By LAURIE KIEFABER
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — With today's volatile markets, all farmers should be hedging their commodities – that's according to Lannie Cohen, president of Capitol Commodity Hedging Services, Inc., who will be speaking at 2 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo.
“The markets are becoming world markets with tariffs, exports and (President Donald) Trump," Cohen said. "We've seen some unprecedented moves ... and they're not necessarily in (the investors') favor. It's even more important than ever to hedge prices."
Traditionally, people will use futures contracts to hedge and lock in prices on corn at, say, $4 per bushel. "(The season) turns into a drought and it goes to $4, then $4.50 and $5 ... It's too much (to worry about). I will give (my hedging strategy) to them straight," he said.
"I've got the trigger points as to when to start it and when to get out. It's very simple; it takes all the guesswork out of hedging."
Cohen graduated from Indiana University and began his career at Merrill Lynch in Indianapolis. "One of my clients introduced me to commodities and I was hooked," he noted.
He started Capitol Commodity in 1983 and since then he's helped producers in many industries, including copper, cotton, grains, livestock – "You name it.
"I probably have 50 to 100 clients," he said. "Some come in and out, but some are very consistent. The smart ones (work with me) every year."
While Cohen's strategy itself is simple, there are details he helps clients with, as well as technology, research and tools "to make every trade count," according to the company’s website. At the Indianapolis office, there are three people working, and he also has an office in Chicago with a full staff, order desk and support system.
Cohen has been occupied with farmers the longest of all his clients, but that's not to say his job isn't a challenge: "Farmers are born bullish. They think corn will go back to $7 a bushel and they still won't sell! ... It's their mentality because they take a lot of risk every year.
"I enjoy helping producers," he added. "Bottom line is, their livelihood is at stake and I'm trying to help them preserve it. My hedging presentation will enable them to protect prices every year for their crops."
The entrepreneur also prides himself on service to all futures traders: "Call us and you'll discover why we've earned a reputation as the brokerage firm that cares.”
Cohen will be speaking in the seminar area on the west side of the West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. He can be reached at 800-876-8050 for services and is available for other venues. To visit the company online, go to www.ccstrade.com