Subject: The Unofficial Football Index Newsletter - Deposit Bonus special.

The (Unofficial) Football Index newletter is back, now rebranded as Unofficial after a quiet word in our ear from Football Index towers who didn't want it to be confused with their own newsletter! (Fair enough). 

As @FiGuide is currently slacking on holiday, I'm staging an @_FI_Trader coup for this week so you can blame me if there are any problems with delivery etc. You can find me over at

Liam, Buzzing Paul and latest signing Ginger Pirlo are here as usual, and FIG has submitted his contribution from the plane like the professional he is.

This week, we are casting back a bit to the latter part of September. If you recall, there was much talk of a "downturn" and general grumbling back then. 

We give our views on whether that was valid or overblown below, and then move onto discuss the hot topic of the moment, the deposit bonus!

The contrast between that "rough" patch and then the flying market after the bonus hit is remarkable. 

Such is the life of a trader on Football Index! 

After months of portfolio screenshots, rocket emojis and continuous blanket growth across the platform we inevitably hit a stumbling block in September. The footie fell over 1000 points on one Sunday, creating possibly the biggest dent in the market of recent memory. Armageddon? 

No. This is simply the short-sighted view. Stretch your mind back to the start of the year and you will see that the whole Footie has doubled in that time and that in fact, this drop represents just 1.13% of estimated market capital. 

Considering we saw market cap rise 15.6% in August alone I don’t think we’re in too much trouble!
So the next question has to be, if this is not Armageddon, why did it feel like it on my twitter timeline? 

There’s a few reasons for some of the complaints, and there’s been many, including my favourite which actually @‘d football index customer service to complain they weren’t making money. That one really takes the biscuit! 

Firstly, look at the Footie graph above again (provided by index gain) we’ve had 1000’s of new users over the summer who have seen nothing but continued growth day after day, month after month and you have to think, surely they don’t just think it does this consistently forever? But if you’ve seen no different in all your experience I guess when you see something different, even if it is a small drop, it comes as a shock. 

Secondly, over the past few months almost any and every trading strategy has been rewarded. And while some of these new behaviours may have looked out of place to traders who had been on the platform for a long time, those who were new and using them were constantly being positively reinforced with profits for using them, unknowing that it is more because of the fact that people were willing to buy anything because it would just go up at that time and that what they thought was a solid trading stratergy was one of the first to turn to crumbs when people were more reluctant to spend. 

We definitely saw some so-called sure thing strategies get found out during this time, as well as plenty of the “great” twitter tipsters having to eat a bit of humble pie through the realisation that when confidence is low, not everything you touch turns to gold. It does make you laugh the way that when it’s all going well it’s down to the traders genius but when people aren’t making money it’s down to the platforms faults and football index flaws. Crummy behaviour if I ever did see it! Of course, some of this may have been down to a Football Index bonus speculation to start with, but after a few days of red, people were crying out for a bonus.

We eventually got the bonus and of course saw some huge rises across the board. It is interesting that some players who had seen drops recently and were supposedly overpriced were all of a sudden good value again. 

You’d think some of these players will fall again after the bonus, in fact, if you look at Sancho as an example, he’s already down 20p from the immediate rise he saw after the bonus hitting and as ever we will likely see a dip follow the bonus and some people will forget about the thousands they’ve made over the last week and start moaning again but that’s the way the cookie crumbles!

It is a shame football index are no longer allowed to impose a playthrough on the bonus amount to stop people all pulling it out at the same time. Not only was it quite fun trying to get through it as quickly as possible but it meant commissions were generated and money that was going to be taken out of the platform was done so at a staggered rate because everyone completed their playthroughs at different times.

Right now the bonus looks great and plenty of people, including myself did very well from it. But the precedent it sets is still a bit worrying. This is because it continues to enforce a mentality that crying for a bonus works and that every time everyone isn’t making money, the platform will swoop in and bail them out, which is a dangerous expectation to be setting. 

Eventually, the platform is going to reach a maximum market cap level (I’m not suggesting we are anywhere near that now with more advertising, new territories, user growth etc still going strong) and when it does, trading is going to be more difficult. Not every player will go up all the time and there will be plenty more downturns in certain areas and if people can’t get used to that it’s not going to end well. 

Hopefully, this isn’t the case and football index either ween out these bonuses or at least make them less predictably timed and peer pressure based, but for now, enjoy the ride and the bonus! Onwards and upwards!


The mood can change quickly on FI.

After the recent bonus party, it’s easy to forget that in the few weeks before, many traders were a bit glum.

We saw some serious and sustained drops, mainly in players that had been floating well above any kind of rational value for some time. 

I pulled no punches on this on my blog back then. 

In the main these losses were foreseeable and avoidable and I don’t buy it when I see some traders blaming others or bad luck.

Many were wondering when this “downturn” would end. Maybe questioning their methods if they were smart. Or, complaining about “stupid traders selling x” or hoping for a bonus to bail them out if they weren’t. 

Hopes for a bonus were starting to fade and as I said in my blog post at the time, we shouldn’t really be assuming they will happen and rely on them for our trading.

These bonuses have papered over the cracks in some poor trading for a long time. The market is maturing and as traders we all have to keep getting better and adapting to today’s market if we want to stay profitable.

The bonuses are relatively less frequent than they used to be and I think FI are in general trying to ween traders off them as a way of artificially stimulating the market. Eventually, the market does have to be able to fly on it’s own and I think by now it is strong enough to do so.

So before the bonus I was cautious on it and generally happy even if there wasn’t one. I don’t think it should become normal for FI to step in and bail people out anytime people are complaining of avoidable losses and kicking up a social media storm, it’s not a good look for the product.

I think as long as these things come once or twice a season it’s manageable, although I think FI should be less predictable and offer them at times people won’t necessarily anticipate them. Otherwise everyone will just withdraw before the next birthday.

All that said, I’m hardly going to complain once it’s happened and I’m getting paid! The thoughts then just turn to how to make the best of it. I have a Guide on the bonus over on which was initially available to site members only and then a few days later was opened up to everyone.

There was huge initial rises as you might expect for players who currently enjoyed positive market sentiment. 

However, it’s notable that the players dropping in the weeks before were not always the first to benefit from the deposits coming in for the bonus. 

If sentiment was down for a player after a sustained drop, many were reluctant to go back into them. 

Instead, they targeted positive sentiment players, possibly high scorers or consistent recent winners. 

So, if you were already occupying this space, rather than the players who were weak and overpriced, not only did you avoid the losses in the weeks before, you also were already in position with strong, on trend players that people wanted when they were spending their bonus deposits.

This was an ideal position to be in as instead of plowing in behind others into players that already significant rises, you can take some profits, possibly deposit a bit of cash and then target some more unknown talent or buy up the players who have been dropping that actually have good quality but just haven’t hit form yet.

At time of writing, it's hard to judge how severe any pull back after the bonus period ends may be. Initial impression as of early morning Tuesday is that it does not seem too bad, and many of the falls were predictable (for the reasons outlined in my bonus guide). 

The market dip, as usual brought about fear, demands and panic throughout various facets of the community. 

It’s normal though, I guess - no one likes to lose money! 

The emotional numbness is something you only build with time. No one is going to start on football index, lose 10% in a week, and be completely fine with it (unless of course, you’re an avid trader/investor/bettor in other places). The more you block out what feels like a natural, emotional reaction - the better your response and decision making will be. 

If you buy a player at £1, and they drop to £0.90 for no obvious reason - does that make the bet any worse, if the fundamentals have stayed the same? It’s kind of like placing a bet at 8/1, and your cash out option being reduced because that bet is now trading at 10/1. Do you now have less confidence in that bet, just because the money in the market has shifted slightly? It’s an interesting way to look at things. 

Fear is your number 1 enemy as a trader. It clouds your judgment, it forces irrationality and it makes it hard to focus on your longer term strategy. Let’s say your thesis was that 23-27 year old dividend returning players at non top clubs, who could get a move in the summer. If all of them fell at once, your initial reaction is ‘my word, I was wrong!’ Were you wrong if that thesis was outperforming the market by 17%, and now it’s only outperforming it by 9%? Perspective flies out the window - and I think that’s the one thing to keep.

The dip we saw was minute, percentage wise especially. I actually had a very good September leading up to the bonus, so I guess I’ll have to use my perspective, and experience, from other market downturns. Those that I’m thinking of, were way worse than this. Way, way worse. And I think it’s worth saying at this point, that there will be bigger dips that what we just witnessed - in the future! Markets are never flat, there’s always something happening, whether it be down or up. Prepare yourself for them. Next time things are going amazingly well, seek humility and think about the last time you were doing badly. Make an effort to remember your good current performance, when you next have a slump.

A lot of people felt that FI ‘rescued the day’ with the deposit bonus, but in reality we would have been fine without it, eventually. The market didn’t ‘need’ one. Traders ‘wanted’ one, because they thought the only way out of the ‘slump’ was by some sort of bonus. The user growth in 2019 has been nothing short of phenomenal, and with a new website and app, order books, Euro2020 - I cant see 2020 being far off. The products potential is phenomenal, and I think a lot of people forget about that when there’s a downturn, or when they see some read. A deposit bonus is a short term fix. Confidence in the product overall, is correlated to how well the market does - and rightfully so.

One thing I will say about deposit bonuses though is that they’re a great way for Football Index to convert the casual or small investor, into a larger fish in the sea. Now that’s not to say that small portfolios and traders don’t matter, but if someone has more skin in the game - they’re more likely to convince friends to come on. That network effect is more powerfully amplified when someone has more skin in the game. Good luck to anyone that’s taken the plunge with their first big deposit, 

I hope you profit greatly!
Back to the futures - Buzzing Paul

After restarting the series with the highest score in the dataset. I thought I would continue with the highest score in the dataset without a goal or assist. At the same time, I hope to explain and demystify how important and powerful a large base score can be.

The Match

Hellas Verona v Napoli Saturday 22th November 2015

The Report

Mauricio Sarri’s men started the 2015 in sublime form. Napoli’s possession-based football, which later would be commonly known as Sarri-ball, was put into full effect and propelled Napoli to the top of Serie A.

Against Verona Napoli had to work hard. Quickfire second half goals from Insigne and Higuain sealed a victory, but Jorginho as became Sarri-ball lore, was at the heart of everything.

The Star Player

Jorginho’s score of 351 is the highest score I have recorded without a goal or assist in my 4 (ish) season database.

The majority of the points he scored were from the his passing output:

· 233/351 points were awarded for passes

o 182 Passes @ 1 = 182
o 13 Giveaway Passes @ -3 = -39
o 2 Accurate Through Ball @ 3 = 6
o 2 Accurate Long Ball @ 2 = 4
o 6 Crosses @ 3 = 18
o 2 Accurate Crosses @ 4 = 8
o 9 Key Passes @ 6 = 54

His defensive output has been consistently underrated by traders, and this performance was no exception

· He scored 85/ 351 points from the following metrics:

o 3 Tackles @ 3 = 9
o 3 Tackles Won @ 5 = 15
o 2 Fouls @ -5 = -10
o 17 Ball Recoveries @ 3 = 51
o 4 Interceptions @ 5 = 20

He rounded out his incredible base score with a splattering of attacking points
· 33/351 points were award for his Attacking output:

o 2 Shots @ 3 = 6
o 1 Shots on Target @ 5 = 5
o 1 Fouls Won @ 4 = 4
o 1 Win @ 18 = 18

Jorginho has been one of the most consistent matchday ranking scorers over the past 4 seasons. Whilst he may be significantly less valuable without Sarri, he appears to be first choice penalty taker. I for one will be monitoring market sentiment towards him very closely in the next few weeks.

If you have any feedback for me, I mostly hang out on #footballindex and @IndexGain Slack’s community. Find me on both @BuzzingPaul. Any suggestions for future performances are most welcome.

Ginger Pirlo's Short Term Game

Downturn, what downturn?

The world of FI Twitter can be many things. Helpful, annoying, interesting, a cesspool, the latest subject matter was this “downturn” many people were experiencing.

Apparently, player’s prices that people owned were going down. Have you heard anything like this before? Prices can go down? I am shocked. What is this a stock market based platform?

With this experience comes a reaction and true to form, FI twitter went negative. People moaning constantly about this, that or the other, thinking of selling up blah blah blah etc. I try to ignore these things, but it was everywhere and as far as OTT panic is concerned, this one took the biscuit.

Now, I love a good moan now and then, as some may know, but I like to think I still have some perspective within my expressive misery with whatever has happened to do my Ginger nut in. People have been experiencing some major growth and at the first sign of a bit of flattening out, you take to Twitter to express how outraged you are? Have a day off.

I myself, doing what I do, didn’t experience any downturn. I know of others who didn’t either. In the short-term game, I am holding players that I think will rise for upcoming fixtures (in the main) so unless these fixtures got cancelled, the downturn of the market wouldn’t really affect me.

This is part of the reason why I do what I do. I am not at the mercy of the entire market. Now, this can see me miss out on profits when the whole market grows but it also protects me from any 180-degree flips. This is the way I like it. I feel like I have more control of my money which suits me fine.

Some were speculating, me included, that part of the reason money was being took out or held back is in anticipation of an FI birthday deposit/net spend bonus. Some traders got worried as the 21st Sep ticked by with nothing. However, FI did what FI do best and picked a different random day this year to announce said bonus.

Happy days. This was welcomed with open arms and many traders ploughed their money in and the footie picked back up like a p p p penguin and is now back to health. I’ve personally never made so much on a bonus day and have a permanent grin on my face.

I’ll finish with just a bit of kind-hearted advice to folk, that if you spread negativity it can create more negativity. People reacting like the Footie has suffered a collapsed lung when it just has a bit of man-flu that will pass in a short amount of time, isn’t going to help anything.

But feel free to tell me to shove my advice up my a**e, you won’t be the first nor the last. :D

For those asking when my next episode of my blog is coming out, it’s out right now. Check out my twitter feed @GingerPirlo_FI to find Episode Two.

Research, Resources, Tools & Tips:

Audio Content:
  • FigCast Ep 101 : FIG is joined by the Football Index Management team and it's chock full of insights on the future of the platform!

Written Content

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