Our verdicts and trades since the new NEW Football Index dividends table.


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We'd probably still write all this. It's something traders should do- take time to think deeply on your trading; it promotes clearer thinking and it's nice to get it all out of your mind onto paper, but it is much nicer knowing there's a few people that will actually read it!


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'That's Magic!'



Has Adam Cole done a Paul Daniels?


Having only just had the 20/21 dividend review in July (see Westy's reaction to that one here) Football Index (FI) has surprised traders and boosted the market with a greatly improved dividends payout table for the new season.


FI have gone from telling us they had to be sensible, to now being able to be very generous. They claim it is down to surviving Covid financial problems and to 'recent good business news'. Perhaps money made from the GK introduction shake up? I think Covid must have been a big risk to factor, but football is back, FI can see there's enough of us with cash to trade with and we want to trade! They also have a big marketing plan, so they needed to improve the payouts along with the mood on social sites for this to work.


Importance of being critical!


Adam Cole listens:

The market needs traders that give constructive criticism to FI. I think those that voiced their opinions on the way the platform was going- and sold up/listed accordingly- had a big part to play in this U-turn from FI.


Ironically, there was a lot of moaning about the 'moaners'/critics across all social sites. Sadly, I may have even lost a few FI community chums along the way that got fed up with me being critical of FI. I'm sure there have been lots of fall outs as the community was divided. Many knew the problems and understood the concerns but wanted to protect their money in the platform so would try every positive spin possible and they didn't take well to those that spoke out regardless of potentially damaging their own investments. But really we should be thanking those that aired concerns, questioned moves made by FI and pointed out flaws. Those that constantly wear the rose tinted glasses about all things FI do very little to help us all long term in my opinion. They could blindly lead traders to big pitfalls through their ignorance/selfishness. If FI feel all is well when it's not, why would they bother pushing their limits and giving us the best payouts and promotions? Funny how it took the top end being damaged by a dividend increase to finally get some people (heavily invested in the top end 🤔) to change their tune and suddenly be on board with the need for change and agree with/repeat points made by those they had been moaning about for months beforehand...


As much as FI have grown as a company over the years, it sounds like FI still need to hear our thoughts and opinions to check things over when (and hopefully BEFORE) they make changes. Hence the return of the trader panels and the forum being a place I believe they monitor (we are still guinea pigs in this products development). We are lucky they do respond to the criticism. I noticed at least two of my concern raising posts on the forum had positive interaction by the FI staff on there. They do keep an eye on trader sentiment and, by the looks of it, pass on details and information to decision makers at FI towers - we need to continue this.


FI are developing their product in an age where customers have so many social platforms to engage with- they will be totally aware how bad the Twitter timeline and their own forum have been for months now. They will always be at the mercy of trader sentiment in global public forums.


BUT, when FI get it right, like this new table, the moaning disappears quickly- people don't just moan for the fun of it (ok, one or two do). If risk is balanced with reward, we get back to talking about footballers! The timeline today is full of IPD pumps!


The new dividends for the 20/21 season

starting 12/09/20:



This new dividends table looks fantastic for the season ahead; I think it is better than anyone could have possibly hoped for originally- it is a massive step forward! They have done a great job in thinking through each and every part of it. No type of hold is weakened by it and all types are boosted by it - even the big winners of the July announcement, GKs, have still had their IPDs doubled- this will keep them liquid even when they reach value regarding PB yield predictions. It will provide good enough yields that the top end can grow and thus the middle too. It brings back in-match trading with IPDs being attractive for the lower end market and a welcome introductory boost to any new players to your portfolio- they could pay off a chunk of the commission!


It is BIG news for current users and anyone who joins this year. The payouts, married with the general idea of being safer than bookies - will revisit this point later, makes the index a great place again for any football and financial enthusiasts again.


F.T.I. team assemble!


Hasselbanker (our stockmarket expert and Footstock dabbler), Vespasian (our Footstock and returning Football Index enthusiast) and I (dabbler on all markets) met to discuss our thoughts and strategies on this new dividends table. Here are our views and trading reactions:


Westy's moves in the market:


I've said my general piece above about how I've reacted to the new table. Overall, I'm feeling extremely positive and I've put money back in that I had withdrawn. I've also delisted about 100 players.


If you read my strategy move in reaction to July's div table, I could be peeved that there's been yet another shuffle of the deck, but the bigger picture of platform progress makes up for that especially as it brings value back to the 150 non GK holds that I feared for in July; and at least GKs still represent excellent value as holds and have increased liquidity via the IPDs being doubled.


I did sell Trent, Sancho and Mbappe in July, but luckily the money, so far, is doing well on GKs e.g. Sommer 142%. I don't think I'll buy back in to those three premiums though. Not that I think they are bad holds, but I'm going to try and chase a bit more cap app % gains than I think they can make.


Kimmich and KDB were listed at the time of this new announcement and they flew off the shelf before I could react! Kimmich is one I might be tempted to buy back but I'm not sure on KDB if Messi arrives- will they boost each other? Will they share some stats too much? They could be absolutely lethal together in real life and FI. But even though they compete for different positions, I'd want to see what happens to their PB scores with set pieces shared, passing shared etc. In the meantime, I've managed to put that money on IPD players that have had cap app and could bring in massive yields just in 30 days holding- with the 10p IPDs in September, timing an exit or holding them throughout will be interesting!


So even though the top end players are now better value than they were as the yields could be much better e.g. Trent I though was a 10% in July, now could do 20%+, I think I will take this chance to uncharacteristically chase some big cap app. I have generally always played a yield game through holding for dividends on FI, but I feel this new table (and my new fear of just holding a player) gives me a chance to try and double my money on some players and then move the money to a hopefully safe yield. There are some players that could hit 30%+ yields priced around the £1/2/3 mark. If they start well, and get some PB wins, I think money will flood to them. Last season we saw the yield cap linger in-between 10-20% for most players on the index, so there's growth to be had until they reach those predictions.


Now before I give some examples of my trades, I must explain my new fears of holding players and having bids in. As much as this div table brings excitement, positivity and market buzz, rewards are generally 100% better, but so are the risks:


  • A hold can suddenly be worth £0.

  • You can suddenly buy a worthless player.



A hold can suddenly be worth £0!


I have had a very timely reminder of these new dangers to FI with the Philipp Max rumours to PSV in the news.


I have always been wary of recommending players to anyone- even Hasselbanker keeps asking who to go big on if he does eventually join, but I can't confidently give him a list as the risk is now far greater than ever before! The risks used to be FI changing rules/parameters by which we trade by, changing the PB and MB matrices, players getting injured, players leaving the PB leagues, position changes, players retiring, FI failing as a business etc. Most of those risks used to be covered by IS for a bit of a hit to FI. Currently, we have to find another trader to buy or hope that the market makers are providing bids. However, there is not enough depth to these bids when major negatives hit a player.


In the space of a minute Philipp Max went from being a what I'd call a solid FI hold. Aged 26, last season yield 16.67% (so I'd predict around 30% this season!), PB average 102, 3 scores over 200, 8 goals, 6 assists, German squad tipped, bigger club rumours, price around £1.15 per share...to being worth £0 due to PSV bidding on him. We have recently seen Schurle retire, Mooy go China (non PB league), Waldschmitt go to Benfica (non PB league) and even rumours of Twitter pumpers fave Fred going Besiktas (non PB league). These deals are happening quick this Summer. It is very hard to keep up with the transfer news if you have a big portfolio. The losses can be savage! If Max goes to Holland, he will be my fourth big loss due to non PB league transfers.


I did manage to sell Waldscmhitt in the end. Taking a 48% loss through IS bids. I imagine it was a market maker? The bids came in very slowly and in small amounts and I knew quite a few traders needed to get rid. I'll be shocked if it was traders buying that many shares in a player who wont win a dividend for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see what happens with Max, but currently there hasn't been enough sell prices offered to do anything despite the new TV advert suggesting you can cash out anytime? The new Ts&Cs are a bit more realistic- ''you may have the option of cashing out your Bet at any time by 'selling'...''


You can suddenly buy a worthless player!


There were sell prices available on Max initially- and this is another new danger. I had bids in for him! I have what I call tracker bids (1 share bid at lowest option) in for any player I'm interested in buying. I use it instead of the watch list as I'm looking at the ME price and depth not the MS price. I also used to have big bids in for anyone I'm really keen on at a competitive price. I had a competitive bid in for Max! So not only did my stock suddenly drop to £0 - but in the blink of an eye - I even bought more! You just have to laugh sometimes! I've now cancelled, or lowered, a lot of bids on different players since. It will be very dangerous with injuries, position changes and transfer news breaking where traders suddenly want to sell at whatever price gobble up any ME bids within seconds.


So where I used to hold around 200 players for a season with a monthly review of the whole port, I don't think I can continue like that. As diverse as 200 players is, still having £350 suddenly wiped out on a predicted high yield hold is a hit to take. The problem is I find it very hard to change my nature towards trading- I am a classic fundamentalist and positional trader. Find out your strategy style using our diagnostic quiz. Changing my way could be risky. But as the market has changed, I am thinking a 'hop on hop off' strategy might work best and should avoid holding a player that is suddenly worthless. Saying that, at this point I hold 177 players and have another 127 players bid for! It's hard to change habits especially with the September IPDs coming and so many players looking great value for yields!


Solutions could be insurance, google alerts and diversity. Insurance has been mentioned by FI. It will certainly be used by big accounts if it comes in to play; it seems the best solution. Google news alerts are very useful, but they still require you to be able to react swiftly. Diversity is often celebrated as the solution (and certainly was my go to strategy in the past with IS to FI available) however if you hold lots of players, it is very hard to keep track on all their news; Google alerts will hammer your phone and time! However on the flip side, if you consolidate your port, the hits will be all the much bigger! For now, I will be doing as many news checks on any players that might be moving club etc as I can. There are plenty of players that are safe around transfers, and possibly thinning the port as we approach transfer windows and buying more after they close will become good practice. This does not solve the big injury or positional changes issues though.


After all, it is now one giant game of hot potatoes on player shares now. They must be held by someone and someone will hold them when they reach £0 value; they will have them cluttering their portfolio and grinning unknowingly smugly from their FI icon image at the poor trader every time they open their portfolio until they finally expire- unless of course market makers are deployed to hoover up these shares. Let's hope FI have plans for something as it will become the new grumble. If the fear on holding players becomes too much, it will stifle the market. It certainly puts me off a lot of the older players.


Some examples of my trading since the review:


NOTE:


I haven't finished buying yet! So only mentioning a few examples that I have my full quota of. Not my best trades, but a range of examples.


Obviously mentioning trades opens me up to criticism, that's fine. I was heavily criticised about my strategy shift after the July review, I welcome it...more heads involved in decisions usually ends up in better ones! So feel free to let me know any doubts on these decisions. I'm not saying buy them! There are risks in all of them and plenty of other players that might do much better! I'm also very aware I may mention selling a player that you have just bought- stay strong with your own reasons for buying, the time frame is totally different in our decision making process etc. I'm just trying to show real examples of my trading.


For those on the forum that asked about the players I thought might double, I'm still buying them on ME- it has slowed down as there's more competition now. So I wont reveal them all yet. One of them I am getting matched at rock bottom offer price- so it's always worth a try! I will do another update soon. As mentioned earlier though, I believe it's the players that have proven they can give you a dividend yield of around 10-20% on this Pb matrix priced around £1-3. Now that that yield could be doubled by this dividend rise, their price could! Will we see £1 and £2 players double in price this season? I think so. Will we see £10 players double in price this season? I'm not so sure still- the weight of money needed and the risks involved just for 10% back in dividends once the price catches up this rise... I think with the high risks involved now 15-20% is a minimum attractive predicted yield for me.


Ins:


More Neymar x 300 (Dividend yield season hold)


Bringing my holding to 500. Whilst money flew on to Kimmich and Trent, Neymar barely budged. I took 300 on ME ranging from £8.9-£9.25. Injuries and his mentality were issues last season and he only played 22 games. He still managed 25 goal actions, Pb avg 186, Top 5 scores of 290, 286, 273, 270 and 237, 7 position wins, 2 star man wins, 16x 1st place MB, 16x 2nd MB, 7x 3rd MB and his yield was around 16%. He has recently stated he wants to stay at PSG and win the champions league- so we now have a fit and motivated PB machine ready for this season. 5 games in the boosted IPD window. TOTM. I'm a big FI fan of him as you can tell!


The risks and downsides are his injury record and the predictable Euro 21 hype that he wont benefit from. He no longer has much transfer rumour MB due to what he has said this summer, but I think the new MB rules may help him as they may be more geared to performances? We shall see. Age will be a thing mentioned by traders too.


Certainly not one I believe can double in price but I think all ports, regardless of strategy, need a dividend earner to keep feeding you cash. His yield was 16% in only 22 games last season... with the new divs, TOTM and him playing more etc I think he will bring in 30%+ Could he do that for the next 3 years? I think he can...so he may pay off the cost in divs alone even if age becomes a price decliner after the World Cup 22.


Delort x 900 (IPD buy and sell / maybe recycle)


Cheap IPD punt with 5 matches to play. Him and Laborde seem to do steadily well goal action wise for Montpellier. I may have preferred Laborde but he was already a goal/assist or twos worth more expensive. This is out of my normal strategy; so far I have only had bad IPD trading experiences, but the current offer was too tempting! This one is a fun bet! At his price even the 2p IPDs will be sought after, so he should stay liquid enough to pass the potato around this season.


The risks and downsides are injury- missing the September fixtures, not scoring or assisting! A sudden random transfer!


Hakan x 150 (Dividend yield season hold, maybe cap app sell if doubled)


Bringing my holding to 356, my OCD demands I buy 44 more or sell 6! I've ridden the dips on Hakan. He has always stood out as a data buy for me, but rotation, transfer rumours etc. have halted his progress on FI until the end of this season with Milan where he became a key play maker for them. Yes he's had recent big spikes, I'd usually avoid these. But looking at his stats, I still think he's one in the £1-£3 category that could double over the season if he carries on this PB form. 16% yield last season, so I'm estimating 30% this season. 6 scores over 200 last year. In the IPD mix all the time. Milan in Europe. Turkey in Euros 21.


The risks and downsides are injury and mostly just Italian football! I find Italian football so hard to predict. The team form, the managers, the endless transfers...who knows who will line up for Milan next season!? Who knows if Hakan will still be in favour?


Holds:


Max Arnold x 1100 (Cap app target sell / season yield hold)


Here's another example of one that could lead to great cap app! He's Wolfsburg's talisman and set piece taker aged 26. I've been a fan for ages in real life and on FI. Has goal actions in him for the IPD window (7 last season). 4 PB scores over 200. 13% yield from PB last season. So I'm betting 20-30% yield this season. His price could rise to lower that back towards 15% if he starts well. Wolfsburg snuck into Europe again.


The risks and downsides are injury, random transfer, Wolfsburg get knocked out of the early euro qualifiers (but unlikely versus Kukesi!).


Morata x 1100 (A failed IPD buy turned 'get out my port!' turned new cap app sell?)


One I bought for IPDs a while back. He scored once in my IPD window, then went on to get 10 goals actions in the next 30 day window! I held on to him for Spain's Euro 20 squad... Now I'm back to holding due to the new dividends table and some transfer rumours. Pirlo has mentioned taking him back to Juve- that would cheer me up about this hold. Even if he stays at Atletico, its always a long season for them and he has shown he can be a goal getter for them. He will want to prove he should be in the Spanish squad for Euro 21. The IPD offer and the raised normal IPDs will bring back some liquidity to him- the pressure is off and I will see how he does.


The risks and downsides are, FI trading wise, he ever seems tarnished by his Chelsea stint. He could do a random Chinese transfer I guess... He may go on a goal drought. He doesn't really have a chance at PB- he needs a hat-trick.


If he moves to another PB club, that are in Europe, I may keep and see how he does otherwise I hope he does well on IPDs so I can sell for a better price and maybe recycle my shares.


Outs:


Volland x 300 (Market sold- it does still happen! Patience!)


Struggled with injuries. Moved to Monaco- no European fixtures. Had been linked to Arsenal last year. 2018/19 showed some PB potential, but last season didn't really. I had held for over 2 years, so heading towards expiry.


However... 19 goal actions in the Bundesliga- he could bang them in for Monaco in the French league! His PB could improve there. I will keep an eye on him for IPDs and his PB scores.


Havertz x 90 (Market sold)


One that may haunt me! But generally a transfer completed to a much harder league could affect him. Long term he is no doubt a world star in the making and if he proves it in the prem, we could see the rise of a new legend. Chelsea's squad looks ridiculous in the attacking areas though. I'm not sure how Lampard is going to knit them all together. Do behind the striker AMCs still work in the premiership? Can he play deeper? He could be lethal with Werner, Ziyech and Pulisic...but there I've already named 2 other competing MB and PB midfielders! I'm just not sure what sort of yield he will give so taking the chance at a high point in his price graph to sell to market.


However, in addition to the headache above, Germany Euro 21! I will watch his price and be thinking about my Euro 21 port all season.


Stafylidis x 715 (ISd!)


He was an IPD/PB punt ages ago when he transferred to Hoffenheim and was in the Greek squad as their LB and on some free kicks. Euro 20 could have saved me some money here! He was so cheap that one PB win and a couple of assists would have made up his cost. However he ended up being bench all season and is rumored to transfer to a Greek club!? 63% hit taken as I think -even after that loss- I can claw it back on some players for next season. It is important to realise this with dead money- you can be too patient sometimes.


However, ...nope no however on this one unless he scores a winning free kick for Greece in the Euro 21 final!


Delisted:


I've delisted about 100 players since this announcement. They were listed after the July review and now are back in the port. In that time about 15 players market sold and I ISd about 5.


Bruno x 150 is an example



The July review did little for the top end so I decided it was time to get him in the queue. Why not IS? Well you can still earn dividends whilst they are listed.


Due to the dividends he has already won me and the cap app I've seen, he does feel like a free bet- I need to stop thinking like this though; he is (at his sell price) a decent chunk of my portfolio value now; for a small hold, he still represents 2% of my current total port value- the cost price is insignificant.


As mentioned with Neymar, I feel div earners are key to cash flow. Even if I switch to mainly seeking cap app, I think you need a balance. Both him and Neymar give me a chance on any MB days and both a good chance of PB throughout the season. Although I only have 150 of Bruno, this dividends increase makes any wins from him handy. The Sancho transfer saga, at the moment, looks set to end in Bruno's favour- he should win more MB without Sancho there than if Sancho went and soaked it up for a while. He looks set to stay on pens and be their main talisman. Will he double this season? I don't think so. But he does have Euro 21 and the Wcup 22 to look forward to long term. Another bonus (being a gooner) is that I get some joy out of Utd doing well and him scoring goals.


Listed:


I know talking about someone I've listed may prompt others to do the same and therefor lower his price, but again I'd like to hear from those thinking different to me and I'd like to give true examples from all areas of my trading. I haven't listed anyone in reaction to the new dividends table. So this is just an insight to one decision making process linked to Summer transfer rumours.


Rodrigo De Paul x 50


If it wasn't for transfer rumours, I'd be buying big time! He is made for the current PB matrix. PB avg 139, top 5 scores of 279, 251, 246, 240 and 227, set pieces, crosses galore...But a move to another club is always a concern for a PB player. Will they dominate the play so much? Will they still be on set pieces? Are they up against tougher opponents? Will new team mates eat away at their stats? The rumour to Juve put me off a little as he may have been rotated and the rumour to Leeds put me off more. So I've listed for now as I'm not too worried if I don't sell. I don't feel the urge to IS on this news. He could do well as Leeds main man. He could start winning some MB for performances. He could show how good he is in the Prem and move to a bigger club (no offence Leeds) next season. The amount I hold also gives me a clue that he was an early purchase in my FI port- so he must be nearing the 3 year expiry. Also let's not forget we have another FI major money shake up coming next season in the form of the PB matrix being updated- 'crossers' could suffer as they seem to be the examples given by those demanding change to their and our bets!?... So when will ports start being adapted ready to react to the PB matrix update? I imagine Christmas time.


Vespasian's response:


Pre Div Review


I’ll quickly discuss the thought processes and behaviour of the past couple of months leading into yesterdays dividend review, and whether anything has changed in the aftermath.


I’ve been quite vocal about the removal of IS turning me away from Football Index. It was a tool heavily built into my trading strategy both in terms of the riskier players I invested in and the volume of shares I traded. The communications from Football Index were numerous and consistent that the instant sell function would only ever be disabled temporarily in any given situation. In my mind a move from that stance, therefore, should have been communicated well in advance to allow people to reconsider their strategy and risk tolerance. I can talk in depth about the drastic change this has on the Index, but that’s probably a rabbit hole not useful to this article.

I thought the introduction of the ME was poorly timed and poorly executed both in terms of tech and comms. It didn’t make sense to me to throw in one of their biggest promotions (double divs + media madness) whilst money was essentially locked in during Covid (people could seldom trade to benefit from it, so was more of a bonus to people who already held the ‘right’ players). Then when the promotion came to an end they brought a buyers tool into a buyers market with no incentives to allow us to sell in a rising market. My immediate thought was that it would cause mass stagnation (whilst the rest of twitter only saw rockets and I was mocked dailly … another rabbit hole).


Then we had the first dividend review. Given the removal of IS reducing FI's risk massively, and the year's growth… I was certainly in the 100% school of thought. I thought the increase provided was derogatory and definitely felt like Football Index were either ‘chancing it’ or in financial trouble.


Objectively I think the introduction of GK category was poorly timed – liquidity already at an all time low and they opened up value to a whole new area of the market! Subjectively, I was lucky to have already began withdrawing money, primarily from premiums as these had the most demand pre-div review. It meant I was in a position to pounce on GK and benefit handsomely.


In terms of tangible effect, rather than just the ‘moaning’, it meant I was swift to take out large sums, where possible, from Football Index (over 6 figures in a few months). This left me with a small portfolio of players where the spread was too big to take the bullet, and in some cases non-existent! And a few players I always planned to keep (Josh Onomessi). As mentioned above, I did then re-invest relatively small sums (thousands not 10s of thousands) into GKs.


What I realised in the subsequent cool off period was that there was a whole new landscape before me and now that I didn’t have the big portfolio and suffering the stagnant market, I found myself on the side of the fence that benefited. I was a buyer again in a buyers market. Playing with much smaller stakes has brought back the fun/hobby side to Football Index and I must say I’ve quite enjoyed bidding on cheap players with the biggest spreads.


Quick criteria summary, I wont go into detail on strategy, essentially I was mostly buying players I felt I wouldn’t have to rely on selling (but may have a chance to sell on a spike at some point), because they could feasibly return a profit over three years in div returns. My search was based on players under 33, under £1, spread > 20% and had won PB before.


In the last month, I’ve bought over 20,000 such shares, and around 30-50% of these were in the final few days in the build up to the dividend review. Seemed like there were some really good bargains as people, I assume, were selling to buy Messi and selling to build a cash balance for the new review.

The Second Dividend Review


Yesterday’s Dividend Review was excellent. The percent increases were much more in line with my initial expectations and are certainly generous enough to open up some growth and spot value in many places. What I really liked about the dividend increase however, was the distribution of increase. Going into the review it’s fair to say I felt more than a little cynical and fully expected FI to shake the money tree once more and push one area of dividends far more than another. Creating more commission as people once again adjust strategy etc. But they didn’t… the new table has boosted all dividends about as fairly as you could hope. This is great as it should keep every type of trader interested… in play trading should come back to some extent, longer term PB and MB holds have added value.

Objectively it’s hard to pick any fault in the dividend review. But what does it mean for me going forward? Will it change the way I trade? Will it restore some of the broken trust?


The removal of IS is too big of a risk factor for me to ever go ‘balls deep’ into Football Index again. In terms of the div review they have doubled the reward, but in my view the risk has multiplied a lot more than double.

What it has done however, is cement me as a customer for the foreseeable future. The boost to IPDs and Bronze days really fits my new strategy perfectly. For the first time in my Football Index journey, I have over 50 players, I’m into the 60s with bids still open on many more. Also, for the first time since my first deposit, I have small share holdings in the 100s rather than 1000s. I feel this fits my risk appetite and is still enough skin in the game to enjoy those bronze day evenings when Dijon play Strasbourg or Parma play Udinese etc.


Market Reaction


I’m surprised by the lack of immediate rises to many on the index in the aftermath of the announcement. For Neymar to still be under £10 (at the time of writing) seems almost criminal. If I was depositing large funds again, he would probably be top of my list in terms of premium dividend winner. TAA and Messi deservedly getting big rises, though with TAA there is scope for £££s not PPPs! I don’t hold either but seeing Messi rise is excellent and I hope people taking that risk are rewarded. Having Messi at a high price gives the product a legitimacy I think it needs.


Overall, the initial market reaction doesn’t seem to echo the mass sentiment and rockets on Twitter. Thinking a little bit behind it; is it that people don’t have the cash reserves and we may see the new value slowly absorbed over time for once (instead of a 2 hour Gold Rush and then 6 months of nothing)? Or are people generally more cautious in terms of risk/waiting on sell orders? There’s a few factors and I’ll be very keen to observe over the next few months which factors show themselves to be most prevalent.


The decrease list was an eye opener for sure. Seeing Toni Kroos drop is heartbreaking as previously one of my favourite holds, and I would have put my hat on him benefiting from a div increase if asked 6 months ago! Sancho dropping not so much of a shock to me, but I thought I was alone in my valuation of him… and if he was worth £35 pre-announcement isn’t he now worth a lot more (not so much a rabbit hole as a whole warren!)?


Epilogue


My personal view of FI and how I will use it has changed. I’ve decreased my risk and hopefully increased my enjoyment from the product. Back to it being a genuine hobby and I plan to use the ME extensively in the coming months. See my twitter post 'My Current ME Bids' for the most up to date orders I have in. If anyone wants to sell me 61 Murru, I’d greatly appreciate it. One of the big draw backs to the ME is it plays with my OCD! I have 4 Aaron Cresswell and 39 Murru for example!!


I think we will see most of the volatility, and therefore opportunity, happen between the spread now. There will be capacity for huge cap app but not as we have known it before… so I do question the importance of holding a big portfolio now versus having a cash balance to trade spread opportunities and promotions. As ever, it’ll come down to preference and resource – but for those holding over longer periods you have to target dividend yield and give it more thought than before… the growth era isn’t gone but in my view it’s certainly slowing.


It is a hugely positive step from FI and I hope it helps those who have felt stuck on holds finally sell and others to benefit from their strategies, persistence and courage!


Hasselbanker's outsider view:


It's very interesting. The estimated yields on some players are ridiculously good! You definitely wont get as many high yields predicted in the stock market.


I like football, I follow the premiership, I'd say I have very good knowledge of two clubs and good general knowledge of the rest, but I pretty much come to this purely from a financial point of view. I can see why Westy is invested- he has a lot of football knowledge and time for football news. I can also appreciate why Vespasian is putting some money back in as these dividends are very tempting to a seasoned football trader/gambler. But for me, with the money I'm trying to make work for me or my clients, the risk and the concept still put me off. Westy's Philipp Max example is scary!


I'll openly admit I'm still a doubter on FI attracting big investors from the financial markets and I could be proved very wrong if they keep developing the platform. But, the liquidity, the volumes potentially needed and how you affect the price rise yourself in any mass buying, the 3 year expiry rule, the negative variables of what could happen to a footballer are all too much compared to how I trade personally, and for my bank, in the stock market. I can't be watching the news for every player I hold non stop, and I don't trust a hands off approach whilst there is no definite liquidity in place for when things go wrong for a player.


I do use Footstock (FS). I wont get into it too much as Westy has told me this is an FI article, but I have a couple of points to make in comparison to FI and again me looking at it from a purely trading point of view. The cards on FS do not expire and there are layers of safety nets for liquidity whatever happens to the player. FI attracts me more on the surface, but FS has some solid fundamentals ticked off that FI need to figure out to attract the likes of me. (To be clear though, I am not saying I think FS is the way to go for investors... I currently just play for fun and see it as an alternative to football gambling.)


  • The 3 year rule. I would like a longer term option on FI; I'm not sure how they do this or if it is possible, but 3 years is not a long time for investors especially those who would want to use 'wonder kid' knowledge. I'd also find it stressful having a clock tick down for me to have to find a buyer. I suppose one way of looking at it is you get 3 years, then sell and re-buy paying just 2% commission but qualifying for new IPDs that may cover it- but it needs much better liquidity to be able to think like this. Otherwise, you may have to plan exits very early in to the 3rd year, making it on occasions maximum a 2 year hold? The index needs to boom and market makers need to be offering outs or I think you will start seeing money disappear from accounts when expiry comes in 2021. Is there enough money in bids to cover whoever the first big hold expiring is?


  • Liquidity/insurance for players leaving PB leagues, retirement and big injuries. On FS if a player leaves the Premiership, there are many ways to still use the card or get some money back. I don't like the fact that on FI if a player leaves the PB leagues etc. then you could be stuck holding that player with no sell options available. It seems too much can happen to your 'stock' at anytime to suddenly negatively affect it's value for me.


I guess there may be some investors that can spend the time on FI, like you would do in a bank and obviously the no tax is very appealing! But even then, I would want a much smoother and more informative platform. I'd need to see things like insurance, more visibility on number of shares in the market on players, more depth on bids etc. it sounds like this could be FI's end goal, which is food for thought and something I will keep an eye on.


I work in London. I see the advertising all over the place but I am yet to hear it being discussed in the office and actually busy offices for banks could become a thing of the past since we have moved to new ways of working during Covid. It will be very interesting to over hear the conversations if/when it does start finding its way in. This big marketing push they talk of needs to start entering the banks and offices if they are after the big investors as they have hinted recently. I did hear from a friend who works in a highly reputable accounting firm, in the city, that FI are now using them; a knock on affect of this is added credibility and perhaps some big money eyes noticing their name. It also hints (due to the firms area of work) at FI staff needing to go and work overseas which is a snippet of information that could be a clue to new territories coming... or just that they can work remotely somewhere in the sun I guess.


Don't get me wrong, there's money to be made on FI for sure and I would definitely join it if I was a gambler opposed to bookies. But overall, it's still more pure gambling than investing for me though. For now, I'm sticking to the stockmarket (and of course Footstock for fun). I will keep an eye on future developments though.


Conclusion:


Overall, personally, I'm very very enthusiastic for this season on FI. I will be aiming to trickle some money in each month- I think we will see the pay day boosts are back as it will take some time for prices to catch up predicted yields. I would like to keep reinvesting dividend pay outs if my personal finances allow me to do so (lots of talk of moving house from the wife...gulp!). I know I will have to trade smarter and perhaps lock in more profit as I go to protect me from another sudden wipe out. I have definitely learned a lot from the mistakes I have made along the way. I will take less punts and mostly stick to what has worked well for me with still some IPD fun bets. I must get google alerts set up...maybe even an FI tools only mobile and try to whittle down the number of players I hold again!


I still think we will have some tough dips to navigate e.g. when sell orders come in to play, if Covid gets out of hand again, if FI shake it up again (either by design or ignorance), mass waves of IPOs, any news of new PB leagues being added in the future or expansion in a PB league country...but this is all part again of being in an exciting and developing product and we can navigate them with decent payouts available along the way.


I liked what Adam Cole had to say. It seemed very genuine and reflective. I think FI have learnt a lot themselves over the last few months.


I'm glad they've got Vespasian back interested- we've seen how some changes have affected even the once most passionate about the product. It's a sign that it will attract disgruntled users to return and also how attractive the product must now look to new users too- if they can re-turn the head of the exiled 'emperor', they can surely attract lots of new heads! I can see Hasselbanker's point of view risk wise- I'm sure FI are still going down the route of wanting to be a different style of investment rather than just a gambling site, so it will be interesting to see what new developments take place to further attract investors from the stock markets.


Thanks for reading if you made it this far down!

Good luck everyone! Keep an eye on them transfer rumours!


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