Students Rise to Meet the CME Commodity Trading Challenge

May 2013

Think fast. Act fast. Know when to exit. Two Farmer School students got a taste for what it's really like to trade futures by participating in the four-week CME Group Commodity Trading Challenge.

Farmer School senior Hao Wei, right in the photo, (accountancy & finance) and junior Zhengyang Xi, left in the photo, (mathematics & statistics) joined forces to participate in the tough electronic trading competition. The 2013 CME Challenge took place in a simulated environment with a total of 330 teams from all over the world trading in crude oil, gold, and corn futures. Only the top 10% of the teams advanced to the coveted championship round, which included a trip to the Chicago Board of Trade.

The duo did more than survive the first round. Wei and Xi placed third out of the 330 teams and went on to rank 21 out of a total of 32 teams at the championship level.

"The success of Wei and Xi in the highly competitive CME Group Commodity Trading Challenge is an honor for them as well as for Miami University, the Farmer School of Business, and the entire Miami family," said Associate Finance Professor David Shull. "Their initiative to seek a challenging competitive arena in which to apply their financial knowledge speaks volumes regarding both the content of their character and the personal effort that over time gave them the ability to meet this challenge."

"It was a good experience for me to know about the futures market because the trading is real time, not delayed." said Xi. "Trading is what I like and after visiting the Chicago Board of Trade and knowing more people from all over the world who are in the final round, it made me feel like I would like to spend more time in it, because I love it."

The intensity of the trading floor impressed Wei: "You have to be very aggressive, very loud, a fast thinker. You have to react to the price movement very fast, because the next second the price has changed, you have to react. It's really about a psychological aspect, about staying disciplined, because when you make money, you want to make more but you never know when to exit. That's the very hard part of the trading process."