James Cordier is a lifelong commodity investor, futures and options trader, author, entrepreneur, and public speaker. James wrote The Complete Guide to Option Selling, which was first published by McGraw Hill in 2004 and is currently in its third edition. James founded the commodity brokerage firm, Liberty Trading Group, and ran OptionSellers.com until its closure in 2018. James and his wife, Krista, live in Florida while also maintaining a home in Chicago. They live a healthy lifestyle with hobbies including fitness, travel, boating, reading, enjoying fine wine and dining, and doting on their dog, Abigail.
James began speculating on commodities as a child, using income from his paper route to buy silver coins and bullion. He quickly learned to use charting methods and technical indicators to forecast the market and influence the timing of his silver purchases. A few years later, as a teenager, he sold that collection for what seemed at the time to be a small fortune, cementing his desire to be a professional investor.
As a young commodity broker in the 1980’s, James applied similar technical trading strategies to commodity futures markets. Over time, he refined his approach to investing by focusing on the fundamental drivers of commodity markets, such as economics, agriculture, international trade, fossil fuel production, and meteorology. By cultivating a deep understanding of both fundamental and technical data, James was able to better serve his clients and began to make a name for himself in the investment industry.
In 1990, James was hired by Allendale, a respected Illinois-based commodity brokerage firm, and tasked with running their Milwaukee office. During this time, he continued to explore new research and trading techniques, and developed a penchant for sharing his research with a select group of colleagues. James collected data from a wide range of sources and combined it with his own analysis in one easy to read document, which they called The Cordier Commodity Report. This was purely an extracurricular passion project. At the time, commodity traders looking for thoughtful market analysis had few options available to them, so fellow brokers appreciated having it as a resource.
After making several highly profitable trades on behalf of his clients in the coffee and sugar markets, James began to receive inquiries from established financial market publications, such as Crain’s and Reuters. They reached out when they were in need of an insightful comment about a particular commodity. James was usually happy to oblige, always giving his honest interpretation of the market.
After nearly a decade with Allendale, James left to open his own commodity brokerage which he named Liberty Trading Group. Located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, the firm had success utilizing commodity option-selling strategies for their clients. They traded in gold, silver, crude oil, natural gas, corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, hogs, coffee, cocoa, cotton, sugar, and orange juice. Eventually, the name of the company was changed to OptionSellers in order to convey their trading strategy to prospective clients.
In 2004, James released his first book, The Complete Guide to Option Selling, further establishing him as a top expert in his field. The book was a major success, leading to additional media appearances with networks such as CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business; and being quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Barron’s, Marketwatch, Yahoo Finance, and others. Over the next ten years, James produced a second and then a third edition of the seminal book for commodity option traders, and it was translated into multiple languages due to international appeal.
By 2018, on the heels of a 58% return the previous year, OptionSellers had grown from a small boutique firm into a leader among Commodity Trading Advisors, managing over $250 million in total equity. Their clients included some of the most successful businessmen and well-known individuals in the investment industry. In November of that year, after nearly twenty years in operation, the firm suffered a severe market loss which ultimately led them to cease trading operations indefinitely.
After closing the firm, James spent the next two years quietly observing from the sidelines as global markets were rocked by a series of unprecedented events. In addition to the growing frequency of black swans, there have also been less significant events that were amplified in importance by widespread media attention. Professional portfolio managers, proprietary trading firms, and private individual traders are suffering from information overload. They now have access to every conceivable data point, but do not necessarily know which ones to pay attention to. Honing the ability to distinguish signal from noise is vital in today’s trading environment, which is why James relaunched The Cordier Commodity Report.
CordierCommodityReport.com is a medium for James to share his market insights with the public, as he has done throughout his career, without any outside influence, curation, or censorship. The website focuses on the critical but underreported aspects of commodity markets, giving readers access to the unvarnished opinion of one of the industry’s top experts. It is an outlet for James to share his passion for commodity trading, while working on his forthcoming book scheduled for release by Forbes Publishing in 2024.