Benzinga Pro Review
- News Streamer
The stock news team at Benzinga worked hard to bring to traders Benzinga Pro, a professional news trading platform. Benzinga Pro displays trading news quickly with straightforward headlines. Read our review to find out everything you need to know about Benzinga Pro.
What is Benzinga Pro?
Benzinga Pro is the real-time news service created by the stock news team at Benzinga. Whereas the traditional, free Benzinga network curates stock news similar to sites like Seeking Alpha, MarketWatch, and CNBC, Benzinga Pro displays trading news as quickly as possible in short, succinct headlines. The service is marketed as the prime news source for day traders who need actionable information – corporate news, document releases, high-volume trades, and even rumors – in real-time in order to make quick decisions about trades and trends.
Benzinga Pro Pricing Options
Benzinga Pro operates on a subscription basis with two tiers of plans for individuals, as well as an additional enterprise plan for investment syndicates. The Basic plan, priced at $99/month or $948/year, is relatively limited in the number of features it provides but does include newsfeed access, minus access to the SEC and PR newsfeeds. The Essential plan is priced at $249/month or $2,388/year, and includes unrestricted newsfeed access as well as real-time stock quotes, Audio Squawk to stay ahead of written headlines, and additional help support.
Benzinga Pro Features
The heart and soul of Benzinga Pro is the News Feed, so it makes sense that this is where the software excels compared to most other stock news services – either paid (i.e. Trade the News) or free. Although the interface will look familiar compared to the news feed that traders typically receive from their brokerages, this news feed is constantly flashing with new headlines thanks to the fact that Benzinga has their own news team scouting for new information. The incoming news covers nearly everything day traders could want to know about, including press and document releases, analyst rating changes, block trades, rumors, sector news, SEC filings, and significant options market activity.
Another critical component of the News Feed that Benzinga Pro handles well is the ability to parse and customize information. While the default News Feed can overwhelm with the volume of headlines coming across your screen, it is easy to customize the feed according to several different news sources, categories of stock news, and sectors (which can be further filtered into sub-sectors). The News Feed can also be filtered down to show only news related to specific securities by creating customized watchlists to further limit your news to actionable and relevant items. While trade alerts are on by default, information about block trades and options activity can be turned off for traders who do not find these headlines useful in their strategies.
One of the major features available in the Essential subscription level of Benzinga Pro is the Audio Squawk, which provides audio alerts seconds ahead of the headlines appearing in the News Feed – since typing out headlines takes time. In addition, the Audio Squawk is great for traders who typically have multiple News Feed windows open at once, each focusing on different categories or sectors. The audio news specifically calls out alerts that are otherwise easy to miss in the sea of News Feed windows. Critically, the Audio Squawk favors quality of alerts over quantity and does not devolve into a continuous audio feed that would become distracting.
Another feature that makes the Essential subscription worthwhile for serious day traders is the Newsdesk Chat feature, which gives traders real-time access to the reporters at Benzinga to ask questions. This means it is possible to ask specific questions about why a security has gained or lost value overnight, for example, and to receive responses based on the available news and information from experts in the sector. For traders who are on the fence about a particular security, this can be an extremely useful check to get a second opinion or more information.
The calendar is another handy feature available only to Essential subscribers. The calendar displays major financial events planned across all securities or a specific sector for the day or an upcoming timeframe. The calendar can also be used to query a specific security to quickly look through its history of earnings reports and other major financial events – including analyst ratings, dividends, conference calls, SEC filings, and stock splits – as well as to check when upcoming events are scheduled for.
Screener and Details
Benzinga Pro is a news platform rather than a stock screener, but it does include a relatively simple securities screener to help you identify securities based on fundamentals such as market cap and sectors. However, the screener is limited to identifying gainers and losers, rather than targeting any specific value changes.
The Details panel allows traders to search specific securities in order to display charts and specifically query news and the calendar related to that security.
The chatroom is a relatively new feature within Benzinga Pro and allows traders to talk directly to one another. Chat messages can reference specific stocks as well as tag other users to enable conversations, although the usefulness of the chat room may vary as the feature grows and the number of users expands.
It is easy to keep multiple News Feed screens up at once and to add in additional windows like the chat, stock screener, and calendar up thanks to the simple split-screen capabilities built into the Benzinga Pro viewer. Whenever choosing to open a new type of window, Benzinga Pro gives the option of either opening a new window without altering existing windows or opening the window in the existing workspace. In addition, screens can be popped out into additional windows to make use of multiple monitors. Note that Benzinga Pro operates inside a web browser rather than as a standalone program, which allows additional visual customization based on browser settings.
Benzinga Pro Platform Differentiators
Benzinga Pro sets itself apart from free stock news platforms by offering real-time, curated news and a huge array of filtering features. However, it does have some paid competitors, including The Fly on the Wall and Trade the News. Benzinga Pro is arguably the best of these news services for serious traders, though, thanks to the ability to easily maneuver through multiple News Feed windows, the addition of the Audio Squawk and Calendar functions, and the ability to chat with financial experts through the Newsdesk Chat.
What Type of Trader is Benzinga Pro Suitable For?
Benzinga Pro is best for day traders who trade quickly and at relatively high volumes. The advantage of real-time news only comes into play for traders who can act quickly on news, meaning they have established watchlists and money available to move. Because of the relatively high price of the Essential subscription level, which is significantly more useful than the Basic subscription, the service also only makes sense for traders who have moderate to large portfolios of actively traded investments.
Pros and Cons
- Real-time curated headlines written by Benzinga’s own news team
- Audio Squawk function adds audio alerts to prevent missing essential headlines
- News is easily filtered by sector, financial category, and news source
- Calendar provides fast and convenient display of earnings reports, analyst ratings, dividends, and more for specific companies and across all securities for a given timeframe
- Layout is easy to work with and flexible enough to allow for using multiple browser tabs and working across monitors
- Essential subscription level is relatively pricey for low-volume day traders, especially compared to Basic subscription level
- News Feed can be overwhelming without significant efforts towards customizing feed windows
- Screener and Chat features could be expanded and improved upon