Bloomberg terminals are the gold standard information source in the financial services industry. But Bloomberg terminals cost $2,0000 per month, well above their value to many.
Before examining alternatives, it is important to know that one function cannot be replaced. Bloomberg messaging — a calling card among many traders — is a closed system, available only to those with terminal accounts. The messaging service provides entrance to an exclusive network of hedge funds, bankers, and family offices. Those who do not pay Bloomberg’s fee will not be able to access. Similarly, functions derived from Bloomberg’s message traffic, such as the Message Mining service which mines fixed-income price quotes from message traffic, will remain exclusive to Bloomberg.
Paid Bloomberg Alternatives
Reuters/Eikon/Refinitiv: Reuters has long offered a financial information terminal competing with Bloomberg, but at a lower price. Refinitiv Eikon comes with a much more flexible pricing menu than Bloomberg. A fully-loaded terminal reportedly costs $22,000 per year, but a bare bones version can be had for less than $4,000. While less popular among fixed income traders than Bloomberg terminals, Refinitiv Eikon has some advantages especially for equity analysts. For example, Refinitiv Eikon offers a broad array of analyst reports, many without additional cost.
Sentieo: Sentieo costs much less than Bloomberg and other peers but offers a robust platform with some unique artificial intelligence features and visualization tools. Exact pricing is not disclosed, but reported to be approximately $500 per month. Equity investors will appreciate its document search, which is one of the most powerful SEC filing search engines out there, and integrated research notebook. Senteio also has a strong excel plug-in for modeling.
Capital IQ: With a cost of $7,500-$13,000, Capital IQ is also less expensive than Bloomberg. Capital IQ has many proprietary industry-specific data sets, including mining, energy and commercial real estate. It offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of analyst reports, but often at an additional price. Capital IQ’s feature-set is geared to fundamental equity analysis, and it is known for cleaned, high quality fundamental data. Capital IQ also has a versatile Excel plug-in for further modeling of that data.
FactSet: FactSet is not quite as deep as other products but has exceptional deal-level information prized by those who spend the wee hours drafting pitch books.
AlphaSense: AlphaSense is more of a niche product, focusing on financial document search. Like Senteio, it can search for complex text patterns in SEC filings and conference calls. AlphaSense also has some non-boolean search capabilities that will facilitate thematic searches.
Free (for now) Bloomberg alternatives
Koyfin: Koyfin is a highly customizable platform that centers around charting but also has news, fundamental tracking, and more. Like Bloomberg, Koyfin makes it easy to work with macro (and to a more limited sense, fixed income) data series. Koyfin can integrate with social media accounts, and works best on a large dedicated monitor.
Unhedged: Unhedged remains free while on beta. The platform rolls news feeds, data feeds, and a twitter clipping service into one. To save tweets for further research you just retweet with “save” or another command to @hedgeclips. Unhedged is a great choice for traders that spend a good part of their day on twitter, or for those who need collaborative research tools.
TradingView: one-half social media platform, one-half charting platform (with strong scripting capabilities), TradingView has grown a following especially among the RobinHood and crypto crowds. TradingView has both free and paid offerings.