Wednesday 17 July 2024

A big gamble

 So I decided to pull the trigger. I sold all my 15,000 PLEX holding for 5,400,000 each, and threw that ISK into 158 skill extractors at 500,000,000 each. A part of me wonders if I pulled the trigger too soon as PLEX is currently selling for nearly 5.5 mil each. Still, I got in on the bottom price for skill extractors, the buy is currently sitting at 505mil with sells at 520. 

At current prices that means I'm currently about 1.5Bn up this afternoon. Doesn't sound like much for a move on that scale but every 10mil the price of extractors goes up is an extra 1.58Bn I can cash out for, which is pretty good. Especially since the skill extractor history looks like this:

Based on this if I hold these for 2 months or so I should be able to cash out for a healthy profit before another sale hits. Assuming CCP doesn't do any extra sales, which they might.

A tough month so far, an attempt at something else, and a sale

 This has been a tough month so far. When I came back from my holiday I had to relist everything in Tash-Murkon for a sensible price, which ended up being 10Bn below where it was when I first listed it all. Ouch. 

Then a week or so later I decided to do something I don't do much and update my Amarr traders sell orders to match the going rate. Deadspace modules seem to have dropped quite a bit across the board, and this exercise lead to another 10Bn markdown. 

A few days ago I was updating all my characters and somehow I was 3Bn down on the day before. This one baffled me. Non of my investments had moved significantly, and the money appeared to disappear from my Jita station trader. I searched for underpriced orders and misplaced assets but found nothing. Even JEveAssets showed the drop. No idea what happened but I must have messed up somewhere or lost something. 

All that is to say I'm currently only a few billion up on the start of the month, when there should be an extra 23Bn or so. Annoying, but that's life sometimes I guess.

PLEX and PLEX accessories

As part of my current obsession with thinking of ways to scale with ISK rather than just time/accounts, I've started looking at trading PLEX, Skill Extractors and Injectors. I've added some rough maths to my spreadsheet that gives me the break even for these items in the various stations/structures I trade in as well as some arbitrage between them. 

In particular interest here is PLEX itself. When you buy or accept a contract for PLEX, it goes straight in your PLEX vault, no matter where your character is. This means I could (and have) buy PLEX in Jita using a buy order, contract it to my null character and have it instantly teleport for sale in null where the margins are better. Completely risk free. I do have to be careful as the broker fees are worse in null, as is the volume traded, but it's something I'm doing on a small scale to see how viable it is.

Skill Extractor Sale

I've kept my trading in Skill Extractors quite light so as not to get caught too badly in the next sale, and it's now arrived. A 20% sale on skill extractors for PLEX in the NES. The price of skill extractors instantly dropped in Jita and PLEX has spiked a bit. Not too significant but I'm hoping I can take advantage.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

A missed opportunity and dealing with expiry

 So while I was away there was a brief sale in the NES that allowed you to get a years multi character training for free with a years PLEX. This made skill farming suddenly very profitable, and a number of people jumped on it. Alas, I was hundreds of miles from my PC so I missed out.

What I can take advantage of though is the effects of this on the market. As a lot of people bought PLEX to buy this deal the price of PLEX has spiked a bit. I was about to sell all my holdings for 5.4mil but it'd fallen back a little by the time I got online. I'll hold off and keep a close eye on this for now. I'd expect the price to fall back a bit as a lot of big spenders have made their PLEX purchases for a while so demand should drop a bit. If buys drop to 5mil or below I'll probably snap some more up and sell if it hits 5.4 again.

The other effects of this are on extractors/injectors. As more people are skill farming now the demand for extractors has skyrocketed, and the price has to boot. I don't want to pile in here as I'd expect CCP to drop a real money sale on extractors sooner than later to counteract the skyrocketing price, but I've put a buy order up for 10 to see if I can make a quick flip on them. 

Large skill injectors however I'd expect to steadily fall in price over the near/mid term at least. With that in mind I've sold mine off for 910 mil and will look to pick some more up when I feel it's bottoming out. Not a massive profit on those but better to cash in and put that capital elsewhere than hold for potentially months for a larger profit.

Order Expiry

So, I've been back in the game for a little over 3 months now. Part of my attempt not to burn out, and also because adjusting sell orders is costly, is that I tend to put up sell orders at sensible prices and leave them. This means that across my accounts today I've had a few items per character expiry and I've had to relist them. Next time I'll try to remember to adjust them with a few days to go as this is cheaper than relisting. There is one notable exception however, Tash-Murkon:

 Oh dear.
It actually worse than 46Bn but that's the in game valuation. Tash-murkon has been terrible since I rejoined, but I wonder if the market has simply changed in my absence. I almost contracted this all to my amarr seller for him to cash out with these items, but I think what I will do instead is take a leaf out of my sobaseki playbook. I'm going to relist these items and in addition I'm going to ship over some lower end items, modules, learning implants, rigs etc. and see if building a more well rounded market will attract customers. We will see.

Wednesday 26 June 2024

June Update

 This months update is a few days early as this is the last time I'll log on before we go on holiday for 10 days. Can't wait to get a bit of time off with the family! My current position:

My current worth is 907.7Bn ISK. This is an increase on the end of May of 28.9Bn ISK. Averaged out over 26 days that's 1.11Bn ISK/day. Slightly less than last month, and I suspect there's a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, there's always a bit of a lul in activity into summer as people go away on holiday and spend more time outside like I have. I've definitely noticed a drop in activity across the hubs. Secondly, I'm suffering a little from the effects of some of my gambles investments. A couple of days ago my net worth sat a couple of billion higher, but a slight drop in the hypercore price and a severe drop in golem police skins have hit my net worth as things stand. I'm still very confident both will recover, and some of my salvage materials and PLEX have increased in recent days, to the point I'm considering selling some when I get back to invest elsewhere.

Two things I'm very please about this month though. I've brought my ISK in wallets down to 40Bn from 94Bn the month before, which means I have less sitting around doing nothing for me. I've also kicked off a manufacturing run of a raitaru on my building character. This cost me about 540mil in materials, 15 mil in courier to where I build, about 15mil for the components construction, and 30mil for the build itself. All that comes to about 600mil, and raitarus are selling in Rens (4 jumps from where I build) for about 700mil atm. Not a massive earner but a start and something I'm definitely going to look to expand going forwards.

I have 4 accounts, with 11 characters dedicated to trading:

Rens Seller
117Bn in sell orders and revenue of just 27Bn. Disappointing, but I think that's going to be a theme.

Manufacturing character
I've kicked off a run! It won't complete until I'm actually away, but I'll sell it when I get back and kick off another run.

Amarr Seller
My biggest performer, he has sell orders of 167Bn and has made sales amounting to 46Bn ISK this month.

Hek Seller
Has 60Bn ISK in sell order and has made sales of 9Bn. Essentially half the size of my Rens business. Still on the list to give this one more love.

Dodixie Seller
Very similar in scale to my Rens business this. Currently 110Bn sell orders and income of 24Bn.

Nullsec station trader
Sits in Pandemic Horde's home system and station trades common items (ammo, filaments, minerals etc) and needs surprisingly little babysitting. Made 3.4Bn profit this month. Money is his own. This character is starting to see a build up in ISK in wallet, so I need to find more items to trade. I'm also starting to dabble in PLEX trading as the margins are good in null.

Jita Buyer
My main Jita buyer, and hold my investments and attempts to sell them. Continued to monitor markets here, and put some more money into PLEX and hypercores whilst selling off some other items for a profit. Given my lower revenues across the board this character and the investments have supplemented the profits a little, but can swing by several billion day to day. Need to keep the long term in mind with this one and keep refining my strategy.

Tash-Murkon Seller
A similar story to last month, just 3.9Bn in sales from 95Bn in sell orders. Dreadful. I need to get around to having another look at this one as it's simply not paying its way anymore.

Amarr station trader
Made 0.2Bn ISK profit this month with very little input. That doesn't feel right and has sales of 10Bn, but it is what my spreadsheet says. A bit of a mystery but I'll work on it.

Jita station trader
Acts as a buyer for my Amarr seller, and also does some station trading in Jita. Has made 4Bn in sales this month. Not a top performer but is vital as a buyer and has good standings (1.21% broker fee) so worth it even just to act as a buyer/seller for my investments. I'm also training this guy to run level 4 missions to improve my standings and therefore reduce broker fees further.

Sobaseki Seller
Ticking along nicely. Made 7Bn in sales this month, my only character with an increase versus last month. One to keep chipping away at and growing.

So looking at last months plans:
  • Maintain over 1Bn profit per day - tick
  • Try to come up with a better strategy for my tash-murkon - Failed, main focus next month
  • try and get at least 1 manufacturing run done - 1 run in progress! More to come.
In addition to the above, I need to update my orders more, as I think this has been a significant hit to my revenues even though I attribute some of the lack of progress to summer. If I can get tash-murkon turned around and update more often (once I'm back from holiday) I should be in for a better month, and the final push for the big T. 

I also need to properly consider what to do next when I hit my milestone. I have some ideas and a bit of time to formulate them but it's finally within sight.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

A failed contract and expansion moves

 The other day I had my first ever failed delivery contract, and it really underlined why contracting out your hauling is a good idea. 

I set up a hauling contract for 1.6Bn of goods to go from Jita to Hek, on public contract. I set collateral at 2Bn and the reward to 20mil (1% of the collateral value is my going rate and these are usually completed in a few hours). It's 19 jumps so just over 1 mil a jump. Pretty paltry but a lot of people enjoy that kind of play.

I then logged in a couple of hours later hoping to list those items to find the contract had failed. When I looked up the character who had accepted the contract on zKillboard I was surprised to find the kill there. Not only had this player accepted the contract on the character he intended to haul with (considered bad practice in the hauling community as it makes it obvious you're carrying something of value) but they had also taken their blockade runner through lowsec. Blockade runners in lowsec isn't the worst idea in the world, the window for someone to point you is actually very small if you activate cloak on the same tick your ship starts aligning, but still not something I'd do to save a few jumps. 

I'm not going to share the kill in order not to shame this person but they lost 2.4Bn (including ship and fittings) for a potential return of 20mil. Less than a 1% ROI. 

Now, in the past I have run a blockade runner around highsec several times with over 80Bn in the hold. This is phenomenally stupid as something like this could easily lead to being set back a couple of months progress. So I'm really glad I made the decision to start using public haulers. 

In this case, I pocketed the 2Bn, then immediately bought the same items to haul to Hek, with 400mil banked profit going forwards.

Equinox movements

So the equinox expansion released, along with a sale on PLEX. The new SKINR ship skinning technology requires PLEX to use and trade, driving the price up mid-long term but saw a short term dip in the price of PLEX. As such I snapped up 2000 more at just under 5 mil before the price jumped to nearly 5.3mil. I haven't banked this profit yet but it was definitely a timely time to get in. I funded this by cashing in my skill extractors for 545mil, when I'd bought them for 460mil. A very tidy profit.

I also pooled some money from across my characters and bought more hypercores, now at 389,000 each. This is a bit over-exposing me, but I'm still very confident they're going to go up at least another 20% in the mid to long term. Though it means I'm exposed to the tune of 170Bn ISK now, which is nearly 20% of my net worth. If CCP puts out another half price sale on them I'm screwed, but the payoffs are potentially enormous.

When is a Trillion not a Trillion?

So according to JEveAssets I'm a Trillionaire! Thanks for reading, bye bye!

However. By my accounting I have 901Bn. The reason for this is I take a 20% provision against my sell orders to account for how much I might have to drop them to liquidate quickly, and the fact that the profit isn't realised yet. I tend to look for about 20% profit margin so this seems like a reasonable number to consider. JEveAssets doesn't do this, just takes my sell orders as gospel, and says I have a total net worth of 1,006Bn. My sheet shows a provision of 114Bn ISK, so without that it'd be 1,105Bn ISK.

The likely reasoning for this discrepancy is my prices I take the current sell order value for my investments, which likely differs from how JEveAssets values inventory, but it's close enough.

Still, 100Bn left to go before I can consider one of my EVE bucket list items well and truly ticked. If you'd like to contribute to this by buying up hypercores to push the price up I'd be very appreciative.

Friday 31 May 2024

May Update

 A slightly more stable month this one. I kept my playtime pretty casual, in part so as not to go overboard and burn myself out, and also due tot eh launch of Cata Classic, which I'd be lying if I said I threw too much playtime into but definitely more than I would normally versus EVE. Still, my current position:

My current net worth is 878.8Bn ISK. That's an increase on April of 37.2Bn, which is a daily average of 1.2Bn ISK/day. On a day by day basis that's quite a bit less than last month, but the first month was always likely to look good as I found bits and pieces lying around and put things up after a long hiatus. I'm pretty happy with this month all things considered.

One major difference this month is that I put some serious cash into "swing trading", which I have also called "investments" previously. Essentially buying things in bulk hoping the price increases. One good item that was pointed out by Oz_Eve was that Hypercores were still a very low price after a half price sale. I bought in in 2 stages, once at 310,000 and again at 365,000 when they usually go for just over 500,000. If they hit that price again I stand to make about 43Bn. Given that there is a direct conversion of 10 hypercores for 1 PLEX in the NES store under normal circumstances, and PLEX is currently trading around 5.3mil, this means the "natural" price of hypercores should be about 530,00ISK. So barring extra sales this is about as safe a bet as it gets.

This all plays into an idea I'm exploring of how to scale my profits by ISK rather than by logged in time. It's an experiment, and by definition a gamble, but if it pays off it's something I can keep doing with minimal clicks (but I might need to start doing greater research, and be more up to date with patch notes).

I have 4 accounts, with 11 characters dedicated to trading:

Rens Seller
I've done less on this character this month and it shows. 103Bn in sell orders and revenue of just 35Bn. Something to improve next month.

Manufacturing character
Once again done almost nothing here. I have however checked in game that my manufacturing sheets are still accurate, and Raitarus are profitable even with public hauling contracts, so I'll get at least 1 run done this month.

Amarr Seller
My biggest performer, he has sell orders of 153Bn and has made sales amounting to 99.3Bn ISK this month. If I have a limited time to restock this is the character I go for, as it's such a consistent winner.

Hek Seller
Not a huge amount done on this one. Has 46Bn ISK in sell order and has made sales of 16Bn. Essentially half the size of my Rens business. Still on the list to give this one more love.

Dodixie Seller
Very similar in scale to my Rens business this. Currently 111Bn sell orders and income of 36Bn.

Nullsec station trader
Sits in Pandemic Horde's home system and station trades common items (ammo, filaments, minerals etc) and needs surprisingly little babysitting. Made 4Bn profit this month. Money is his own. I'm really pleased with the performance of this character and will look to giving him some more love going forwards.

Jita Buyer
My main Jita buyer, and hold my investments and attempts to sell them. Swithced up my items quite dramatically here this month. I managed to offload all the ships I was holding and swap it for Hypercores, skill extractors/injectors, salvage materials and SoCT ships handed out for capsuleer day. I've already seen some of these increase in value so I think this character could play a key part of my strategy going forwards.

Tash-Murkon Seller
A similar story to last month, just 3.9Bn in sales from 95Bn in sell orders. Dreadful. I need to get around to having another look at this one as it's simply not paying its way anymore.

Amarr station trader
Made 1.4Bn ISK profit this month with very little input. I think this one has real potential so I'm going to keep it going and see if I can give it some more love versus some of the better performers (such as the null trader).

Jita station trader
Acts as a buyer for my Amarr seller, and also does some station trading in Jita. Has made 12Bn in sales this month. Not a top performer but is vital as a buyer and has goo standings (1.21% broker fee) so worth it even just to act as a buyer/seller for my investments.

Sobaseki Seller
This one I have made progress on! I've gone back to my old quickbar for this character, in addition to some more common items to sell there. Mae 6.1Bn in sales versus virtually 0 last month. A little more effort and I think this character will be earning his keep.

So looking at last months plans:
  • Maintain over 1Bn profit per day - tick
  • Try to come up with a better strategy for my tash-murkon and sobaseki characters - Success for sobaseki, tash-murkon still needs work
  • try and get at least 1 manufacturing run done - Failed, but I have checked my sheets are valid.
I think I will keep to the same targets next month. I have family coming down for a few days so my playtime will be a bit less than usual, and I have a clearer idea of the state of play now, so investing more time in certain areas will be easier. Onwards and upwards!

Tuesday 14 May 2024

jEveAssets and swing trading

In an effort to improve the way I do things I've been investigating tooling. One tool that I've always been aware of but never used for reasons I'm unsure of is jEveAssets. It is a desktop application written in Java that pulls your characters info and provides a whole bunch of information on market prices over time, your assets etc. I wrote  a post about a month ago where I was talking about a tool that would collect my info and essentially fill in my spreadsheet for me. Well jEveAssets has a tab that essentially does just that:

The numbers here include stations and assets that I do not include in my spreadsheet, such as transport ships I used to haul my goods in and assets in stations that I do not use in trading (mission running/mining ships, rewards from career agents, stuff like that). These numbers also do not include the 20% provision I take against sell orders to account for potentially having to drop my sell order prices in order to make a sale. So even though this screen says I'm almost a trillionaire according to my accounting I'm 140Bn away.

There is also a tracker screen, which I've filtered by system:

With so few data points it is difficult to see much here, but over time this should provide a nice graph of my assets. I wish I'd started using this sooner.

As this has a lot of the functionality that I was looking for, and it is written in Java, I think it makes sense for me to fork this repo and make any changes to it myself rather than re-inventing the wheel. So I'll probably do that going forwards. I am really impressed with this though.

Swing Trading

I've been thinking about how to scale my trading with ISK rather than with time as my value increases. Up until now my profits have largely been driven by how many items I am able to buy in Jita and sell in other hubs. This is fine, and generates a reliable 1Bn or more a day, but I feel like I'm plateauing a bit. I'm not fully utilising all of my trade hubs again yet, largely relying on the big ones of Amarr, Dodixie, Rens and Hek. But adding more will really only scale linearly with the number of clicks I make, and will contribute to burnout which I am desperate to avoid. 

I have been consuming quite a bit of EVE trade media recently, in particular Oz_Eve's youtube channel: He has a lot of really useful insights on a range of trade topics, but he primarily does what he calls Swing Trading himself. This is where you buy items and wait for the price to swing upwards significantly before selling, rather than flipping instantly to get the margin to the current sell orders as profit. 

I have dabbled in this a little over the years. I have this listed on my spreadsheet under "investments". Which is essentially the same thing. However I am now putting a bit more thought and effort into this in the hope that this can drive greater profits going forwards for a not so massive time investment.

In terms of this I have every now and again invested in PLEX, on the general rule that "PLEX price always goes up long term" and before I took my break I also bought some battleships, freighters, jump freighters and capitals as there was a rework coming that should have pushed the price of those up significantly. For the capitals it did, but my other ships were approximately the same price as when I left. I could have held onto these in the hopes that prices will one day rise, but given that CCP have recently said they think battleships are too expensive and the industry changes coming in the next expansion I've decided to sell off as much of these as possible. I've liquidated most of the ships, but I still have a few to go.

On the flip side of that I caught in one of Oz's videos that Hypercores were still very depressed price wise from a sale a while ago. Sure enough when I checked they had a historic price of about 500,000ISK and were currently sitting at  about 310,000. I bought up 200,000 and the price has since started to rise again. At the time of writing sell orders in Jita are at 355,000, down a bit from about 385,000 at the weekend. If they return to their historic value I stand to profit by almost 40Bn, but I will probably sell slightly below that in order to bank the profit and reinvest it elsewhere.

I am going to look for more of these opportunities to subsidise my day to day activities, but I am excited at the potential to really scale my profits with ISK invested rather than simple with the number of orders I have outstanding