Computer program helps business students make smart investments

Colorado State University students in the college of business are using a special computer program to help them make smart investments.

The Bloomberg terminals, known as the Bloomberg Professional service, are multi-screened supercomputers located inside of the Rockwell building.


The terminals are used in the financial world to access almost any type of market data. According to CSU associate finance professor Patricia Ryan, users can gain up to the second information on risk management, equity stocks, debt securities and more.

Kyle Bandy, a senior business student, uses the Bloomberg terminals in Rockwell to work on the Summit Fund Tuesday afternoon. (Jenna Van Lone l Collegian)

Ryan said the terminals have become an industry standard and knowing how to use them is necessary for focusing on corporate finance or investment analysis.

“It gives students a competitive edge in the job market,” Ryan said.

Ryan believes the terminals are useful because they collate up to date data into one location, rather than having to search for information from a variety of sources.

CSU finance graduate student Billy Cao uses the terminals to valuate companies by viewing financial statements and important records.

Cao said he believes the software is sometimes difficult to navigate.

“There is always a way to do what you need,” Cao said. “The real question is figuring out what functions will meet those needs.”

Another use for the terminals is the Summit Student Investment Fund in the college of business. Students who run the fund use the Bloomberg terminals to decide what stocks to invest in and the risk vs. reward of different decisions.

According to the 2014-2015 CSU Summit Student Investment Fund, in 1999 the fund started out as $50,000 and reached over $350,000 in 2015.

Ryan said CSU started with one terminal in 1999 and now has 16. An article in Marketwatch estimates the price of one terminal is $21,000. According to Michael Bloomberg’s website, the terminal was created in 1982 and 22 of the first units were sold to Merrill Lynch.


Cao said he uses the terminals as an opportunity to learn a skill that he says is necessary to the financial job market.

Ryan said this technology is being incorporated into the classroom for investment courses and is part of various classes curriculum.

For Cao the terminals offer a way to gain experience on a platform that he can expect to see in the future.

“Everyday I find something new to do with it. It’s really fun,” Cao said.

Collegian reporter Ty Betts can be reached at