Brazil gets the party started - now you can join in and win

We’re just a few days away from the biggest football tournament in the world, and FTAdviser has teamed up with Threadneedle Investments to give you the chance to pick a fantasy football team to win big this summer.

Our world cup fantasy football game offers you the chance to prove you are the best football manager in the adviser community, with a top prize of £1,000 of electrical goods vouchers on offer for first place. A further £500 can be won for second place and £250 for third.

Beyond this, you can set up your own mini-league to compete among colleagues for the ultimate prize: bragging rights.

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So how does it work...

When you’re building the perfect investment portfolio for your clients, it’s all about finding a style that will net them the best returns. Perhaps your persuasion is quality – the Buffetological search for the best companies at a good price. Or maybe you’re a contrarian, willing to bet on the unloved with the expectation of a lucrative return.

Making these investment choices is not all that dissimilar to building a football team. If Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini were a fund manager, he’d be happy to fill his portfolio with growth stocks, willing to pay a high price for an even higher return. Tony Pulis would undoubtedly be a value investor – knowing how to build a winning team with minimum cost.

To help you along the way, FTAdviser is running through the principles of being a savvy investor, showing where the contrarian picks and quality players lie among the hundreds of international stars fighting it out in Brazil this summer. Game on.

Going for growth

Let’s start with the big guns. Growth investors, as you astute advisers know all too well, aren’t fazed by a big P/E ratio or a frothy valuation. They’re content to pay a high premium for a high reward. When Apple was rocking a P/E ratio of 23 in 2008, a growth investor would not have been deterred, and would have enjoyed a 400% return in the subsequent five years.

And there are stacks of players vying for glory in South America that will cost you the earth in return for a lucrative performance but, with only 100 stars in your selection kitty to spend, which will you pick? The most expensive goalkeeper will set you back eight stars, a defender nine, while top midfielders cost 13 stars and the best strikers set you back 15 stars. Trying to fill a 4-4-2 with la crème de la crème would see you busting your limits before you’d finished building your midfield line-up. The top money will be best spent on defences that are unlikely to concede, one or two goalscoring midfielders and sublime strikers guaranteed to hit the net.

Looking to Spain would be sensible – La Roja conceded just three times on the road to Brazil. Iker Casillas will set you back the maximum in goal, while Sergio Ramos costs 8.5 stars. Meanwhile, spending on some German steel may also pay big - Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and teammate Philipp Lahm are also valued at the very top.