Week 17 – preparing the bunker

If a deposit bonus was like Christmas for traders, we can expect the period after to feel a bit like New Year i.e.; there’s not much to look forward to and we’re all a bit grumpy.

We’re not there yet as part 2 of the bonus (5%) is still in play until the 19th October but we need to have one eye on the future when making our trades – and that’s how I’ve approached my reshuffle.

Anyone who has been following up until now will be aware that I split my port over 3 distinct funds – premium players (over £5), performance players (with an eye on PB and IPD) and ‘potential’ players (youngsters and those playing outside of the PB leagues). The deposit bonus gave me an opportunity to cut some deadwood from the funds and re-qualify all my players for IPDs. Selling during the first phase of the bonus and buying in the second phase allows me to earn the maximum 5% bonus on top – £500.

If you’ve been following closely, you’ll realise I’m happy to make mistakes this year. This ‘experiment’ is all about learning for me. I’ve been on the platform for two years but haven’t done enough reflection or journalling of my trades. This blog is really for me, so that I can analyse my trading and hopefully improve as I go. If you’re reading this, it’s a bonus.

The structure I’ve set up also means that I’m not trading as I might do normally – I’m going against my better judgment in some cases. I’m quite relaxed about this as I’m already playing with pure profit so I’m quite happy to lose a few hundred here and there if I (or you) learn something useful as a result.

So what have I done?

I emptied out my portfolio during part 1. First mistake – selling too early! I sat on my hands for the first 24 hours and then put the whole portfolio up for sale in one go. Several of my players sold almost instantly, indicating that they were still in high demand. I could have maximised my profits by holding on a bit longer and catching the rises towards the end of the period. Lesson learned.

I thought there might be a large number of traders holding back for part 2 of the bonus. Second mistake – buying too early! I bought into my new holds as soon as midnight struck. Over the course of the morning and into the following days, many of the holds decreased from their peak as those who had been trading for the 10% bonus started to pull out. Next time, I’ll give it at least 48 hours before buying in. Another lesson learned.

One other thing, which I’m not going to file as a mistake but is certainly not something I’d recommend to other traders at this point. As before, my plan is to put a third of my funds into premium players. This is hugely risky at the moment as sentiment on these players is almost universally poor. Premium players were premium for a reason – the dual prospect of winning PB and MB. This has largely evaporated now that FI have screwed with MB – by reducing the opportunity to win (by replacing with PB in the international breaks), opening up to the squad and, if the rumours are true, changing the way the MB feeds are captured. From being the surest bet on the platform, MB has turned into a lottery and premium players are suffering as a result.

Despite all of that, I’m pretty happy with where I am. I feel that I’ve prepared my bunker for the next few weeks/months and can sit tight when things get tough. I’ve also got a nice new spreadsheet to help me keep track of things (h/t Trading Bear)

Premium holds – I’ve kept this fairly standard but put a big emphasis on English players with the Euros in mind. Currently, the premiums are falling through the floor (especially Neymar) but as a ‘set and forget’ fund, I’m happy to hold for the next few months and see what happens. I imagine they’ll start to pick up again properly in December but the figures might be fairly grim reading until then.

Performance holds – I used the tools on Indexgain to help me find these players. I looked specifically for players with decent PB scores, goal threat, and a high number of fixtures from mid-October to the end of November, including European and international games. This largely lead me down the path of obvious buys, like Depay, Parejo, Brozovic and Immobile, alongside some I might not have considered before, like Golovin and Sabitzer. Not every player ticks every box, but all offer at least a couple of clear paths to dividends or CA.

Potential holds – I’ve tried to be more aware of sentiment and opportunity here, avoiding youngsters that don’t have an obvious path into the first team or spotlight. Haaland, Odegaard and Osimhen are highly priced for young players but are too good to ignore. At the other extreme, I’m hoping that Mollejo will take his opportunities in La Liga 2 and Morlanes will start to show more of what he’s capable of at Villareal.

I’m not fully invested yet – I’ve got around £12k to invest after the first part of the season but I’m only about £10.6k in so far. When players start to dip at the end of the second bonus period, I’ll use this as my opportunity to top up.

That’s it for now. Fingers crossed I start to see a bit more green over the week…

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