COINS is the only student-run commodities trading group in the U.S., managing a portfolio of $1,000,000! By investing real money and participating in real trading, a student member develops technical expertise and a wider range of soft skills in commodity market analysis and investing. COINS helps its members to find a career in the field of their interest. Currently, we have 80% internship placement and 100% job placement for our members.
COINS team meets twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday, for trading and training seminar.
COINS was formed in 2012 by four students and two faculty advisors with initial investment of $250,000 from Virginia Tech Foundation. We started by investing in four commodities: corn, soybeans, wheat, and livestock. By 2019 COINS grew to 30-40 students, two faculty advisors, and had a broader scope of commodities to trade. Today, our investment portfolio is divided into three sections: Agriculture, Energy, and Metals.
New member training, conducted by current members, starts in early November shortly after admittance offers are extended. The topics for new member training include the basics of futures/options/ETFs/ETNs, types of market orders available through our broker, technical analysis, fundamental analysis for agriculture, energy and metal markets, macroeconomic factors and their implications for commodity markets, as well as the group’s policies and procedures. Upon completion of this training, the executive committee administers an entrance exam. Students who have successfully passed the entrance exam become junior commodity analysts of COINS. They are assigned to a specific commodity based on their personal interests and the current needs of the group. Every junior analyst is paired with a senior analyst mentor for their first semester with COINS. These mentors help junior members analyse and propose new trades and are ultimately responsible for these trades.