Knowledge is power, as the famous saying goes, and few places is that more evident than in the world of investing. Since 1982, Bloomberg Terminal has been a beacon of light guiding investors by providing news, data, in-depth research, and a unique suite of trading tools to traders’ desktops.
Bloomberg Terminal remains relevant now, decades after its launch — but technology moves at the speed of business and there’s some ready, and often cheaper, competition.
The Best Alternatives to Bloomberg Terminal:
- Best Real-Time Newsfeed: Benzinga Pro
- Best for Historical Data: StockRover
- Best Free Platform: Koyfin
- Best Interactive Charts: DarQube
- Best for Speeding Up Research: Yewno|Edge
What is Bloomberg Terminal?
The early 1980’s brought us many of the tools we use for investing. IBM launched the IBM PC. Apple released the first Mac. Bloomberg Terminal reached traders’ desktops during the same era, bringing an instant wealth of knowledge and financial data that would be impossible to assemble quickly with other tools of the time.
The Bloomberg Terminal, also called Bloomberg Professional Services, is a software system designed specifically for trading desks and financial markets. Users can place trades and monitor real-time financial market data.
The proprietary system also gives access to breaking news and provides messaging capability to keep the team in constant communication to strategize or to move quickly when data changes or news breaks. Knowledge may be power, but it isn’t free — or even cheap.
Bloomberg subscribers can pay $20,000 to $25,000 per seat per year for fast access to information and the tools available with the proprietary trading platform.
Advantages of Bloomberg Terminal
Bloomberg Terminal has had its competitors in past years, but by providing a unique value proposition has risen to become the gold standard for financial market news, data, and trading tools. The famous black-screen terminal has become nearly synonymous with Wall Street.
Simply staying with Bloomberg Terminal requires no retraining for trading firms and no downtime while computing systems are installed or traders and other financial market staff learn to navigate a new system. A large part of Bloomberg Terminal’s advantage for current users is that it’s already there — and it’s proven.
Bloomberg Terminal Capabilities
- Live chat with other users: the place where many of Wall Street’s deals are made, a tradition that dates back to pre-internet Wall Street
- Fixed income securities
- API connectivity: allows programmers to connect with applications built in several programming languages including Python, Java, R, Matlab, and C#, as well as the ability to export to common office applications such as Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint. Excel pros can even have spreadsheets dynamically refresh, allowing them to sort tables based on real-time data points.
- Swap manager
- Foreign exchange
- Risk modeling
- Great customer support: Support for Bloomberg Terminal is reportedly outstanding. Unlike some companies who use a support staff that reads from a script, Bloomberg’s support specialists really are specialists and can guide you through complex reporting or export function.
Disadvantages of Bloomberg Terminal
The price for Bloomberg Terminal’s worldwide data and powerful financial market tools, making the terminal a status symbol, is likely also its Achilles heel. At $20,000 per year or higher for each seat, outfitting a multi-user office can be a pricey proposition.
In the fast-paced world of financial markets, sharing often isn’t an option, and loses the benefit of messaging and viewing the same data in real time with another colleague or broker whether ten feet away or hundreds of miles away.
Critics have charged Bloomberg Terminal has been slow to react to market changes and the need for system upgrades to support newer hardware, such as the long wait for export compatibility with 64-bit systems.
Considerations for Alternatives
If you gather a room full of traders and brokers and ask them each what their favorite feature is within Bloomberg Terminal, you’re likely to get more answers than you can process. Depending on your primary markets and how you use the data provided by Bloomberg Terminal, the software will have different advantages for each user.
Primary considerations for alternatives include:
- Real-time news feeds
- Real-time financial data
- Worldwide data on a wide variety of asset markets
- An API that permits export of data to other software or to custom applications
- A chat feature that allows communication between brokerages and in-house collaboration
Best Alternatives to Bloomberg Terminal
Take a look below to see how Bloomberg Terminal’s alternatives measure up.
1. Best Real Time Newsfeed: Benzinga Pro
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our own financial data solution, Benzinga Pro. Starting at $99 a month, Benzinga Pro offers a real-time newsfeed as headlines break on activist stakes, earnings releases, conference call key points, analyst ratings, rumors, the biggest movers, and many more actionable alerts.
From the ground up, Benzinga Pro was designed for average, everyday investors. From charting tools powered by tradingview.com, to an Excel compatible watch list, Benzinga Pro has all the tools day traders need. You can screen U.S stocks by market capitalization, price, and sector. The platform even gives allows you to view a breakdown of a stock’s peer group, financial statements, and view essential SEC filings.
Much like Bloomberg, Benzinga Pro is a direct feed of exclusive news bolstered by an aggregation of online news sources. Users even have the option to chat with Benzinga reporters to better understand what’s going on in the stock market.
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2. Best for Historical Data: StockRover
StockRover, a powerful investment research and analysis tool, offers over 650 metrics — some containing over 10 years of historical data. The industry-leading research tool offers powerful:
- Screening capabilities
- Comparison tools
- Research reports
You’ll find StockRover’s screening capabilities unmatched at any price point. Stock Rover computes fair values and safety margins, warns about trends and scores companies for quality, growth, value and sentiment.
StockRover’s charts let you compare screeners, portfolios and any benchmark. Everything you would want to know about any stock is incorporated into its reports. Even better, all information is displayed in a clear, structured way so you can do comprehensive research on any company.
Use standard desktop software user interface conventions (such as right click for menus and resizable, detachable and collapsable panels) on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones.
3. Best Free Platform: Koyfin
Koyfin is a free platform created by Wall Street analysts who were frustrated that Bloomberg was so expensive and out of reach for most investors. Their mission is to provide powerful analytics to research stocks and market trends which are accessible to all investors. Koyfin intends to always have a free offering but in the future they will have a paid tier with additional data and advanced features.
The best part of Koyfin is that it’s beautifully designed and easy to use. They have dashboard and charting tools covering equities, company financials, analyst estimates, valuation, ETFs, Mutual Funds, FX, bond yields, economic data and news/twitter.
4. Best Interactive Charts: DarQube
Calling all market enthusiasts, traders and portfolio managers!
You can maximize your potential whether you’re a novice trader or experienced professional through Darqube’s wide range of proprietary algorithms. Darqube can help you make effective trading decisions with more accuracy. You’ll tap into:
- Intelligent search: Pinpoint the information you need with Darqube’s language search engine.
- Cross-asset calculators: Leverage comprehensive analytical tools for analysis, correlations, volatility and returns for a variety of asset types and markets.
- News: Access and filter real-time market-moving headlines from over 30,000 relevant news sources.
- Real-time and historical data: Get a wide range of instrument data, including cryptocurrencies, forex, commodities and more.
- Customizable design: Fully customizable dashboards can be tailored to your personal needs.
- Interactive charts: Powerful charting tools seamlessly integrate with search and other core capabilities to help you quickly grasp and act on data.
- Quantitative modeling: Simplify your investment asset selection and make better trading decisions, faster.
There’s more. Darqube’s single cross-asset class analytical platform includes Terminal, Tradelab, Mobile App and Messenger options. You can calculate scenario analysis, correlations, volatilities and returns for a variety of asset types with Terminal and backtest, optimize and implement quantitative trading strategies through Tradelab. Messenger helps you get customizable news and offers a multi-chat tool.
It’s completely free! Sign up now and get plugged into Darqube’s innovative trading solutions.
5. Best for Speeding Up Research: Yewno|Edge
Yewno|Edge aggregates both fundamental and alternative data to give traders actionable insights at an attractive price point. Unlike Bloomberg, which will cost you thousands per year, Yewno|Edge is available for free during a 2-week trial period, then only costs $135 per month.
Yewno|Edge takes the real-time news of Bloomberg a step further by making the data work for you. The platform uses AI technology to calculate exposure to ill-defined market influencing concepts like “Trade War” and “Data Privacy,” so that you can assess risk through a new lens. The platform is made up of four features:
- Company Insights gives you access to corporate news, business relationships, and concept exposures. It allows you to see what’s currently influencing the risk level of a company.
- Portfolio Exposure shows you what news, trends, and global events are impacting the risk of your portfolio.
- Strategy Builder lets you create a portfolio based on a theme or concept, like the cannabis economy. Then, their AI gathers thousands of data points to back-test your choices.
- Key Developments also keep you in-the-know about any events or rumors that are impacting your investments.
Rather than interpreting headlines yourself with Bloomberg, Yewno|Edge uses them to compute risk so you can make the best trades possible.
Final Thoughts on Bloomberg Alternatives
Which financial data solution you choose isn’t always governed by cost alone. Some tools are better suited for certain tasks than others and there’s value in more comprehensive tools that offer more functionality.
However, if your foreseeable needs are specialized or narrow in scope a multi-tool solution might be overkill and also might not offer enough specialization for your financial market niche. At costs of up to $2,000 per seat per month, choosing a financial market data provider is a decision that merits in-depth research.
By choosing the right tool to help guide your decisions and provide market insight, the cost can become a secondary consideration, however, because the right tool or suite can help you make more informed decisions, connect you with the right players in your niche, and help you prevent costly trading mistakes.
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