just 2-3 economics books will get you up to a certain level to make the most of Bloomberg Digital.

Bloomberg UX could be better: There’s so much content on the Bloomberg homepage that it can be hard to find focus. The white background and black text can hurt your eyes if reading for a while. 

I guess a simple solution would be to dim my monitor, but that’s an effort I’d rather not do paying $250+ for a subscription.

I hope they will add a new theme.

It’s not ideal for set and forget approaches or low budgets: If your investment strategy is to buy global index funds, Bloomberg Digital will help you understand markets better. But if you’re not using that information to make better-informed decisions for your portfolio, is it worth $291?

If you’re only investing a few thousand dollars per year, the $291 membership is pretty big and you may get more value investing it.

  • Key takeaway: Bloomberg Digital is best suited for individual investors who have a solid grasp of economics and want access to unbiased and reliable information.

Financial Times Digital Review – is it a reliable source of information?

I bought the Financial Times digital subscription, which is billed at $247 yearly.

financial times subscription
They have different offers all the time.

Financial Times is $43 cheaper than Bloomberg Digital at the time of writing.

Before splashing out, try their ‘$1 for 4 weeks’ trial.

Pros of the Financial Times digital subscription:

Financial Times is not biased: I found the content on Financial Times to be very reliable and unbiased.

Like Bloomberg, Financial Times reveals a new economic world that I did not have access to before.

They question the narrative put forward by the mainstream media.

Financial Times Live: This is a text-based live stream of what’s happening in the economy in real time.

Whereas Bloomberg has its Live TV show, Financial Times Live is primarily text based, giving real-time updates with links to entire articles if you’d like to learn more about a topic.

financial times live

Financial Times Live is great to get up to speed on the day’s events very quickly.

Easy to read: The color scheme on Financial Times is much kinder on the eyes. I can spend more time on Financial Times than Bloomberg before my eyes start to hurt.

It feels more like a newspaper and the content is broken down well.

It does a great job of giving off the right look and feel for investors who like to see pretty things when reading.

Most read section: What is the most important theme of the day that I should be looking at? That can be hard to focus on when there are 100 different articles to choose from. That’s why I like Financial Times’ most read section.

It tells me at a glance what is trending, which I find useful to understand market sentiment for the day.

Great opinions: I joined Financial Times Digital because I wanted to learn what experts are saying, and I love Financial Times’ opinion section. It’s just as good as Bloomberg Opinion.

They provide great breakdowns of supply and demand issues in sectors, they look to the future and what can be advantageous or negative to a sector, and they discuss the effects that political decisions may have on the market.

Financial Times graphics: Financial Times has a great graphics section where you can browse the latest data and then choose to read an article.

Share up to 20 articles per month with friends: One benefit to of Financial Times Digital is that you can share up to 20 articles per month with friends, and each link can be viewed three times.

This is useful for me when talking with friends about a topic. Even if they do not have a digital subscription, I can share up to 20 articles per month with them.

In-depth analysis on sectors: Want to know if cruise liners are a buy after the March drop? Financial Times regularly posts in-depth reviews on how sectors are doing, pulling out some great data points.

These articles are well written and weigh up the pros and cons in an unbiased way.

Coronavirus: is this the end of the line for cruise ships?

Cons of the Financial Times digital subscription:

Too much focus on UK markets: Financial Times is a UK business, so much of their content is focused around the UK.

If you’re only focusing on the UK markets, then the Financial Times is better than Bloomberg Digital, but for global content Bloomberg Digital is better.

Section on FT homepage focusing only on UK news

Financial Times does cover global market news, but not in as much depth as Bloomberg.

Lifestyle and arts section: I joined Financial Times to get information about the economy, not lifestyle and arts.

financial times lifestyle and arts

I’d be much happier if they decided to divert attention away from lifestyle and arts and more into markets.

Financial Times is a little more laid back than Bloomberg, which I don’t like, but you may prefer it.

Not ideal for set and forget approaches or low budgets: Like Bloomberg Digital, if you plan to only buy index funds, I am not sure if you really need the Financial Times unless you want a better grasp of the global economy. 

The pricing is very similar to Bloomberg, so if you’re not investing a lot each year, it may be out of your reach.

Financial Times runs ads: I don’t like paying $249 to see ads when I’m reading Financial Times Digital, but that’s exactly what Financial Times Digital offers.

You can remove these ads by installing an ad blocker, but it’s quite an annoying UX from Financial Times.

Their ads are in good taste. You won’t see FX sites trying to get you to join with a free sign-up bonus, for example.

  • Key takeaway: Financial Times is best suited for individual investors who have a solid grasp of economics, a greater focus on the UK markets and more leisure-related content. It’s a laid-back, cheaper version of Bloomberg Digital.

Bloomberg or Financial Times – which is better?

If I had to choose only one, I would go with Bloomberg Digital.

It’s more data-driven, offers more variety and content, covers global markets better and feels more authoritative.

Both have great writers who have a lot of knowledge, but Bloomberg Digital has access to more writers and high-profile investors than Financial Times.

Bloomberg is for people who are going to live and breathe the markets on a daily basis.

Financial Times is better suited to investors who don’t want to be in the trenches daily, but would like to be informed frequently.

Just because I prefer Bloomberg Digital doesn’t mean it’s better than Financial Times. Financial Times is still very good.

Why are you investing? What are you interested in? How do you prefer your content?

I’m sure some prefer Financial Times over Bloomberg Digital, and vice versa.

Both Bloomberg and Financial Times are very reliable and unbiased sources. I’ve yet to come across a news site that provides compelling, accurate and unbalanced information better than Bloomberg and Financial Times.

Before starting your trial with BB or FT, here are two tips

Both Bloomberg and Financial Times produce at least 40+ articles per day. If you decide to read every one, you won’t have enough hours in the day.

Get good at reading headlines: Bloomberg and Financial Times headlines basically give you the whole idea of the article, so you don’t have to read it. Just click and open the articles most important to you.

This is a skill to master! You can end up wasting hours each day on these sites. If you’re spending more than 35 minutes per day on either Bloomberg Digital or Financial Times, you’re doing it wrong.

I made the mistake of trying to read every article and I quickly found that I was burning time and the headline told me everything I really needed to know on that matter.

Visit once daily: Pick a time and day when you will read either site and stick to it. Don’t visit these sites every few hours because it will be a waste of your time.

They do update content around the clock, so if you visit an hour later there will be new articles, but it’s a not a good use of your time.

Does Bloomberg or Financial Times have their own agenda?

I’m sure every business has its own agenda. From what I see from Bloomberg Digital and Financial Times Digital, their main agenda is to give their paying readers amazing value.

I’m sure they do have other agendas, but I’m yet to see that in their content, or it is so well hidden that I cannot see it.

Do you have any questions about Bloomberg Digital or Financial Times that I did not cover in this guide? Feel free to leave questions and I’ll reply :).