Monday, December 27, 2010

The AIM Small Cap Equity Fund – Some Stocks of Industrial and Productivity-Enhancing Firms for 2011

The students in the Applied Investment Management (AIM) program at Marquette University are responsible for managing three investment portfolios with a market value of about $1.8 million. According to AIM Director, Dr. David Krause, “The student-managed AIM funds provide valuable, real-time applied learning in investment analysis and portfolio management. The AIM students gain real world experience related to the topics and theories that are presented in the curriculum. These student-managed funds serve as a capstone to the finance and accounting courses the students take during their junior and senior years at Marquette. It is truly one of the best forms of applied learning I’ve seen.” 
The first of the three AIM portfolios - the small cap equity fund - was created in September 2005 with the intent to provide a means to blend academic rigor with real-world investment management experience. Marquette University’s Board of Trustees started the program with a $500,000 transfer of funds from the endowment. The small cap fund is entirely equity based and operated in a ‘sector neutral’ manner. Dr. Krause stated, “The fund is required to meet the same basic performance guidelines as other managed equity accounts in the University's investment pool. In keeping with these objectives, the student-managers seek to achieve the highest level of return while maintaining a risk profile similar to the Russell 2000 index. Most of the stocks in the fund have a market value of less than $1 billion.”   

The AIM students manage the small cap stock portfolio across a broad set of industries, investing in well-managed, profitable businesses without unnecessarily exposing the University’s assets to economic or industry risks. “The fund is not managed according to any particular style (i.e. growth, value, momentum, etc.) and as a result is driven by pure stock selection,” said Krause. “Each AIM student is assigned a sector and is responsible for monitoring the performance of the stocks in their respective industry. They develop a top-down view of their industry and the economy before beginning their company-specific analysis.”

Each of the AIM students work within one of 12 economic sectors: Business Services, Consumer Goods, Consumer Services, Energy, Financial Services, Hardware, Health Care, Industrial Materials, Media, Software, Telecommunications, and Utilities. Dr. Krause stated, “Student-managers serve as both sector analysts and portfolio managers, providing basic industry research, presenting investment ideas and evaluating the ideas of the other AIM students. Each analyst presents their investment thesis at an AIM Investment Advisory meeting where the students must defend their recommendations. Usually the next day a majority vote from the AIM students must be received before any stock can be added or removed from the fund.” Stocks are valued using a variety of techniques including: discounted cash flow analysis, economic profit, and multiples analysis.

“The students actively manage the small cap fund by investing in the equities of individual companies from diversified industries,” noted Dr. Krause. “Since we are sector neutral, value is added to the fund as a result of the student-managers' stock selection abilities. Passive holdings in the Russell 2000 ETF are used to provide liquidity and minimize the tracking error associated with any cash holdings. Since the inception of the fund we have held over 250 different small cap names. The small cap fund is especially enjoyable for me because I am able to learn about many new companies each semester.”

AIM director, Dr. David Krause said, “While the economic forecast over the next several years looks to be anemic – probably in the range of 2.5% GDP growth – and relative U.S. consumer spending is likely to drop to a pre-2000 level, the AIM students are more optimistic about the U.S. economy than most economists. They have a 2011 U.S. GDP growth rate of about 3% in the first half of 2011 and nearly 4% in the second half. Given their somewhat optimistic view of the U.S. economy they have identified some interesting equity opportunities in the industrial sector and with ‘productivity-enhancing’ firms.”

Krause continued, “The students have been finding some attractively priced firms with economic moats and global expansion opportunities. They have found some solid, high-quality companies that have few, if any, analysts following them that are relatively cheap on an absolute basis with strong free cash-flows. Some of the favorite stocks held in the student-managed AIM small cap fund are in the industrial and business services segments that cater to assisting other firms enhance productivity,” Krause said. “The major forces driving these stocks, according to the student-analysts, include the continuing inventory rebuild cycle, an emphasis on utilizing more technology, and the continuing trend towards increased business outsourcing.” 

Below are some of the stocks the AIM student analysts are currently holding that meeting the criteria described above. For a complete write-up of all of the stocks in the AIM funds, go to: AIM Student Equity Write-Ups

(Click on the box to enlarge)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Dan Fuss and Kathleen Gaffney Co-Managed Loomis Sayles Bond Fund Is Beating 95% of It's Rivals by Exiting Treasuries in 2010

In a Bloomberg interview this week, Kathleen Gaffney (co-manager with Dan Fuss) reported that Loomis Sayles & Co. fled U.S. Treasuries and bought Canadian and Indonesian debt, beating out 95% of fixed-income funds thus far in 2010. The $19.5 billion Loomis Bond Fund has returned 12.20% as the Boston-based firm shifted money into Canadian government securities, emerging markets and convertible and junk bonds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. PIMCO’s Total Return Fund, the world’s largest bond mutual fund, gained 7.99%. 

To view the Bloomberg interview follow this link

Dan Fuss (MU alumnus) is a 'Friend of the AIM Program' and a featured panelist at the AIM Forum on January 25, 2011.

During the interview, Gaffney indicated that Loomis Sayles has not owned Treasuries for more than a year and has been betting that emerging-market currencies, including Indonesia’s rupiah, would appreciate against the U.S. Dollar. The Federal Reserve affirmed on Dec. 14 its plan to buy as much as $600 billion of Treasuries to stimulate the economy in the latest stage of a process known as quantitative easing, or QE2. That is something that could further weaken the U.S. currency, Gaffney said. 

Fuss and Gaffney
“We’re going to see the developing world lead the global recovery,” said Gaffney, who has worked at Loomis for 26 years and along with Dan Fuss helps oversee the firm’s $150 billion in assets. “The developed world is getting on that QE2 bandwagon, letting your currency devalue.” The Loomis Bond Fund holds Indonesian 10% government bonds denominated in rupiah due in September 2024, Bloomberg data show. The government’s rupiah debt has returned an average of 25% in dollar terms this year, according to JPMorgan index data.

U.S. Treasuries have lost 2.09% in December thus far, the worst monthly performance in a year, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch index. The U.S. government has issued $2.15 trillion of notes and bonds in 2010, topping last year’s record of $2.109 trillion. “There’s going to be a ton of supply,” said Elaine Stokes, who also helps manage the Loomis Bond Fund along with Dan Fuss and Matthew Eagan. “Whenever there’s an artificial buyer in the market, we have to be a little bit worried.” 
Loomis Sayles has shortened the average duration of its flagship bond fund to about 5.9 years from 6.5 years at the end of 2008 to guard against rising interest rates, Gaffney said.The benchmark Treasury yields 3.34% and is forecast to yield 3.55% by the fourth-quarter of 2011, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. 

Fuss and Gaffney favor Canadian government bonds instead of Treasuries in part because the country has less debt relative to the size of its economy than the U.S. Canada’s budget deficit for fiscal year 2010 equaled 3.6% of its GDP, compared with an estimated 8.9% for the U.S. Canada is also better positioned to benefit from emerging market demand for commodities, Gaffney said. Commodities account for about half of Canada’s export revenue. 

“Our developed world positions, and the commodity currencies, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, are also beneficiaries of emerging market demand,” Gaffney said. “We have pared down the investment-grade corporates,” she added. “That’s the area where we’ve seen the biggest tightening in spreads, leaving them much more sensitive to interest rate changes.”While Loomis has sought junk bonds that offer a cushion from rising interest rates, the firm is wary of taking too much credit risk, Gaffney said.

Dr. Krause said, "Dan Fuss and his colleagues are famous for their exploits running international and domestic bond funds. They are again delivering top tier returns; however, Morningstar is not considering them for the Fixed Income Manager of the Year award. This is unfortunate because the Loomis Sayles team is again producing amazingly strong results for the year. When the final numbers are in - it would not surprise me that Dan Fuss and Kathleen Gaffney have some of the best overall fixed income results in the industry."  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tim Kellen (MU AIM '10) Paid a Visit to the AIM Program on 12/22/10

Tim Kellen
Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "I was pleasantly surprised today to find Tim Kellen in the College of Business Administration building. I was in working on the new Bloomberg setup in the AIM Room when Tim stopped by to say hello - and I immediately put him to work; just like he was still a student in the AIM program!"  

Tim Kellen graduated in May 2010 from Marquette University with a Bachelors of Science degree with majors in Finance, Accounting, Economics. He was a member of the AIM Class of 2010. Tim was very active on campus during his four years at Marquette - he was a member of Campus Ministry, Campus Kitchens, Beta Gamma Sigma, Alpha Sigma Nu, Financial Management Association, and the Investment Club. Tim was also a member of the 2009-10 Marquette CFA Global Investment Research Challenge team. Since graduating in May 2010, Tim has passed his CPA tests and Level I CFA exam.
Tim Kellen with members of the 2010 CFA GIRC team
Tim currently lives in Seattle, WA and is an investment analyst for Cascade Investment. He had numerous internships during his time in the AIM program. He was a summer intern at Cascade Investment in Seattle, a public fixed income intern with Mason Street Advisors at Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee, and an institutional sales summer intern at Citigroup in Chicago.

Dr. Krause said, "It was nice having Tim on campus. He was, as always, very helpful in helping us with the new Bloomberg Anywhere set-up. Tim helped Dr. Farrokh Nourzah, Dr. Joe Daniels, and me with the configuration of the new Bloomberg system. We enjoyed a visit to a local eatery and were able to catch up on old times. It was wonderful that he was able to spend the afternoon on campus and I look forward to him returning to join us for the "Ins and Outs of Wall Street' on April 9th." 

Daniel Einhorn Visited Dr. Krause on Tuesday, December 21

Dan Einhorn
On Tuesday, 12/21/10, Daniel Einhorn, a principal at Capital Midwest Fund, visited Dr. David Krause, Marquette University's AIM program director. Mr. Eihnorn focuses on new client development, syndicating investment for portfolio life science companies, financial analysis, strategic planning, and market research for the Milwaukee-based venture capital fund. His education includes an MBA in finance from the Cox business school at SMU, as well as a BS from Cornell University.

Dr. Krause said, "Capital Midwest Fund is a venture capital firm that invests primarily in areas where the Midwest spends most of its research dollars: life science and information technology. The fund concentrates on investments where companies have excellent management and technology, are performing an important function, and will address significant markets. It was interesting meeting with Dan again - we had an opportunity to plan for his visit to my class in the spring."

"Dan talked about their firm's client holdings and process," Dr. Krause continued. "They look for management with successful previous experience; markets that are established and growing; defensible IP positions; and sustainable competitive advantages. Dan and the other  principals of the fund are professionals who have operated in the investment banking, investing, life science and technology industries for many years. They have significant experience in raising money for early-stage companies and sourcing deals."

Dan has been a general partner at Capital Midwest since April 2008. Previous to this he was vice president of Einhorn Associates from 2003 to 2008. Dan and his colleagues have been active in promoting entrepreneurship and early stage venture capital in Wisconsin. He has been a participant and speaker at numerous seminars and conferences, including various Wisconsin Innovation Network events. Krause concluded, "I know that the students in my Alternative Investments class will again appreciate Dan's visit to campus in February. He brings years of practical knowledge into the classroom."

44 Stocks Were Presented by the AIM Students in the Class of 2011 During the Fall Semester

This semester the AIM students in the Class of 2011 presented 44 stocks for consideration into the two equity funds managed by the students. The list below contains the names, tickers, sector, and domicile of the stocks presented this semester. 

Herwin Yip presenting AUXL
Dr. David Krause, director of the Applied Investment Management program said, "It was a very busy and productive semester. The students did a fine job with their equity research, analysis, modeling, write-ups and oral presentations. The quality of the investment research continues to improve with each class. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a talented group of students. It was a productive and rewarding semester."

All of the AIM student equity write-ups in pdf format since the program was created in 2005 are posted on the AIM web site. This semester there was a total of 7 AIM Investment Advisory meetings (including 4 'road shows' at: Timpani Capital Management, Mason Street Advisors, Chicago MU Alumni, and Geneva Capital Management).Dr. Krause said, "If you wish to host an AIM Investment 'road show' next semester, please let me know ASAP as we are currently creating the spring 2011 presentation schedule."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Save the Date: February 21, 2010. An Evening with CNN's Ali Velshi on Marquette's Campus

EVENT: An Evening with Ali Velshi
DATE: 2/21/2010
LOCATION: Weasler Auditorium, Marquette University
TIME: 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: Marquette University Student Government (MUSG)

DESCRIPTION: As CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent, the anchor for CNN Newsroom and host of Your $$$$$ (CNN’s weekend business roundtable program), Ali Velshi brings an innovative and hopeful approach to finance in the twenty-first century. He is also a regular contributor and anchor for Issue #1, the network’s in-depth coverage initiative on the single issue that matters most to CNN’s audience. 
In 1996, Velshi was awarded a fellowship to the U.S. Congress by the American Political Sciences Association, and worked with now-retired U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.). Born in Kenya and raised in Toronto, Velshi graduated from Queens University in Canada with a degree in religion. Velshi recently released a book, Gimme My Money Back: Your Guide to Beating the Financial Crisis to rave reviews.
Weasler Auditorium, Marquette University

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mike O'Carroll Graduated on Sunday. He Will Be Working for RBS in Stamford, CT.

Mike O'Carroll
Michael O’Carroll, AIM Class of 2010, graduated on Sunday, December 19 from Marquette University. He is going to work for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the Transaction and Portfolio Management Group in Stamford, Connecticut. Mike will be starting his new position in July, 2011.  

Mike will be joining a class of newly hired RBS analysts and will have an opportunity to go to London for training - in addition to the usual NYC/Standford analyst training. While he doesn't know his exact group, he's hoping to be assigned to the Industrials Group where he might have an opportunity to monitor a 20 company credit portoflio and other corporate offerings. 

Mike graduated from Marquette with majors in finance and accounting. Mike has been active in numerous organizations including: Financial Management Association, Delta Sigma Pi - Professional Business Fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma, and the Investment Club.  He was the utilities analyst for the AIM Equity Fund – and he also added a financial services holding to the AIM International Equity Fund. Mike has added some strong performers, including Allete (ALE) +13%; Black Box Corporation (BBOX) +48%; Black Hills Corporation (BKH) +21%; El Paso Electric Company (EE) +41%; and Banco Macro S.A. ADR (BMA) +75%. His five stocks still remain in the AIM Funds and continue to perform well.

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "It has been a pleasure working with Mike the past three years. He was very strong in the classroom and a true student of the capital markets. Mike added five stocks to the AIM Funds and all have been strong performers. He has outstanding work ethic and a positive attitude – he will go far in the world of finance. I believe that the RBS opportunity in Stamford will be the beginning of a successful and prosperous career for Mike. We all wish him well and he will be missed in the AIM Room. He's always had a positive, infectious attitude that can make an group of students better in the classroom.”  

Mike with Jim Bianco at the 2010 AIM Forum
During the past two summers Mike had internships in corporate finance with Hospria (Lake Forest, IL) and in asset management with Heartland Advisors (Milwaukee, WI). Dr. Krause said, “Mike worked this past summer as a Corporate Finance Intern in the Financial Projections and Analysis group with Hospria which I believe helped round out his finance background.”  

Mike was successful in utilizing the Marquette alumni network in his search for a position after graduation. Besides receiving mentoring from Brian Giles, who previously worked for RBS before going to Harvard Business School to pursue his MBA, Mike was able to network with a Chicago-based Marquette alumnus, Maureen Lukasz.  

Dr. Krause continued, “Mike worked as an intern for the Select Value Team at Heartland Funds in 2009-10. This is where he learned how to forecast earnings and build stronger DCF models. During his time at Heartland he also had an opportunity to work in the accounting department. Mike was one of the strongest AIM students in his working knowledge with Bloomberg and Factset software applications.” Mike graduated from Marquette with majors in finance and accounting. His hometown is Gilberts, IL and he is an avid lacrosse and hockey fan.  Dr. Krause concluded, "This has already been quite a week for Mike - graduation and his first career opportunity with a major bulge bracket firm - and it isn't even Christmas yet! Congratulations and best wishes."

CBS' 60 Minutes Reports On The Growing Financial Woes States Are Facing: State Budgets - The Day of Reckoning

 Last night CBS' 60 Minutes reported on the growing crisis in state government budgets in the U.S. This blog has recently written about this topic - as have other bloggers (see a good piece today by Robert Oak in The Economist Populist). 

Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes interviewed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Meredith Whitney, who manages the advisory firm, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group LLC. She is recognized as one of the financial analysts who correctly predicted the U.S. housing bubble before it happened.

Whitney is very worried about the growing budget deficits and outstanding level debt that state governments have incurred. She told Kroft, "Next to housing this is the single most important issue in the United States, and certainly the largest threat to the U.S. economy,"

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "Just two weeks ago I wrote about the 'Next Debt Crisis: U.S. Municipal Bonds'. I believe this situation will continue to worsen - despite the improvement of the overall economy - because state and local government revenues tend to lag the overall economy by a year or two. This expose by 60 Minutes should open the eyes of a lot of investors who will be surprised when they see that they muni bond mutual funds have dropped in value in Q4, while stocks and other risky assets have had excellent performance. This is good background information and I encourage my students to follow this situation, which is not unlike what we are presently viewing in Europe."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Final Exams Are Over at Marquette and Winter Break Begins, But Planning for the 'Ins and Outs of Wall Street' is Underway

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "The last final exam was administered yesterday and we are all looking forward to several weeks of winter break. It was a good semester, but I'm looking forward to working with the incoming AIM juniors in January. Many of them have already started interviewing for their summer internships. And I know that there are going to be some AIM students in the Class of 2012 visiting firms in Chicago and Milwaukee during the winter break."

"In November we introduced the new AIM class. We were again very impressed with the quality of students who applied to the AIM program. Their experiences and the average GPA of the applying students continue to rise each year," Dr. Krause said. "Unlike other offerings in the College of Business Administration, the AIM selection process is highly competitive, due to the limited capacity of the program. Applicants were required to submit a formal application packet to the Director of the AIM program. Applicants were evaluated by the AIM Admissions Committee, which is comprised of the AIM Director, investment company representatives, AIM alumni, and members of the finance faculty."

The selection of students for the AIM program is based upon the following:
  • overall academic performance
  • performance in courses relevant to investment management (e.g. finance, accounting, economics, and statistics);  
  • an application essay that articulates why the student wants to be in the AIM program and how it fits into their plans; and  
  • experiences and career objectives as demonstrated in the student’s resume, letters of recommendation, and interviews.
“AIM continues to meet the goals we established when the program was developed in 2004,” reflects Dr. Krause. “The Class of 2012 is a group of very bright and motivated students who have accomplished much thus far in their academic careers. I am privileged to be able to work with them for the next 18 months.”

Krause continued, "As we near the end of another year, we are already planning for our 4th annual "Ins and Outs of Wall Street Forum"In 2010, we had great participation with more than 130 students in attendance and 16 alumni presenters. This Forum has helped our students immensely and I encourage all prospective AIM undergraduates to plan on attending. This has become an important event in preparing our students for careers in the finance industry.  The tentative date is Saturday April 9, 2011. So I encourage all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to save the date."

Friday, December 17, 2010

MU Alumnus Worked on the Deal Team That Helped the Bank of Montreal Acquire Marshall & Ilsley

Earlier today it was announced that the Bank of Montreal agreed to buy Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for about $4.1 billion in stock to double its U.S. deposits and branches in the largest takeover by Canada’s fourth-biggest bank. Ryan Loftus (MU '00) is an Executive Director of J.P. Morgan's Investment Banking Financial Institutions Group in the Corporate Finance Advisory Services area.

Ins and Outs of Wall Street Presenters

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "In October during our New York City visit we had the opportunity to go to JPM and meet with Ryan. When he talked about his responsibilities it came as no surprise to me when I heard that he was a key part of the team that worked on the BMO / M&I deal. Our experiences with J.P. Morgan have been outstanding and we recognize what an incredible talent pool that firm possesses. Ryan has been helpful in mentoring and advising our AIM students the past several years - and he has been an important participant in the annual "Ins and Outs of Wall Street" event we hold on campus each spring. I look forward to talking with Ryan and learning  more about some of the transactions he has helped to bring to closure." Read about the visit to JPM at this link.

The Bank of Montreal will pay 0.1257 of its own share for each share of Marshall & Ilsley, the Toronto-based bank said today in a statement. The deal values M&I at $7.75 a share, 34 percent higher than yesterday’s closing price of $5.79 on the New York Stock Exchange. This allows BMO to expand and grow it's Midwest presence.

"When we visited JPM in October, Ryan did an excellent job talking about his work in the investment bank's Financial Institutions Group," Dr. Krause added. "I believe the students now have a much better understanding of the type of deals Ryan works on. This is likely to be an extremely important transaction for BMO and M&I - organizations where we we have a significant number of Marquette alumni working."

Ryan Loftus was also a part of the video-conference we held with our Wall Street alumni this fall - read about the event at this link.

Bloomberg Essentials Online Training Program to be Required of the New AIM Students in the Class of 2012

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "With the total number of Bloomberg terminals in the AIM Room growing to four this week, I will be requiring the incoming AIM students in the Class of 2012 to successfully complete the Bloomberg Essentials online training program. This introduction to the Bloomberg Professional Service will familiarize them with basic Bloomberg functionality and should put them on the path to becoming comfortable with using this advanced technology."

To view previous AIM blog stories about Bloomberg training follow this link.

The Applied Investment Management room (located on the fourth floor of Straz Hall on the Marquette University campus) provides AIM students access to Bloomberg Professional. The Bloomberg Essentials Online Training program is designed to provide users with an introduction to Bloomberg Professional Service.  Four core videos provide users with the basic Bloomberg functionality and supplemental market sector videos provide users with an introduction to the major market fundamentals. 

General information for students to complete the training program:

  • Program enrollment: To sign up for the Bloomberg program you must register with Dr. Krause through his e-mail account. 
  • Prerequisite/requirements:  Participation or enrollment in the AIM program or a declared finance major.
  • Charge: This program is free of charge to MU students.
  • AIM Room Hours: The same as those of the Marquette University College of Business Administration hours. Be sure to check over winter break on the hours that Straz Hall (COBA building) will be open.
  • Duration of program: Students can work on the program at their own pace; however, AIM students in the Class of 2012 will have until February to complete the training. Users of a Bloomberg terminal can can book one 1 hour session per day - otherwise the terminals are available on a first come - first serve basis.   

Bloomberg User ID & Equipment

  • Bloomberg User ID: Students must create your own Bloomberg user ID and login. To do so from the Bloomberg terminal type in UREG .  You will need to speak with Bloomberg Customer service during this process to validate your user name and id, so please have a cell phone with you.
  • Equipment: Please bring and use your own head set.

Bloomberg Essential Classes

  • This is an eight course program in which five courses must be completed in order to receive the Acknowledgement of Completion (4 Core Courses and 1 course in any one of the four asset class designations).  There are four Bloomberg Core Videos (Getting Started, Bloomberg News, Market Monitors and Launch Pad and API - Bloomberg Data in Excel) and four Bloomberg Market Sector Videos (Equity Essentials, Fixed Income Essentials, FX Essentials and Commodity Essentials).  In order to earn an Acknowledgement of Completion, users must take the Core Exam along with any one of the Market Sector Exams and earn a grade of 75% or better on each of the exams.  Users can complete all 5 (1 Core and 4 Market Sector) exams if they would like to receive an acknowledgment document for each of the four Market Sectors.
  • Class videos are viewed from the Bloomberg terminal located in the AIM Room and the Raynor Library through the function BESS

Downloading Video and Documents

  • Before you start a class video, download the document for the class by typing CHEAT . The course documents are under this function (CHEAT ). To download the document for the first Core course:  Click on 1) Getting Started.  Click on 1) Getting Started (On the next screen).  Click on 2) A Booklet: Getting Started on Bloomberg.  This booklet provides an introduction to the Bloomberg terminal's navigation and functionality.  Download and save the PDF to the Bloomberg document for later viewing and/or printing.
  • Type in BESS and choose the class that you want to view Courses are progressive and should be taken in order.  Clicking on the course name will start the video.
  • To start the first core video click on: (2) Getting Started (Under Bloomberg Core Videos).
  • To access the FAQs on the Bloomberg Essentials Program, click on 1) Questions, at the top of the Bloomberg Essentials Home Page.  The FAQs provide information on the videos and on the exams.
Bloomberg Courses

Bloomberg Core Courses
Course name Approximate Viewing Time
Getting Started 18 minutes
Bloomberg News 18 minutes
Market Monitors and Launch Pad 18 minutes
API (Bloomberg Data in Excel) 30 minutes
Bloomberg Market Sector Courses
Course Name Approximate Viewing Time
Equity Essentials 30 minutes
Fixed Income Essentials 30 minutes
FX Essentials 30 minutes
Commodity Essentials 30 minutes


  • After completing the four Core courses (Getting Started, Bloomberg News, Market Monitors and Launch Pad and API - Bloomberg Data in Excel), users will need to take an exam.  Users will also need to take an exam after completing one of the Market Sector courses (Equity Essentials, Fixed Income Essentials, FX Essentials or Commodity Essentials).  You will need to pass each exam with a 75% passing grade in order to receive the Acknowledgement of Completion. You may complete each of the Market Sector courses and take an exam for each Market Sector course to receive an Acknowledgment of Completion for each asset class. 
  • Each exam contains about 30 questions.
  • In order to access the exams, type 6 off of the Bloomberg Essentials Home Page and request that you get enabled for the Core, Equity, Fixed Income, Commodity or FX exam.  Once enabled, go back to the Bloomberg Essentials Home Page and type 7 to access the exams.
  • Your exam grade will immediately appear upon completion of the exam.
  • Exam retakes will not be offered.
  • Bloomberg will not authorized access to exams unless you view the class.
  • If you start an exam and are unable to finish it during your session, the exam will be saved under your login, but it is recommended that you complete it within 24 hours.

Acknowledgment Documents

  • To request the Acknowledgment Document, type 6 off of the Bloomberg Essentials menu and provide your name and your email address and specify the Market Sector course that you completed.
  • An Acknowledgment Document will be issued upon completion of the four Course courses and one of  the Market Sector courses.
  •  Acknowledgment Documents will be emailed within 2 weeks of the request by Bloomberg.