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Is it worth it to subscribe to CNBC Pro?
After trying out CNBC Pro, let me share with you my experience and help you make an informed decision.
What Is CNBC Pro?
So, what is CNBC Pro?
It’s a paid subscription service on CNBC.com and CNBC apps.
Inside CNBC Pro, you will get access to the following:
- Live CNBC TV from the U.S., Europe, and Asia
- CNBC PRO News
- Street Calls
- Follow the Pros
- Pros Talk
- Mike Santoli’s Notes on Stocks
- Watchlist, Stock Screener and Charting
Now, the next question becomes, how useful is it to help you invest better?
Live CNBC TV
Live CNBC TV basically covers all the latest market news from around the world.
As a CNBC Pro subscriber, you can access Live CNBC TV using any web browser on any device from anywhere, as long as you have a good internet connection.
But, if you already have cable TV that includes the CNBC channel, then you can watch CNBC TV live from there without subscribing to CNBC Pro.
So, do you really need Live CNBC TV to help you make your investment decisions?
Personally, I think that if you are actively day trading and are trading the news, then you will probably need a live audio news feed to help you keep updated on the stock market in real time.
This is because any breaking news (e.g. economic news or stock-specific news) might cause huge swings in the stocks that you are trading and you don’t want to get caught off-handed.
I would recommend Benzinga Pro‘s Squawk because it delivers only the most critical market-moving and actionable news, so you can focus on what matters most.
On the other hand, if you are a long-term investor, I don’t see a lot of value in getting Live CNBC TV.
There is too much noise and distraction from Live CNBC TV with most of the news stories being not actionable.
Do you think Warren Buffet watches live market news all day in his office?
I doubt so.
As for CNBC Pro News, if you are an active trader, you probably get all the latest market news feeds on your trading platform or the stock trading software you are using.
CNBC Pro’s “Wall Street’s Analyst Calls”
Moving on, let’s take a look at Wall Street’s analyst calls interpreted for you before the market opens.
It’s basically a quick summary of a few biggest analyst calls with a short excerpt of an analyst’s report.
Take note that this is NOT a summary of ALL the analyst calls.
So, you might NOT see the stocks that you are holding or are currently on your watch list right now.
If you want to stay informed of any change in analyst ratings on the stocks that you are watching, then there are good stock research and analysis platforms such as Stock Rover and Seeking Alpha, where you get ALL the financial data and ratings in one place.
CNBC’s “Follow the Pro” Stock Picks
In addition to analyst calls, you also get stock recommendations from CNBC’s “Follow the Pro”.
These are stock recommendations by various investment banks and their analysts.
By the way, most of these articles have attention-grabbing headlines such as this one “Buy these global clean energy stocks, UBS says, forecasting one to rise 50%”.
The nice thing about “Follow the Pro” is that you get quite a lot of stock ideas from them.
The downside is that you might get overwhelmed with all the stock ideas thrown at you.
Are you going to follow their recommendation and buy all of them?
Because there is no in-depth analysis and explanation for their stock recommendations.
To make a good investment decision, you still need to do your own research and analysis.
For example, below is a list of stock recommendations in the CNBC PRO Follow the Pro section.
How did these stock recommendations perform?
Out of these four stock recommendations, Vistra Corp did well, NextEra Energy did poorly, and the remaining two Eni and Repsol were mostly flat since they were recommended.
So, the win ratio is about 50%.
CNBC PRO Analysis
There is also CNBC PRO Analysis where investment bank analysts make stock recommendations based on any of the following analyses:
- Macroeconomic analysis
- Event-driven analysis (e.g. Bankruptcy, Earnings Reports, Product Events, etc)
- Statistical analysis (e.g. Healthcare ETF has gone up in four of the past five years during the first half of January when the annual JPMorgan Health Care Conference takes place)
For example, Bank of America recommends a global fertilizer stock because it sees a worldwide shortage due to demand picking up and also limited supply.
So, how did this stock pick perform?
It didn’t go up 50% as predicted.
As you can see, no one can make macroeconomic predictions with 100% certainty.
Part of the analysis is also based on one analyst predicting that gas prices would go up and it would benefit Sabic Agri-Nutrients which has a fixed-cost feedstock.
But, gas prices did not go up.
In fact, gas prices fell by about 50% over the next six months after this article came out.
Here’s another example of CNBC PRO Analysis.
UBS analysts are recommending retail stocks such as Walmart and Target.
The reasoning is simple.
These retail stocks could capture Bed, Bath & Beyond’s and Buy Buy Baby’s business after they were closed.
Now, let’s see how these retail stocks performed 9 months later.
Target’s share price fell sharply, while Walmart’s share price was up about 8%.
Generally, you will not find in-depth stock analysis here if that is what you are looking for.
Also, most of the stock recommendations are for short-term investments.
For example, Healthcare ETFs are recommended because the annual JPMorgan conference is going to happen and these Healthcare ETFs have risen in four of the past years.
This is just an event-type catalyst in the short term.
So, if I buy, when should I exit my position?
If this event turned out to be a negative catalyst instead of a positive one, then do I sell and take losses immediately?
Personally, I think I won’t rush to hit the “buy” button after reading their analysis.
Also, I prefer good undervalued long-term investment ideas that I can buy and hold for years because the probability of losing significantly decreases as your investment horizon increases.
CNBC Pro Talk
Another key offering of CNBC Pro is its interviews with company CEOs and fund managers called “Pro Talk”.
So, can you get any useful and actionable information from these interviews?
The thing with the interviews with company CEOs is that they would mostly paint a very rosy picture of their companies.
That’s why I prefer annual reports because numbers are unbiased.
As for fund manager interviews, I quite like them because it’s useful to know the top players’ views on the market and also their investment ideas.
Mike Santoni’s Notes
You also get access to Mike Santoni’s notes.
It is basically a daily notebook of Mike Santoli, CNBC’s senior markets commentator, with ideas about trends, stocks, and market statistics.
There’s nothing too special about this.
I believe you could get this kind of information from other major financial news outlets as well.
Watchlists, Stock Screener & Charting
CNBC PRO also provides tools such as Watchlist, stock screener, and charting.
These tools are quite basic.
If you need a powerful fundamental stock screener, I highly recommend Stock Rover.
If you are looking for a good technical stock screener and charting platform, I highly recommend TradingView.
CNBC Pro Pricing
How much does a CNBC Pro subscription cost?
It has a monthly plan as well as an annual plan.
Its monthly plan costs $34.99/month while its annual plan costs $299.99.
There is a free 7-day trial for its annual plan only.
So, if you want to test drive CNBC Pro risk-free, you will need to go with the annual plan.
If you don’t think it’s a good fit for you, then you must cancel your annual subscription before the 7-day trial ends.
To cancel it, you just need to go to “my account”.
Then, you click “CNBC Pro”.
Under”Plan”, you can cancel your subscription by turning off the “auto-renewal”.
Is CNBC PRO Worth It?
Personally, I don’t really recommend CNBC PRO because quite a lot of stock recommendations are for short-term investments.
Also, there is no in-depth analysis that can give you confidence to take action right away.
However, you could possibly use CNBC PRO as a source of stock ideas, then do your own independent research again before making an investment decision.