Monday, January 16, 2006


The C.H.A.M.P. Goal Setting Workshop on February 7, 2006 in NYC

Thank you all for your feedback on my BLOG. I have plenty more to post so keep visiting.
I also wanted to let you know about an event I will be doing in New York City.

On February 7, 2006, I would like to invite you to join me (and a room full of professional traders) when I will be presenting my cutting edge C.H.A.M.P. Goal Setting Technique. The event is being hosted by Trader Monthly Magazine …so you know it will be a great party.

It will run from 6 – 8:30pm at OPAL(251 East 52nd Street)
* open bar, buffet and networking opportunities with top traders

Hope to see you there. Keep your eye on the ball and your head in the game!

-- The Head Coach

Friday, January 13, 2006


Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty

By: Doug Hirschhorn, Ph.D. “The Head Coach”

A trader who is comfortable with uncertainty has the capacity to stay relaxed in unclear situations and make high probability decisions with a strong degree of conviction.

As a trader, how many times have you asked yourself “Is this the right call?”
If you are like most other traders, the answer should be “nearly all the time.”
How about we break this down and think about it from a different angle.

New Perspective:
Let’s consider the possibility that it is NOT your job to make “The Right Call” but rather to make an intelligent, data-point-supported guestimate of what “The Right Call” could be and then monitor, adjust, and possibly liquidate that decision as it develops over time.

Viewing it this way takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? In fact, it may even get you more Comfortable with Making Decisions during Uncertainty.

My point is, like golf, trading is not a game of perfect. Successful traders just don’t waste their time trying to be “RIGHT;” instead they are focused on MAKING MONEY.

Top performers in any field practice their game, establish a plan and TRAIN themselves to execute when the widow of opportunity appears. So why would we think trading should be any different? In the end, winning is not about being right, it is about getting the job done.

Keep your eye on the ball and your head in the game!

-- The Head Coach

Copyright 2006, Doug Hirschhorn All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Who, What, Why - Understanding Your Most Valuable Resource, YOU!

By: Doug Hirschhorn, Ph.D. “The Head Coach”

As we move into 2006, I think it is appropriate for us to reflect on who we are, what we do, and why we do it. To accomplish this, I am going to challenge you with some questions to help you uncover what makes you do the things you do.

Understand that the more you put into searching for the answers, the more you will gain from what you uncover. Please avoid taking the short-cut of saying “I am too busy to do this right now” as this brief exercise is one of those little things that can greatly improve the probability of achieving success as a trader. The best traders I have ever worked with have one remarkable thing in common and it is called Self Awareness. They all know exactly WHO they are, WHAT drives them and WHAT throws them off their game. With that said, take a few minutes to read, reflect, and write in your trading journal.

1) Why have you chosen to trade for a living? In other words, are you passionate about what you do and, if so, what is it about trading that motivates you to be the best? (if you cannot think of anything, then you may have stumbled on more of an answer than you realize!)

2) What are your top strengths/weaknesses as a trader? What were your top strengths/weaknesses as an athlete?

3) Can you adjust your trading style to magnify your strengths and minimize your weaknesses?

4) What distracts you from being at your best?

5) What gets you focused?

6) What makes you nervous?

7) What gives you confidence?

8) Who do you view as your mentor?

9) Who are you a mentor to? (the best way to learn is to teach)

10) Are you willing to do what it takes to reach your full potential as a trader?

“A person who does not take the time to ask themselves the hard questions unknowingly gives up the opportunity to achieve their potential.”

Trust me, your efforts will not be wasted as you will be uncovering your most valuable, yet underutilized resource – YOU!

Keep your eye on the ball and your head in the game!

-- The Head Coach

Copyright 2006, Doug Hirschhorn All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 06, 2006


Thinking Backwards to Re-Gain Objectivity

By: Doug Hirschhorn, Ph.D. “The Head Coach”

One of the most challenging skills in a trader’s game is Maintaining Objectivity. While there are a variety of factors which contribute to you losing objectivity in a given situation, there is a clear and defined path you can follow to re-gaining it. In simple terms, I like to call it Thinking Backwards.

The Issue
More times than not, losing objectivity occurs when you micro-manage a situation. It may be in the form of watching the tape or over-thinking a position; but in essence, you are losing sight of the MACRO picture or what I will refer to as your reason WHY.

Your Reason WHY
Your reason WHY is what you should be asking yourself on a regular basis. Questions like:
Why am I in this trade?

Why do I like/not like this position?

Questions like these will help you to maintain objectivity in your trades as new data points, emotions or your own destructive trading habits attempt to throw you off course.

Red Flag
The more difficult it is for you to answer Your Reason WHY, the more likely it is you have lost objectivity in the situation.

The Solution – Thinking Backwards
1)Acknowledge that you have lost objectivity
Now that you are aware of the problem, you can begin to deal with it.

2)Remove yourself from the day-to-day noise and write down what your original thesis was
Cleaning off your mirrors will tell you what direction you are moving in. As Zig Ziglar once said, "You can't hit a target you don't see."

3)Begin to Think Backwards by creating three columns with the following headings (Support, Do Not Support, Undecided)
This will force you to Objectively lay out and evaluate the situation.

4)Talk to yourself:
Based on the data points I wrote down in each column, if I did not have a position on, what would I do?

Asking yourself this question forces you re-evaluate the situation from an unbiased perspective.

5)Compare your response with your original position/thesis to create a WIN-WIN
WIN#1 = if there is a discrepancy, you can be proactive in creating a new game plan which may involved taking some/all of the risk off or even reversing the position.
WIN#2 = if there is no discrepancy, you have instilled deeper conviction in your original thesis and can then hold or add to the position.

In closing, losing your way is not nearly as important as how long it takes you to get back on course. The skill of Thinking Backwards can serve as your map to Re-Gaining Objectivity.

Keep your eye on the ball and your head in the game!

-- The Head Coach

Copyright 2006, Doug Hirschhorn All Rights Reserved

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