Peter Hackstedde: profile of a winning trader
by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
It was two o'clock on a Friday afternoon. I found myself having lunch with Peter Hackstedde in the Turf
Club at Santa Anita race track. I had just finished two articles on compulsive trading (see Stocks &
Commodities, January and March 1988) and here I was at the race track with Peter Hackstedde, whom I
consider to be a model trader. He is as different from a compulsive trader as day is from night. Peter
loves the markets and the track, but he controls the action—the action does not control him.
"I learned how to manage my money at the race track," he explains. "It's a great place to learn how to
manage money. I don't bet up when the odds aren't right. I learned when to load up and when not to load
Peter has been going to the race track for 30 years and he usually makes money. I placed small bets on his
recommendations and, during our lunch conversation, had three winners after five races. But it's not
Peter's record at the track or in commodities that interests me—it is his mental skills. Those skills are
what make him a winner.
"I started out in the trucking business and I had a number of trucks. However, then I got my back messed
up, so I just sold my business. My Dad used to be a broker and he was trading commodities, so I just
followed him. He probably was a terrible trader, but I thought he was good.