Hard to tell my story in a few words, but will be as brief as possible using bullet points:
• DISCOVERY: Discovered FI in an advert on BT Sport website. The football stock market claim really appealed to me as I had at the time been investing in the real stock market with modest results. I knew much more about football than bonds, equity and commercial property. I did my research on the company (including Trustpilot reviews) and took up the £10 taster on Bank Holiday 27 August 2018.
• BEGINNING: Gradually started putting hundreds, then thousands in. Bought all the players that were good players in real life and had around 60 players in my port. Was a bit puzzled why Kane, Messi, Firmino, Mane, etc. were in the red, but was unconcerned as I viewed my investment as a long-term, 3 year hold, coming from said stock market background. Wasn’t interested in dividends at first and immediately reinvested as they came in nearly every day. Bought from the top 200 players “Biggest Increase” in players section I hadn’t heard of at the time: Vinicius, Lozano, Lo Celso, Piatek, Sancho, Thauvin, etc. I also fell into the trap like many new ones in being burnt a few times when buying the cheap Pump and Dump, “Biggest Risers”.
• JUMPING IN: The turning point for me was the London Meet in late September 2018 after I had been with FI for a month. That evening was an absolutely crazy bull market with all my holds in the green and rising. I saw a profit of £1.9k, withdrew £1.4k which paid for my rent, food, expenditure for the next month. Coming back from the Meet, I decided to take out all my money from the stock market (5-figure sum) except for £1k which I put into crypto currencies.
• BEAR MARKET: The day after the London Meet, the market dropped into a bear market, nose diving and falling flat. I heard a few left the platform. The value of my port fell by nearly £1k and I pulled nearly all my money out in October but left in about £2k to see what I could do with that and practiced other strategies. I put back in the rest of my 5-figure sum and trimmed my port to around a dozen players, Dividend Kings: Pogba, Ronaldo, Messi, etc. That kept income coming in and kept me interested. FI brought in a December deposit bonus to stimulate the market and I won £1k, which was more than I had lost. The deposit bonus temporarily revived the market up to mid-December until there was a rumour that there was going to be a share split (SS) and the market began flying for the rest of December 2018 and the whole of January 2019.
• FLAT FEBRUARY 2019: The market could not sustain a bull market forever so there was no real surprise that February was flat. Of course, the dividend kings kept the income flowing.
• SS ANNOUNCEMENT/SS: Absolutely crazy flying times. I did something new for the first time, and brought in a temporary 5-figure sum (that I couldn’t afford to lose) especially for the guaranteed bull market of the SS announcement and the SS itself. This was to maximise the profits (£3.5k). The temporary money also doubled the value of my port.
• DEPOSIT BONUS PT1: Won £1k using my temporary 5-figure sum, but did not get involved in part 2 or part 3 as I kept the temporary money in for Media Days and then the Media Madness period.
• MEDIA MADNESS: The market dropped considerably, predictably after the SS and my port wasn’t in profit (I ignore the profit/loss figure. That’s the profit of your players, minus the losses). I view real profit as any figure above what you invested into the platform. If you invest £3k, and the value of your port is £4k, then that’s £1k profit, minus 2% commission.
As my port was in loss, I tried something new, which was siphoning off individual player profits. I sold shares of the player in profit, equal to the profit, plus shares to cover the commission and kept the remaining shares. Any leftover money was reinvested. I did this for players that appeared to have reached their peak price. My average 30+ player port were filled with transfer buzz players.
BIG BOYS: I also was determined to win Media Days 1-3 (won only 4 times) and Media Madness 1-5 (won only once!). I was also stubbornly determined to stay with the big boys for the entire Media Madness period, despite the huge losses in keeping them! FOMO unfortunately also stopped me from exiting them as I feared if I did that, people would start pumping into them for the start of the season and I would lose out. Neymar, Pogba, Messi, Hazard and a smaller extent, Sancho, were massively in the red. I no longer hold these Big Boys accept Sancho. The MB that I won from them was not worth the losses. So during preseason 2019, my port dropped by circa £14k. This was due to:
£9.7k – Siphoning profits (safely in my bank)
£2k – Market fall
£2k – Loss holding on to Big Boys due to FOMO/Media Madness
Total: c £14k
I also banked £1k from Deposit Bonus Part 1. The £9.7k withdrawn profits consisted of:
£8.2k – Price/capital appreciation
£1.5k – Dividends (PB/MB/IPDs)
ROI since 27 August 2018: With 5-figure investment (Much nearer £10k than £99k!):
With temporary 5-figure sum: c 48%.
Total Profits Withdrawn: £18.9k (Divs: £4,114, Price Appreciation: £14,786)
FUTURE OF FI: At that London Meet last year, 2 new directors was introduced to the audience. Both had a hard core gambling company background. I knew immediately then, where FI were heading. From comments I’ve read on the forum from old timers (members that are over a year) they have worked it out too. FI want to grow the platform and make it more profitable by making it more volatile and appealing to short-term gamblers. That is why they introduced IPDs, which I hate (but don’t mind the income from them when I flip players!) Short-term flipping is not my style of trading, I’m more long-term.
I believe what prompted FI to make the platform more volatile was the Big Boy traders (£100k+) who took a massive risk when investing in FI at the start and made the platform what it is today. They have thousands of shares in the Dividend Kings and others who were really cheap at the launch of the platform in 2015. FI pay out thousands in dividends every week to these pioneer traders with very little coming back from them as they rarely flip their ports. They don’t have to. They deservingly just sit and watch the dividends rolling in. So in come the new FI directors from the betting houses with an unsentimental outsiders’ viewpoint who came up with the idea of IPDs to target and recruit short-term gamblers and force the Big Boy investors to flip some of their port. Not only them but everyone on the platform will have to flip some of their port in order not to lose individual player profits. Volatility: Lots of money for FI whether people IS or sell to the market. More profits for FI means that the company grows.
FI MISSED A TRICK: This platform is marketed as a Football Stock Market. “How much is your football knowledge worth”? They talk about portfolios, shares and trading, instead of “gambling”. IPOs (Initial Player Offering) similar to the stock market’s Initial Public Offering (IPO). They are now using NASDAQ technology, utilized by real stock market traders and finance companies. Yet, instead of being brave and targeting long-term investors as real stock market companies does, with a view to investing for up to 3 years, they’ve gone for the short-term, hardened gamblers. These are well served by multiple online and betting shop companies. FI cannot compete with these but are in danger of becoming a FI version of Bet365, squeezing out the long-term trader. In any case, it will be much harder for the long-term trader to make money. FI will grow and increase in profits, but the long-term trader will decrease. I hope I’m wrong.
Slightly disconcerting with FI is that all the bull/flying markets I’ve experienced in the past year has been because of announcements/promotions/SS/deposit bonuses. FI should be growing organically as have other gambling houses.
MY FUTURE: Due to the £14k drop in my port explained above, I’m now playing with a 4-figure port now instead of 5-figure. I have the temporary 5-figure sum which I cannot afford to lose in the platform now that I’m using to help grow my port. I’ll take it out at the end of the year, leaving the 4-figure sum. I never put in new money but try to grow the original investment as you would in the real stock market, except for said temporary investment to maximise guaranteed bull market days.
When the 4-figure sum is left in the New Year, I’ll flip my port from a very diversified 30 player port to about 5 top players. I like to have a minimum of 100 shares per player as less is meaningless if you win dividends. I have a massive task of attempting to grow my port back into a 5-figure value without new money being put in. Future deposit bonuses and promotions/announcements where I can put in the temporary 5-figure sum will help of course. The platform actually growing will also help too. FI has changed and I will have to change and adjust my long-term strategy with it.
I really hope it is onwards and upwards!