Trading Beyond the Matrix:

Insights

The following letters were recieved in response to a contest that began in May of 2013. For the contest, we asked readers to tell us about the one most profound insight that they got from reading Van's book, Trading Beyond the Matrix, and how it had impacted their life.

 

 

 

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Anonymous (2)* (WINNER)

Gratitude

 

I first heard of Dr. Van Tharp in Jack Schwager’s book, “Market Wizards”. Although the book had very interesting life and trading stories, it was the chapter with Dr. Van Tharp that spoke directly to me. 


At that point, I had already invested over a year’s worth of time and money into becoming a successful trader. I had bought books, attended seminars, set up a brokers account, paper traded and traded for real.  Things seem to be going in the right direction as far as paper trading was concerned, but somehow I could not transfer the same good results to my real trading.


It was clear to me that the problem was in myself and my psychology because the only difference between paper trading and real trading was my mind-set, my feelings and my emotions. 


Dr. Van Tharp’s chapter in “Market Wizards” was the first thing I had read that shed a light on my problem. Here was a man of science saying that trading is 100% psychology and I believed him because I was living through it.


After that, I signed up for the Van Tharp Institute’s newsletter and started getting familiar with the Van Tharp Institute’s books and courses.  I remember thinking that the courses were so interesting and that once I started making real money with trading I would take some of these courses. Since I had quit my previous occupation as a management consultant to dedicate myself completely to becoming a trader, I had not had any income for years and therefore was measuring my expenses very carefully.  


I purchased his book on Electronic Day Trading and by the beginning of 2013 I was already standing by to get “Trading Beyond the Matrix”. 


The book finally came to me in June 2013 with a bunch of other books that I bought at the same time. Saving the best for last, I finally got to read “Trading beyond the Matrix” in November 2013. 


The depth and honesty in which the book is written was surprising and unexpected to me. I was hoping to find a lot of content on psychology but did not expect to find the in-depth spiritual transformational journeys that it presents in such a candid manner.


I was so involved and seduced by Dr. Van Tharp’s story, along with the Super Trader’s stories that I wanted it for myself. I knew that in order to have that I needed to finish the book. 


Reading it was easy, but as it happens with all of Dr. Van Tharp’s books, they are not only meant to be read, they are also meant to be done. Doing “Trading beyond the Matrix” was a much tougher job than reading it, but I knew that was where the real reward was. 


One of the first lessons from the book that I put into practice was gratitude. Although I have always been a spiritual person I never learned how to meditate; and although I had always believed in a Higher Power, I never really had a close relationship with it. 


So I decided to start and finish my days with a list of gratitude to my Higher Power. The effect of gratitude alone was enough to make the book worth reading. The power ofgratitude is incredible. It was so liberating to focus on all the positive things and the infinite generosity of the universe instead of focusing on the negative. My lists became longer every day. 


As the gratitude lists increased, the presence of my Higher Power became clearer and closer. Just as the Super Traders described in the book, I believed that my Higher Power loved me and had a wonderful life planned for me. I realized that whenever I sabotaged myself I drove myself away from my Higher Power and from that wonderful life.


With these beliefs growing stronger within me, things started to happen on the outside. I finally reached my goal weight, something that I had been working on for the past 3 years since I began my journey away from obesity. 


I also got the clear realization that I should not keep trading with real money as it would be useless practice until I got proper education. Around the same time, I received a Van Tharp Institute newsletter promoting the Peak Performance 101 Course at a discounted rate.


Even at a discounted rate and adding the flight and hotel costs it was a significant expense for me, considering that I had received no income for the past 2 years. I was not sure I should make the investment but I felt my Higher Power strongly directed me there. It was surprising how easy it was to find and book convenient flights and hotels even coming from the remote place I live in.  


Having this closer relationship with my Higher Power was like having an engine propelling me forward in the right direction. If it had not been for the book and the lessons in gratitude and connection with my Higher Power, I think I would have never overcome my fear of uncertainty and would not have signed up for the course. 

 

I also received a clear message from my Higher Power that I was to give 100% commitment to everything that would take place in the course. I should not hold anything back and give myself completely with no judgment. That was my only mandate. As it turned out, the course was pivotal in my journey of self discovery. 


In one of the course’s sessions we did a sort of meditation/regression with the objective of finding out old feelings that have been with us almost all our lives and that are holding us back. Until that moment I had never been subject to such procedure of regression so I did not know what to expect. But I followed the instructions of my Higher Power and plunged into it. 


I have such a vivid recollection of what happened in that regression that it feels like the memory of something that happened in the real world as opposed to inside my mind. The image might not make enough sense to be described but the important thing is that I discovered the underlying feeling that was holding me back all my life: guilt.


Following the lesson, the instructors taught us to release those feelings. It was a very emotional moment for me. I felt that something had really changed. It felt like my core, my DNA had shifted and re-arranged. 


After that there were a series of things that happened in that course/trip that seemed like a domino effect of positive things. There are too many happy encounters to list them all here but it was everything from winning enough money in the trading game to cover my hotel bill, to having the airline move my reservation to a much better seat than I had before. All these little things seem irrelevant on their own, but put together they formed a chain of positivity that I had never experienced before.

 

The course finished with a Oneness Blessing which was another life changing event for me. The surge of energy that I felt in the moment stayed with me and seemed to multiply. That night, back at my hotel room I could not sleep and had to go for a 10k run in the middle of the night to release some of the stored energy.

Back home I was determined to keep on that journey and find other ways to develop my relationship with my Higher Power and actively participate in Oneness.


So I went back to the “Trading beyond the Matrix” to apply the learnings of the course and do chapter 12 step-by-step.


The first steps in chapter 12 tell us to identify all our parts and their beliefs and then do a belief paradigm assessment for each belief. It is a long and strenuous process. I discovered many things about myself and about the people in my life. Some things are not pleasant and stir up very negative feelings. But somehow, having released my guilt in the Peak 101 course and having applied the same process to other negative feelings made it very easy to get rid of useless beliefs.

 

This is a process that I repeat almost every day as I am constantly aware of my feelings and rid myself almost immediately of any negativity that shows up. It becomes increasingly easy and now it seems that negative feelings cannot stick. My guilt was like Velcro in which all the negative feelings and useless beliefs would stick and stay. Now I have removed the Velcro and nothing stays. 


Again, the external effects of getting rid of negative feelings and beliefs have been too many to list, but here are the most important categories:

1. After freeing myself from guilt and negative beliefs, I realized that all the times of suffering in my life had been of my own doing. I realized that I was never supposed to have suffered like that and I did so to get atonement for my guilt which was not real to begin with. Now, it is increasingly more and more difficult for me to hurt myself. Be it with bad habits like drinking, smoking, eating poorly, being sedentary or by having a bad attitude, being around negative people and damaging situations. It feels like there is an invisible shield or force that blocks my actions and thoughts whenever they are going to harm me.


2. The less negative beliefs I have about myself, the easier it is for me to do new things and do them well. For example, recently I had to design a website, something that I had never done before. Previously I would have believed that I am not a web-designer and I would not know how to do it. But now, I started the process with no beliefs about it at all. It was just a task that needed to be done and I did it successfully. 


3. All these changes have also brought on the unexpected effect of transforming me into a channel. There have already been two situations in which I managed to liaise between people who could do something specifically good for each other and who would have been unlikely to meet if not through me. 


4. The use of creativity has been heightened together with the clarity on taking decisions and finding the right path to follow. This has helped me come up with ways to earn money to fund my trading education and helped me make the right decisions to keep me on the path of truth.


5. The constant awareness of my thoughts and feelings keeps me close to my Higher Power and it guides me in small and large issues and decisions thousands of times each day. My Higher Power is me and I am her. She is my ideal self. She is the one who can guide me to the wonderful life that I deserve.


There are 9 steps in chapter 12 and I am only starting on step 5. Nevertheless, these are all the changes and impacts I can already report. I am eager to move on in my journey and curious about all the potential yet to be unlocked. 


The book lives on my bed-side table because I read it very often. It has served as the great catalyst of all these chain events that unfolded and it remains an invaluable guide.  I am grateful that Dr Van Tharp wrote it, I am grateful that it reached me, I am grateful that I could read it. I am grateful.

John M.

Van,

 

About half-way through Trading Beyond the Matrix, a powerful insight occurred to me: if I am confident, it will significantly improve the results of my low-risk trading plan that you encouraged me to develop.  One thing I like about your books is that you do not tell your readers exactly what to do, but instead, prompt them to figure out for themselves what to do. You encourage your readers by telling them that they are capable of coming up with their own individual plan.  Reading your books always prods me to go deeper and reevaluate my plan to possibly improve it.  This was the case when I read Super Trader, and after doing lots of work and learning to look at things in different ways, I concluded  that nothing I came up with was any better than the plan I already had in place.  The funny thing is, this time, with The Matrix, when I looked at the very same data I was looking at before, I started thinking about it in a new and different way and could see possibilities I did not see before.  You say we trade our beliefs, but another way of saying that is, we trade how we think about what we see.

 

The two ideas from your book that I kept thinking about were: first, to get out of the way and let my Higher-Self lead me, and second, that you personally aim to have at least a three to one reward-to-risk ratio, when my plan was more like two-to-one.  Now, my plan has elevated to more like four-to-one.  The two-to-one plan was working for me, but I kept feeling that it was a bit slow but could not figure out how to accelerate it until it came to me in the process of reading your book.  At this point, I am now reading your personal journey in chapter ten.  Thank you for everything.

 

—John Maes

 

Joe P.

Dear Dr. Tharp,

 

I would like to preface my submission with the statement that Trading Beyond the Matrix is the first one of your books that I have read.  I read it in April, 2013 when I came across it at my local library.  I have since purchased my own copy.

 

I think that in order to provide the proper context to my selection I must first provide a brief description of myself and my particular situation.

 

By most standards, I think I would be considered reasonably smart.  I have a Ph.D., my work has been published in peer reviewed journals and I am listed as an inventor on different patents within my field of organic/medicinal chemistry.  Outside of my chemistry comfort zone, I picked up new skills to help  advance my trading.  I took an online course in C# so that I could write custom code to back test ideas.  To gain more statistical data on back tested ideas, I imported data bars into excel spreadsheets.  I then learned to develop the logic and write the code to keep track of price excursions as a function of initial risk taken.  

 

I consider myself to be dedicated to my trading.  I treated my trading as a business and set up a husband/wife partnership in the beginning of 2013.   I have diligently documented every  trade carried out under the partnership in a trading diary to learn from my mistakes.  Additionally, I was getting up at 2:45 AM so that I could utilize the added liquidity of the UK market to trade the YM contract outside of the working hours of my full-time job.  

 

I was using a trading system that a close friend and mentor is currently using to make a living by trading.  Yet, despite the advantages of being smart, dedicated and using a proven profitable system, I was failing miserably as a trader.  Looking back at my diary, I could clearly see where I was failing in my execution.  I initially wrote that off as lack of sleep.  Considering that my initial wake up time of 2:45 AM had to be moved up to 1:45 AM from 3/11/13 to 3/29/13, since the European daylight savings time switch lagged the US day light saving time switch, it did not seem like a far stretch that my poor execution was due to a lack of sleep.  However, once the times synced back up, my body was fully adjusted to my new sleep schedule.  Yet I still kept making execution errors and losing money.  

 

While reading Trading Beyond the Matrix has led me to change several things about how I approach my trading, the single most important principle that I took away from the book was that I need to find or develop a system that fits me. I now realize that the system I was using was designed for someone else’s beliefs, parts, strengths, weaknesses, values and edges not mine.

 

The result of discovering this principle has had a profound impact on both my trading and my life.  This principle led me to: 1) complete the Sedona Method course so that I could be more effective at releasing any charged emotions that might come up as I work on my trading psychology (as a side note, my wife took the Sedona course with me and it has changed our lives for the better),  2)  started the process of identifying my parts  and beliefs, 3)  started the Parts Negotiation exercise (Oh, and they are conflicted) and the Nine Steps to Mastering Yourself exercise describe in the Matrix book, and 4) started the Peak Performance Home Study Course in late June.  I think I read that the Parts Negotiation and Nine Steps to Mastering Yourself exercises were part of the Home Study Course, so I have temporarily put those exercises on hold as I expect to get to them as I work through the Home Study Course.  Lastly, experiencing the work that was required for items 2 and 3 ultimately led me to discontinue trading so that I can solely focus on my trading psychology.

 

With my best regards,

 

Joe P.

 

Daniel M.

Van,

 

Been following you for years now. Love the book. I did not realize that you were such a mystic until I read Trading Beyond the Matrix. I always did better with my trading throughout the years when I was connected with my higher self. I knew this on the inside but continued to make the same mistakes over and over, always listening to the impatient rambler inside. In my case, I have made every possible mistake since 1998 that one can make. It's less acceptable for someone like me because I am also a statistician and Martial Artist!

 

So, in your book the most valuable concept for me was holding different parts of yourself in each hand by visualization, negotiating and clearing. I was able to clear some disruptive things. Within two weeks of trading options, I turned $350 into over $18,000. This has never happened. I was receiving flashes and insights just by being relaxed and centered. I was able to get the parts to talk and work together. Of course, knowing how to look at charts and studying market behavior for many years helped but this was the breakthrough.

 

I am very interested in receiving the oneness blessing.....asap.

 

Best wishes and peace profound!

 

Daniel M.

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Peter R.

I definitely fall in the “one of the best trading books ever” camp.

 

I have been trading for 30+ years and know only too well that we trade our beliefs and that success will only befall those who will look themselves in the eye and make the transformational changes that you discuss.  I am so glad that you finally included this material in your books and if anything you should see a surge in your business!

 

I have read a lot of books on trading and after a while there is really nothing new. This is the first trading book that I have read in a long time that has left me really thinking and not just about trading. It is actually not fair to call it a trading book, it is so much more.

 

My insight — Being a successful trader: trading in the now, free of emotional reactions and error free, can only be achieved by dedicating time and energy to self-reflection and personal transformation. The further along the path you go, the more successful you will become not only as a trader but in all aspects of your life.

Impact — Although I have been aware of this for some time, with the tools you have provided I will now be able to accelerate this journey.

 

Thanks

 

Peter R.

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Anonymous (1)* (Finalist)

Miracles

 

The last year has been fabulous for me and my family with so many small and not-so-small "miracles".   It started in October, 2012 at a Van Tharp Institute Oneness weekend where so many of the Oneness concepts I learned felt wonderful inside. That same weekend, I started readingTrading Beyond the Matrix and I was particularly taken by Chapter 10.  With full sincerity from his heart, Van shared his experiences discovering his internal guidance. Van’s story touched a fiber deep in me and awakened a desire to explore that path and maybe discover my own inner guidance.

 

Shortly after the Oneness weekend and reading Trading beyond the Matrix, I attended the Super Trader summit in December 2012. It was there that I came to understand that I would be stuck in the same place I had been if I didn't find out what my Spiritual beliefs were. Oneness concepts felt really positive and intuitively so I wanted to explore them deeper.  I had to ask myself several questions, however, if these truths were truly universal: "Why do I have to take them from a bunch people from India?" and "Could I find confirmation for the concepts somewhere closer to my South American upbringing?"

 

I decided to visit with my nanny in Caracas, Doña Carmen Paz. She practices "Santería". I had seen her cure my mom from culebrilla (a skin illness) by spitting tobacco, smoking and saying some prayers on her. As a kid, I overheard her telling my Mom, with a sense of urgency that she wanted to liberate me from a "mal de ojo" that someone had put on me, and did some similar rituals on me.

 

During my visit, Doña Carmen explained to me, in very raw but beautiful terms, that we all needed to be balanced in the different regions of the body in order to be able to connect to God, and she pointed to seven places in the body. I asked myself internally, “Could these be the Chakras the Indian guys talk about?”

 

Continuing to look for confirmation, I read books about Shamanism. I was shocked to discover the similarities between Shamanism and the Oneness teachings. The Inca language used the exact same word for "chakra" (pronounced the same way) and they referred to the same 7 in the body and with the same functions (they also thought of an 8th chakra where the 7 chakras go to at death, and a 9th chakra which is basically God). This was the confirmation I was looking for about the universal truths that I heard from “the bunch on Indians from Oneness” (I had first heard the word Chakra from them).

 

I checked on my Catholic beliefs and found that some of them were very troubling. For example, “Jesus is the only son of God”. We all are sons and daughters of God and the best, pure essence within each of us IS God. I also found that some early Christians were looking inward instead of outward (Gnostics), and that many Christians still did, somewhat outside the canons.

 

Although this next series of events may not sound like a part of a spiritual journey initially, it truly was.  During the week of the ST Summit in 2012, I was arrested in Cary for a DUI.  For 3 weeks, I was not allowed to drive a car.  The experience helped me realize how I create my own reality and how much I appreciate my freedom. 

 

As a consequence of the DUI arrest, I had to attend 12 group therapy sessions.  In that program, I met a lot of folks in severe trouble. At the end of the 5th session, I asked the facilitator if I could say a prayer.  After that, people opened up in a wonderful way that made the second half of the therapy unforgettable.

In the following sessions, I found myself very much enjoying helping others discover:

  • The stories we tell ourselves and how we try to live up to them.
  • How everything starts with a thought.
  • What we put out there to the universe is what we receive.
  • That being happy is when we love purely, with animosity toward none.

I was putting my Big I, the Divine part of me, my Divine, up in front. For the first time I understood what my grandmother always said: "pon siempre a Jesús por delante" (always put Jesus up in front). It seemed to put people at ease and allowed them to open up in formidable ways. I decided to continue to put Jesus up in front and asked God to be in front of me as often as possible; always asking Him to make me an instrument of His peace (one Christian/Catholic teaching that always felt good inside me). Jesus naturally came up as the representation of my internal guidance.

 

In deciding to be loving, I had to turn as many stones in my life as I could. My goal is to leave not a single one unturned:

  • I started with my father, with whom I had no relationship at that point.  Our relationship continues to be strained and I continue to ask my Divine for guidance about it, but it is greatly improved from where it was a year ago.
  • I had felt my brother was given more than my sister and I were given. He had received the proceeds from the sale of my Mom’s home along with 2 apartments while my sister and I didn't receive anything — even though I had supported my mother for several years and he hadn't. I love my brother very much and I came to understand that he had just been a poor financial manager and that he truly wanted to help. My brother proposed to live with my Mom and sister and my Divine told me that was the right way to go.  That arrangement has worked out very well.  The relationship amongst my Mom, sister, brother and me has become much, much stronger.
  • I had separated with a business partner because of a disagreement over what amount of money we should each receive from the partnership.  He thought I took more money than him but in my view, he took more than me.  I wanted to set things straight so my Divine told me to offer him a particular dollar amount, which I did via a check.  But then, he never answered my attempts to communicate with him by phone, email, and text so my wife felt it would be prudent that we cancel the check.
  • I forgave a former boss and his employee.  They had denied me a large bonus when the multinational firm I worked for in the late 1990s was sold. I now believe that I could not have started my own business as well as if I had been given that money. Also, that amount of money came back to me, several times over, at a more appropriate time in my life.
  • I also asked for forgiveness from several former girlfriends from my bachelor days. They had felt more of a compromise than I did since the relationships had ended.  I called the ones I could physically contact, and the ones I could not contact, I asked for forgiveness from them in my mind. All were wonderful experiences where I felt a cycle had closed a healthy way. I also forgave myself for not doing it sooner.

Those are the big stones, and now I am working on the smaller ones.

  • One day I was having dinner with my wife and a couple of our friends. One is a lawyer and he told the story about how a client had been sued and lost everything but his house - in Florida the home cannot be taken in a lawsuit. My wife and I discussed the fact that I never had wanted to pay the house off because I felt that I could get more returns from that money in my business. Now, however, it made sense to pay the mortgage. I asked my internal guidance to help me. Within a couple of weeks I found myself in a situation where I had sold corn and soymeal July futures and was long July but had to give September futures (basically long the Jul/Sep spread). By applying the concept of market's money to increase the size of my position by 5 times, I found my account growing exactly to the amount to allow us to pay off the mortgage and my wife's old student loans.
  • Over the summer when we were in Oregon visiting my wife's family, we found that my wife's mom was stretched to pay her monthly bills. Further, if she or her husband passed, the surviving spouse could not make ends meet financially. We thought it would be a good idea to buy them a home. I asked my Divine to help us in this situation. Within a week I found myself long physical soymeal (a cancellation) and the basis had gone up. The position was worth exactly the value of the house she needed. So, we bought my mother in law a home.
  • On my price risk management (PRM) / physical grain trader work, I realized that I have wanted to be recognized as a great grain trader in Latin America. I asked my Divine to take that desire away from me, that I renounced needing to be such. Well, not too long after, a large Colombian company bought a small company in Panama for which I had handled the grain purchasing and PRM. The owner of the Colombian company saw the way I managed the purchasing and PRM at the acquired company and was very impressed.  Long story short, I am now part of his company's purchasing team. Then I introduced him to a large Guatemalan customer for whom I do purchasing plans and technical analysis for PRM of physicals and futures. That introduction went so well that the largest Latin American purchasing group was put together informally and I am guiding it.
  • Also, for years I have wanted to separate myself from the daily operations of the physical grain business, but it has been really difficult to find someone with the knowledge and personal attributes required. I asked my Divine to help me with that. Well, the general manager for Bunge (a large grain multinational) in Central America shared with me his desire to evolve the business closer to the buying side (instead of the selling side). I mentioned to him that he was the perfect person to manage a group that could be formed by medium sized Guatemalan companies led by the second largest one in the market (for whom I do PRM). That such group could act together with the Panama group that I handle; this partnership between him and myself is now being formed, and he has agreed to oversee employees who will do the daily hedging work so I can dedicate more time to designing purchasing plans for hedging and systems for speculation. This is quite a blessing and I feel very grateful.

So, it's been a wonderful year for me and my family. I am fortunate to have read Trading Beyond The Matrix and very grateful to Van and all the co-authors. The book ignited this wonderful process that I am lucky to be living. I am infinitely grateful to my Divine for taking charge, for being up in front, and I continue to ask Him to make me always an instrument of His peace.

Matt S.

Van,

 

Hands down the biggest transformation I have experienced since reading Trading Beyond the Matrix is my relationship with my Divine.  My Divine is Saint. Michael.  In a very short time I have come to the realization that He has been with me all thirty-six years of my life.  He has been in my thoughts and in my words and in my actions all these years and I had no idea. 

 

I was born and raised in Scranton, a small city in northeast, PA.  I was raised by public school teachers in an Irish Catholic family.  During my formative years I always felt some sort of spiritual connection with a higher power.  That said, I always defined that connection through the lens of the Catholic Church.  As I got older, my relationship with the Church faded and I found myself having little or no spiritual beliefs or connections.  For my thirtieth birthday, my wife and I traveled to London to visit some long time friends who had recently moved there. During that trip, something strange happened.  Internally, I started to question who I was, where I was going and what I wanted from life.  I will never forget the moment this feeling hit me as I was standing in front of Harrods department store and started feeling empty inside.  On the surface, all was good.  I was newly married to the woman of my dreams and I had been practicing law in Philadelphia for the past few years. Regardless I felt empty, had doubts and wanted some important questions answered.  

 

Thus I began the slow and not so steady process of answering all the questions that consciously or subconsciously all people want answers to; namely who, what, when, where, why and how.  I started where, unfortunately, many people with the same urge start, the "self help" section of hell at Borders and the like.  The good news was that I discovered an unknown passion for trading.  The bad news was that it would take another six years before I even had a clue about how to the answer the questions I had about myself and "my" world.  

 

I cannot remember how I found my way to that Van Tharp Institute given that I now appreciate how shoddy our memories are.  That said, I believe I was listening to Libby Adams and she referenced a "trading group" she was working with.  From that point, I read Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom and I was hooked on the Van Tharp Institute and its principles.  Unfortunately, my trading habits and beliefs were terrible and my trading account was very kind to reaffirm this.  Also, I had stopped practicing law and was involved in a failing start-up with my Dad.  Even though I did all the things the "guru's" suggested, little or nothing changed in my life. Eventually, I stopped trading, shut down the start up and returned to being a lawyer.  I essentially surrendered to the notion that maybe my questions would never be answered and that's just "life."

 

Through it all there was one constant in my search for answers and that was your weekly and monthly articles and updates.  I was no longer trading but still intrigued by the concepts coming out of Cary, NC.  I now believe that my Divine was pushing me in the right direction, despite my best efforts to thwart this process.  About two years ago, I first noticed your Oneness Awakening workshop and your description of your experience with Oneness.  From that moment, the need to attend was a must.  However still unconscious and determined to stay stuck in my ways, I did not attend the Oneness Awakening workshop until April, 2013.  

 

Van I can tell you the workshop truly exceeded my expectations.  When I left Cary on Sunday evening I felt light, free and calm.  It was unlike I had ever felt before in my life.  The feeling lasted for a few days and all kinds of wonderful and random experiences filled my days.  I think my wife looked at me and wanted to ask, "who are you and what have you done with my husband."  After a few days the feeling faded but left me hungry for more.  I tried to read and follow the principles in the binder that was given at the workshop but always seemed to run out of steam.  This pattern continued until last month while away on vacation.

 

Last month my wife, daughter and I went to Umbria in the Italian countryside to join our friends who live in London (yes the same friends) on vacation.  It was a wonderful and relaxing trip and gave me the opportunity to read Trading Beyond the Matrix (the book sat on my shelf since Oneness Awakening in April).  I could not stop reading the book.  The combination of the book, the beauty of the scenery and the presence of close friends and family changed my life forever!  

 

The biggest single transformation was / is my connection with my Divine.  This principle was discussed at length during the Oneness Awakening workshop, but truly did not resonate with me until I read the book.  I have no explanation as to the timing, but all of a sudden I found myself having constant conversations with my Divine.  How did I know I was not just talking to myself?  The FEELING I have inside when I am bonding with my Divine.  Since that vacation and in just one short month, my bond with my Divine grows stronger every day.  I find myself asking for help, guidance and love on a regular basis and my questions are finally being answered.  

 

In fairness to you and hopefully to other people that will read this, there are some specific things that have happened that I would like to share. First and foremost, as a teenager and young adult I had a small fascination with Saint Michael.  I have no explanation for this other than He seemed to have some "mythological" characteristics that were interesting and appealing.  I had read that when He appeared to people in the old testament He would state, "do not be afraid."  At Oneness Awakening we were asked to choose a divine and Saint Michael was who popped in my mind.  As a trial lawyer I was shocked when I got home to note that in most portrayals of St. Micheal He holds the scales of justice in his hands (scales of justice are often referenced in the Courts).  I was equally intrigued that you referenced St. Michael in your book.  I truly believe that I have been very afraid of many things for a long long time (despite my type "A" personality) and all the while St. Michael has whispered to my heart, "do not be afraid."  He is with me now as I write this.  In fact I now know He has been with my every second of every day of my life!

 

As my bond with Saint Michael continues to grow, my life is unfolding in ways I could not imagine.  I feel as though I have a personal Guide to help me with and through anything and everything.  It is an untapped resource that I am just learning how to use.  St. Michael  has given me my life's mission.  The following words came to me while flying home from Italy.  They came to me from somewhere deep inside and are not words I would be able to think or write without guidance:

"The only way out of this is to bond with me.  Through a bond with me, you can help all those that are still asleep.  The more you bond with me the more you will awake and be drawn to Oneness.  Do not be afraid, anywhere you create unity there will be success."  Go now my Bodhisattva."

These words were very powerful to me for two main reasons.  First, I knew they confirmed my bond with my Divine as they came from somewhere other than between my two ears.  Second, and most important, they gave me a mission and purpose in life.  I will let my Divine guide me to accomplish the goal that He set forth in those words above.  I feel as though I have clarity and the questions I set out to answer six plus years ago are now being answered.  I know that I have a long way to go in my personal growth but I am most excited about the journey.  Finally, I am truly happy for no reason and that is the best reward of all.  If I could help just one person begin the same transformation I would consider my life a success.  However, I plan to constantly evolve and improve so I can fulfill my life's mission to unite as many people as possible.

 

Love and thanks to all those who read this and enjoy it!

 

Matt S.

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Vincent Z.

I just wanted to thank you for all of your help over the past 10 years with your teachings in helping me to trade better; but your latest book,Trading Beyond The Matrix, was a grand slam that pushed me over the top of my obstacle heap. I can now actually feel my daily actions and behaviors resembling that of what you would call a Super Trader and I cannot thank you enough for giving me the red pill that made it happen! 

 

It was page 355, Table 18.2, question 1 that was the greatest insight to me. To make a long story shorter, I was following everything in the book nicely up until that point with an "alright, nice stuff, don't know how I should approach and use this stuff, what else is new?" attitude. Then when you said I should list several hundred beliefs about myself and the market and if you haven't, you probably have a lot of prep work to do, I said to myself "Really? Wasn't a dozen or so each enough? What could I possibly get out of doing this? Oh well, let's do it because that's part of taking the red pill." At first, I could only write down 12 beliefs of myself and then I was stuck. (Of course I was stuck, because that was all I believed I knew!) But then, when I wrote down #13, things started to happen. It was as if I had pierced a very small hole through a previously impenetrable membrane. I continued writing and as I wrote more and more beliefs down (and it felt harder and harder like trying to pry through a tough membrane), I started to see things about myself that I couldn't see consciously! I now began to actually see where I could get identity beliefs for the "parts" to do a Belief Examination Paradigm. 

 

The BEP process then lead me to drop several major beliefs which broke the dam and enabled me to move forward on doing things to become a Super Trader. I did the same with my beliefs of the market, and I adjusted my trading systems with the beliefs I dropped. I now have what I feel are better, lower risk, better-to-follow-the-rules systems all because of this little exercise. And I am only on #200 beliefs for self and for market (at least another hundred to go to get to several hundred)! And I can already experience the positive affect in my being and awareness of the world and events around me.

 

I stopped trading back in August when I started reading your book. I am not going to resume trading until I complete my Trading Business Plan which should be within a few more weeks. But I watch the markets and I recently "aborted" an entry into the corn futures market. My old system would have gotten me into the trade and, as of today, I would be in a position at my stop loss and wondering should I stay in to see if it will turn around. Instead, I am quietly waiting for the next entry opportunity and ready to pull that smaller stop loss trigger if necessary. I look forward to trading again having this new found feeling as "my edge".

 

God bless you,

 

Vincent Z.

 

Matthew F. and Daniel D.

I find it amazing how we live our lives engulfed in the Matrix and never realize it.  I have often thought how interesting my life could have been had I been exposed to Dr. Tharp and this book so many years ago.  It has awakened me to the concept that life is what we make it.  Everything can be viewed from so many different places in the room, the question is; “are we viewing from the most beneficial place in order to live better and more fulfilling lives?”

 

Here’s a little short story about me and my friend Daniel who used to play and write music together.  Now we are both married with children, and our music days are a happy memory from our past.  But when we were in our early twenties we wrote this song called “The Keeper of the Realm.”  We didn’t realize the song was about our awareness of the Matrix and how we were basically stuck there.  Only after we read Dr. Tharp’s new book did it all come together 26 years later, “we had the power to create the life we wanted.”  The only thing keeping us from doing that was our inability to find this incredible information at that time.  We had awareness of something bigger than what was being offered in life, but could never get the clarity we needed to make real change.  The Matrix is a powerful place and does all it can to maintain that incapacitating grip it holds on us.

 

Well through reading, highlighting and re-reading this book numerous times we have made some real life changes.  Our approach to so many things has changed as well as our understanding of what a successful life is about.  It truly is what we make it, which brings me back to that silly little song we wrote.  Our chorus to that song went as follows

 

“The mind is the keeper, the door is the mirror, if you see yourself you’ve the key.”

 

Only through reading Dr. Tharp’s new book did we have this revelation of how close we were, but yet so far.  We constantly search into the future for the answer to our lives when it lies right inside us, waiting to be discovered.

 

So for me and my good friend Daniel, we believe the most powerful lesson we’ve learned from reading this book was;

 

“We create the results we get in our lives, and as soon as we accept that, the transformation begins."

 

Thank you for this life changing book, it has helped us both in so many ways, and it continues…

 

Our warmest regards to all at the Tharp Institute.

 

Matthew F.
Daniel D.

 

Forever traders

 

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Brayton B.

How one does something is how that person does everything. Trading is just one of the many microcosms of life, where the mechanics of the human mind are under a microscope. Thought patterns of fear and greed are exploited, giving traders the opportunity the transform into not only a more wholesome trader, but a wholesome human being.

 

In Trading Beyond the Matrix, page 321 states,

"Whatever occurs in my life is part of my path. If I fully understand that, I can live effortlessly. I can be at peace with everything that happens because everything that happens moves me on my path. Trading is a spiritual practice for me; through it, I learn about my inner voice an practice being in the awareness of my Self. It isn't the only spiritual exercise possible; it is simply a metaphor for my path... What I do doesn't really matter; the important part is 'being' while I do anything."

My trading habits, including the process in which I research, prepare, plan and execute without mistakes boils down to my wholesomeness in the present moment. Because I want to trade at a more successful level, I first need to look deeper within myself to determine and fix subconscious beliefs that conflict with successful trading. Because these beliefs reside deep with me, near my core, by fixing them I return to my natural wholesome human being, and realign with my core and the universe. Then not only is my trading more successful, but everything I give my attention to is energized with the frequency of a higher intelligence. Not my intelligence, but the intelligence of the source that created human beings. Thank you trading for helping me discover so much more than just positive PnL.

Brayton B.

 

New York, NY

 

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Hilary G.

I think the most valuable insight I gained from the book Trading Beyond the Matrix was a deeper understanding  that my spiritual and emotional growth, are, in fact, fully interwoven with my ability to be effective in the physical realm.

 

There is some tendency to think of the spiritual, especially, as being at odds with the physical, each somehow interfering or competing with the other. The stories in this book along with my own experiences are helping me to more fully grasp how my spiritual, mental and emotional growth, clarity and healing are in fact part and parcel of my success in all realms.


This understanding helps me to shift my focus. When challenges arise — or in my day to day life — I am gradually learning to return to square one. To come home and get clear within myself. To find my faith and my relationship with the larger forces which support my path. There I find myself very naturally creating from a space of much greater ease, enjoyment and effectiveness.


It is my fondest belief that these shifts will help me more quickly and joyfully embrace my souls journey, as well as my appropriate place of service in the world.

And my bonus is increased happiness!


In Gratitude,
                                                                                                  
Hilary G.    

 

Chris H.

Presently I'm a student (virtually speaking) @ the Van Tharp Institute. I've decided (at the beginning of my studies) to have Van be my Mentor (virtually). My motive for reading/studying several of your texts are as follows: personal growth (this formulated after my initial decision and immersion into the studies) and to become a better trader (original motive). I continue to study the Matrix, Super Trader, the Definitive Guide to Position Sizing Strategies (2nd edition), and A Course in Miracles, Napoleon Hill.

 

I am an engineer who is also retired USAF (22 yrs, prior service, Capt). My initial degree is in Philosophy with a minor in mathematics. My other degrees include a BS Aerospace Engineering and an MS Mechanical Engineering (both achieved while in the USAF). I am presently a consulting engineer (technical sales) and trader. I am also a Corres Chess Master and Cat 1 Over the Board Chess Player. I love playing bullet chess on the Internet (1 minute/side; note, this enjoyment played a decisive role in my system development).

 

My life's mission is to become a full time trader. I am a swing trader (holding time roughly 1-6 days) who has developed a system that matches my personality. I enjoy trading and I enjoy technical analysis (evaluating charts) and statistics.

 

I've been trading for roughly 10 years with mixed results. However, the last month of trading has seen dramatic changes to my equity curve and a greater sense of confidence, ease of selection, trade execution, system process control (me), and better overall statistics.

 

My most important and dramatic change (principle) has evolved around the DIALECTIC of Perception, Risk, Belief. It is a dialectical process whereby we change a belief, the perception, by definition changes, and finally the target of our perception (RISK) changes. The new understanding/perception of RISK feeds the belief function...thus the equilibrium has changed (to a higher level, so to speak). It is a never ending continuum.

 

The core principle for me involves RISK MANAGEMENT. My understanding and appreciation of this principle has changed dramatically. I am now able to quantify, measure and monitor this component of my trade before, during and after the trade. I'm talking about both Risk "to" my account, and actual equity risk (vs the market). They are different. NEVER before have I done this nor appreciated the significance of this process.

 

Further, and perhaps more importantly, the above dialectic, with RISK being the core dynamic, is by definition, embedded in my (our) very life. Herein lies the special impact of this principle: by better understanding RISK in my personal life, my life has changed for the better. I am now on a path that is fun, purposeful, more insightful, meaningful, and becoming more fearless (the dialectic between spirit, ego, and fear (miracle) in the course is here...).

 

Your process is absolutely different from the trading consulting business in that your goal is to help the student "grow" personally. It so happens you use the trade dynamic as a metaphor to this end. NO ONE else does this....NO ONE.  No one else understands or EVEN comprehends the existence of the MATRIX.

 

My Warmest Regards,

 

Chris H.

 

Francisco Cabrera* (Finalist)

Miracles

 

The last year has been fabulous for me and my family with so many small and not-so-small "miracles".   It started in October, 2012 at a Van Tharp Institute Oneness weekend where so many of the Oneness concepts I learned felt wonderful inside. That same weekend, I started readingTrading Beyond the Matrix and I was particularly taken by Chapter 10.  With full sincerity from his heart, Van shared his experiences discovering his internal guidance. Van’s story touched a fiber deep in me and awakened a desire to explore that path and maybe discover my own inner guidance.

 

Shortly after the Oneness weekend and reading Trading beyond the Matrix, I attended the Super Trader summit in December 2012. It was there that I came to understand that I would be stuck in the same place I had been if I didn't find out what my Spiritual beliefs were. Oneness concepts felt really positive and intuitively so I wanted to explore them deeper.  I had to ask myself several questions, however, if these truths were truly universal: "Why do I have to take them from a bunch people from India?" and "Could I find confirmation for the concepts somewhere closer to my South American upbringing?"

 

I decided to visit with my nanny in Caracas, Doña Carmen Paz. She practices "Santería". I had seen her cure my mom from culebrilla (a skin illness) by spitting tobacco, smoking and saying some prayers on her. As a kid, I overheard her telling my Mom, with a sense of urgency that she wanted to liberate me from a "mal de ojo" that someone had put on me, and did some similar rituals on me.

 

During my visit, Doña Carmen explained to me, in very raw but beautiful terms, that we all needed to be balanced in the different regions of the body in order to be able to connect to God, and she pointed to seven places in the body. I asked myself internally, “Could these be the Chakras the Indian guys talk about?”

 

Continuing to look for confirmation, I read books about Shamanism. I was shocked to discover the similarities between Shamanism and the Oneness teachings. The Inca language used the exact same word for "chakra" (pronounced the same way) and they referred to the same 7 in the body and with the same functions (they also thought of an 8th chakra where the 7 chakras go to at death, and a 9th chakra which is basically God). This was the confirmation I was looking for about the universal truths that I heard from “the bunch on Indians from Oneness” (I had first heard the word Chakra from them).

 

I checked on my Catholic beliefs and found that some of them were very troubling. For example, “Jesus is the only son of God”. We all are sons and daughters of God and the best, pure essence within each of us IS God. I also found that some early Christians were looking inward instead of outward (Gnostics), and that many Christians still did, somewhat outside the canons.

 

Although this next series of events may not sound like a part of a spiritual journey initially, it truly was.  During the week of the ST Summit in 2012, I was arrested in Cary for a DUI.  For 3 weeks, I was not allowed to drive a car.  The experience helped me realize how I create my own reality and how much I appreciate my freedom. 

 

As a consequence of the DUI arrest, I had to attend 12 group therapy sessions.  In that program, I met a lot of folks in severe trouble. At the end of the 5th session, I asked the facilitator if I could say a prayer.  After that, people opened up in a wonderful way that made the second half of the therapy unforgettable.

In the following sessions, I found myself very much enjoying helping others discover:

  • The stories we tell ourselves and how we try to live up to them.
  • How everything starts with a thought.
  • What we put out there to the universe is what we receive.
  • That being happy is when we love purely, with animosity toward none.

I was putting my Big I, the Divine part of me, my Divine, up in front. For the first time I understood what my grandmother always said: "pon siempre a Jesús por delante" (always put Jesus up in front). It seemed to put people at ease and allowed them to open up in formidable ways. I decided to continue to put Jesus up in front and asked God to be in front of me as often as possible; always asking Him to make me an instrument of His peace (one Christian/Catholic teaching that always felt good inside me). Jesus naturally came up as the representation of my internal guidance.

 

In deciding to be loving, I had to turn as many stones in my life as I could. My goal is to leave not a single one unturned:

  • I started with my father, with whom I had no relationship at that point.  Our relationship continues to be strained and I continue to ask my Divine for guidance about it, but it is greatly improved from where it was a year ago.
  • I had felt my brother was given more than my sister and I were given. He had received the proceeds from the sale of my Mom’s home along with 2 apartments while my sister and I didn't receive anything — even though I had supported my mother for several years and he hadn't. I love my brother very much and I came to understand that he had just been a poor financial manager and that he truly wanted to help. My brother proposed to live with my Mom and sister and my Divine told me that was the right way to go.  That arrangement has worked out very well.  The relationship amongst my Mom, sister, brother and me has become much, much stronger.
  • I had separated with a business partner because of a disagreement over what amount of money we should each receive from the partnership.  He thought I took more money than him but in my view, he took more than me.  I wanted to set things straight so my Divine told me to offer him a particular dollar amount, which I did via a check.  But then, he never answered my attempts to communicate with him by phone, email, and text so my wife felt it would be prudent that we cancel the check.
  • I forgave a former boss and his employee.  They had denied me a large bonus when the multinational firm I worked for in the late 1990s was sold. I now believe that I could not have started my own business as well as if I had been given that money. Also, that amount of money came back to me, several times over, at a more appropriate time in my life.
  • I also asked for forgiveness from several former girlfriends from my bachelor days. They had felt more of a compromise than I did since the relationships had ended.  I called the ones I could physically contact, and the ones I could not contact, I asked for forgiveness from them in my mind. All were wonderful experiences where I felt a cycle had closed a healthy way. I also forgave myself for not doing it sooner.

Those are the big stones, and now I am working on the smaller ones.

  • One day I was having dinner with my wife and a couple of our friends. One is a lawyer and he told the story about how a client had been sued and lost everything but his house - in Florida the home cannot be taken in a lawsuit. My wife and I discussed the fact that I never had wanted to pay the house off because I felt that I could get more returns from that money in my business. Now, however, it made sense to pay the mortgage. I asked my internal guidance to help me. Within a couple of weeks I found myself in a situation where I had sold corn and soymeal July futures and was long July but had to give September futures (basically long the Jul/Sep spread). By applying the concept of market's money to increase the size of my position by 5 times, I found my account growing exactly to the amount to allow us to pay off the mortgage and my wife's old student loans.
  • Over the summer when we were in Oregon visiting my wife's family, we found that my wife's mom was stretched to pay her monthly bills. Further, if she or her husband passed, the surviving spouse could not make ends meet financially. We thought it would be a good idea to buy them a home. I asked my Divine to help us in this situation. Within a week I found myself long physical soymeal (a cancellation) and the basis had gone up. The position was worth exactly the value of the house she needed. So, we bought my mother in law a home.
  • On my price risk management (PRM) / physical grain trader work, I realized that I have wanted to be recognized as a great grain trader in Latin America. I asked my Divine to take that desire away from me, that I renounced needing to be such. Well, not too long after, a large Colombian company bought a small company in Panama for which I had handled the grain purchasing and PRM. The owner of the Colombian company saw the way I managed the purchasing and PRM at the acquired company and was very impressed.  Long story short, I am now part of his company's purchasing team. Then I introduced him to a large Guatemalan customer for whom I do purchasing plans and technical analysis for PRM of physicals and futures. That introduction went so well that the largest Latin American purchasing group was put together informally and I am guiding it.
  • Also, for years I have wanted to separate myself from the daily operations of the physical grain business, but it has been really difficult to find someone with the knowledge and personal attributes required. I asked my Divine to help me with that. Well, the general manager for Bunge (a large grain multinational) in Central America shared with me his desire to evolve the business closer to the buying side (instead of the selling side). I mentioned to him that he was the perfect person to manage a group that could be formed by medium sized Guatemalan companies led by the second largest one in the market (for whom I do PRM). That such group could act together with the Panama group that I handle; this partnership between him and myself is now being formed, and he has agreed to oversee employees who will do the daily hedging work so I can dedicate more time to designing purchasing plans for hedging and systems for speculation. This is quite a blessing and I feel very grateful.

So, it's been a wonderful year for me and my family. I am fortunate to have read Trading Beyond The Matrix and very grateful to Van and all the co-authors. The book ignited this wonderful process that I am lucky to be living. I am infinitely grateful to my Divine for taking charge, for being up in front, and I continue to ask Him to make me always an instrument of His peace.

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Jim C.

One of my biggest insights so far (I still have 50 or so pages to go) has been the impact of position sizing, as well as the whole system of using R multiples to develop expectancy. I really didn’t “get it” until I read the first part of Matrix (it’s the first book by you that I’ve ever read).

 

Something struck me about this being important information, so I decided to develop an Excel spreadsheet with some historical data from my trading, using R multiples. When I did that and looked at the results it really just blew me away how I could see the expectancy of my system change with small tweaks to position sizing, average win / loss size, and percentage winning trades. Using this information I’ve been able to refine my goals with an expectancy profit zone. As long as I stay in the zone it’s all good.

 

Fantastic book that is really helping me tremendously with many new insights. Thanks for your help and all the best.

 

Regards, Jim C.

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Paul M.

Dear Dr. Tharp,

 

I came upon your work through Larry Connors, particularly through the interview you did with him in 4Q2013 that he shared with members of his Chairman's Club.  In that interview you talked about many subjects, including position sizing and the psychological underpinnings of trading.


So I was inspired to look deeper, ordering the new edition of your position sizing book and Trading Beyond the Matrix.

 

As I read your TBTM book I was drawn immediately to Chapter 10 and your spiritual journey.  That very day I watched the Oneness blessing, and was almost overwhelmed by the "bigness" of it.  I was astonished and grateful for your detailed chronicle of your relationship to your Guides.  I have had a vibrant relationship with spirit guides for years, but I rarely speak of that important dimension of life.  Thank you speaking where I have remained mostly silent.

 

My biggest insight is this:  for so many years it seemed so real to me that my trading "work" and my spiritual "life" were antagonists competing for my attention and energy.  Now I see (sometimes more clearly than other times!) that they are not separate, not disjointed, but of-a-whole.  Thank you thank you for inspiring that new way of seeing!

 

With gratitude,

 

Paul M.

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Tibor N.

One Way or Another

 

by Tibor Nemecz


I loved Trading Beyond the Matrix, from the first word to the last. I am truly moved and inspired by it, finding myself able to relate to everyone involved in writing it. 


I realized that I am not alone in my struggles to trade successfully, deal with life’s challenges and expand my spirituality. We are all students in the same classroom called “Life.” No matter our background, the country in which we were born, or our level of education, we all look for the same purpose in life: to find happiness, inner peace and love for ourselves and everything in the universe. The only place we can find those things is deep within us, not in the material world where most of us search hopelessly for decades. This book gave me countless examples to confirm this truth. 


I strongly believe that when we are ready for growth, the door of knowledge will open, the appropriate books will be found, the right website will appear. We will be at the right place, at the right time, to meet the right person who will give us the wisdom to move on our way to self-discovery. I have been on this road since high school, when my curiosity for answers brought me to religious youth group meetings led by a priest. I was not religious, but at that time these meetings were the only place to talk about any spiritual theme (considering it was in Hungary in the mid seventies behind the “Iron Curtain”). 


Since then I have read many books and have been involved in several life-building activities, but after 30 years of inching along, the first big milestone was completing the exercises in Hale Dwoskin’s book, The Sedona Method. What I find remarkable is where I found the recommendation for The Sedona Method, which was in Dr. Tharp’s book, Super Trader. I lived my life in “darkness,” in constant fear battered by depression, anxiety, panic attacks, the squeeze of AGFLAP, and falling well below 200 on consciousness scale, having no effective coping skills. All I knew was how to suppress my feelings. My only relief was finding ineffective ways to “escape” from my misery with temporary “cures” like watching television, seeking refuge in relationships or excessive exercise. 


From Hale’s book I learned about CAP (Courageousness, Acceptance, Peace). CAP showed me the light at the end of the tunnel and it was just the beginning. From Trading Beyond the Matrix, I now have insight into other powerful ways to deal with my “baggage” that has accumulated over the years. I am now able to re-evaluate my thoughts, as described in The Work by Byron Katie, and have been redeveloping my belief system using Dr. Tharp’s tool, the Belief Examination Paradigm. 


What excites me the most is that the solution is not somewhere in the distant future, meditating in lotus position for decades and waiting for the “enlightenment” to happen, but it is in the now — when life is actually happening. There is no other system, course or school in the world that gives people all the benefits that Dr. Tharp’s Super Trader Program provides: the spiritual growth, psychological and technical readiness to trade the market effectively, and hands-on supervision and guidance through Dr. Tharp himself. This book answered all of my questions and more.

 

Dave C.

Amazing Journey

 

Dear Dr Tharp,

 

Life sure is an amazing journey to say the least!

 

I’m just starting chapter 13 of Trading Beyond the Matrix and feel very compelled to write to you and say thanks. Chapter 10 was awesome. I'm so glad you wrote that the way you did.

 

Funny enough, I wrote to you a few years ago regarding the ‘God’/Christianity bits in ACIM being to difficult for me to accept and hence I did not continue. It did push my buttons and I just wished someone would write the same thing from a non-religious background. Anyway, I accepted that it was my problem and I had to find my own solutions, and then moved on. I had forgotten about it until yesterday and got very excited after reading your experience—how many of us share similar experiences? Well it’s definitely back on my to-do list now.

 

Not long after writing to you on a separate occasion where you helped me determine my system was HG, I stopped trading to better prepare my self for success. You see, I was trading with a small account and it wasn’t working so well for my psychology, even though I had made some amazing % returns on start up capital. It’s a different ball game if you need those returns to pay bills etc., and I had difficulty at times trying not to focus on the $$ which created some self sabotage trades. It was like a double edged sword — I had this great system that had fantastic results, sometimes it seemed almost at will, which then allowed me to change into the complacency/sabotage lane at times.

 

In the last few years your teachings have been invaluable to me out in the ‘real world’ where I had to go and find work — it’s been life changing and a connection to the Divine Guidance has been very obvious through my own observations and experiences. I’m not far away from resuming my trading journey, which, is also a spiritual journey and one path back to God for me too (I’m only just now comfortable using that word and only will use it with very few people at the moment).

 

Kind regards,

 

Dave

 

P.S. As a side note, in the wonder of connectedness, I found this book kind of unreal in a way because I worked on The Matrix in 1998 as a freelance GRIP and had previously made a relation between trading and the Matrix. I only went as far as to state ‘Look Through the Matrix’ on my Twitter avatar, which was opened, primarily, for a trading arena with other traders in late 2010 or early 2011. I have to admit though; I value this type of ‘coincidence’ as part of my Higher Guidance.

 

Thanks to all the contributors in this book. It would be great to meet some of you one day. Special thanks to Van, his team, and his Guidance.

 

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Marc W.

The Strangest Secret

 

Dear Dr. Tharp, 


I’m new to your material but not new to the world of personal development in relation to trading.  For over a decade I’ve pursued the embracing of my real ‘self’; The ‘self’ I know that is free to trade unencumbered by negative thoughts and unhelpful beliefs; the ‘self’ that I know would fully welcome financial freedom though successful trading. For many years I too have believed that psychology plays a huge part in our trading success.  My path towards my desire for a transformed ‘self’ has led me to some of the greatest documentation ever produced on personal development.  I’ve read everything in my library multiple times and taken numerous programs specifically geared towards personal development. I actually love the process.


What’s common in so many of these personal development products is the focus on your thoughts.  Earl Nightingale’s ‘The Strangest Secret’ comes to mind. This wonderful audio program produced well before I was born represents, in my opinion, the common thread between many personal development materials.  As Mr. Nightingale puts it: “You become what you THINK about most of the time.”  OK, great. How, you ask, does this relate to “Trading Beyond the Matrix”?


As this is the first book I’ve read by you, I don’t know if you address what I’m about to discuss in your other books, I presume you do.  But nonetheless, you take a different approach to this concept that for me makes all the difference and is definitely the best insight I’ve had in a long time. Your slight variation on the wording of this common thread is, in my opinion, brilliant.


When I read your statement, “You don’t trade the markets, you trade your beliefs about the markets.” I was blown away.  For me this statement becomes even more profound and stimulates my mind more if it reads as follows: You don’t trade the markets you trade your beliefs. And leave it at that.  By leaving out the last few words “about the market”, I am free to realize that my trade results are impacted by all my beliefs such as: I believe that I am a father that needs to provide a certain lifestyle for my family.  Or I believe that I only have a few more years to get this right before retirement.  Or I believe that if I can’t make millions trading, then I’m a failure and my dream of living financially free will escape me. When I trade, I’m trading all these beliefs and more.  These are beliefs that I can now analyze with the tools provided in your book to see if they are useful and, if not, say goodbye to them.


For so many years, I’ve read and believed that it is my thoughts that make me who I am.  And I still ‘believe’ this to be true.  But for me, even though thoughts form our beliefs, everything makes so much more sense and becomes so clear if I just replace the idea of ‘thoughts” with ‘beliefs’.


If Earl Nightingale said “You become what you believe” or if Napoleon Hill’s book was called Believe and Grow Rich, I, for one, would have taken away a completely different experience.  


When Napoleon Hill says:  “Anything the mind of man can conceive and bring itself to ‘believe’, it can achieve”; I conjure up thoughts about the future. I see the word ‘believe’ but the way it’s written, it forces me to envision something in the future and try to believe it can happen, like man going to Mars someday.  Although, it uses the word believe, it doesn’t evoke any reflection of the past and how our beliefs impact who we are as people or as a traders.


It is amazing how a single word, read at a time when my mind was ready to see it, can make such a profound impact.


As I write this the trading day is over.  It wasn’t any old trading day. It was a big FOMC trading day.  And only yesterday I was reading your book and the part about “we trade our beliefs” stuck with me like red on a down candlestick.  Under normal circumstances I would be convinced that the market would make a nice little correction today based on the FOMC information.  I would typically trade this belief and start the day on the short side even though my system is very clear and has very specific trading rules. Why? Because my belief was that strong.  But less than 24 hours ago I was reading your book and I quickly became impartial to the markets and realized my beliefs could jeopardize my trading results.  I now believed that I don’t have a clue about the direction of the markets.  They could go up, they could go down, or maybe they could just sit there.  With this new belief about my utter inability to predict the direction of the market, I traded like I have never traded before.  I traded my system, not my beliefs.  I made 2 system generated adjustments to my options position and they were ultra-precise. I executed them exactly as my trading plan outlines regardless of an FOMC day.  As it turns out, I was on the wrong side of the market when the FOMC information came out and again made another surgically precise adjustment to my options position according the specific instructions in my trading plan.  The entire time I was very calm and went with the belief that, I truly believe in my system and can trade my system exactly as it was designed.  By the end of the day, my position exceeded my desired profit target and I exited the trade.


There is so much more in your book “Trading Beyond the Matrix”, and I have gained more insights than the one outlined above, but this one is so profound for me and came about from such a simple, new understanding of word phrasing.  


Congratulations and my sincere appreciation on a beautiful book.

 

Marc W.

 

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Jim W.

One-ness

 

The most important insight I have noticed from Trading Beyond the Matrix is the concept and application of one-ness. This idea seems to be different from the concept of oneness described in the book, but maybe not. Reading the book several times and doing some of its exercises helped me understand this concept.

To me, the concept of one-ness means to start with “one.” Perhaps “one” is all I need. If not, the next idea is to just “add one” until my life and my trading is complete. Here are some examples.

 

Goals are important…but what is the most important, most useful goal? To me, right now, that is to “trade well.” Perhaps that is all I will ever need as a goal. I must know when I am trading well or not, and that deals with having rules, trading according to them, and mistake-proofing. My trading journal helps me determine over time if I am trading well or less well. My one-page business plan and one-minute scorecard also help me define “trading well.”

 

A trading system that fits me is also important. That system consists of “ones:” one entry, one protective exit, one profit-taking exit, one market condition, one operator, and one governor. I may be both the operator and the governor, but I tend to do better if I am doing only one of them at a time.

 

Having trading systems that fit me and market conditions is important, too. In fact, there seems to be a unique one-ness to the combination of me, a market condition, and a trading system. Perhaps I can have one methodology that fits me, that I trade on one instrument and one time-frame and has no more than one indicator. If that methodology allows me to determine market conditions, and if it has trade entry and exit rules for each market condition, and if it allows me to meet the living standard I need, then perhaps that is all I need. If I need more, I could add an instrument or a time-frame or a different exit—one of which may be sufficient—one at a time. Perhaps if I am trading well I am not only accomplishing my goal but getting all I need and deserve, not only in terms of financial results but also in terms of market and self-knowledge.

 

So far, having one position sizing method—the one that accomplishes my goal—works very well for me.

 

Working on myself seems to consist of one-ness, too. If I am aiming to achieve Oneness ultimately in my life, then perhaps one path may get me there. That path, right now, might be through examining my beliefs. Or it might be through regular Transformational Meditation, or feeling-release, or having a written conversation with God, or each of the techniques in the book. Maybe that one path isn’t enough, and I need to add one more. Maybe that isn’t enough and I need to add an additional one more, one at a time.

 

It could be that one-ness is just my illusion, the obstacle I dance with, that I must do more if not all of what is written in Van’s book. Maybe it is because I am a guy (and an older one at that) who is lucky if he can think or do one thing at a time. Maybe I’m just lazy and don’t want to do or think about even one thing at a time, and two or more things simply overwhelm me.

 

So far, thinking and acting in terms of one-ness, one thing at a time, is working pretty well. I’ll keep taking it one thought, one trade, and one day at a time, as much as I can.

 

-Jim W.

Jim B.

Let me first say how much I enjoyed reading your latest book: “Trading Beyond the Matrix”and it occupies an important place in my trading library along with one of your earlier books: “Trade Your Way...”. The principles of position sizing and expectancy along with “Tharp Think” have given me valuable insight and discipline to my trading career. I heard you speak some years ago at the conference of the Australian Technical Analysts Association in Melbourne Australia and enjoyed playing your marble game.

 

The most important insight I gained from your book was the importance of listening to my inner voice and that by creating the right circumstances, we can tune in to our inner voice when we need to. I have heard my inner voice before (it told me some years ago to quit smoking which I did & have never had a single cigarette since) but have only ever believed that it was a chance thing that only happened rarely and unexpectedly. But to realize that our inner voice can be called upon by creating the right circumstances of relaxation and silence has been a great benefit to me in times of anxiety or when confronting perplexing problems.

 

I have come to realize the importance of our inner voice as an internal guidance system to keep us on the correct path we must follow if we are to be successful as traders. It has helped me to tune out from all the noise and rubbish that bombards us from the so called “experts” in the popular media. As a result of reading “Trading Beyond the Matrix” I now have a much clearer focus on what I want to achieve with my trading and how to go about it. ( which I realize is not entirely about money ) Thank you for writing and publishing a most important book. 

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Jim B.

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Erik T.

The one thing or chapter in the Matrix that had the most significant effect on me was the story by the 45-year-old German engineer. It took me a while to get to chapter 14 because I got really stuck in chapter 10 and 11. While reading those chapters the book completely fell apart for me. For a month or so the book was an effective sleeping pill right by the bed. Just trying to get ahead made me fall asleep immediately. 


However I continued reading and on a holiday with my family in Spain in February this year I was struggling emotionally with my job situation and personal concerns as well. One night, I could not sleep, so I got up and read Chapter 14. This guy was very easy for me to relate to — fact oriented, no nonsense engineer, good with numbers and an intuitive sense for potential failures wherever he looked. I am that type of guy, with a built-in “need to be right bias” and a perfectionist attitude. Credibility is a core value for me and being in situations in which I am not feeling credible or uncertain is most tiresome for me. I have carried these beliefs about myself with me all the way from childhood to finishing my Ph.D. in applied multivariate data analysis. Fear of failure has been the driver for completing scientific work and finally achieving the degree.


Fear of failure has actually been a life companion and a major driver in many aspects of my life. Half way through my Ph.D. I was so sick of it that I thought of quitting, but fortunately I stumbled upon one of Robert T. Kiyosakis books speaking of assets and liabilities. I realized that I had only liabilities and that the only valuable potential asset in sight was to finish my Ph.D.. Once acquired, no one could take it away again. With that thought or belief in my mind I stood through the struggles and finished the job.


Although I am quite happy and proud of this achievement it has not changed my beliefs and biases — it rather keeps me in roles where complicated problem solving is assigned to me although I often find it to be “hard work” similar to the story of the German engineer.


After working my way through chapter 14 in the middle of the night on a mountain side in Spain I thought to myself: is a higher power a useful belief? Hm — could be. So I started a conversation in my head asking simple questions and writing down both questions and answers. The experience was surprisingly easy and natural. The “voice” or “thought” answering felt like being myself answering — but not in a speculative way — rather in a short clear and clarified way. I got straight answers regarding job concerns that gave me specific possibilities of actions — effectuated a few days later.


On the same holiday I started on “A Course in Miracles”. I realized that it takes some discipline to keep up the pace but I really like the short exercises during the day. They work like small meditations — a short focus on the days idea — and then back on to the daily doings. I find that the exercises bring perspective to the present and a sense of peace. In addition to this I downloaded a guided meditation from itunes from my teenage years and early twenties, where I had established a practice of meditation and yoga through the Scandinavian Yoga and Mediation School (yoga.dk). The meditation is called “Yoga Nidra”. Using it again for the first time in 20 years or so felt a bit like coming home. The ideas and beliefs I was engaged in at the time were still very useful and relevant in the transformation that I believe has started as a result of reading “Trading beyond the Matrix”.


How does all this reflect on my trading? I have been working on developing a system that fits me for the last 2-3 years. I spend the first 1-2 years to figure out — what does actually fit me? I have found out by trial and error that day-trading and swing trading with daily attention is certainly not for me at this time — considering family and job constraints. I have time and discipline for a weekly routine. For the last year I have been working on a rotation system that fits my beliefs about the market and my knowledge of statistics. The last few months the system has taken form in my head and in my weekly routines. Current forward testing apparently works well and fits my belief that all markets are always trending at all time frames. These trends can be described by a few features and their variation and converted into a score that gives me a basis for weekly decisions. After implementing the system in 2014 it has provided only two portfolio changes and no losses. This is good considering number of trades with the system should be kept very low — due to trading costs in the mutual funds universe were my pension funds are traded.


At the end of the day — I believe that the pieces are coming together and that the process has been helped along with your book and especially through bringing the story of the German engineer. My early yoga and meditation experiences, my capabilities and interest statistics and sampling, my interest for trading and solving fun and challenging problems with big random components with peace of mind are coming together. And the biggest insight for me is that my beliefs are plastic and the future may even contain contact with higher powers while also achieving freedom through my own trading systems.

 

Erik T.

 

Tony* (Finalist)

I’ve often wondered whether I am now, or ever was a typical reader of Van Tharp’s work on transformation, for I’ve spent my working life as (I thought) a super rational litigation lawyer, where success came from hard work and hard logic, and my inner self had little relevance.  I’ve never had any interest in personal development, nor in any formal or informal religion nor in any relationship with any form of god.  I, and others in the courtroom, might have come into work with pursed lips after some marital misunderstanding or might have uttered a few heartily felt expletives when the unforeseen happened, but that was about the size of my appreciation of the non rational, or of reactions to rational errors.

 

Some years ago, I became dissatisfied with the lawyer’s life and left it at age 50, believing that the same hard work and logic that had served me well there would be all that was needed when fashioning a new life, trading on my own.  I’m no longer embarrassed to admit that I followed the path that many books recount — great good luck for a year, then great stupidity for the next.  I ended up back where I’d started and was saved then, and since, by the only truly useful “luck” that I had — I instinctively position sized very small, and cut my losses.  My problem was the hit rate and the inadequate profits, but that instinct kept me in the game while I learned more.  I had been working hard all this time acquiring Technical Analysis and trade management skills and initially concluded that the problem must be my skill levels.  Another year went by, and at the end of it I had not hit any of the modest trading targets set, but had established by comparison with colleagues that my TA skillset was as good as the best I knew.  And certainly better than many who said they were doing better than I was.

 

Well the only rational response to that data was to conclude that something else wasn’t right.  Assuming that it was true that some people made a good living trading technically, then if it wasn’t about the skill set it had to be about the guy who was (or was he?) applying the skills.  At that stage I saw the question as being “why wasn’t I making good decisions”.  A very difficult question to someone who had 25 years evidence of very good decision making in the law.  So I set out down the road of studying the how’s and why’s of my subjective influence on what I saw as being an objective process.  Of course I came to Van Tharp’s book Trade Your Way... quite quickly, and there I found enormous wisdom, quite eye-opening commentary and a huge amount to come to terms with.  But I also found a bit of commentary that turned out to hold me up quite considerably in the months and years that followed.  I found the resolution to that issue in the Matrix, and it is unquestionably the insight that has most impacted my life since reading the book.

 

I haven’t gone back to check the earlier commentary, but I remember it as being to the effect that Trading Systems were 30% logical and 70% psychological.  In the context of that book and of my personal development at the time this seemed an utterly sensible belief to me, which I adopted immediately, and used many times to understand many issues.  It became a little confused in my mind with the 80/20 rule widely known in other circles, which was very unhelpful, but anyway, my bottom line belief was that many processes were 20 or 30 % rational (objective) and 70 or 80 % psychological (subjective).  I didn’t see the approach as limited to trading.  My pastime is dancing, an activity requiring some skill, but it could be seen as within that 30-70% analysis.  So can playing golf.  Then with a bit of thought it became clear that it had much wider application.  In other words, I adopted that belief hook line and sinker, and thought it must be right. 

 

I wasn’t then thinking in terms of whether beliefs were useful, I was expecting them to be right or wrong  But after some considerable time I came to know that it wasn’t useful.  That belief allowed me to conclude that my lack of success was down to two issues — the logic of the trading system, and the psychology.  I was finding dealing with the psychological issues to be extremely difficult.  It’s the first step of actually identifying the issue that I found hard.  Once it’s identified (which effectively means “admitted”)  I found subsequent steps to be much easier.  I’m good at discipline, but only when I understand what I have to be disciplined about.  For example I realized quite easily that I was chasing the price as it went away from my entry signal, because once I started looking in the right place I could quite easily feel the emotions, indeed the compulsion, in my body as I did it.  So that got cut.  But it was about the only clear success.   And of course my belief gave me a get out of jail card–if you can’t fix the psychology, then fix the trading system.  So countless hours were effectively wasted improving my rational skillsets.  I now see it as training to be an astronaut when I needed to learn how to ride a bike in balance.  And if you’re spending countless hours doing the one thing, you’re definitely not doing the other.

 

Matrix sorted out that Gordian knot in no uncertain terms.  100% of trading is psychological.  Period.  Van Tharp’s earlier 30/70 split was misleading and not useful and he was changing it.  Whoa, that was a shock.  His earlier book had sounded right.  What’s going on here?  And what about all those skills I just learned.  They’re all 100% rational, and many of them statistically proven in terms of probability. If trading is 100% psychological then what are the Stats doing?  And would he now be saying, if asked, that Golf was 100% psychological?.  It can’t be, can it?.  Better clubs hit the ball better and further, don’t they?  It’s that fitter, stronger and more agile men hit the ball longer and straighter than I do because they have those skills, isn’t it?... and so on.  But it didn’t take long for the lightning bolt in his new belief to strike through my resistance to it. 

 

It’s not just that the book powerfully explains Van Tharp’s thinking.  It had already become increasingly clear to me before I read it that the 30/70 rule wasn’t working for me.  It had became too vague to work with.  Which bit is the logical and which bit is the psychological?  If my logical bit is really super dooper can’t I think of it as 50/50? Indeed if I get it to 51% then I’ve got the edge … These thoughts were obviously unuseful when I had them, but they had still caused me to have lost grip on dealing with the real issue.

 

And when I started experimenting with the idea that trading was 100% psychological, and that by extension many other activities probably were too, a myriad of understandings started flooding through.  The easiest analogies are sporting, but as I go through everyday life I see more and more clearly that the living of all aspects of life is essentially psychological, partly because our interface with life is essentially through the various interpretations of external data that our mind makes, and is not through that data itself, and partly because those interpretations are influenced by the very core of what we are, which isn’t to be found exclusively in any one part of our minds.

 

It’s profoundly affected my trading.  I see the whole process in a completely different light, and have found it (i.e. the psychology underlying my trading performance) much easier to identify and come to terms with.  Indeed the gratitude for my new success is, hopefully, expressed in the writing of this note, which I’ve not found easy.

 

But trading is not the half of it. Adopting this belief has transformed many of my relationships, as I get to understand that it’s psychology that partners are expressing, subjective interpretations influenced by a myriad of things. Not objective facts.  My relationship with my son, conducted long distance half way round the world, has improved out of sight, as I can see much more clearly where he’s coming from when he says stuff I could have argued with before. My dancing has improved as I bring a new understanding to what dance is, and I suppose the real bottom line is that my relationship with myself has improved, too.

 

Thank you,

 

Tony

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Tarun

A Moment of Epiphany

 

"Trading Beyond the Matrix" is a wonderful book that made me think about things that had been buried inside me for decades. I've had a strong interest in trading and have been active in the markets for about 15 years with varying levels of success. This included periods during which I stayed clear of the markets altogether because of strong emotional associations from past experiences. However, during the past year I've been trading once again with mixed results. This time, I did create a business plan and a strategy, although I know now (after reading this book) that they are inadequate and need much work. Needless to say, I've stopped trading for now since I started reading your book.

 

Every book I've read about trading in the past has taught me something useful. These lessons have always (until now) focused on one goal, i.e. to help the reader figure out a way to become a better trader. Naturally, I was expecting the same from "Trading Beyond the Matrix", but it seems to have somehow crossed that threshold, and has done so in a powerful way. I can best describe it as a moment of epiphany, and here is why. I grew up in a religious society where a well defined relationship with God was prescribed. Although religion wasn't consciously drilled into me, it was all around me on a daily basis because it is a way of life where I come from. As I approached adulthood I questioned religion and everything about it, eventually deciding it was not for me. Even still, I've had an inherent affinity toward spirituality. I've lived with this belief (hence my reality) for over a decade, wondering if I was somehow being hypocritical. As I read your book, I learned that others have had similar beliefs and found paths that work well for them. Quite suddenly I realized that I needed to find a Oneness Blessing giver near me and I did, and let me tell you it was a heart warming experience.

 

I am thankful to you for exploring spirituality so extensively in this book because it has given me the insight that becoming an awakened being by reconnecting with my spiritual Self and living in the present, is precisely what I've been wanting for over 15 years. As I make progress on this life journey, successful trading will simply be a by-product of this larger endeavor. Thank you for rekindling what I didn't know was buried inside.

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Sharyn P.

Simple Connectedness

 

My key insight from Trading Beyond the Matrix is: I can’t do it all on my own, I’ve never even needed to, in fact, it’s impossible!   Your personal story, and those of your super traders, convinced me we all have constant inner guidance directing each of us to the outcomes we desire. 

 

Although I already had an inkling this was the case, I failed to truly believe it; essentially because I was not seeing outcomes that matched any of my desires. Encouraged by the personal stories, I challenged some of my own beliefs and realized I too could tap into this guidance. It gave me clarity to see that wayward outcomes are not because of a lack of guidance, but in fact driven by concealed beliefs that need addressing. Not only did your book uncover this for me, it clearly set out simple techniques to address it. I now see all the little requests for guidance that I was continually making are, in fact, being answered:  answers I had been overlooking because they seemed too simple.

 

As a recent example of this simplicity, I’ve been keen to try forex trading again.  I had already bought and read several books on forex trading, but none of the methodologies fit with my lifestyle: I don’t want to spend hours staring at the screen waiting for a set up. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I had a meeting in town.  Before leaving, I diligently wrote in my journal as I do most mornings.  In my jottings that morning, I let off steam about not being able to work out a short term forex system that would fit around my day.  I went off to my meeting only to realize I had mixed the dates up, it had been held a day earlier and I’d missed it.  I was furious with myself. So, rather than waste my bus trip into town, I decided to visit the city library. 

 

I browsed the shelves and read some magazines off the rack. Then, as a last minute thought before leaving, I decided to check the trading section for any interesting books.  Sure enough, the first book I picked up was excellent book on forex trend trading. It set out eight very simple trend trade set ups including where to set stops and targets—exactly what I had been looking for!  I browsed a few more books but none compared to this first one.

 

I have since been paper trading the techniques described in the book, and found them to fit very well with my lifestyle. Producing profits forex trading is a separate issue, which at this stage, I’m not even sure I’m capable of.  So, I’ll continue to paper trade while I address this belief, all the while knowing I was guided to the information, giving me the confidence to persevere.

 

As simple as this example is, the underlying principle has unlocked a powerful connectedness, replacing the helplessness of feeling merely buffeted by the winds of random chance. I am extremely grateful that you had the courage to write this book.  You dared to put your mainstream reputation on the line, and it has allowed me to accept inner guidance as real, and not just some sort of hippy, dippy out there idea.  I also felt encouraged to start A Course in Miracles, which has served well to reinforce this principle.

 

The clear impact of all this is: I am no longer trading on my own as my confidence in my inner guidance grows deeper.  Your book taught me to ask for guidance for each step of the journey, and acknowledge and reflect on the outcome. The impact has spread into my everyday life as I notice more and more requests answered. 

I am aware this only the beginning, and diligent practice is required if I am to break permanently free of the matrix holding me to the most limiting belief of all: that I am on my own.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Sharyn P.

 

Sally U.

The Short Seller vs. The Artist


Before describing my profound insights gained from doing the exercises in the book, I wanted to give a little background. 

 

About a year ago, 18 months into my trading career, I was a terrible trader, consistently losing money, frustrated and frightened but also absolutely determined to succeed. When I heard the phrase,

 

"Our mission of transformation through a trading metaphor"

 

I understood that I had seen that this was what I wanted, and this was why I had continued to trade.

 

State of my mind when I discovered Trading Beyond the Matrix

  • I believed that stock markets should fall. In my mind this wasn't opinion, it was  fact. This was based on the 'fact' that there are good reasons and bad reasons why stock prices rise. I 'knew' that Fed easing was causing the rises, and this being a bad reason meant that prices should not be happening and therefore I should only trade on the short side.
  • This very expensive idea proved very hard to shake off and I was baffled why I continued to trade this idea. Except that I had two more facts that could keep me in losing short positions: first, if I closed my short positions and became the last bear to capitulate, stock prices will immediately fall. And second, since prices fall faster than they rise, if I could just hold on I will make huge gains and get all my money back.
  • I had made a lot of money in 2008 and then again in 2011 (but lost it all again and much much more) and wanted to repeat this, but my awareness of this as the source of my bearish view didn't lessen the grip that it had on my psyche. I  even contributed to blogs to say that perma-bears have a form of psychosis. But still I traded my 'fact' that markets should fall — fast and soon.
  • After my first encounter with Van Tharp material, I had to face up to how much I love losing money in the markets since that is what I did, over and over again. This idea felt somehow, bizarrely true, but deepened my confusion. I could also see that the law of attraction was at work: I had an almost obsessive ideation of price collapses which came absolutely and perfectly true — but just in my account.
  • This is the state of my mind when I started to read Trading Beyond the Matrix. Normal forms of self analysis weren't working. Now matter how much I analyzed my bearish determination and tried to control my bearish proclivity nothing worked. The first action I took was to take the Sedona Method course as recommended in Trading Beyond the Matrix. I had a hunch that my first step would be to forgive myself for losing money, for getting things so wrong in the markets etc. The Sedona Course helped me achieve that (and much more).

The Insight

 

After Sedona, and knowing that I really wanted to trade (previously I suspected that my trading was a perverse form of punishment for my losses), I listened to Trading Beyond the Matrix for the fourth time and bingo, I saw it: I could complete a parts negotiation processwith this impetuous short seller.

 

There she was: a wild, red-haired troll who told me things like, "Don't play by the rules! Be a maverick! You don't have to play like everyone else! Take one genius trade, make a ton of money and that'll show them! I don't have to do the dull bit! Be brave! Be crazy!" So this little gremlin had a lot of energy, and a lot of spirit. I saw that there was absolutely no way this energy could be controlled by willpower, by simply telling it to be quiet, to obey the rules, because that just made it rebel more and shout louder. The part it was having a conversation with was the artist (going head to head with the banker part seemed like too big a step). The artist, who appeared as a giant, beautiful egg. kept saying to the impetuous short seller, "But it doesn't work, you're not helping any of us. I really envy your energy and your spirit and wish I had more of it myself but your bombastic behaviour is not helping us." The sense of calm that came over me after this process was incredible. The negotiation brought many surprises; I found that the impetuous short seller was satisfied with the things like buying an almost off-grid cabin in the woods, by not wasting money on frivolous things, by being self-sufficient, free thinking, self determined. 

 

After all the years I had wasted framing this part as my vicious self-sabotor, as lazy, as undisciplined, as stupid when all it wanted was expression of its big bold spirit. It took about 10 minutes of parts analysis during a longer meditation to find it. Literally a miracle.

 

Now I am doing parts analysis on everything I can find. Today I had another break-through by negotiating with my inner bully who has sucked a lot of energy and fun out of life. It's quick, fun imaginative and incredibly powerful. 

 

Thank you!

 

Sally U.

 

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Robert C.

An Explosive Bombshell and Quiet Truth

 

It's right there in the Foreword to Trading Beyond the Matrix. The one most important insight that any trader can ever possibly understand is there, only a few pages after the Table of Contents on page xix. It just so happens that it is also the most important insight that any person can ever receive. And this insight applies to all human endeavor, not just trading. And it applies regardless of age, sex, religion, nationality or any of the other “divisions” that we as human beings have uselessly divided ourselves into.

The external world is a reflection of our internal world.”


WOW! For those of us who have at least begun to “get it,” — that our thoughts really do become external reality, that our beliefs actually do shape our very lives regardless of all else, this one simple sentence is at the same time an explosive bombshell in our lives and a quiet truth—a quiet truth that has always been there serving us, if only humanity can become aware of it, if only more and more of us continue to wake up to it.


So now, if we are truly committed to making something positive out of our trading and of our very lives, we can realize that it starts inside our selves. Success is decidedly NOT a matter of accreting more and more from outside our selves, but instead allowing that which was already placed inside each and every one of us by our Creator to grow, to blossom, so that we may become our true self that was inside each and every one of us all along.


In every chapter of this amazing book, in fact on each and every page, this great insight is generously shared with all of us who have open minds and hearts willing and capable of receiving this message. Dr. Tharp and his students have opened themselves up to us in very personal ways, sharing intimate details of their own inner lives as they traveled along their own paths of becoming world class traders and teachers. Their honesty and openness about their inner journeys to success will inform and inspire all who choose to read with an open heart.


Some of us may still think that certain technical parts of trading such as arithmetical calculations and the details of system design might not be essentially psychologically (internally) driven. But they are, and we learn about the states of mind and useful beliefs that are conducive to success at every step along the way whether it be entries, or exits, stops or add on positions, determining the big picture, or deciding when to stop trading.


I feel much gratitude for Dr. Tharp, VTI, and all of Dr. Tharp's students who have in Trading Beyond the Matrix caused this priceless insight to become real and foremost in my consciousness.

 

Robert C.

 

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