The Bloomberg terminal is a computer software system used by professional investors as a source of real-time financial data and information. Users can place trades and monitor real-time financial market data. The Bloomberg terminal is seen by many as the gold standard in the financial industry; it is one of the oldest and most used financial terminals. However, it is also one of the most expensive options, costing upwards of $20,000 annually per person. For those who don’t want to pay the hefty price tag, there are many free and more cost-effective alternatives to choose from.
When selecting an alternative terminal, consider the quality and depth of the data, if it provides real-time news and data, and ease of use. We reviewed a number of terminal alternatives based on price, data quality, data visualization, usability, and customer reviews. You can use this information to help determine if a lower-cost terminal alternative can do the job or if you are willing to pay the high cost associated with the Bloomberg terminal.
Read on to see the results of our chosen list of the best Bloomberg terminal alternatives.
Best Overall : FactSet
FactSet offers its customers a vast amount of data, decades of experience in the industry, and top-of-the-line customer service, making it our choice for best overall terminal alternative.
Cheaper than the Bloomberg terminal
Strong customer service and support
95% customer retention rate
Four decades in the industry
Still expensive at $12,000 per year
Not as user friendly as some of the other terminals
FactSet has been helping its financial clients since 1978 and has 48 offices in 22 countries and serves over 133,000 financial professionals. With the FactSet platform, users are able to stay on top of market trends, monitor portfolio risk and performance, and even execute trades. It can be accessed by desktop as well as web and mobile applications.
FactSet must be doing something right because they have maintained a 95% customer retention rate over the last decade. However, becoming one of FactSet’s happy customers will cost you, though it isn't as pricey as its top competitors (Bloomberg and Refinitiv). Terminal pricing is not included on the FactSet website, however, an article in the Wall Street Prep reports that an annual membership will cost you $12,000. That’s approximately half of the price of the Bloomberg terminal. It’s not cheap, but with a history of stellar customer service as well as top-notch data and analytics, you might determine that it is worth the money.
- Access to over 30 data sets (including two dozen exclusive sets)
- Monitor global markets
- Research public and private companies
- Industry-level insights
- Comprehensive reports
- Real-time research tools
Best Free Terminal : Koyfin
We chose Koyfin as the best free terminal because it is a reliable alternative to the high-cost terminals. With access to high-quality data, a user-friendly platform, and top trending financial news, it’s a great option for those who aren’t ready or able to invest thousands of dollars.
Currently free to all users
Wide data coverage
Combines technical and fundamental data on charts
Limited technical analysis tools
No intraday charts
Koyfin is an investment analytics platform that was founded in 2016 by former Wall Street traders. The goal was to create a reliable alternative to the high-priced professional platforms on the market. Koyfin offers its customers a clear and easy-to-use interface with advanced graphing, customizable dashboards, access to comprehensive financial analysis, and a macro dashboard for keeping an eye on all of the markets.
Koyfin doesn’t have one particular special feature that will blow your socks off. But, if you’re looking for a platform that is powerful, customizable, and offers a breadth of data, then Koyfin might be the right fit. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to give Koyfin a try, you may want to note that this platform is free to all users (as of March 2021). Even though there are plans in the works to release a paid service that will offer additional data, functionality, market coverage, and customization, Koyfin will continue to offer a free version. With a current price tag of free, you might as well give it a try.
Data coverage includes:
- Mutual funds
- Fixed income
- Global economy data
- Top trending financial news
Best for Financial Data and Analytics : Refinitiv Eikon
Eikon offers its user access to cross-asset calculators, portfolio analytics, and StarMine quantitative analytics and models, which is why it stands out as the best terminal for financial data and analytics.
Access to real-time financial news and data
Export data using Microsoft Excel
Prices not available online
Refinitiv Eikon is Bloomberg's biggest competitor when it comes to market share. As of February 1, 2021, Refinitiv became part of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), further expanding Refinitiv’s capacity to impact the financial community.
Eikon provides an easy-to-use platform that can be downloaded onto your desktop or mobile device. Its open platform is easy to customize and allows you to plug in a variety of application programming interfaces (APIs) and apps so you can get exactly the kind of information that you want.
While Eikon does not post its prices online, an article in Wall Street Prep suggests that you can purchase Refinitiv Eikon for $22,000 per year, or you can get a more stripped-down version for $3,600 per year. While the full version is just as pricey as the Bloomberg terminal, Eikon's cheaper version is a good option for those that want to be part of the Eikon club but lack the industry budget.
- Global pricing data
- Reuters news and insights
- Unique charting tools
- Intelligent search
- Mobile apps
- Customized alerts
- Google Chrome extension
- Social media monitor
- Eikon Excel
- Eikon APIs
Best for Live Chat : Symphony
Symphony offers live chat, voice, and video conferencing all on one platform. It is truly becoming one of the safest and most popular platforms for financial professionals to connect and build communities.
Security and compliance based on federal and global standards
Price at $240 annually
Not an all in one resource—purely a collaboration tool
Price not listed on the website
Founded in 2014, Symphony is the one-stop-shop for communication and community building among financial industry professionals. Symphony was created with the goal of reducing the cost of market data and communication between financial professionals and their customers. You can get all of the up-to-date information you need in a safe environment. Symphony uses end-to-end encryption to protect all of your communications and they use bots and automation to improve everyday workflows.
Symphony works with 445 companies including clients like JP Morgan, HSBC, and Citibank; they have over 500,000 users and are responsible for relaying over 74,000,000 monthly messages. If you’re interested in a free demo, contact a member of the Symphony sales team. While the price of Symphony is not listed on its website, an article in CNBC reports the cost to be $240 per year. Symphony provides a great and cost-effective alternative to those who want to connect and build communities with other industry professionals.
- Send messages
- Share files
- Automate trade flows
- Meet in real-time
Best for Data Visualization : YCharts
We chose YCharts as the best terminal for data visualization because it is known for its ability to create beautiful, clear, and compelling visuals.
More affordable pricing
Easy to visualize charts
Steep learning curve for beginner investors
Standard plan users won’t have access to all features
YCharts is a web-based investment research platform that was founded in 2009 with the intention of democratizing investment research. YCharts helps its clients to make better investment decisions by providing easy-to-use tools capable of creating compelling visuals that make it simple to share insights and strategies.
With a series of model portfolios, YCharts makes it simple to build, visualize, and compare investment strategies. Users can create custom reports to compare portfolios or securities using client-friendly visuals. YCharts also includes an Excel add-on that comes with a series of powerful and customizable templates that can be used to fit any model that you create.
A team of dedicated support engineers is available to help and save you time. And before committing, you can reach out to a product specialist for a demo of the platform or sign up for a free seven-day trial of the software to see if it’s the right fit for you.
There are three different plan options: Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. The Standard plan starts at an annual rate of $3,600, the Professional plan is $6000, and custom pricing is available to those interested in the Enterprise plan.
- Customizable dashboard
- Model portfolios
- Custom reports
- Stock screener
- Fund screener
- Fundamental charting
- Excel Add-In
Best for Market Research : AlphaSense
AlphaSense provides access to thousands of premium data sources including broker research, SEC filings, and news and trade journals. It is the one-stop-shop for market research and intelligence.
Free two-week trial
Prices not listed on the website
Lack of customer support
AlphaSense was launched in 2011 with a mission to help businesses and financial firms make decisions with more efficiency and confidence. AlphaSense uses AI and NLP search technology to help its users uncover relevant data across millions of different documents in a matter of seconds. No matter where you are, you can quickly share insights with your team
Thousands of organizations including half of the S&P and 70% of the top 50 hedge funds use AlphaSense to drive research and decision making. With AlphaSense, companies can easily share insights and information, streamline their research workflow, and stay on top of industry trends.
Before committing to AlphaSense, visit their website to request a two-week free trial. AlphaSense does not post any pricing details so you will need to contact them directly.
- Access to over 100 million documents including SEC filings, earnings call transcripts, private company data, newspapers and trade journals, and regional and industry research
- Aggregated from over 10,000 sources
- Capable of recognizing millions of financial terms and their synonyms
Although the Bloomberg Terminal is an expensive way to access real-time financial data and information, a cheaper solution won't always get you the features you need to make sound investment decisions.
FactSet offers many of the same features for about $8,000 less per year and enjoys a 95% satisfaction rate from its customers, making it our top pick as the best alternative. For those who still find FactSet's $12,000 price tag daunting, other companies like Koyfin offer a great free option to those who want the support of a terminal without breaking their budget.
|Company||Why We Picked It||Price|
|FactSet||Best Overall||$12,000 (year)|
|Koyfin||Best Free Terminal||Free|
|Refinitiv Eikon||Best for Financial Data and Analytics||$22,000; $3,600 (year)|
|Symphony||Best for Live Chat||$240 (year)|
|YCharts||Best for Data Visualization||Standard $3,600 (year)
Professional $6,000 (year)
|AlphaSense||Best for Market Research||Pricing available upon request|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Bloomberg Terminal?
The Bloomberg terminal is a computer software system that is used by investors and financial professionals to access Bloomberg data services. The Bloomberg terminal offers its users real-time data on every market, access to breaking news, financial research, powerful analytics, communication tools, and execution capabilities.
What Are the Advantages of the Bloomberg Terminal?
- The Bloomberg Terminal has been around since 1981 and continues to lead as the gold standard as a trading tool and source of data and financial news.
- It offers a wide array of features ranging from news to risk modeling and access to live chat with other users
- It is Windows-based and compatible with Excel which provides a more simplified view of the data.
- The Bloomberg terminal provides an integrated solution.
What Are the Disadvantages of the Bloomberg Terminal?
- Price is the largest disadvantage to the Bloomberg Terminal, with access costing $24,000 per year, per seat.
- Upgrades to support new hardware devices are delayed.
The Bloomberg terminal will cost you approximately $2,000 per month or $24,000 per year.
Can You Trade From a Bloomberg Terminal?
Yes, you can place a trade using the Bloomberg terminal. The Bloomberg terminal is meant to be an end-to-end trading system. Investors can use the system to facilitate the placement of financial transactions, such as trading stock and options.
This is a question that only you can answer. While the Bloomberg terminal is still considered by many to be the gold standard of terminals, there are many alternatives on the market at different price points. When deciding whether or not the Bloomberg terminal is worth it, you will have to consider your personal needs, wants, and budget.
Who Uses the Bloomberg Terminal?
According to the Bloomberg website, there are 325,000 users of the Bloomberg terminal. Because this terminal comes with such a high price tag, it is typically used by large institutional investors, financial analysts, and portfolio managers.
When determining the best Bloomberg terminal alternatives, we reviewed 13 alternatives and weighed a number of factors, including price, reliability, reputation, customer retention, and reviews from various websites. We encourage you to shop around to determine the terminal best suited to your needs and budget.