Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Interested in taking the next step in your trading strategy? Trying to find the best tools to help you increase profits?
We've compiled a shortlist of various trader-tools available, both premium and free, that can help take your portfolio to the next level in 2020. Note - the tools come in no particular order!
1. Index Gain | Free option available, premium £8.99/month
Index Gain is a multi-platform tool that enables users to both research new investments, discuss all things FI through the slack channel, and monitor their current portfolio using the MyIG tool.
Index Gain has a tonne of data in the form of PB history, media dividend winners, price vs returns, best and recent PB scores and more. Their most recent addition, MyIG, allows users to monitor the spreads of their investment and keep track of market movements in real time. Very popular and growing fast, you'll also likely enjoy their slack channel - which offers a very active bunch of thousands of traders all keen on FI talk. Buzzbot gives a heads-up on portfolio movement, whilst some 'commands' on their slack channel can spit out a great deal of information to give you almost all the data you need.
A great deal of information is available, though not intuitively accessible. The slack channel Buzzbot is handy, though not the best user interface you'll ever come across. New members will have to spend a good hour or two going through the tutorial videos and manually adding players to their portfolio before they get to grips with the platform. The video tutorials get the job done, but they're not all that engaging and definitely have scope to improve - no doubt they will in due course. To go premium and pay monthly, you'll also be paying one of the highest subscriptions in the FI marketplace at £9 a month. They also offer a discounted price for a semi-annual membership should you wish to save a little, but it's still not 'cheap' if you're only depositing a few quid here and there on FI.
Once you've found your way around Index Gain and uploaded players to your portfolio, you start to get a knack of what it's all about. It pretty much offers all the data and alerts you're after in its premium subscription. Exploring their data digs up some really useful information that is most often the crucial nuggets that traders were searching for. A poor user interface is off-putting, but Bishop and the team look as though they're doing all they can to ensure Index Gain users are getting the most out of their subscription - their new MyIG tool certainly is a step in the right direction.
2. Football Index Gurus | Free
We may as well get us out of the way early! Football Index Gurus offer tips, trends and talking points in the form of articles. We take data and trends from sources across this list of tools and format them into a well rounded, easy-to-read article for you to enjoy.
Freely available research from experienced FI traders is a time-saver. The articles take anywhere from 2-10 minutes to read, and offer both player insights and market insights to educate traders rather than simply 'tip' them. There are many articles posted each week, with current and up-to-date trends available. The explore page allows users to filter through categories and leagues, or search key terms to find articles. There are guides for beginners, and deep insights for experienced traders to consider within their trading strategy.
The research is obviously limited by time. The data is of course useful, but after a few weeks, the players value may have moved or the market trend may have changed. Therefore, historic articles become less useful as time goes on. There aren't many of us onboard here, so there's only so much we can write. Although out articles are unbiased, enriched with data rather than individual opinion, speculation is still included and must be considered when reading our articles - they're not bulletproof.
If you browse on commute, or are just a weekend reader, Football Index Gurus offer insights that are directly from premium tools, formatted and presented into an article that stimulates thoughts on whether a player or a strategy is a good idea. Entirely free, no sign up, come and go as you please. What is there not to enjoy for a keen FI trader?
3. Twitter | Free
Twitter doesn't need much of an introduction, though it'll surprise traders how many FI accounts are active over there. If you're serious about FI but not much of a social media user, you're missing out on a large community of traders all willing to share their views on FI and engage in discussion. On top of that, you've got all sports statisticians active over there outside of FI that offer good data to take into account.
The number of accounts active solely surrounding FI are in their hundreds, and growing by the week. If you want to discuss FI, get a second opinion on an investment, or question anything surrounding the platform, Twitter is probably the best place to get a quick response. You'll also find a few core accounts that offers a combination of their own research and opinions, including great data and arguments for or against a player. If you're new to FI, some of these experienced traders can really help you gauge what's what. It's completely free, and you can come and go as freely as you like.
The Pros can flip into negatives. There are a lot of accounts out there, some much better than others. Plenty of 'tipsters' pump bad players, in the hope of shifting their terrible investment off their hands. Then of course, the abuse. Secondary social media accounts provide a mask for cowards to hide behind and slate others. It's not entirely uncommon to see civil debate soon turn to an argument.
It takes just an email address to sign up. It's free. You can follow and engage as much or as little as you like, and come and go as you wish. You'll get free insights, you'll get some free data and a lot of opinion on there. If you find the right accounts, and account for each individual's bias, then you'll definitely feel twitter is of benefit to your trading strategy. Just be weary of the dodgy tipsters, pump and dumps, and the idiots that make themselves feel more important through bullying new traders.
4. Football Index Edge | Free option available, premium from £3.99/month
Football Index Edge is arguably a 'competitor' to Index Gain. It largely offers datasets and spreadsheets to help traders crunch numbers to fuel their investments. It's cheaper - though hasn't got the multi-platform accessibility that Index Gain offers via Slack Buzzbot. It also hasn't got the community that Index Gain offers, whilst overlapping the data is freely available elsewhere (see number 9 in the list!).
The free data offers a reasonable amount of information without having to pay a penny. You can track through basic historic matchday scores, previous dividend winners, media scores from the last month and make use of a basic fixture planner. Their premium tools offer far greater insight, using 'dashboards' to display player profiles, master stats tables and price analysis. They offer an alternative membership, 'spreadsheet member', where a weekly spreadsheet of 40 stats for every player on the index is circulated - allowing members to do their own research from one master database. They also offer downloadable data. The Free Trial gives you the opportunity to explore for 14 days, playing around with the spreadsheets or the dashboard. Their annual membership costs £39.99 to access the dashboards - that's good value for a proactive trader.
The free tools offer an insight, but there isn't that much to uncover that will help you find new investments, rather check the data on a specific player you had in mind. The one-month player dashboards give short-term insights, but when you go premium these can unlock a treasure chest of information that you'd wish FI would include on their own website. The community isn't as big as Index Gain's, so it's not quite so interactive. The weekly spreadsheets appear good value for a proactive trader who wants to do their own research from a spreadsheet, though the question begs if a trader is actively researching, why would they pay to uncover stats they could find elsewhere? It's a time saver, but perhaps not all traders mind the 'time' spent researching.
If you're not so concerned about portfolio tracking, and would rather use raw data to uncover potential new investments, Football Index Edge offers very competitive pricing for the data alone. If you want a greater community, a quicker way to check the data and the ability to monitor your portfolio movement then Index Gain offers this but for a higher price. There are free tools for the basics, and a 14 day free trial can't be sniffed at - no harm done in trying it out.
5. YouTube | Free
There are a handful of channels that offer good FI content, for both beginners and experienced traders. It's not an obvious trading tool, but the content is often high quality and there's a good community to interact with on the platform. The other obvious reason YouTube is a tool is because of the video analysis available over there.
If you want to get hold of video content, YouTube is an obvious source that is only truly rivalled by Instagram (IGTV, which is quiet in the FI realm). You can not only get trader tips, guides, market insights and discussions on YouTube, but you'll also find Football scouting videos that may help you get ahead of the curve. IPO's are a huge part of FI that is undergoing maintenance right now, but when new players are added in the future, it's always handy to know who they are before the rest of the market does.
Scrolling YouTube is a time killer, whilst it rarely offers concrete findings. It's good to get opinions and hear of what other traders are doing, but realistically that doesn't mean you learn how to make your next investment. Highlight reels are also dangerous - a good player in a small division isn't necessarily going to post great PB scores in the Premier League. Useful in moderation, but certainly not a tool that dictates investments alone.
Free, easy-to-digest content is always a bonus. There aren't that many channels to keep a tab on, and plenty of them offer educational insights rather than 'tips'. In moderation and combination with other tools, YouTube every now and again can give some useful information on FI related topics.
6. Indexpricealerts.com | Free
A basic tool to help monitor your portfolio and the market movement in real time, for free.
If you're after a free tool to track pricing, look no further. Index Price Alerts offer an unofficial free alert service to inform users of movements in a specific player - be it one on their watchlist or their portfolio. You can set alerts to give you a buzz at a desired interval or stimulus, so that you don't have to actively be tracking yourself.
It's primitive. For those familiar with old-school trading and stock markets, the interface probably feels familiar. But that doesn't mean it's intuitive for younger gamblers or new traders. It's very basic, it's manual input to get your portfolio uploaded, and it's not pretty.
It does what it says on the tin. If you just want price movement tracking, no frills, you've got a free tool right here. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not, and you don't lose anything in registering with them. Primitive, but handy.
7. Index Trak | From £2.50/month
Football Index Trak offers a budget tool to monitor your portfolio. Unlike other premium tools, it is not a tool used to filter raw data, rather it allows its users to upload their port and analyse its performance both in Market Value and dividend return.
If you're after a cheap portfolio tracking tool, this could be the option for you. The graphics on offer are elementary, but that adds to the ease of the product. You can view a host of simple charts that show the dividend breakdown of a player, your portfolio vs the market, and a wonderfully sobering statistic - your profit if you were to instant sell the lot. You can also track the dates you purchased, to help understand when the 30 day IPD is up and the 3 year hold is over. Adding comments to a player is an undervalued addition to the product, allowing you to set goals and list reasons or scenarios for trading.
It's a good tracking tool, but that's all that it offers. You can't obtain a mine of data that many other tools offer, and the graphs really are only useful if you're looking for simple visuals - you'll not learn anything radically new in using this tool. The user interface is also a bit clunky and not all that pretty.
Index Trak is a simple tracking tool that doesn't cost a lot, and you get what you pay for. Simple, convenient visuals that would be a nice addition to the Football Index website. Unfortunately, with the release of Index Gain's MyIG tool, Index Trak is now looking increasingly irrelevant, as many traders would like both a tracking system for their portfolio and a research tool to find new investments, all under one subscription.
8. Podcasts | Free
There are a few Podcasts out there which offer an array of content to suit different traders. Not a conventional 'tool', but certainly a way of better understanding the market, traders' views and the future of Football Index. We particularly like Football Index Weekly, hosted by John Nellis AKA @IrishFI.
There are a selection of diverse podcasts available, many of which have other channels such as twitter or YouTube. If you're trying to understand terminology, where the Index has been and how it's grown, the direction it's heading in, the views of other traders, then podcasts offer discussion unlike any other platform available. After all, investments are only as good for as long as other traders share the same view - understanding what other traders are thinking, saying and doing is as equally as important as understanding the player itself.
Podcasts are discussion lead, so naturally do not offer a concrete form of research like a spreadsheet. Each podcast will have a rough agenda, but flows around conversation that can digress at a tangent quite easily. You therefore have to listen to an hour podcast to perhaps take away one lesson - it's not all that 'quick'. If you don't like listening to podcasts, you're not going to learn anything as you'll likely 'zone out' from an episode in the car on your way back from work. On top of that, each podcast has a host with their own bias and agenda to run - each guest has their own bias and agenda. Be aware of opinions vs facts.
If you want to learn more about FI traders, podcasts offer fantastic insights into trading behaviours as well as discussions surrounding Football Index itself. Do your research on players elsewhere, but treat podcasts as a useful fix of FI content to better understand what traders are thinking and why.
9. Footy Index Scout | Free
Footy Index Scout is a multi-content website that offers a database, videos and blogs. They license data from Football Index, so offer PB history and dividend winners much like other premium tools, though it's out there free of charge.
FIS offers diverse content, from spreadsheets to videos, to help FI traders. Once registered for free, you can see a helpful timeline of upcoming days - whether they are media days, bronze etc. The database is full of key stats that significantly matter to most traders. The media history clearly shows the winners from the previous days and the score they received. You can search a player, discover their top 5 PB scores, their last 5 PB scores, their overall ranking, their fitness, how often they've placed in the top media ranking etc. It's a fantastic tool for free. Their blog dates back to 2017, so they've been around for quite sometime in providing traders with useful information on how to better trade on Football Index.
Once you've signed up for free, you can explore some really useful data that comes in very handy. Player profiles offer simple graphics, which although they're useful, are still a little limited in comparison to the data manipulation you can toy around with in Index Gain. The blog is outdated in many aspects, but there are still a few articles posted each month to enjoy. The interface is somewhat basic, but it's a database so there aren't many ways to make it more attractive to use. There is also no tracking tool, unlike in Index Gain.
If you're happy to signup with an email, free of charge, you won't be disappointed with FIS. It's not the prettiest, not the trendiest, but definitely one of the best tools for an FI trader without having to pay. The database is plenty big enough, updated daily, and the profiles offer an easier way to view the numbers than Index Gain. If you want data for free, without having to read from a spreadsheet, this is the tool for you.
10. Football Index Academy | Free
It's worrying how many traders we've come across that pay for premium tools yet don't understand the fundamentals of the platform. Football Index academy is probably the most important tool for a new trader. We even referred to it as the most important tip to a new FI trader in our Top 10 tips. It offers all the rules, basic explanations, insights and tutorials as to how the index works.
It's an add-on to FI. No opinion or agenda - purely educational. Every trader needs to understand the rules, and the academy offers all you need to know to get the fundamentals in place. There's also a forum on FI that's worth checking out to discuss different elements of the platform with other traders, though it's future is currently uncertain. All new updates in the platform are explained in the academy when necessary.
You won't find PB history, player analyses or any in depth research. This is just to understand the basics.
Unless you've understood every element discussed in FI academy, it's wasted searching for other tools to help your portfolio. The academy offers every basic principle, easily digestible, and takes just an hour or so to get to grips with for a beginner. Be sure to revisit it - we still do as experienced traders.
Each trader will have their preferred tools to use, though diversifying is recommended to ensure you're learning a host of market insights, player analyses and forming an understanding of the future direction of FI. Be sure to trial various tools before you decide which will become your go-to!
We'll soon be releasing our favourite stats providers specifically for match statistics - non FI specific - in a different article so stay tuned.
Finally, Facebook's Football Index Trader Group offers a fantastic platform to learn from other traders, whilst many content creators such as ourselves are regulars over there. You'll get a good bunch of traders willing to discuss and help each other, whilst there are also offers from collaborating partners to make use of.