Speculation is just what it seems to be gambling that an item will go up in price and investing before everyone else knows. This tends to happen before the expansions go live. It is difficult to find what is going to be valuable before everyone else, and it requires lots of time spend going through patch notes and playing on the test server. With all things that a player can find out about an expansion there is nothing that is set in stone, if there is a patch note saying half of asteroid fields will be removed investing in minerals seems logical and profitable assuming something else was not added in. However come patch day there is no guarantee that the developers will remove the asteroids and therefore you are always gambling when it comes to speculation.
It is possible to make money when you don’t find out what is going to rise in price. Though you need to be careful this is eve-online and you shouldn’t take someone’s word that they saw this or heard that. Assuming there is going to be a price rise on goods there are conditions to jumping on the band wagon.
- If there is a substantial jump in price before you have time to invest then do NOT invest. The speculation market usually acts months before the patch is implemented which means that prices will jump when people speculate and fall when the supplies flood the market because the supply has not been affected yet. Once the prices start to equalize closer to the original cost of the item that would be a good time to invest. Note that the prices might not return to the original cost, but instead might only cost 20% more instead of 200% more. This tends to be the month of the patch and sometimes after the patch (see 2).
- Sometimes after a patch the items crash in price even though the change should increase demand or reduce supply. This has a simple explanation; players panic when they don’t see what they expect so they sell for a small profit or break even and once that starts it will continue violently. However long term it does not mean anything. Most speculation is a long term investment as it would take months to see real profit from investments. This can be a great time to invest as prices fall investors can pick it up cheaper than the initial flood and still come away with a huge profit in a few months.
So to recap in speculation there is generally an up and down movement on the price of an item, if you invest when that item has already doubled in price you will most likely lose money, because it will fall and rise usually 2-3 times before the patch even takes effect. Theoretically a good trader can take advantage of each rise and fall of the stock to make short term profit.
I have been asked several times to identify what a particular item could be worth in the future after a patch and there is no answer to that. Items are worth what a player is willing to pay, and in some cases there is data available to players to estimate the rise in demand or supply to calculate a value. This is pure speculation there is no easy way to make money, but it should be noted that using reason anyone can make money with every single expansion. That does not mean an investor can double their investment each time, sometimes they will, sometimes they might only make a few percent profit, but as long as the investor watches the market they are able to reduce the risk of loss and maximize profit.
Above is the example of Inferno and Isogen price change. I had initially predicted Isogen to settle around 150isk a unit, but while it surpassed that, it settled slightly lower. I was able to make a rough prediction by doing research and finding that Most Isogen (around 60%)was created by drones or refined loot, both of which were removed for this patch, while the information was old I assumed that some of it was remotely true and just figured the supply would be 2/3 less than normal, hence 150isk a unit. I apologize for not having a better timeline for the initial price change when players found out about the changes, but I can assure you Isogen started at 60 isk a unit, and held around 90 isk a unit leading up to patch day, the picture explains the rest.
Remember that speculation is risky and you should think long term because there are many opportunities to make money even after players have speculated.
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