This guest article provides a really honest and interesting insight to football trading on Football Index. If you are interested in sharing your insight, hindsight or foresight on any football trading platform, please get in touch!
Thank you to Index Scholar for sending this in. It reads well as a useful insight for both experienced and new traders. The examples shared I'm sure ring bells, or provide pointers, to many of us reading this. It is great to see how you have adapted your strategy over time and taken some bold steps along the way. Remarkably, even with your first year ending on a 'sour note', you have always come across as a positive, and helpful, account in the forum and on twitter. Best of luck with the new settled strategy and the website!
NB- For anyone thinking about trying Sorare or Footstock, we have new boosted sign up offers available. See more information at the end of the article.
Thanks for reading,
My Time on the Football Index
An Index Scholar Account
For those of you reading this who may have never heard about me, I am Samuel Waihenya, the founder of the Football Index blog called Index Scholar.
I started my journey on the Football Index in September 2018 after hearing about it on TalkSport over my lunch break at my former workplace. At the time, the Football Index was pushing the tagline that you could “use your football knowledge” to make profit on the platform by purchasing and selling shares in virtual footballers. This piqued my curiosity and interest into how the Football Index works and I signed up soon after, depositing 30 quid to have a little play with whilst I learned the ropes.
The learning curve was fairly steep I must say, as the official company documentation was too shallow for my taste and I knew that if I was to have an edge on the market, I needed to find communities of like-minded people who were using the platform and doing well. So, I signed up to the official forum and took things from there, gradually deepening my understanding of the platform’s core concepts.
Before long, I had deposited a couple hundred pounds in and I was able to ride the wave of a dividend increase announcement for the first time.
At the time, having sold and made good profit on Toni Kroos and Dani Parejo, I thought I had done some elite trading. But the trader I am today now knows that I simply benefited from the overall market moving upwards as opposed to me being immensely skilled at the game.
As more time went on, and as my familiarity grew, I deposited more. If I recall correctly, I only stopped depositing once I had hit about £3.5k. Unfortunately, my first year on the platform ended on a really sour note, as a series of events such as the removal of the traditional instant sell facility and the turbulent transition to order books saw the market collapse right in front of my eyes, leaving my portfolio in disarray. At its lowest, I was about 25% down (about £1100) on the All-Time metric according to my portfolio benchmark.
So, if I was to rate my first-year performance on the platform, I’d say it was a 4/10, with a mixture of some smart purchases and some absolutely diabolical ones looking back on it now.
I’m now going to dig deeper into this by providing some specific examples of the good and bad trades that I’ve made during my time on the Football Index.
So, let’s start with the positive side…
The Good Trades
I must admit I was very pleased with this one as I banked 50% profit on two separate occasions.
The first time I bought a small number of shares when he had dipped to £2.20 a share and sold on the way up to his previous high of £3.67 by selling at £3.30.
I started to implement the tactic of being “fearful when others are greedy” and being “greedy when others are fearful” to great effect.
I then did pretty much the same at a later date by picking up 39 shares on £2.10 bids when the market was collapsing again and then sold those for £3.14 after 4 days.
This was a decent trade as well, as I jumped on the PSG man at £1.44 before their good run towards the Champions League final.
He gave me a PB win during the time that I held and I took my profit at the £1.69 mark:
Learning to let go of some players even when the signs point to positive long-term price growth is something that I started to do, especially after the removal of instant sell.
By sheer luck I had a day off of work when Adil Aouchiche was set to IPO on the platform. As soon as he was available to buy, I grabbed 75 shares at £1.40 a pop.
Then what I refer to as the infamous “Adil price freeze” happened. If you’ve been on the platform for a while, you’ll know why seasoned traders advise new users to steer clear of IPOs, as the frequent technical mishaps that occur on players in high demand can frustrate you to no end.
Mr Aouchiche’s price was stuck in limbo at £1.40 for what seemed like an eternity, so I shifted off some deadwood from my portfolio (this was when FI-backed instant sell was in place) and acquired 300 more shares of Adil in 5 separate transactions.
At the time, the opportunity to get on a highly touted young player at this price was too good to turn down.
In the end, I decided to bank the profit when his price had settled at the £2 mark.
So, the first batch got sold…
Then later on I sold the second batch of 300…
All in all, I banked around 60p profit on the trade minus 2% commission. I’m aware he had a significant rise at a later point but I was happy to move that money elsewhere and don’t look on that trade with regret at all.
In fact, as of today – 3rd February – Adil’s price is £1.12, meaning if I had held him, I’d be sitting at a 28p loss per share with only 4p in match day dividends to show for it.
Source: taken from Football Index Edge
This doesn’t even factor in the point in time when you could buy him for around 70p – 80p on bids.
The Bad Apples
Even with those good examples I’ve not been immune to making some poor decisions along the way.
One of the first mistakes that best typified my inexperience as a learner was my purchase of Alfred Duncan at 59p when he was top of the trending list on a particular day.
And then look when I sold
A typical example of a poor buy-high sell-low trade that wasn’t timed well at all.
This one was another case of buying in at the peak and watching his price gradually slide until I couldn’t bear having him in my portfolio any longer and sold on the way down.
I acquired Fred right after he had his good spell in the Manchester United side during the absence of Paul Pogba and the poor form of Nemanja Matic.
I thought my reasoning for picking him up was sound, as he had a good PB base, was playing regularly and was a secondary set piece taker behind new signing Bruno Fernandes.
He then won star man on a gold day after scoring a goal in the Europa League if I recall, and I thought that was the final confirmation I needed to buy in.
So, I purchased 302 shares at around £1.75 in 2 batches:
But that was the last goal Fred scored and he hasn’t won PB since.
I did however win a few media days from him during the first lockdown and a few IPDs.
He still scores decently on the matrix when he plays the full 90 minutes but with Pogba returning, the emergence of McTominay as another midfield option and the resurgence of Matic, his beginning- to- end games have been limited.
Therefore, I made the decision to sell Fred as part of a portfolio overhaul that I’ll discuss further down.
My New Settled Strategy
I reached the decision to rejig my portfolio after the suspension and eventual removal of traditional instant sell and right at the beginning of the platform’s move to an order book system.
The reasoning behind it was that I needed to recoup the losses I had taken as quickly as possible and finally settle on a way of trading that wouldn’t crumble at the first, second, third, fourth or even fifth hurdle.
Because previously my portfolio was all over the place, with a mixture of the following:
Hyped youth holds
Transfer spec players
Bargain bin IPD types
Performance dividend winners
Seeing player prices crashing left and right was the catalyst for me to change tact and only hold players that I knew would win performance dividends on a consistent basis. I started to see the importance of dividends in a way I hadn’t considered previously.
So, I dumped my Marten de Roon’s, my Jens Stryger Larsen’s, my Dani Ceballos shares as well as youth holds like Japhet Tanganga. If it wasn’t clear to me before, then it was now.
A player’s inherent value on the platform should theoretically only be dictated by their capability to win dividends either now or in the future.
I chose to ignore the capital appreciation gains that these cheap players could deliver as over time I had seen first-hand that players winning dividends would benefit from capital appreciation anyway.
With the instant sells complete, I piled about 90% of my portfolio into Messi and now hold 365 shares at an average of £7, with the rest of my funds going into Rodrigo de Paul who I liked the look of at £2.37.
Why Pick the GOAT?
Now my logic for selecting Lionel Messi as my integral dividend earner was mainly based on the fact that he wins a shed load of dividends and is not under as much competition from other PB magnets due to him being in the Forward category. What’s more is that this was at the height of his rumoured summer move to Manchester City.
It was the easiest way I could claw back my losses and the run of back-to-back media wins he delivered back then were some of the easiest dividends I’ve ever won on the platform.
I must admit at the time it was a very risky move to have a 2-player portfolio as a serious Messi injury could have left me royally screwed. But I planned to hold him long term and top up on dips along the way.
With the frequent winnings from Messi I gradually begun to diversify as part of a “tight-aggressive” trading strategy where I hold larger amounts of fewer players as opposed to holding smaller amounts of more players.
The reasoning behind this strategy is that you want to be handsomely rewarded for the big capital gains that come on the back of dividend wins as opposed to smaller wins which you get across a diversified portfolio that is more reliant on overall market growth for gains.
Now I knew going into this that the drops would be much heavier if I backed a player who flopped, but I believed in the experience that I had steadily acquired on the platform over the past year and backed myself to take this strategy as my sword and shield moving forward.
At the time of writing I only have 7 players in my portfolio, which includes 10 written off shares in Phillip Max who I started buying before he moved away to the Dutch league at the last moments of the summer transfer window.
I realised that I could handle the big loss I had taken instant selling the dross at the time if I had Messi making most of my money work for me, allowing me to stop relying on fresh deposits entirely.
I now reinvest the dividends I win from Messi into cheaper PB prospects who are usually below the £2 mark.
My motto is now performance capable players only, so that means no more buying into youth hype or pure transfer speculation type players.
Plans Moving Forward
I know the portfolio benchmark is just a number on a screen but to go from around 25% down on the All-Time metric to 2% down and almost being “back in the green” so to speak provides me with the justification I need to continue making use of this new strategy.
Although part of that portfolio rise can be attributed to overall market sentiment picking up again, I have taken some profits on good trades in that time as I gradually claw my way back like everyone else.
I’ve also fully committed to helping other people on their trading journeys by creating the Index Scholar Academy.
This membership website aims to serve as the ultimate Football Index learning resource that’s stacked with all the essential training, player performance scouting information and portfolio support you need to amplify your return on investment.
I’ve done a simple behind the scenes video that shows you what I’ve got to offer:
I’ve also started to post weekly matchday analysis on the forum which I will continue to do for as long as myself and the Football Index are in good health!
I’m still a bit cautious about the Football Index as a whole due to some of the things that they’ve done in the past and their arguably poor market communications.
But with the company surviving the disaster that’s been COVID, I feel there’s reason to be slightly optimistic that the worst of the downturn has already happened.
If you’ve got this far through the article, thanks for taking the time to read it!
This was a great read an excellent snapshot of a trader's journey in a volatile market! Your self reflection on your trading seems to have been key to guide you towards a strategy that is showing good signs of working for you. Self reflection and analysis of ones own strengths and weaknesses is just as important as market analysis.
There are two bold decisions you made that have paid off. I would always advise my clients on safety first. As you say, the Messi move was a big risk! But with big risks come big rewards- it's a constant dilemma in a trader's mind. The instant selling decision again seems to have paid off. Once you make a decision like that, moving quickly out of perceived bad holds is key; too many traders sit and hold waiting and hoping.
Good luck and I'd love to hear how you get on- give us an update article soon!
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Be Gamble Aware!
Lastly, just a quick note to remind and raise awareness of gambling support on offer.
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This article explained the method of Bankroll Management which helps to limit your exposure each time you trade/bet.