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Top 7 Financial APIs to Try Out in 2022

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Introduction

Data is the new gold in the Finance space, especially if you are focusing on the algorithmic trading space. The one who knows how to make the best of use data holds a strong edge over the market. But finding quality and reliable data is where things get a little tricky due to the emergence of a plethora of financial data providers.

Not to worry, because today I created a list of the best APIs which you can look upon for various purposes such as algo trading, research, projects, applications, and many other cool things. The list is prepared based on three core criteria: Ease of use, Documentation, and Features being provided. I’ve personally tested all the APIs and here are the top 7 financial APIs to try out in 2022 (ranked):

  1. EOD Historical Data (EODhd)
  2. IEX Cloud
  3. Twelve Data
  4. Intrinio
  5. Alpha Vantage
  6. Polygon.io
  7. Finnhub

1. EOD Historical Data

eodhistorical.com

EOD Historical Data, shortly known as EODhd, tops this list due to a varied number of reasons. First is the number of API endpoints being provided. There is almost an infinite number of endpoints designed for every possible scenario. Ranging from the basic ones like the historical data APIs all the way to the stock screener and economic calendar APIs comes into handy for both professional and educational works. They also support assets other than stocks such as commodities, cryptocurrency, indices to name a few.

Secondly, EOD Historical Data maintains well-structured documentation of their APIs in a systematic order to reduce confusion among the users. Each and every API provided by them has an individually dedicated article explaining the API’s use-cases along with practical and real-world examples. The best part of these articles is the comment section where we can post our doubts which will be answered by an expert shortly. To me, this is a great feature because we don’t have to head over to Stack Overflow or any other additional sources each and every time.

Thirdly, ease of use. The response we get from calling EODhd’s APIs is one of the cleanest data I’ve ever seen to work with. It helps shorten the process of data cleaning and data manipulation where most of the beginners get stuck. Talking about beginners, to lessen the coding burden, EODhd provides no-code solutions to get the desired data feasibly and seamlessly.

Let’s talk about pricing. The free plan is well designed for people experimenting with different stock APIs that include all the basic market data with 20 API calls per day. Professionalists and developers who want to build commercial applications can opt-in for the All-in-one package available for $79.99 that comes with 100,000 API calls per day and accessibility to the endless amount of data provided by EODhd.

One thing I truly appreciate about EODhd’s payment structure is its straightforwardness. While other companies use fuzzy terms like API credits and API messages, EODhd is very precise about the features offered in each subscription plan making things much clearer on their users’ side. Speaking of drawbacks and limitations, I personally think there is not any and which is why it tops my list.

Overall, EOD Historical Data is one of the best reliable resources out there and suitable for both beginners who are just starting out and advanced users for research works and building commercial applications.

2. IEX Cloud

iexcloud.io

IEX Cloud grabs second place in this list and it is one of the first APIs I ever used. One true thing I love about IEX Cloud is the time they spent designing their product page. I decided to mention this because their website is designed in such a way that is abstract in nature and breaks down what they offer into simple words to help out beginners who are new to the financial APIs zone. This is critical because it indirectly builds some credibility on the company and represents their clarity on what they are doing.

One of the areas where IEX Cloud has a strong edge is the various types of data offered by them. Let it be the sentiment data of a stock or Investors Exchange Data or anything you can think of can be found in IEX Cloud. Next comes ease of use. IEX Cloud nails this criterion by providing as clean data as the ones like EODhd reducing the frustration of the data cleaning and formatting process.

Moving on to the IEX Cloud documentation, things get a little tricky. There is no doubt the documentation is well-maintained for all the API endpoints but I personally feel that there is a lack of organization. Tutorials for each and every API are dumped into one place making it tougher to look into any specific one. This is the reason for IEX Cloud grabbing second place rather than the first. Otherwise, the documentation explains the APIs in a detailed manner with live examples and code.

Another little drawback of using IEX Cloud’s APIs is the slight existence of inaccuracy in data points in rare cases. From my experience, I was able to acknowledge some data points varying from what it actually is when I tried pulling historical data. This might be a little frustrating but again, this happens very rarely that we could not even notice.

Speaking of the pricing, it is recommended for beginners to start off with a free account that is more than enough to explore the basic features of IEX Cloud and gradually upgrade to any premium ones. For developers, they can either go with the business plan (suitable for small to medium scale projects) starting from $299/month or the enterprise plan (suitable for large scale projects or startups) from $2699/month.

In summary, IEX Cloud’s ultimate purpose and usefulness are found in their premium subscription plans suitable for professionalists and advanced users but it is also a good start for beginners too given their high-quality data.

3. Twelve Data

twelvedata.com

Moving on to the third financial API in our list comes Twelve Data. It is interesting how I found this specific financial API. After finishing off my free-tier account on IEX Cloud, I was on a searching spree for my next go-to API provider and then I eventually landed on Twelve Data (before getting to know about EODhd).

Like IEX Cloud, Twelve Data nails their story-telling with their beautifully designed product page that is both intriguing and abstract in nature but more importantly, actually revealing what they offer through various code snippets and real-world examples.

When compared to the previous two financial APIs, twelve data’s API collection is comparatively less but includes all the necessary ones. Coming to ease of use, it is equally significant to the previous ones providing some of the well-structured and cleanest API responses.

The documentation of twelve data’s APIs is a special one because apart from being well-maintained and systematically organized, each and every API is explained with examples consisting of the HTTP request URL and the JSON response received by calling it. This helps users to actually visualize how the data looks once it has been extracted and assist with planning the data cleaning and manipulation processes accordingly.

Another tiny feature I love about their documentation is how they labeled different API endpoints based on their importance. This doesn't serve much purpose but helps acknowledge the APIs that are of most use and navigate to them easily and seamlessly.

One final feature I would like to add to their documentation is the efficient way of categorizing different APIs under separate heads. This incredibly boosts the user experience as it completely eradicates the frustrating process of searching ourselves the API endpoints’ documentation.

The place where Twelve Data lags is their confusing pricing system as it works in a different way on the basis of something called API credit. Basically, each and every API endpoint has its own data weight or a specific number of allotted credits and they are used when the API is called. Also, every time the user makes an API call, one more credit is used automatically in addition to the API endpoint’s data weight to account for the internal costs that help deliver the desired data. Sounds fuzzy, right?

Maybe an advanced user might understand the concept but a beginner would find it tough to get a better grip of it. Not to mention, the whole pricing system of twelve data is solely based on the API credits basis so they could’ve done a better job explaining the concept more elaborately.

Other than that, maybe it is not well-suited for building world-class massive applications given the limited number of API endpoints (when compared to the previous two financial APIs), it is still one of the best places to start off.

4. Intrinio

intrinio.com

Intrinio is a special one since it is my go-to for developing mainstream applications and massive projects. It is mainly due to the high accuracy that comes along with the data being provided and the colossal amount of API endpoints they provide.

Just like the previously discussed financial APIs, Intrinio’s product page is almost to perfection conveying the core message precisely without using fuzzy words and they take the user experience to the next level with the addition of a chatbot that solves our queries in real-time finding the best solutions possible.

Speaking of documentation, they have a great one but like IEX Cloud, failed to categorize into different sub-heads making the API documentation look clumsier. But on a side note, the documentation has some of the greatest live examples with clear-cut explanations.

The pricing of Intrinio is one of my favorite ones on this list. First off, they separated their packages based on the asset type (Options and Equities) making it easy for the users to opt-in for the right package suited best for them in case of usefulness. Secondly, the services offered in each package are very straightforward and explained in a very detailed manner.

While Intrinio might be one of the best players in the game for large-scale applications, it is also one of the major drawbacks since beginners or hobbyists would be overwhelmed by the services being offered by them. They will be comparatively less benefitted from the platform and so are the satisfactory levels.

So it is safe to say that Intrinio can be one of the best places if you’re looking for financial APIs to build huge applications but recommended for beginners to give it a second thought before hopping on into any of their packages.

5. Alpha Vantage

alphavantage.co

It is not a big deal when you hear that Alpha Vantage is the go-to for everyone who is just starting out. This is mainly because of their incredible free tier plan that costs zero dollars providing 500 API calls per day with access to almost every API endpoint provided by them ranging from historical and fundamentals data to technical indicators.

Let’s now talk about two of the major drawbacks of Alpha Vantage. The first is, of course, it is definitely not the place where professionalists and developers aiming to build large-scale applications would look because when compared to the previously discussed financial APIs, the features provided by Alpha Vantage are relatively fewer.

Secondly, the range of data available is limited to only the basic ones like the time series data, fundamental data, technical indicators, and specific data such as financial news, sentimental data to name a few are missing. But their advantage of having a great free tier plan almost blurs these drawbacks.

The documentation of Alpha Vantage is very precise comprising of live examples and code snippets. Also, the way the documentation is designed is almost identical to twelve data’s documentation with separate sub-heads and labels to emphasize APIs that are used most frequently among the users.

Overall, for beginners, Alpha Vantage is the most recommended place to start as it has everything required for the amateurs to master the basics and provides some of the greatest free tier plans in all of the land. But for advanced users, maybe having Alpha Vantage as a second or an alternative option would be an optimal decision.

Polygon.io

polygon.io

The thing that specifically made me love Polygon.io is their Resources page where one can find educational content other than just plain blogs or articles. It includes interesting code samples, real-world examples of their API endpoints, and much more. This makes one dwell and intrigued about the APIs provided by Polygon.io.

Talking about their pricing, there are two interesting things about it. Firstly, the services mentioned in each plan are very straightforward and the interface of their pricing page is designed in such a way that makes it the users easy to compare different plans. Secondly, Polygon.io’s pricing is not just limited to a basic and an advanced plan but consists of a vast amount of plans classified on the basis of the assets (stock, crypto and forex, and options). This comes into handy since one can choose from a broad variety of options and opt-in to a plan that suits the purposes perfectly.

Speaking of their documentation, it is well maintained and classified into different heads to avoid clumsiness. But the place where Polygon.io lags is the availability of API endpoints.

While Polygon.io covers almost all the basic ones such as the historical and fundamental data, it still misses specific ones like the financial news API and the sentimental data API. Because of its relatively low amount of API endpoints, it is not recommended for enterprises to scale large applications but can be a good place for beginners to start off.

Finnhub

finnhub.io

There is pretty much nothing wrong with Finnhub. They have a massive amount of API endpoints with never-before-heard data such as the analyst’s estimates data, thematic investing data, deep historical data to name a few.

Though their website is not the best one, it is almost clear in conveying the message and the services being offered to their users. They have great documentation with a similar labeling system we discussed before with the other financial APIs. Like Polygon.io's pricing system, they provide a varied range of plans to choose from.

While all that is good to hear, here is the most frustrating part with Finnhub. The APIs that can be accessed using a free account is so limited and even misses some of the most basic ones. All the financial APIs mentioned before offer more than what we needed in a free-tier account but that’s not the case with Finnhub.

Though it is understandable that Finnhub is triggering us to opt-in for a plan using this strategy, the user experience is very annoying. Especially for someone who just wants to explore the API library of different financial APIs, Finnhub is going to be one of the hateful ones. But other than that, Finnhub could be a great resource for market data.

Closing Notes

It is so good to see the emergence of a lot of financial API providers in the data space representing a strong interest in this specific domain. A few years ago, there were only two big players in this industry, Google stock API and Yahoo financial API, but both of these are either shut down or surpassed by its massive number of competitors.

One important thing I want to highlight in this article is that this list does not represent a general consensus but just a personal opinion of mine. Some of the important takeaways of this article are:

  1. Data has become more than important, so be careful with choosing your go-to financial API as it could have sensitive effects.
  2. Have your own set of criteria like ease of use and documentation to rank the APIs you use efficiently.
  3. Be clear with the pricing system of a specific financial API you want to subscribe to.

Apart from the listed financial APIs in this article, I would recommend exploring further APIs and there is a chance you would end up on some of the best APIs well suited for your purposes. With that being said, you’ve reached the end of the article. Hope you learned something new and useful from this article. Also, if you know other financial APIs better than the ones listed in this article, don’t forget to mention those in the comments section.

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