COINS was formed in the Fall of 2012 after Virginia Tech alumnus Bruce Holland and his wife, Debbie, reached out to the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics to create an opportunity for students to learn first-hand about commodity markets. The Hollands made a substantial donation and formed a partnership with both the department and the Virginia Tech Foundation to establish the COINS program. Initially the group had just four students and two faculty advisors, investing in four commodities: corn, soybeans, wheat, and livestock. Since our start, the group has seen much success, growing in membership size, increasing its diversity on campus, and expanding its portfolio. Today, COINS has 30+ students, 3 faculty advisors, 15+ commodities, a quantitative research division, and a portfolio with more than $1 million AUM.
Our commitment to diversity also sets us apart from other organizations; we value different perspectives and voices, and are intentionally open to all majors, with more than 15 currently represented in COINS. Unique for an investing group, COINS boasts a large amount of mathematics, engineers, and other STEM majors. This had led to members of the group placing in all kinds of industries ranging from hedge funds, commodity trading, sales & trading, and wealth management to software engineering.