Frequently Asked Questions About the Benzinga Pro Platform:
This is a compilation of the top 10 questions I see and hear about Benzinga Pro on a regular basis. The answers provided are based on my own personal experiences with Benzinga Pro and various other stock newsfeeds, platforms, and similar services.
1. What is Benzinga Pro?
Benzinga Pro is a robust stock trading analysis platform best known for its fast, actionable newsfeed. But in addition to that, it also offers customizable calendars, scanners/screeners, signals, alerts, and watch lists, among many other features.
Most people view Benzinga simply as a news source, but Benzinga Pro offers numerous functionalities that can be filtered and customized to fit almost every type of trader/investor. It’s hard to imagine anyone involved in the markets not finding value in it.
My personal favorite Benzinga Pro feature (besides the newsfeed, of course) are the signals. These signals include sharp price spikes, opening gaps, and 52-week highs – just to name a few. But what I like best are block trades and unusual options activity.
The reason I like monitoring these unusual price and volume-related events is because they can help track the actions of large institutions like big banks and hedge funds. Being aware of such aggressive bets can help you follow the big/smart money.
2. What is a Stock Market Newsfeed?
A stock market newsfeed is an electronic transmission of headlines and news stories. Stock newsfeeds are important for both traders and investors because news catalysts can drastically impact the price of securities on a short-term and long-term basis.
Not all news is created equal, but a strong news catalyst that changes the fundamental outlook for a company can be a tremendous money-making opportunity. News catalysts can also have a negative impact on your account if you fail to react appropriately.
For example, if breaking news came out that Netflix increased their subscriber-base by five times more than expected one month, then it would most likely result in a substantial upside move in the stock. Being in before the masses could potentially generate huge profits.
Another example is if your account or portfolio is heavily weighted in biotechnology stocks, but brand new regulation just passed that will negatively impact sales for the entire sector. Seeing the news early would allow you to quickly reduce exposure.
A neat feature within Benzinga Pro which isn’t often talked about is the sentiment indicator, which provides the most likely direction and potential impact of specific news items. It’s all about fast, accurate information and positioning your account accordingly.
3. How Much Does Benzinga Pro Cost?
There are two main options for a Benzinga Pro subscription – Basic and Essential. Basic is $99 per month or $948 per year (which breaks down to $79 per month) and Essential is $177 per month or $1,404 per year (which breaks down to $117 per month).
The Essential version is the most popular because it includes signals, audio squawk, news desk chat, and more. But the Basic version still offers a bunch of great tools for those who don’t need every feature (newsfeed, watch lists, details, alerts, movers, calendars, etc.).
4. Can I Try Benzinga Pro For Free?
Yes, you can. One of the best opportunities for traders or investors looking for a reliable newsfeed or overall analysis tool is Benzinga Pro’s free 2-week trial. This gives anybody the chance to check out the numerous platform features at absolutely no cost.
As with any product or service (trading-related or not) there will always be haters and naysayers – even if the product/service is perfectly legitimate and helpful. So I love when trading platforms offer free trials for the opportunity to try before you buy.
The reality is that the effectiveness of a tool like Benzinga Pro won’t have the same exact impact on every individual trader or investor. So you have to test how it works for your particular methods and strategies. Conveniently, you have the opportunity to do so.
5. Does Benzinga Pro Work?
There are thousands of active Benzinga Pro users. But if that’s not enough to prove that Benzinga Pro works, then give the 2-week free trial a shot like we just discussed in order to see if the features provide value to your particular approach.
Asking if a tool like Benzinga Pro works is kind of like asking if a hammer works. It all depends on what you plan on using the tool for and if you also possess the necessary skills to perform the job. Without skills, the tool itself won’t be all that effective.
For most individuals who might claim that Benzinga Pro doesn’t work, I think this is the main issue. It’s not about the features of the platform being poor or causing problems, but more about the user’s ability to properly capitalize on opportunities.
The tool, whether it be Benzinga Pro or a hammer, is only effective if it matches the job and the user has the skills to properly use it. Without skills, you can bend nails, smash fingers, or wreak other forms of havoc, but that doesn’t mean the hammer is ineffective.
6. Is Benzinga Pro Worth the Price?
The worth of Benzinga Pro is ultimately up to you to decide for yourself, but if it can help you increase your profits by at least $10 per trading day on average – then it should be worth it.
This calculation comes from the assumption that there are about 20 trading days per month and the most expensive Essential plan costs roughly $180 per month ($180/20 = $9). So making an extra $10 per day would put you slightly above breakeven.
This is just a drop in the bucket and tends to easily pay for itself for consistently profitable traders making hundreds or thousands of dollars per day. As we discussed earlier, the platform doesn’t replace skill, but can certainly provide additional edge.
7. What is the Audio Squawk Feature?
The Benzinga Pro audio squawk feature is a news broadcast that provides key headlines and market updates throughout the day. It’s not something you can personally customize like the newsfeed feature – you either have it turned on or off.
It’s a real person talking via livestream from 6am to 6pm sharing only the most noteworthy market news and updates. This can be extremely convenient during times when you want to take your eyes off the screen completely or be monitoring something else.
As most day traders already know, screen space and mental bandwidth are precious. Having the convenience of an audio feed is prime.
8. What Are Some Benzinga Pro Alternatives?
One alternative to Benzinga Pro is TradetheNews, which provides news on European and Asian markets as well (not just the US stock market). But the cost of TradetheNews is generally higher and I personally like the user experience of Benzinga Pro better.
There are also options like Reuters Eikon and Bloomberg Terminal that are certainly more powerful than Benzinga Pro or TradetheNews, but fully loaded versions can exceed $20,000 per year. As a result, institutional traders are the typical users.
For the average retail trader, Benzinga Pro offers an extreme value with robust functionalities for less than $1,500 per year.
9. What is the Benzinga Options Mentorship Program?
The Benzinga Options Mentorship program with Nic Chahine is a fairly new offering launched in early to mid 2021. It includes an Essential Benzinga Pro subscription – and also features trading education and mentorship from leading trader, Nic Chahine.
This program offers access to Nic’s personal trading strategy, an options inner circle chat room, and additional education/mentorship.
10. Is Benzinga Pro the Best Live Stock Market Newsfeed?
Based on my personal experiences – especially considering the user experience, functionalities, and cost – I do think that Benzinga Pro is the best live stock market newsfeed for individual traders and investors.
As stated previously, there are platforms like Reuters Eikon and Bloomberg Terminal that by most accounts appear to be far more robust (although I have no firsthand experience with them), but the average retail trader simply can’t justify paying $20,000+ per year.
For a small fraction of the price of these two extremely expensive platforms, you can receive valuable tools for superior technical and fundamental analysis. In my opinion, Benzinga Pro can help skilled traders greatly increase their overall edge.
If you have any additional questions or comments about the Benzinga Pro platform, please share them below.
Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)
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