Stocks & Commodities V. 28:8 (46–51): Controlling Your Losses With Dr. Doug by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan & Bruce Faber

Stocks & Commodities V. 28:8 (46–51): Controlling Your Losses With Dr. Doug by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan & Bruce Faber
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Controlling Your Losses With Dr. Doug by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan & Bruce Faber

A former athlete and floor trader, Doug Hirschhorn, better known as trading psychologist and coach “Dr. Doug,” followed a circuitous path to the “Peak Performance” coaching for which he is best known. After playing Division I baseball in college, he spent a few years working on the trading floors in Chicago before deciding to earn the advanced degrees necessary to become a baseball coach. It was during graduate school he realized that if the psychological principles he was learning could be applied to athletes, why not try them out on traders — a similarly competitive breed? The idea worked. Less than five years later, Dr. Doug is an in-demand public speaker, counting Wall Streeters, hedge funds, and the largest banks in the world among his clients. Hirschhorn is currently the chief executive officer of, a consulting firm. He is a regular contributor for CNBC, where he currently hosts a weekly video blog. He may be reached at

Stocks & Commodities Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan and Staff Writer Bruce Faber interviewed Dr. Doug via telephone on June 4, 2010.

Doug, how did you get started in your line of work?
After college I worked in the euro options pit. Then I traded at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) in the fed funds pit and the bonds pit. Then, after about two and half years, I reinjured a herniated disk in my lower back that I originally hurt playing baseball my senior year in college and I had to quit the trading floor — I couldn’t stand for long periods. I went to electronic trading. I did that for six to eight months and decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do for a living. So I left trading altogether and went back to school to get the degrees to become a baseball coach. Then, as I was working with athletes and studying sports psychology, I realized that this was the same stuff I dealt with as a trader emotionally and psychologically, and I could apply the same strategies to help traders improve their performance. So I wrote my first book called The Trading Athlete, which was published by John Wiley. I took sports psychology and applied it to the trading world to improve performance...

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