As the Index made another another positive modification earlier this week, I decided to reflect on how the market has evolved into the prosperous trading platform that it is today. In its short life, the Index has grown fantastically whilst adapting to what users want, resulting in the Footie worth over nine times the 1,000 points in originally started with. Those of you who have joined the platform more recently may be surprised to know how many of the features that are now taken as a given weren’t originally part of the platform.
If I cast my mind back to when I first started monitoring the index in January 2016, the index looked something along the lines of the image below. The first thing that should hit you is the fact there is only a buy button. This is because, during the Index’s early days, there was no instant sell function. If you wanted to sell a player you had to wait for him to be bought from you, which looking back sounds ludicrous and often resulted in low demand players being up for sale for long periods, making liquid capital a difficult thing to come by, as well as injuries or suspensions crippling profit with a user having no option other than to wait for a buyer.
Users quickly began frustrated with this and the index quickly introduced an instant sell feature which was determined by demand for that player, which was great, except for the fact that the instant sell price, although it included commission, was hugely discounted on many players, as shown below with an instantly sold Neymar resulting in just a 35% return on the players price being deemed normal at this time. Once again traders were unhappy, but credit where credit is due, the percentage was quickly adjusted within a couple of days to offer a fairer price.
Jump forward a few months to June 2016, and after a time of steady growth on the index with Neymar sitting top of the index at £6.21 and the dead weight of the Index slumped at around the one pound mark (the same price as IPO’s at that time), it was announced that a four-way share split would take place, quadrupling all currently owned share quantities and dropping the media dividend from 20p to 5p per share. This was a very popular change with traders and the day of the share split saw record increases across the board, with the top of the market being up over £2 (£8 pre-share split) within just a few days of the change.
After that point, the Index remained relatively unchanged in terms of features, with some updates being added to the interface of the website and app but no radical rule changes were made for a long time. Not because FI had run out of ideas but in fact because they spent a very long time preparing and considering the changes we are seeing happen today. Performance buzz and making squad players buyable has been in the pipeline for some time, but time was taken to ensure the new adaptions could be tried, tested and tailored to what traders wanted in order to get the expansion right, this even included Q & A’s with CEO Adam Cole and opinion polls on Twitter as well as Questionnaires being sent out by email.
Performance Buzz has been welcomed by many traders, especially with the increase in potential dividends from last season’s 5p per share, it was initially introduced with all players being able to win performance buzz and if they weren’t in the top 200 then no dividend was paid for that position, however after a large amount of negative feedback, It was then changed to just the top200 being able to win until the introduction of all purchasable squad players. Showing once again that the Index does listen to feedback and is attempting to create a platform that fits the needs of its users. This change added relative value to all of the Index rather than just those at the top and resulted in many players who were previously rendered useless, like defenders and foreign players, gaining huge masses of value.
Purchasable squad players is arguably the biggest alteration the Index has ever undergone with the pool of purchasable players expanding hugely, however it has been prepared in a way to offer minimal disruption and maximum effectiveness, with players being introduced at varying and representative prices, rather than extremely discounted in order to stop capital shifts and huge price drops in peoples current investments as well as current performance dividends being doubled to compensate for the now more competitive dividend rewards.
I didn’t decide to produce this article just to provide a history lesson though, the idea is to demonstrate the changes that the Index has not only endured but prospered from. Whilst it is inevitable to have uncertainties at this time, it is important to not panic and start making dramatic irrational decisions. Many traders that joined over the last few months may be sick of the goal posts moving, which to some extent is understandable, however, this is expected to be the last major change that will be made to the platform for the foreseeable future and should stand it in good stead to continue to grow. It’s also worth noting that we haven’t seen a dip in the overall value of the players on the Index, represented by an average price, in over a year come the end of the month, showing that on the occasions of market crashes that are further amplified by panic selling, the money has always been reinvested in the market and the market has recovered which should help calm any pre-IPO nerves. Additionally, the index’s extensive advertising campaign continues to draw in new users and subsequently, more capital and frequent incentives from the Index like deposit bonuses will continue to add value to current market prices meaning there is plenty of profit to still be made from trading on the platform post- November 1st. inevitably, different individuals will decide to prepare their portfolios and risk manage differently for the situation but overall, the opportunities for profit will only increase from this new component of the Index and traders should be excited by it!