Insight 12: Westy's FI trading since the new dividends table.

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Westy's reaction to the new FI div table:


As I've said above, I want to return to focusing on strategy today, I don't want to dwell too much further on my opinions of the recent Football Index announcements, statements and new dividends table; we have to move on and trade what is in front of us now. I have aired my thoughts on the official FI forum, on twitter and to Football Index. Other bloggers have put their similar points of view across well- take a look at MDJ's reaction.


I thought it better to show how I have reacted through my football trading on FI. I will still summarise my main points about the new FI dividends table to set the scene to this trading spell as obviously FI's actions and trader sentiment do affect our existing portfolios and our trades:


TOTM:



A good addition. A way of FI rewarding consistent PB performers or a player bang on form fro a month like Hakan currently. This could easily expand to team of the season from each league or tournament etc. So they've started at the minimal level and left room for this to grow in the future- great idea!


The dividend rise:



The table boasts a +67p rise with the total changes shown but 51p of that only appears twelve times a year leaving a general 16p rise. How many media days will we get for that 1p increase? Bronze unchanged except GK 1p. MB unchanged on match days. Silver and Gold minimal and nothing for IPDs.


It is low but I can accept this in the current financial environment and with concerns of what may happen in a second wave etc. It makes sense to have a year of taking more money n and less going out since removing themselves from IS; this will hopefully set them up to be able to provide a very generous rise next Summer and maybe some promotions through the year. I think FI have dealt with Covid excellently in a 'protect the product financially' way...but this leads me to seriously question the introduction of GKs though. Was it to shake some money around and grab some funds from commission and minting? Was it ignorance? Or is it a genuine step towards a polished platform? The rises and TOTM with a message of being overly cautious would have been fine without GKs introduced. GKs actually did more harm than good. They could have waited for a time when the rest of the market could have been stretched to keep the values balanced.


GKs introduced:



Awful decision for existing traders at this time. I literally did a double take at the screen when I read it. The problem is, for example, why should anyone continue holding 100 Trents (a top PB data hold) when, for the same money, you could hold nearly 2000 of a top PB data Gk... Yes lower dividends on offer, but the value % wise is favouring the GK.


Even with TOTM factored in for Trent at what would have been 34p this season + the 56p PB divs he's already got this season = 90p lets be generous and say he wins 10p more this season and call it £1.That's still a yield under 10%... so ok for holders, that's reasonable in times like this, but they will be sweating on any big injury or matrix change impact next year or positional change to mid (who knows what Opta will do with wing backs we've seen a few change about a couple of times)... so with all that risk and the entry cost, I don't think this dividends table will allow for much growth at all for the top premium players. So where will the 10x over 2 years growth come from?


Can the likes of Mbappe, Sancho, Trent all double over the year? They are all young enough and world stars- the future of the platform? But surely not? Regardless of how much marketing there is coming, as the dividends aren't appealing enough (which due to Covid I totally sympathise with); but on top of that now - and this is where the timing of GKs needs to be questioned - they are competing with the new GK predicted yields. Can GKs double in price on this dividends table, yes and some already have! Some keepers might even repay costs through dividends within the 3 year hold taking away the stress of finding a buyer near expiration, will the premium players? The only hold I have now with dividends covering cost is Bruno. Hakan and De Paul are getting closer and Trent nearly did prior to me selling.


So overall I feel the GK introduction devalued a lot of the existing players significantly and that coupled with a meager dividends rise concerned me for my premium holds.


Again the critic in me feels this decision reeks of shaking the money tree or even not understanding their own product and how traders would react- I'm not sure which is worse!? It is such a shame that they've done this after what seemed a step forwards in 'hearing us' on market matters and stating the PB matrix would not change for next season- something I had written about in Foresight 4 ; it actually felt like they had listened to those of us airing concerns. I hoped this meant future changes would be thought through as to how they affect traders already deep in the platform. They keep mentioning rewarding loyal customers, but I see no clear evidence of this through their actions in the few months- perhaps the TOTM, but really those dividends would have been better put into the match days or MB.


FI have to be careful trying to make money by changing things so drastically. Do it too often and money will eventually leave. So yes, this may have been a money maker for FI, but a big gamble on the affect the negativity will have going forwards- how many new users have been put off? How many loyal traders have now had enough? The sell queues suggest quite a lot! I guess FI know that to leave you need to find someone to buy your players- again maybe they did foresee all of this and knew there wouldn't be a mass exodus as there simply physically couldn't be with the state of liquidity. Those wanting out will list (or have to accept low IS bids) and lower the prices, gradually bringing prices down enough that they are appealing to new money? Is this a master plan? Have they seen an opportunity to get all controversial changes done in one go? If there is anything else coming to rock confidence and mood, I'd get it done now then build it back up step by step with relentless good news over the Summer and next season. The twitter timeline is sometimes like the Titanic scene of those trapped on lower decks, with a few admirably trying to carry on playing the violins regardless of what they really think and how they are really trading! Some have already got in the other lifeboats on offer! How long will this phase of development take? I must stop there as I said I'd summarise it...


We can only hope they are doing final changes to achieving their perfect platform. This I can understand. They must have an idea in mind of what they want Football Index to be when it is finished- then it can become a stable platform that should attract more users. All developing platforms will have to make changes as they grow, but at some point they will need to let rules and parameters settle for a lengthy time especially if they are striving to be an alternative financial option rather than reverting to being very similar to betting at a bookies. Early adopters of the platforms will be affected by changes (sometimes positively and sometimes negatively), but they could also reap the rewards of sticking them out if the final product goes mainstream.


Going forwards:


In my forum thread asking for an explanation on the introduction of GKs at a time like this, I did question if the trader panel still existed. It sounds like it didn't, but that it will come back. This is great news; many of us knew the damage GKs would do to existing portfolios and it would have been great for this to have been explained by traders to FI in the decision making process. It's vital that if they really do not understand the market, that they include traders in future changes to rules and parameters that we trade by.



Westy's trading since FI's new dividends table release



So lets get back to strategy! One thing the introduction of GKs has done is open up a load of players to analyse and research again- its been fun! It's been like FI was a year or so ago! There's also something nostalgic about being able to go for big holdings in these players as they are so cheap. Here are my ins and outs since the dividends announcement with my reasoning.


Current portfolio stats:


  • Number of players = 181

  • Value over £50k

  • Total shares over 33k

  • Number of players listed (I'm a patient guy) = 157

  • Number of players not listed = 24


In:


Simply goalkeepers! The yields look set to be very attractive even if it is to be one of the most shared PB category in terms of different winners. The pool is low and the risks are lower too. I'm still buying today after all the big rises knowing fully well there will be some holding or selling at massive profits, prices could dip, but I'd still buy. I've long wanted to reduce my port size and this has offered an opportunity to get less players in bigger holdings (if I can sell those that I've listed!).


GK pros:

  • Hardly any IPOs to come and dilute them (unless new leagues are introduced, but they'd still have less new competition than outfield players)

  • Age- less fear on oldies, they peak at a higher age and play longer than outfielders.

  • Less substitutions- very rare to see a GK get subbed

  • More team sheet predictability

  • Less injuries- you could almost buy the number 2s as insurance to a big injury anyway

  • More chance of playing 3 games a week in congested fixtures than outfield players

  • Absolute thrills if your keeper goes up for a corner or saves a pen

  • If FI continue to pursue the stock market approach and are successful in attracting investor types, then yield farmers will be all over GKs that prove they suit PB at these prices

  • Less competition for PB and TOTM compared to outfield players

  • No wonder kid bubbles to fear...outfield premiums often have the threat of a new kid on the block or a youth buying trend that strips money from the top

GK cons:

  • Less media appeal (until seemingly they had a PB category? hmm...let's see if that's just coincidence in the coming weeks)

  • Less exciting watching 90 mins for a clean sheet? I haven't tried it yet.

  • Less trader excitement may mean less cap app even if yields are there- still sense a lot of traders don't buy and hold for yield farming yet.

  • Cup roles- some clubs play reserve keepers in European group stages so where European football might be seen as a plus, they may not actually play til the later rounds if at all in some cases.


Where I say 'good stats', you can see more on this further on in the article.

  • Sommer - Held for a while, decided to go much bigger on the announcement night, good stats, Monchen Europe next season, Switzerland no.1 Euros, Nations lg.

  • Bauman - Good stats, Hoffenheim Europe next season

  • Vaclik- Good stats, Seville Europe this season, Europe next season, Czech no.1 Euros, Nations lg.

  • Hradecky - Good stats, Leverkusen Europe August, Europe next season, Slovakia no.1 Euro qualifiers, Nations lg.

  • Schmeichel- Good stats, Leicester Europe next season, Denmark no.1 Euros, Nations lg.

  • Gulasci- Good stats, Leipzig Europe August, Europe next season, Hungary Euro qualifiers, Nations lg.

  • Cillessen- a punt, Holland number 1 Euros and Nations lg?

  • Runarsson- a punt, back up Dijon keeper but played quite a bit. Iceland no.2 but to an ageing no.1.

  • Lopez- Good stats, Roma chasing Europe for next season.

  • Soria- ticker flip

  • Dubravka- flip/transfer hold?

  • Stegen- Good stats, Barce Europe this season, Europe next season, back up to Neuer for Germany.

  • Simon- good stats, age, future transfer, Bilbao chasing Europe next season.

  • Szczeny- good stats, perhaps MB if Italian papers join, Juve Europe August, Europe next season, Poland Euros and Nations lg.


Out/Listed:


I hardly ever use Instant Sell. Think I've only used it about four or five times in over two years. I still see people market buying and we have seen the liquidity provider buying from market. So if you have time, and patience, its still worth a go! You might win the LP001 lottery. You will need to resist temptation to try and protect any dividend winnings won whilst in the queue by unlisitng if you are serious about selling though. The Gold day Rashford won all the dividends on, I did worry about them selling before receiving the payment as I could see some market buys going through and mass unlisting. I needn't have worried. The queues are very very deep! I still have him sat in the queue but as I held my nerve, I'm now nearer the front, got some dividends and hes gone up in price. I still like him as an FI hold, but I see the value is elsewhere for bang per buck. There is a thread on the official FI forum tracking market sales by those willing to share information. It's a handy way of judging the queue time.


Approx 90% of portfolio is listed in reaction to dividends announcement to move money to GKs and to derisk. I just don't see the reward outweighing the risk in the higher price players. It's a really odd market now where the lower end seem worthless (they may have mostly always been but you had the IS to FI to back you up on the failures whilst any successful punts could easily double your money) and the top end seem too risky. Some I may try to re-buy cheaper on the ME if they do sell- I don't suddenly think they are all terrible holds, but the swing of value is still too great to ignore.


So far out of 166 players that were listed, these have sold:

  • Lindelof to market- think I only bought him originally due to the 'Victor' and 'Utd' mb bias

  • Sancho to market- just felt money could do better elsewhere

  • Mbappe to market - just felt money could do better elsewhere

  • Saka to market - as a gooner, I love this kid but if Aubameyang stays I don't see Saka starting in attack regularly enough and I rate Tierney as a more solid LB. Will be an odd one as he's good enough to be playing. I think he will be rotated and impact sub then hopefully take over up top in the future with Martinelli.

  • Solanke to market- painful hold, bought ages ago when I stocked up on England yth

  • Edwards to market- just bought and sold the hype- if he goes to the right club, yes he could double or even triple- will keep my eye on him

  • Dubravka to market (quick flip) stats didn't stand out, saw him being mentioned a few times so knew there'd be buyers.

  • Kepa to market - had held for a while but didn't come up in my GK shortlisting for buying so sold on the rise.

  • Soria to market (quick flip) just hopped on and off the ticker frenzy, stats didn't stand out.


Hold:


I'm a long term trader and I always have a diverse portfolio. Luckily my diverse approach meant I had a few GKs in my portfolio which boomed on the announcement e.g. Donnarumma now stands at over 300% profit for me. I also already held Sommer, Benitez, Rajkovic, Kepa and Casteels.


These survived the listing cull:


  • Donnarruma- age, Milan chasing Europe, Italy Euros and Nations lg.

  • Benitez- top keeper, could get a big transfer, some good stats

  • Casteels- a top keeper, some good stats, Belgium no.2

  • Hakan- rewarding me handsomely since this decision, patience paying off!

  • Rajkovic- small holding, didn't see enough in the stats etc to make me want to buy more after his rises for now compared to others.

  • Hofmann- he's been a long term hold and now has a European campaign coming next season at a time he's started to look the main man at Monchen.

  • De Paul- he's on track to pay for himself in dividends for me especially with his TOTM ranking, he has a competitive IS.

  • Brewster- he's been listed nearly all season, and now I take him off? Well his Swansea goals have stood out. Also Klopp may now trust to use him more next season or he may seal a bigger club loan to continue developing. I don't want to miss any rockets on this one- the type that can double in price by doing very little in terms of actual dividend winnings.

  • Kimpembe- long term hold. Might benefit from TOTM. Young and always linked with transfers.

  • Goretzka- again one I've owned for a while and now seeing the benefits. If he stays fit, he becomes a regular starter for a big PB team in a PB role. Germany Nations lg and Euros too.

  • Marquinhos- PB attraction and TOTM hopeful.

  • Pavard- PB, France, TOTM?


Bids in:


Yes bids, not market buys! As keen as I am on some of these players, I still refuse to use market buy unless there is a rush on the player (I used it on announcement night).


I am looking for a few more guaranteed starter GKs. One in the French lg and two in the EPL to add a bit more coverage of GK dividends on days it is only those leagues playing. FiGenesis recently released a great article about GKs in the French lg- I am shopping from that list alongside my own data mining. EPL wise, the standout is Alisson but I'm looking for cap app and dividends and ideally involvement in Nations lg and Euros, so I may have to guess at who will be England's no.1 Henderson? Pope? Pickford?


I'm also in for Neuer. Originally I had doubts as I know the market is very ageist even though I think all GKs that perform PB wise will rise significantly despite the announcement rises. Looking at his data, Germany no.1 and that he's extended his contract til 2023, he looks like he could be the sort to return his cost over the hold and then any price on resale is profit.


So overall, I'm aiming to make GKs a large part of my portfolio. Over time, I'll look to regain some balance across positions and leagues to keep the diversity and hopefully keep dividends trickling in.


The 'good stats'?


It was refreshing to do my own data mining and research on keepers. I'm not really one for IPOs and I know the current market all too well now, so this was fun and got me back to doing what has earned me a lot of profit in the past. I took my time as I wasn't too worried about the prices rising as I was more keen to find those who may turn out to be the most solid long term holds. We often see the market rush to big name players on announcements without doing research. I feel that has happened again on some goalies however I don't think anyone should worry too much as all pb league GKs still look value to me.


I was already aware of Sommer from scouring data for the last two years, his name always cropped up when looking at keepers so I lumped on him quick enough in the rush to get in at a very low price. I then used IndexGain and sites like Sofascore to search for more keepers and started bidding. It was great to see others doing the same and coming up with very similar lists.


Two excellent twitter threads stood out, and they show the stats better than me trying to put my post it notes into an Excel: Thanks to LuaLua and FiDataStephen for allowing me to share these:













Data can always tell a story in the way the creator would like. But we are heading into new territory here and this data I find very useful especially showing us the divs GKs would have earned this season if the PB category was included. This gives us the same benchmark as we are used to with historic data on outfield players. I have always found historic data a good indicator towards potential dividends for a new season (obviously taking any changes to the player, or their club, into consideration too).


More trusted people coming up with the same player names adds confidence to the purchases and it is usually a good indicator to that player's future success. But one player that kept coming up in my filtering but isn't shown in LuaLua's or FiDataStephen's is Hradecky. This shows there are still plenty of different ways to look at players and come up with your own finds. Don't worry if your players haven't shown up as long as you had your own research reasons for buying them.


The momentum on Gks seems to have slowed down. I think it could just be cash flow problems. There will also be those short term traders hitting profit targets and selling now. I think the majority of pay day money will still head towards them in the coming months. Whilst their prices are still low enough, they hit the IPD punters too- they will be hoping prices don't rise too much prior to the new seasons starting. Some keepers have European campaigns to finish in August offering IPDs then we head towards the start of the new season where they will start to also take PB and TOTM places. Some money will be holding back to see if any GKs look like dominating the category, but looking at the data above I think it will continue to be wide spread, but not so wide that yields are unattractive. Patience will be tested in the first few games by those that have piled in on a select few keepers- I fully see them as season long holds in order to gather the dividends in. There will be a lot of random winners from penalty saves etc but I trust a group will emerge as the leading GK holds over a good length of time.


So I've put my head on the chopping block here...if GKs fail miserably next season and the premiums double in price, this article will haunt me for a long time! If FI change something to do with keepers or the top end so soon after this div review, I will just have to try and laugh.


Always open to feedback and debate- find me on twitter, the FI forum or our FTI forum.


Good luck with your football trading!


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