Football Index: Cash Builder Article Two

Welcome to the second article in my Football Index cash builder series for 2019/20. Last month I deposited £100 onto the platform and my goal is to grow that balance as much as possible. Each month I will top up my balance by adding another £100, but the focus of this series is percentage return on investment rather than cash balance.

 If you haven’t already and are new to the Index, please give my beginner’s guide a read and if you have any questions please reach out to me on Twitter @FPLBraveheart.

 The state of the market

 Football Index’s new slogan is: “The game. Changed”. That slogan was true in October as within days of writing my first article (which said that the focus of my strategy would be looking for players with a share price of under £2 and who are likely to get goals and assists frequently (“in-play dividend hunting”), Football Index announce a dividend review. The general consensus of traders was that this would lead to a dividend increase for performance and media dividends. There was a big spike in the ownership of players who are likely to compete for both of those dividends. The in-play dividend type players were somewhat overlooked by the announcement of a dividend review as the consensus was that those players were already generously rewarded.

 On both fronts the consensus was correct. There was a 57% increase overall for performance and media dividends whereas in-play dividends were not increase. Football Index when communicating its decision said that they felt that in-play dividends were still very generous and so there did not require to be a dividend increase at this stage. They also said that before each year they will review dividends and so there remains the potential for future increases.

My strategy: update

 In the opening article of this series, I said that I would be going with an in-play dividend hunting approach. My reasoning for that was that there were a lot of players under £2 who score or assist frequently and so represent good value for returning regular dividends. In my next section I’ll consider some of the players I purchased last month but this strategy was not incorrect as the likes of Lewandowski and Immobile returned very well in October.

 However, I think that my initial strategy was perhaps too narrow in focus. The hike around the anticipated increase in favourable players for performance dividends, suggested to me that I should diversify my portfolio a little bit more. A player can have value for a number of reasons:

  • they are a young player who has potential to become the next big thing (“youth strategy”),
  • they are priced quite low because they are not frequently competing for performance dividends butthey score and assist a lot (“IPD strategy”),
  • they are currently injured (and have been for quite some time) and are nearing a return to first-team action (“injury strategy”),
  • they are likely to move teams soon and so may have an improved chance at performance or media dividends (“transfer speculation”),
  • they are regularly putting up good scores for performance and/or media dividends and are likely to return regularly (“long-term holds”).

 In November I’m going to look to try and diversify my portfolio by buying players suited to the IPD, injury and long-term hold strategies. As we approach January, I’ll look at identifying some transfer speculation players but I think that it may be too early for me to buy such players (as I’m a small portfolio and would prefer to have my holdings working more in November and December, rather than waiting for January).

 How was October?

 At the start of October, I purchased shares in 4 players (Lewandowski, Immobile, Dzeko and Weghorst).

Let’s see how they got on:

Robert Lewandowski

  • Bayern Munich
  • Forward
  • Bought for: £1.89
  • Current price: £2.43
  • Dividends per share: 15p (8%)

By far my most profitable hold this month, Lewandowski has returned 15 times (goals and assists) over the course of October and as a consequence his price has risen 54p per share. This hold has resulted in a return on investment of 33% so far (all percentages are rounded). The difficulty with Lewandowski is that he is now becoming too premium a price for a simple in-play dividend hold.

 Ciro Immobile

  • Lazio
  • Forward
  • Bought for: £1.30
  • Current price: £1.50
  • Dividends per share: 7p (5%)

Far more budget friendly than Lewandowski, Immobile has returned 7 times over the course of October and has potential to feature for Italy at Euro 2020. He is on form at the moment and so I suspect will continue to score. Lazio have lost twice in the Europa League (to Cluj and Celtic) and so they will need to raise their game if they are going to contest European football after Christmas.

Wout Weghorst

  • Wolfsburg
  • Forward
  • Bought for: £1.24
  • Sold at: £1.13
  • Dividends per share: 1p (1%)

This trade was an error. Part of my aim of this series is for me to be candid about my errors so that I, and others, can learn from them. Weghorst is a great hold for in-play dividends. However, I purchased him shortly before an international break and he had not been selected in the Holland squad for its upcoming matches. This was known at the point of purchase, however, I underestimated quite how much his price would drop during the international break. Sold towards the bottom of his drop (now £1.20) to move the cash to a player expected to rise in the dividend review (Alexander-Arnold).

Edin Dzeko

  • Roma
  • Forward
  • Bought for: £1.05
  • Sold at: £0.87
  • Dividends per share: 0 (0%)

This was an unfortunate trade. Dzeko would have played for Bosnia had he not got injured one day after I purchased him on 06 October in a Serie A match. As a result of his injury and lack of international football during the last break, Dzeko dropped in price (now £0.94) so I decided to sell my shares in him to move the cash to a player expected to rise in the dividend review (Alexander-Arnold). I still think Dzeko is a good hold for in-play dividends. Each goal or assist he gets will return 1.1% of his current price and so far this season he has bagged 8 goals and 3 assists in eligible matches this season.

Cash builder summary

  • Balance at start of October: £100
  • Balance at 28 October (minus expected commission) : £115.17
  • Return on investment (%) 15.17%

How to Join Football Index

If you haven’t yet tried Football Index (“FI”), read our Football Index beginner’s guide as it explains most of the key concepts (including dividends, buying and selling players and commission).

If you’d like to follow along, you can join Football Index here.

Be sure to Follow @FPLBET on Twitter to stay up to date with our Football Index Cash Builder Series!

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