Strategy Review: End of the Season

Back in February, I set out the site Key Strategy for the rest of the season.

The February – April period is always a crucial time on FI.

It’s never quite the same each year. Last year, it was World Cup hysteria driving prices. This year, it was the Share Split and then the Media Announcement heading into Summer. 

It’s a difficult time to manage, maybe even the most difficult time, with people fearing an end of season sell off. 

But, it is also one of my favourite times of year because these periods of volatility always contain opportunities for those who can work the trends correctly.

In the Members Area, there is always a site Key Strategy active at all times of year giving my thoughts on navigating the period ahead to get optimal profits whilst managing risks and preventing any steps backwards. 

I am now going to make the previously members only site Key Strategy used since February public and review it to see how it performed, and share my thoughts on the market in this hectic last few months too.

Key Strategy Summary

If using my Key Strategy since February you would:

  • Have sold “pure” performance players early (good players with no reason to hold for the Summer) at or near their peak prices mostly without needing to Instant Sell.

  • Handled the Share Split and subsequent Summer Media announcement optimally, getting money into the correct types of on trend player early (using the site trend analysis as a guide).

  • Transitioned from a performance based portfolio into a Summer friendly media/transfer based portfolio at an optimal time, being in prime position to collect when the market shifted towards media picks as it did (using the site Scouting and Transfer Centre to help identify a wide range of targets to pick and choose from).

  • Managed risk well and avoided taking the crippling losses associated with holding on to premium or over priced players for too long (with the site risks/opportunities section as a guide).

  • Now be holding and profiting very nicely from a highly desirable portfolio full of Summer/media players that are now in high demand, the majority of which are also performance suitable and can be held into the new season or sold as you like.

"I just wanted to thank you so much for the excellent analysis you’ve provided over the past few months since I joined the members site. You got the summer bonus spot on and it was enjoyable sitting back and watching the profits increase knowing my port was already in largely the right place!"

markwhite27

The Environment

Let’s quickly cast our minds back to February 2019 so we recall the context in in which this strategy was written. 

Everything was Share Split centric, with premium and hype players continuing to fly as they did since November in anticipation it.

The vast majority of traders were still happy to hold and buy good performance players. Some end of season talk was bubbling up but nothing major. 

People were thinking about the Quarter Final on-wards stages of the Champions League and Europa League, causing further retention of performance players and some high profile media picks.

Thoughts of Summer transfers were in the background but this was not being focused on.

Key Strategy Cornerstone 1

I broke up my strategy into 4 key Cornerstones. Let’s go through them now.

Maintain a focus on the fundamental market trends rather than sweating too hard on what the market will do on the temporary share split announcement day.

Cornerstone 1

The Share Split was causing huge overbuying at the premium end, and had been driving the market since it was announced back in November.

Whilst pre-share split you could get good gains in this area, there were also huge gains available in the low to mid price bracket. Because of the tendency of traders to use “comparative pricing” (often incorrectly) top price players tend to pull up the value of the whole market.

So, away from the hype, you could be buying players that were rising just as nicely if not more in % terms than the overbought premium end.

But why bother doing that when you could have just piled into the premiums with less effort?

Firstly, I’d bought this type of player much further in advance and already sold them on to people paying too much in the build up to the Share Split.

Secondly, but just as important: risk management. At the same time as my Key Strategy was live, I had premium price players dropping after the Share Split highlighted as a major risk in the members market analysis. It happened. 

The root cause of the premium price player drops we are seeing now is a correction after the overbuying that took place in advance of the Share Split. Some of them (not all) may go back up over time, but it is better not to get stung at all and waste time taking 2 steps forward 1 step back. 

Further, once the noise of the Share Split was over, it was clear that the market would get dragged back towards the real trends in play as highlighted in the site market analysis. They did.  

This worked well because it saw great profits in the lead up to the share split, did not suffer a crash in the aftermath, and set us up with on trend players ready for the media bonus to come and the Summer.

Whilst these positive and negative trends became obvious to most in recent weeks, calling them early and moving early is the difference between great returns, mediocre returns, or even losses.

Key Strategy Cornerstone 2

Continue to ground your selections in players with strong dividend returning credentials. They must have strong prospects of returning dividends either now, over the Summer, or at least early next season. Ideally, all three. 

Cornerstone 2

The purpose of this was to cover the anticipated increase in dividends that accompanied the Share Split. Whilst people focused on the SS itself, the dividend increase was the most important news.

By grounding our selections in dividend returners rather than hype, we reaped another reward as the value of dividends increased and market interest in that sort of player went up with it. 

At this time in the season, dividend returners largely meant those likely to get decent media over the Summer, or were cut price players who could get a big move and be expected to do well next season. As a bonus, if they also had performance prospects for the remainder of the season and in Europe, all the better.

At the time of writing the strategy I thought we may get a more modest dividend increase, perhaps 5-15%. Later, in a specific members Share Split guide I got more optimistic, suggesting 25-30%.

It ended up being the more optimistic figure which played nicely into the strategy which was good luck. Generally though, if you keep the actual win mechanics and rules of the game in mind and don’t ignore them, you will tend to make your own luck.

"I am full of praise for the work that you are doing here ... the content you are producing is absolutely first class. FI has plenty of excellent data sources, but virtually no trustworthy insight and opinion. People want to hear about specific players which don't just come from pump & dumpers and for that reason, you've created a genuine point of difference with your product."

James Lloyd

Key Strategy Cornerstone 3

Over the coming month (Feb-March), start offloading “pure” performance players (i.e strong performance players with no transfer speculation/hype) ideally at favourable prices without instant selling. Ideally, use the day of big games (quarter final of European competition), or the days they win to do it at a premium). 

Cornerstone 3

It’s important to respect the trends. I am probably best known for winkling out good performance players but you can’t gun for pure performance players all year and expect to make optimal profits.

It is always helpful to know who the best players are and scouting goes on all year on the site.  And you can see from Cornerstone 4 where I set out a criteria for the type of optimal player to buy at that time, performance quality should remain part of the thinking at all times of year and I will explain why below.

But, this was a moment where “pure” performance players with no reason to keep them in the Summer needed to be moved on. This was correct and we avoided the drop and sold them at a high, freeing up profits to invest in our new targets.

Key Strategy Cornerstone 4

Buy players that fit all the following criteria and should maintain their value as the Summer approaches:

Cornerstone 4
  • Quality performance players – 3 out of 5 stars and 4 out of 5 stars in site performance ratings, possibly going to 2 out of 5 stars for forwards.
  • Transfer Speculation – credible chance of a move in the Summer and associated media interest together with performance optimism for next season – site Scouting and Transfer Centre will analyse a wide variety of options.
 
  • Price – Must have room to grow and not be overbought as per the site Guide Prices.
 
  • Broadly fit the secondary stable/positive trends on the site trends in the market analysis section including age and position etc. 
 
  • Optional bonus: European involvement

With profits taken at an optimal time from performance holds, there was a lot of cash to reinvest in players that seem obvious and in demand now but back in Feb/March they were available at a cut price.

Whilst most were preoccupied with a limited selection of picks for Share Split mania, I was hoovering up the above category of player on the cheap.

Many rose very nicely ahead of and after the Share Split. Others needed a bit of patience until the run up to the media announcement when this class of player exploded in price before and afterwards.

Many are still increasing in value heavily, and at this stage, all I have to do is monitor individual players as other traders play catch up and buy players I have been holding for weeks or months.

It is also time to ponder my next move and it’s timing. 

I think given the transfer window is not even open yet, and the bonuses on offer, there is no need to panic and switch strategy right now and there is plenty of mileage in players with good transfer speculation ahead.

"Loving the members area! Really nicely set up and it is easily paying for itself x10!"

Charlie @footyindex69

"Your analysis has really helped over the last few weeks/months. Having clear knowledge of the trends is great and helps filter out some of the conflicting stuff on social media! April has been a hugely profitable month already for me as I'm sure it has for most members who referenced your information and guides, at a time when many on Twitter were losing money and wondering why!"

fi_red

A New Key Strategy

In the next week, I’ll be writing a new Key Strategy that covers the upcoming months from now into pre-season.

It’s not as simple as just who to buy next, or burning everything and just buying performance players who were good last season now. The strategies contain a lot of detailed discussion. 

Timing is everything for optimal profits, as is what not to buy or hold too long to manage your risk and avoid the big set backs some traders have seen in recent weeks. 

And, this season’s top performers will not necessarily be good next season or may already offer poor value as they are too well known.

A few people have told me recently that they love the look of the members area but they want to wait until pre-season before joining when the football starts again.

I might be expected to say this but I really believe it – it is better to join now as a new strategy starts rather than coming in at the end when the best value is gone. The new strategy will probably take us up to at least pre-season, possibly the season start.

It’s been an amazing season for FI and for 200% or more returns to still be possible is phenomenal (See my publicly blogged New Trader Challenge from Day 1 of this season starting with a blank portfolio which at last update, 12 Apr, was 138% up, not including the huge gains seen this month yet! It will be much higher now and when you can prepare early for a new season you can do even better.) 

Those kind of numbers will get a lot harder to achieve as time goes on but I feel very optimistic as we head into the Summer.

Speaking of Summer, the site updates never stop. 

I’ll be monitoring and analysing the transfers throughout the week in the Transfer Centre. Plus I’ll be running through detailed stats on every major pre-season friendly to find the best new talent and assess how existing players are getting on at new clubs or in new formations. 

Getting the best profits through the Summer to reinvest whilst setting ourselves up to start next season holding all the best cards will really turbocharge our total returns and set us up for another great season. 

I have a brand new 2 minute video tour of the members area below so people can see it in action! People can sign up for 1 month (cancel anytime) or there is a 10% discount available for a 3 month sign up.

Check it out below! And thanks to all readers for giving me a reason to keep writing all season, I hope you had a great one.

"Hats off to you mate. You've made a massive difference to my trading. Previously I was obsessed with studying stats but operating in far too narrow a window. The mindset of focusing much further in advance has transformed my portfolio growth. Thanks for what you're doing, keep up the great work."

bopper25

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