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Benzinga, on the surface, is an investing news platform for stock market enthusiasts. It offers an array of free articles to empower investors, detailing everything from why Instagram is hiding its users’ “likes” to the potential of eco-friendly crypto companies.
The site’s articles and the live updates don’t simply tell you what to do — they provide information on how stocks are evolving and why that may impact their value and influence other markets as well.
But perhaps you’re more experienced with investing and the free articles and education courses aren’t challenging. If you dig deeper into the site and your wallet, you can unlock a jackpot of stock market data.
Benzinga’s paid Pro Plans give members — who, according to Benzinga, are most commonly retail day-traders — access to stock market chat rooms, the company’s live Squawk radio, and more tools I’ll detail later that deliver the latest investment insights.
As the largest financial news vendor to North American brokerages, Benzinga’s real-time stock updates are most advantageous to financial professionals and brokers, like its clients TD Ameritrade and TradeStation. Benzinga’s data is licensed to larger clients so these companies can provide up-to-date financial data to users on their platforms.
Benzinga’s elements help foster a sense of community. Every feature is a genuine attempt to assist the customer in making a balanced money decision for themself, their company, or their clients. Here’s an in-depth look at the entire site, and the different Pro Plan options that are available, so you can determine if Benzinga is right for you and your money.
Ease of Use Score:3
At first glance, Benzinga’s website design could use a bit of a makeover. It’s cluttered, slightly visually disorienting, and the pop-up ads don’t help.
Benzinga seems more focused on the stock technicalities and specifics of investing, so I understand that the design is less of a consideration than the hard data.
That said, the site is accessible via desktop and mobile, making it convenient — if a little hard to digest — for obtaining a wide range of investing information on the go.
However, users need proficient knowledge of the stock market and different investing strategies for buying and selling in order to benefit from Benzinga’s paid plans.
Though Benzinga gives you all the information you need to invest, it’s up to the user to make the final decision on where their money lands.
Popular robo-advisors, such as Ellevest and Stash, alleviate the decision-making process by using algorithms and financial experts to invest your money for you.
Benzinga, in contrast, has a steeper learning curve as it lays out the financial data, but leaves the implementation up to the customer.
This is a benefit for more experienced investors and furthers my belief that newcomers to investing may find themselves lost in Benzinga’s clusters of information.
Though the platform’s education courses and stock market news are helpful for all, Benzinga’s paid plans are fit for practiced investors or perhaps beginners who have the financial capacity to learn through trial and error.
Day-trading gurus who are fluent in different buying and selling maneuvers may find Benzinga’s insights useful, and companies who use Benzinga’s API tools to update their own users may find more success and efficiency with the product.
Bang for Your Buck Score:3.5
The free services that Benzinga offers are Benzinga News and education courses. Benzinga News categories include but are not limited to earnings, fintech, dividends, IPOs, and insider trading.
The amount of content is seemingly endless, as the platform publishes articles by Benzinga staff writers as well as Benzinga users who self-identify as “market experts,” “economic whizzes,” or “cryptocurrency gurus.”
Benzinga provides free financial literacy courses as well, thanks to the company’s affiliation with CME Group. Want to learn about equity index products? How about trading psychology? The variety of course options are relatively wide and include videos that help investors visualize critical concepts.
Each course also includes a few concise notes and one question at the end to test your understanding and knowledge of the material. You can track your progress and go back to a lesson if you are unable to finish it in a single sitting.
The investor education is well designed, palatable for a myriad of audiences and skill levels, and free to anyone with internet access. Simply start learning — no questions asked or account creation required.
Beyond the free plan, the Benzinga Pro Plans open up a whole new world of stock market insights for professional and experienced investors. Here’s the price and feature breakdown:
Benzinga Pro Basic Plan:
- $99 per month
Benzinga Pro Essential Plan:
- $177 per month
Benzinga Pro Mentorship Plan:
- $347 per month
After doing some research and using the product, I found that the most profound features are the live Squawk radio updates, which communicate stock value changes, and the live chat room, which allows users to share personal insights and predictions.
Interactive tools such as these, combined with your own judgment, can be used to dictate your next money move, or add to your company’s database of information and reporting.
I decided to call the company in order to get a grasp on the true cost benefits of opening a paid plan with Benzinga.
A representative told me that the major benefits of the Pro Mentorship Plan are real-time pricing, live Squawk radio, and its highly reliable newswire.
They argued that the majority of news sites provide delayed quotes about stock pricing, but the NASDAQ Real Time Quotes provide Benzinga members with immediate stock market data that alerts them audibly.
Day-traders and large clients can experience the real bang for their buck through the utilization of real-time quotes, live chat rooms, education courses, and stock market news within one integrated site.
As a frugal newcomer to investing, I personally would not hand over this chunk of money for the ease of using a singular website. Sign up for the one- month free trial or use Benzinga’s free resources instead.
Customer Service Score:3
After dialing Benzinga’s customer service number, I was pleased to find myself on the phone with a real person within seconds. They were friendly, and I appreciated hearing their insights because it felt as though they were a friend lending a helping hand.
Shortly after signing up for an account, I was contacted directly via telephone by a representative who wanted to check in on my experience.
They enlightened me on the free demos Benzinga offers, suggesting that if I wanted to get a full idea of how the platform works, I should attend.
The rep was amiable and, for one moment, I appreciated a call from an unknown number.
I also used the chat feature within the Benzinga Pro Plan trial because I was curious if the company offered one-on-one advising sessions or advising workshops of some sort. The “chat” feature is actually just a chat box that is forwarded to Benzinga’s email, and I waited a few hours with no response.
I would argue that automated chat services are fairly common these days, so it’s a shame that Benzinga’s is not up to my standards. That said, if you’re looking for prompt answers and responses, head straight to the phone line.
Benzinga has no complaints on its Better Business Bureau profile, and with a 4.7/5 rating on the App Store, the company’s reputation is its wealth. I fished around the web for anti-Benzinga takes, but it was a challenge to find a review under four stars.
Benzinga does not have an Android app (thus the absence of Google Play reviews), but the Android version is “coming soon,” according to the company’s website.
Other reviewers seem to agree with me. The website may suffer from information overload, and paid plans may be unsuitable for beginner investors.
But if you’re able to sort through the data, active stock-watchers can find the information to be timely and useful.
The saying goes that you should aim for quality over quantity. Benzinga simultaneously achieves both goals.
The Bottom Line
Benzinga integrates highly updated stock market news, well-designed investor education, and valuable advanced plan packages under one roof.
Though the platform may struggle with information overload, the material is worth digging through as the site compiles real-time insights on stock market changes that can be highly advantageous — if used wisely.
If you’re new to investing and want to explore the ins and outs of the market, the free resources are an excellent starting point. On the other hand, if you’re a broker or seasoned investor, Benzinga offers plans that allow you and your company to be on top of the latest and greatest investment news through features like chat rooms and Audio Squawk, its live, trading radio broadcast.
Benzinga is a powerful tool for more dedicated traders and professional investors. The plan costs may be worth your while if you want to be among the first to hear about stock movements in order to satisfy your investment goals — especially if you’re the type of investor who is monitoring stock prices in real time.
Overall, Benzinga has created a community by developing a platform in which skillful investors can advise one another, beginner investors can access educational resources, and larger clients can gain financial data to guide their customers with the latest stock market news.
Past performance is not a predictor of future results. Individual investment results may vary. All investing involves risk of loss.