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Posted on 21 January 2017

With the huge numbers of new investors signing up to the Index, we thought it would useful to give those first starting out on building their portfolios a few helpful tips and advice. We're going to be taking a look at how the buzz works and which players are good examples of smart buzz buys. We'll also discuss player trading, when to buy, when to sell and things to keep in mind regarding your potential profit.

Let's begin with the buzz system to look at how buzz points are accumulated and how that determines the daily winner.

The Football Index trawls various online news sources to pick out every story and article that has been written about any players currently on the main squad list. Depending on a number of factors that are mostly kept secret by Football Index, points are then awarded per story. These vary from 20 points up to around 240. The general rule of thumb is that positive articles should generate higher points, but that isn't always the case.

One thing to keep in mind here is that a players full name must be included in the main headline for the article to be tagged on the Index. This has caused a few problems in the past, for instance Chelsea's Pedro, who until recently was listed on the Index as Pedro Rodriguez. Naturally, hardly any articles referenced him by his full name and thus missed out on a lot of potential buzz points. The difference that this makes is highlighted by the dramatic increase in Pedro's price after his name was corrected.

At midnight each night, the player with the most points is awarded the daily buzz win. For this, investors are awarded with 5 pence per future held. So for example, holding 100 futures in the winner would give you a buzz dividend payout of £5 which soon starts to mount up if you've got regular buzz winners in your portfolio.

Naturally, there are certain players who tend to find themselves near the top of the buzz list pretty often and those are the players who you will want to pick up. They will usually come with a premium price of course, not least king of the Index himself, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. But considering the still healthy return on your investment compared to other forms of investing, you really should be looking to have a core of buzz boys in your portfolio. 

Some points worth keeping in mind when choosing who to invest in as your buzz potential players. Historically, it has been Manchester United players who have ruled the roost. Ibra, Rooney and Pogba alone have around 100 buzz wins between them. Add in players like Rashford and Mkhitaryan and it makes United players a very sensible purchase.

Players who the media seem to enjoy focussing on - for good or bad reasons - are also ones to pick up. Jack Wilshere is a great example of an English player with a big personality who has a handy knack of getting themselves into the news.  Finally, more often than not you will find that it's the attacking style of players who most feature in and around the buzz. Just like in the real game, goalkeepers and defenders are usually overlooked when it comes to getting glory and buzz points.

Ok, now that we have the buzz covered, let's take a look trading. Here are some key points to keep in mind.

Each player has their current value and instant sell price listed alongside their name. You'll notice that in general the higher value the player to buy, there is a larger margin between the purchase and instant sell prices.

For every 'x' amount of futures issued to the market it will increases the player's price by 1-2p. This only happens on new futures issued, and thus buying them from another investor shouldn't alter the price.

When it comes to selling your players, you have two options. Instant sell and selling to the market. Instant sell is fairly self explanatory in that the price shown next to the player is the exact price you will receive when selling. This is a great option on any lower priced players where the difference in market value and instant sell is marginal, maybe even just a penny or two. However on higher price and in-demand players, selling to the market may be the way to go. Doing this sees you join a sale queue with the player listed at his current market value. As other investors buy, you move up the queue until eventually yours are sold.

Be aware though that the price you initially list at, may not be the price you end up selling for. If there are lot of sellers in front, there is a chance the value may decrease significantly. If people instant sell or list after you, this will also cause the market price to reduce. Also, if you change your mind at any point and remove your players from the sell list, you will lose your place in the queue.

You can set reserve prices for your players, which is always worth doing just to protect yourself a little. But keep in mind that if the player drops in value below your reserve price, the sale is automatically cancelled and your futures are returned back into your portfolio.

Whichever method you choose to go when selling, all sales are subject to a 2% commission fee. So for ever one pound you sell a player for, 2p will be taken away as commission by the Index. Always keep this in mind when selling as it's easy to forget when seeing your current profit shown excluding the commission.

When it comes to buying players to trade on the Index, our main advice would be to keep an eye on as many breaking news and rumour websites as possible. Twitter is of course a great option as you often see transfer rumours and news popping up before the mainstream news sources catch up. 

There are numerous reasons why a player will increase in value from being in good form, a big transfer rumour, a new contract or even personal milestones or events. Again, you will want to focus on players who are linked to big clubs or those who are already playing for them as these will naturally generate the most headlines for potential buzz wins.

A great current example of this is Arsenal's Olivier Giroud. For a long time he was lurking in the middle of the index at around 60p. Injury and lack of form resulted in him being out of the picture at Arsenal. However, it was only a matter of time before he forced his way back into the side and since then has seen tremendous growth due to his fine form and popularity in the media.

It's obvious to say, but you want to pick up players as cheaply as possible. Sometimes you just need to accept paying a premium price for a buzz winner, but be careful when chasing players who have jumped up quickly on the trending list and risk dropping just as fast.

Another great tip to use in finding those bargains is to compare players to similar standard players in similar teams. If one player is priced at 2.20 and a similar quality player performing well for a top team is priced at 1.20, then it's well worth considering taking the chance on a similar growth spurt. Especially as new investors will look at the market and lean towards the cheaper players to give their portfolios a boost.

So when do you decide to sell a player and take the profit? This is the tricky part! We tend to look at a few factors when deciding to cash in on a player. One of the first questions we ask ourselves is if the player's profit far outweighs any potential buzz returns over the foreseeable future. Using knowledge of how many times a player has won the buzz over the past 12 months, we can use this to decide if taking the profit is a better option. For instance, a player like Harry Kane who is highly valued, but for whatever reason doesn't pick up that many buzz wins. Let's say we own 100 of him. if he is expected to only win the buzz say 6 times over the next 12 months that would give us a potential £30. But if his profit has shot up and is offering us £60, we would suggest taking the profit. There's every chance his price may fall in that time and there is no guarantee he will win 12 buzzes to cover it.

Another reason to sell is if a player has recently signed a new contract. He will probably have had his buzz win and seen a healthy price rise. After this, there is likely to be a large downturn in his buzz points as the news sources focus their attention elsewhere and thus his overall value becomes less appealing.

Similarly with transfer news and rumours. If it becomes clear a player won't be joining another club then it's time to think about selling.

So there we go, hopefully this guide has been helpful and has given you the confidence to go out on to the index to start investing in players.


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