Week 18 – research pays off

A week is a long time in the world of FI. Last week I was battening down the hatches, preparing for a long period of stagnation following the deposit bonus. Since then, the FI team have pulled out the rocket emojis again, telling us to prepare for ‘a big one’ on 29th October: the slightly strangely worded ‘Dividend Policy Review’.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time second guessing what this will bring as FI usually throw something into the mix that we’re not expecting, but there are a few clues that we can work off.

Firstly, there’s been a right old hoo-ha about the opening up of MB to the squad and the impact that this has had on the premium end of the market. Personally, I think it was the right decision to open MB up but FI have shot themselves in the foot (again) but putting out some really poorly put together stats to back up their figure of only 7% of the squad winning MB during a given period. Regardless of that, I think the bigger impact on premium players has been the loss of triple MB during the international breaks. Perhaps they will look to reinstate that, or add a penny onto MB here and there as an apology. I also imagine they’ll launch a review of the MB matrix, similar to the PB one they did over the summer.

The other clue is in the wording of the announcement: “we want to ensure that dividend returns remain a great incentive for all traders”. With that and the comment of this being a ‘big one’ it certainly sounds like they’ll be increasing dividends, although whether that’s just PB or also includes IPDs and MB is the bit we’ll have to wait to find out. Either way, this is a positive for traders and should bring additional confidence to the market.

The only thing to be wary of is the use of the word “review” – this could be an indication that changes are around the corner but aren’t coming yet. They might have plans for 2020 that they want us to influence, not just about the amount of dividends paid but possibly other things, like the 2pm cut off for PB or the IPD timeframe, for example. If the announcement falls short of their own billing of “big”, the more nervous traders among us might pullback a bit. Either way, even if things are a bit volatile for a while, traders holding proven dividend-yielding players should do well from this.

In terms of my own funds, the research I did before the deposit bonus has really paid off in terms of the Performance fund in particular. This fund is up £172 this week (over 4%), bucking the trends of an otherwise flat market. Star performers were Golovin, Pjanic, Parejo, Jorginho and Brozovic – all due to having Euro qualifier involvement plus a decent set of domestic fixtures either side. The fund pulled in over £30 in dividends over the week which was a nice bonus and I feel well set up for whatever the 29th October brings.

The Premiums had a dire week last week and only mustered a slight recovery this week, despite the announcement from FI causing a brief surge. They finished up by £15, which included over £10 in dividends, thanks to Harry Kane. As I’ve said previously, if I was new to FI right now, the last place I’d be putting my money would be in the Premium end of the market. This could change at the end of the month, depending on the content of the announcement but should definitely change as we get closer to transfer windows and the Euros.

My young Potentials stuttered a bit this week, finishing down by £13. Berge, Mollejo and Hagi were the big risers of the week – Berge benefiting from having Euro qualifiers with Norway, Hagi with Romania and Mollejo playing in the Spanish U19s. These rises were counted by several drops across the board, including a hefty correction on Garner after a big rise last week and large drops on Kang-In and Stengs. This part of the market looks likely to tighten up as we see more focus on actual (rather than potential) dividends.

Overall, a positive week. I topped up on various players this week so I’m just about spent up but happy with my choices (mostly). The full breakdown can be found on the separate fund pages as always – comments welcome!

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