I am currently putting pen to paper on the next site Key Strategy. There is a new one every 3 months, with detailed analysis of the road ahead and advice on where the best profits can be made.
Before you start the next strategy, it’s always good to look back at the last one to see if you got it right or not!
Every so often I also do a public review so that readers of the free blog posts can get an idea of the sort of content in the members area.
The early season strategy was published on August 8, just before the season kicked off and made available to members in the members area of the site.
I’d spent all Summer heavily engrossed in pre-season Scouting to make sure we had lots of the key targets identified well in advance of their success appearing in the performance scoring.
It’s no good waiting to see big performance scores happen to know who is good. By then, everyone knows already and you have no advantage. For the best profits, you need to do better than that.
As well as signing up the quality early, we needed to make sure we weren’t holding players living on reputation from last season, or who other people seem to think are good on social media when they are actually weak.
Talking about who is weak feels negative at times but it’s crucial to know which players are unlikely to live up to expectations as well as who is looking strong.
You have to concentrate your money in the best picks. I get a fair few portfolios sent to me for advice and the most common mistake is having money spread too thin across a mixed bag of players.
Most people have some good players in their portfolio. But they may have bought them too late, or have lots of money tied up in stagnating or underperforming players.
We need every penny (or as close as possible) working for us.
This is the most common reason for unsatisfactory results that I’ve seen over the years.
The Early Season Strategy
For members, the Key Strategy is set out in detailed posts with a lot of analysis and discussion. But to sum up, the Key Strategy for early season can be very briefly simplified as:
- Use site Scouting as the key advantage – in the absence of a major trend shift at this time of the season, you simply have to be better at picking the best players sooner than other people and well before their quality is coming through on the performance scoring.
- Focus heavily on the strongest performance players who match the trends for the season, in particular those European players with the “full season” trend fit including the Euro 2020 according to the selection criteria given. This was in anticipation of the Qualifiers, eligible for dividends for the first time, waking traders up to these players early on.
- Don’t ignore the off trend elite veterans for IPD purposes and optionally, sign 1 or perhaps 2 premium media picks if you spot value.
How did it do overall? To sum up, if I was able to time travel back to August knowing what I now know and write the strategy again, it would be almost entirely the same. Which is the best thing you can say about a strategy.
This would now be regarded as a fairly main stream strategy. But 3 months ago, it wasn’t, and people had very different ideas about who was performance quality back then, too.
That’s perfect. But once everyone catches up with you, it may be time to do something else and move on.
The Importance of Detailed Scouting
The key plank of this strategy was to have a greater knowledge of who the real quality performance players were before their good scores appeared on the scoring system.
Hundreds of hours of research went into the Scouting section of the members area to get that advantage from June through to August and beyond.
This was complicated further by the change in the scoring system, but this presented an opportunity. With things thrown up in the air, it provided even more opportunity to gain an advantage through detailed research.
Through the detailed Scouting, I was able to identify in pre-season and the first few games a very large number of players who have won and scored highly consistently as the season started to unfold. And the price rises duly followed.
Players like Gnabry, Coman, Kroos, Depay, Griezmann, Parejo, Ruiz, Insigne and other now well known names were staples of pre-season Scouting. Whilst they seem obvious now, back in July and August they were far from in fashion and they had very low prices compared to now.
That’s supplemented with some cheaper high potential picks who have done very well like Orsolini, Elmas, Stengs, Benes, Kramaric, Waldschmidt, Curtis Jones amongst others.
I don’t get everything right obviously. Barkley was hugely profitable initially but has then struggled. Players I like such as Terrier, J Correa haven’t performed yet although they might. And some players I do not rate have overperformed on the market. Abraham, Braut-Haaland spring to mind.
This is fine though. You don’t need to be right every time and nobody will be. To be extremely profitable you can be right around 80% of the time and that’s more than enough.
The more games that get played, the more “right” I will be because really I am just playing a percentages game and the hundreds of hours I put into scouting pays off over time.
I have a background in online poker and I often use similar thinking in my trading.
I am betting big when I have the very strongest hands with a 90% chance to win or greater (by selecting the best possible players at the best prices, that is the equivalent to having the strongest hand in poker).
Even then, a good poker player will still lose 10% of the time! Even when making good decisions. Just because sometimes the opponent makes a poor decision and gets lucky. But over 100’s of hands, the good poker player will come out on top.
And that’s why the trader who can seperate the truly strong performers from the overhyped garbage wins over the long run.
The Highs and the Lows
The Key Strategy did really well over the early season, driven by the consistent wins and strong performances of the players reviewed favourably in Scouting. And, by the late realisation of many traders that preparing for Euro 2020 early would be key. This really hit home for many during the qualifiers but I was preparing for this since July really.
When the bonus periods and dividend increase hit, that is when an already well performing strategy got rocket boosters lit under it. Those referencing the Key Strategy could barely have been better positioned when many traders who had previously largely ignored strong players in favour of hype realised they needed to shift in my direction.
This isn’t good luck. You make your own luck on FI by not straying too far from the real win mechanics and trying to take shortcuts. This approach has paid off time and time again.
The “worst” moment for the Key Strategy was that phase of extremely over exuberant buying of 16-19 year olds from ineligible leagues. This lasted a week or two.
This is ok and never really caused me concern – eventually, the focus will always come back to reality. You don’t have to go big on every possible trend in the market to make huge profits. In fact, if you break your overall strategy to try to chase any fluctuation like this, you’ll end up chasing your own tail and can do yourself more harm than good.
I didn’t ignore that area of the market entirely. Players with genuine potential in that area can be solid choices when at value prices, and there were decent profits here.
Sticking to those young players of real quality rather than going too far into the weak but overhyped is both profitable and good risk management.
Overall, it’s been an immensely profitable period and the feedback from members has been unreal. I did not think I could top the two previous strategies, the Late Season one, then Summer. Both of those went extremely well although for very different reasons.
This may have been the best one yet, though.
When writing the last Key Strategy, my biggest concern was that with no major trend shift to exploit in early season, this strategy might not do quite as well as the last ones.
Success depended largely on my ability to correctly read the new scoring matrix and select the likely consistent winners before we had seen any performance scores, which is not a simple task. I needed to get that right and then I needed it to come through on the scoring system.
By and large, it did because the hard work over hundreds of hours stacked the odds in my favour.
Other strong positive factors were taking early account of Euro 2020, as well as not ignoring the elite veterans in early season who have pulled in huge % gains, like Lewandowski, Dzeko, Parejo or Kramaric.
People are much more favourable on these players now, but 3 months ago, getting a trader to buy an older player might be a struggle even if you put a shotgun in their mouth. But consistent performances and returns changed that.
The Next Strategy
Every part of every season is different though. What works in 2018 doesn’t work in 2019. And what worked in 2019 will not work in 2020 either.
In the next few days, I’ll be putting pen to paper on the next Key Strategy for November to the end of January.
If any regular readers are thinking of joining the site, I encourage you to do so now because the start of a new Key Strategy is always the best time to be coming on board.
Lots of people are naturally adverse to paying for content, but it’s access to thousands of hours of work and years of experience, and the feedback I have had is that the membership more than pays for itself, often many, many times over.
That’s why members rated it 4.9 stars out of 5 in the latest survey in August, and why just over 90% of people who have joined since February choose to stick around as members which is a huge retention rate I’m proud of. They just wouldn’t do that if they weren’t getting it back in cash made and time saved.
The only thing I would say is that the 10% of people who do not find the site useful tend to want “tips” or very specific advice on exactly who to buy and sell. That’s not what I offer so it’s important to be clear about that.
I provide Scouting not just of a small pool of favoured players, but across all 5 leagues and beyond, with hundreds of players analysed. Members pick and choose what they like or don’t from that huge range.
And, I provide overall market analysis and strategy guidance on the trends ahead, and especially during the periodic events like the Share Split, performance changes and dividend increases.
So I definitely don’t do anyone’s trading for them, but I do offer a lot of high quality analysis and opinion for people to base decisions on.
If that sounds useful, more details are here along with a link on how to sign up.
Members can look out for the next Key Strategy which I plan to publish next week!