LAST week I made my first steps in to the world of FootballIndex.co.uk, a psuedo-stock exchange where you can buy and sell shares in the performance of footballers, while picking up dividends for the best peformers, and I have to say, it's all going to plan. So far.
I initially tried to piece together my Football Index Dream Team and a week on and I'm my portfolio is already showing a 2.93% profit – plus I picked up a small dividend – not bad.
Only two players haven't increased in value since I bought them; Alfredo Morelos and Lionel Messi – who'd have thought it?
A near three percent profit is a pretty solid start but I want more, who doesn't? So I asked Football Index veteran and regular on the site, Craigyboy, the secrets of his success on the trading platform and he was only to happy to share some valuable insights and advice for people like me who are just starting out.
How often do you log on and play / check your Football Index portfolio?
Several times a day.
What budget did you start your portfolio with?
Just checked – started with a £50 deposit back in March 2017.
Who were the first players you bought on Football Index? And why?
Kylian Mbappe is the first player I brought shares in after being mesmerised by him in that Monaco side. I still hold shares in him to this day.
Other initial purchases on that first day (which I can't remember buying) included Bernardo Silva, Mario Mandzukic, Renato Sanchez, Jack Butland, James Ward-Prowse, Dries Mertens, Tammy Abraham, Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele and Youri Tielemans.
How do you decide when it's a good time to buy players?
There's no right or wrong answer here. The only bit of advice I would give is trust your judgement and try not to follow the crowd.
It's always good to assess whether players are on the rise or the dip. If a player has jumped up 50p a share in one day, the chances are there will be a sell off the next day, so try to avoid buying when a players price has risen.
There are exceptions to this – such as transfer rumours or potential international call-ups.
How do you decide it's a good time to sell players?
The best time to sell is when your players in favour and being invested in. If your player goes into a minus, trust your judgement.
Nine times out of ten they rise again and your opportunity to sell at a profit comes back round.
Try to avoid using the instant sell button. Whilst this will instantly get rid of your shares and give you instant cash you're better off putting your shares for sale on the market.
How different does your portfolio look now compared to when you started?
I seem to recall a much smaller pool of players when I first started so there is more of an opportunity to invest in lesser known players which is great if you've discovered the next Messi playing in the Dutch league.
Have you earned many dividends? If so, from which players and why?
I've earned £70.60 off Mbappe – my highest dividend earner of all time in my current portfolio, even though he's often slated for being a poor dividend returner.
My biggest weakness on the Index is not identifying dividend earners.
How much profit have you made on Football Index since you signed up?
My current portfolio is 81.99% in profit but Football Index sends out regular e-mails to keep you updated on your all time trading profit.
How good has the support been, if you've used it?
The few occasions I've needed support, they've always been good.
What's the best piece of advice you'd give to someone starting out?
Start off small. Learn how the markets work for a month.
A lot of experienced traders will tell you to have a balanced portfolio. Regular dividend winners, players loved by the media, young players with potential etc.
My biggest piece of advice is do your own research, don't listen to others (people will pump bad trades in an attempt to make money) and don't buy players on a whim.
Oh, and be patient! I held shares in Julian Brandt for ages. He never creeped over £2 a share. I made a decision to offload him (not long ago). Don't get me wrong, I doubled my money on him so it wasn't a bad trade. Less than a week after getting rid of him he rose past the £2 mark. He's now worth £2.89.
What would you do differently, if you were to start again on Football Index?
In the early days there used to be mass sell offs as people were worried the market was going bump. Inevitably it always recovered and with that many investors involved now, any drop outs or bumps in the market are rarely felt.
Anything else you'd add about your experience on Football Index?
I had to withdraw early on to assist with a deposit for a house. It helped me save and at current rate offers a much better level of interest than a savings account. Whilst I would encourage people to utilise Football Index as it's been fantastic for me I'd also urge caution and advise you not to use it as your sole savings account.
So there you have it, the inside track on Football Index from someone who's made some money playing the market. A huge thanks to Craigyboy for sharing his experiences with us!
If you fancy giving it a try click the button below to open your account, then let us know how you get on in the comments section below.