Alpha Advantage limit of 5 API calls per minute

vseaslcm's Avatar


22 Jul, 2018 06:02 PM

Stock price updates through Alpha Advantage are now showing the following error after 5 successful API calls:

Import error: skipping invalid line: "Information": "Thank you for using Alpha Vantage! Please visit if you would like to have a higher API call volume."

It appears that the "free" API key only provides up to 5 API calls per minute. The premium link in the Alpha Advantage site costs $19.99 per month for up to 15 API calls per, and significantly more for higher call volumes (see attachment).

What is IK's response to this limitation for updating stock price history?

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 22 Jul, 2018 09:38 PM

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    I suspect we can now see what AlphaVantage's business model is, Get the disaffect Yahoo users in and then once settled they either pay up or get throttled right back to make it painful.

    It looks like that the Q&ER extension may need to be a background task that can just plod along.

  2. 2 Posted by thedanc on 05 Aug, 2018 09:58 PM

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    FWIW, I'm ok with 5API calls per minute because I'm querying after market close and can let this run in the background while I do other work, but the Quotes and Exchange Rates tool needs to account for this. What a POS. I go and get quotes and then get a summary saying that there were 40 errors. A smarter app would keep a list of what failed and then let me retry them. A smarter app would adjust the rhythm to one request every 12 seconds so as to be license compliant. Is there any hope of improving this?

  3. 3 Posted by thedanc on 07 Aug, 2018 04:42 AM

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    That five per minute rule is true. It took me a very long time to download 70 quotes, four at a time, MANUALLY.

  4. 4 Posted by Bob on 07 Aug, 2018 07:17 AM

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    We need to have it only update the stocks and exchange rates that you want - so you can cut down the number of calls.

    e.g. I am only interested in 1 exchange rate from £ to $. I don't need all the other calls.

    This is almost back to the situation we had when the stock updates broke last time.

  5. 5 Posted by -Kevin N. on 07 Aug, 2018 02:00 PM

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    Hi All,

    Take a look at this post from forum member derekkent23

    His attached .pdf is very thorough. It all looks a little daunting at first but it's quite simple and easy to run once it's set up.

    The hleofxquote tool works with Yahoo and FT.

    I gave up on Alpha Vantage. I've been using a combination of Mike Bray's Security Price Loader and a CSV generated from a portfolio created at

    @Bob, I think if you delete all of the extraneous currencies from Moneydance, it will only look up the one(s) that remain. You may want to try this on a copy of your data file first.

    -Kevin N. (not a member of MD support)

  6. 6 Posted by Bob on 07 Aug, 2018 09:59 PM

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    @Kevin N - Thanks. Deleting the currencies makes a big difference.

  7. 7 Posted by Bob on 07 Aug, 2018 10:01 PM

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    Hi Kevin. Thanks. Your suggestion to delete un-needed currencies helps a lot.

  8. 8 Posted by -Kevin N. on 07 Aug, 2018 11:10 PM

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    HI Bob,

    You're welcome. I'm glad to hear that it helped.

    Thank you for reporting back with your results.

    -Kevin N. (not a member of MD support)

  9. 9 Posted by alerts on 23 Aug, 2018 01:59 PM

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    I have made a few adjustments in my Deriscope AddIn to cope with this new constraint. Now Deriscope is configured by default to automatically place only 3 requests per minute so that even a large number of tickers can be accommodated. For example a list of 30 tickers would be fully updated every 10 minutes.
    The default configuration can be manually adjusted to match a possible user-subscription scheme so that more requests are placed per minute if needed.
    More details at my video

  10. 10 Posted by thedanc on 27 Aug, 2018 10:26 PM

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    Hi Kevin. I just wanted to post a note of thanks for the tip on the hleofxquote tool. It does look a bit daunting, especially for an app that I PAID FOR, but I was able to muddle through. This tool is AWESOME and does everything that I'd hope for. It gets the entire list of quotes quickly and if it misses some it actually says so. I then get to validate the data before it gets absorbed into MoneyDance. I'm on Ubuntu 14.04. I've given up on Alphavantage as well and was just about to give up on MD.

  11. 11 Posted by alerts on 27 Aug, 2018 10:37 PM

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    Perhaps you would want to know that as of today Deriscope brings live feeds into Excel from Yahoo Finance as well. The Deriscope's advantage is that a user can suck live feeds from diverse providers into the same spreadsheet: Yahoo Finance, Alpha Vantage, TrueFX, IEX.
    Check out today's 5 min video on YF feeds:

  12. 12 Posted by Alex on 12 Oct, 2018 10:10 PM

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    R code:


    ### the getSymbols function is delayed randomly between 15 and 20 seconds between requests
    ### All is wrapped in a fail-safe which will re-start the function N times if error
        ## Fail-safe set-up

        N <- 10000
        r <- NULL
        attempt <- 0
       ###################### RUN #################
        while( is.null(r) && attempt <= N ) {
          attempt <<- attempt + 1
          try( r <- lapply(tail(OTC_ref$symbol,10), function (stock) {
                                                              Sys.sleep(sample(15:20, 1))})


  13. 13 Posted by Alex on 12 Oct, 2018 10:11 PM

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    forgot this :

    AV_KEY <- 'xxxx'

                api.key = AV_KEY,
                return.class = "xts",
                periodicity = "daily",
                adjusted = TRUE,
                interval = "1min",
                output.size = "full",
                data.type = "json")

  14. 14 Posted by stephen on 19 Oct, 2018 02:14 PM

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    Yes! Deleting unused currencies. Simple but effective.

  15. System closed this discussion on 18 Jan, 2019 02:20 PM.

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