#808 October 26, 2016
Tharp's Thoughts
Weekly Newsletter
  • Feature: Learn to Dissociate, by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
  • Workshops: Dates Set for January 2017 Schedule
  • Tip: A Very Scary Chart — How Bad Is It & When Should We Care?, by D. R. Barton, Jr.
  • FREE BOOK!: Trading Beyond the Matrix
Coming This January!

Think about the biggest mistake you made last year. How much did it cost you? What if you could "save" that amount every year by eliminating similar mistakes? How much would it be worth? Eliminating self-sabotaging behaviors could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to you over your lifetime; for some of you, it could be worth millions.

Learn what all the best traders and investors have in common—their real secrets to success, and how and when you to apply them to your own trading. When students put these concepts into practice—they see the difference. Just think what performing at a peak level can mean to your bottom line! Then, add the compounding effect of more consistent performance, and you begin to understand the real value of this course.

Dr. Tharp is the most consistent, astute and systematic researcher of human behavior you’ll probably ever meet. He has personally interviewed thousands of top traders to determine what makes them excel in their profession and collected psychological profiles from over 5,000 traders and investors.

He is a pioneer in the trading coach field. There are other trading coaches today, but when Dr. Tharp conceptualized the process 30 years ago, he was one of the first people to ever do so. Attending this course means that you are learning from the best.

He carefully crafted all of the information from his studies into a model that people like you can adopt to improve your own skills. In fact, when Jack Schwager interviewed 16 of the world’s best traders in his original Market Wizards book, he elected to interview Dr. Tharp as a Peak Performance Trading Coach.

Join the thousands of fortunate traders and investors who have already learned the secrets of Dr. Tharp’s carefully researched model for successful trading through this workshop. You will learn for yourself the incredible difference that adopting this model can make for yourself—both in terms of trading profits and in improving your life. That’s the amazing thing about Dr. Tharp’s model—not only will it teach you how to enhance your profits, it will likely help you to become more successful in all aspects of your life, as well.

Dr. Tharp was an innovator when he began his studies of traders and the trading process, and he is still an innovator today, constantly improving upon what he teaches and how he teaches.

During this intensive, hands-on workshop, students learn which specific tasks to tackle (and in what sequence) that will enable them to transform their trading from loss-ridden and inconsistent to consistently profitable. Participants will see how to integrate the strategic trading concepts of personal psychology, trading systems, and position sizing strategies into one seamless design through a well-structured trading business plan.

In this workshop, traders begin to build their plans that include specific, actionable steps they can implement as soon as they get back home.

Here are some of the benefits of attending the workshop:

  • Assess your beliefs about trading and about yourself so you can identify the useful ones, leverage them even while you eliminate others that are holding you back.
  • Learn how to steer your entire system development process through your objectives.
  • Find the key ingredient that most traders and investors are missing in their objectives that will make you thrive financially.
  • Leave with a detailed outline for your trading business plan with every main area of importance for your trading business already defined.
  • Identify 3 trading strategies that fit you and that are compatible with the big picture so your trading results are consistently profitable.
  • Learn the 8 critical areas of contingency planning that most traders find out about the hard way (i.e., the expensive way). Developing plans for contingencies minimizes the risks to your trading business that could otherwise wipe you out.
  • Discover how to leverage the strengths of your personality type and minimize your personal challenges to improve your trading.
  • Learn how to cultivate the most important attitude required for successful trading.

Some people take years to discover just a portion of what you will learn in a 3-day period. You’ll do so much more than just learn about building a successful trading business, you will personalize each of the tasks and steps for doing that into your own customized action plan. After completing the Blueprint for Trading Success Workshop, you return home knowing exactly what you need to do to reach your trading objectives.

This course is a complete structured program that will launch you to a more advanced skill level in your trading. You’ll learn strategic, focused steps that will serve you throughout your entire trading career.


Feature Article

Learn to Dissociate

By Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

Van Tharp

Click here to resolve formatting problems

If you wanted to know what peak performance trading looks like, you could examine a market genius and study how that person approaches her craft. You also could look at a genius in some other area and notice if some of his behavior could be applied to trading. In that regard, I’ve been thinking about how Einstein would think about the modern markets. I learned that one of the things Einstein did well was to dissociate. He used imagery to step out of his body and assume another perspective.

Try the following exercise for yourself. During each part of the imaginary adventure that follows, notice what your thoughts are and what your experience is like.

Here is the first imaginary scene. See yourself (your whole body) on a movie screen getting ready to go skydiving. Watch the movie of you with your parachute attached in the airplane getting ready to jump. After you jump, see yourself free-falling for about 10 seconds and then pulling the rip cord. Notice what happens when you pull the rip cord; it’s as if the parachute pulled your body up in the air. Now watch yourself float under the parachute gently down to the ground. That’s called being dissociated.

Repeat the same scenario, but this time, see the event out of your own eyes. Imagine that you are actually in the plane prior to the jump. Notice your hands and feet as you are waiting for the signal to go. Now move over to the door, get yourself ready, and then jump out. Notice how the plane moves away rapidly as you free-fall through the air. After about 10 seconds, feel your hand reach to pull the rip cord and notice the experience of your parachute opening and slowing your fall. Now feel yourself floating down gently as the ground gets closer and closer. That is called being associated.

Note that the scene was the same for both experiences—you were jumping out of an airplane. Yet the images, both of which were imagined, were quite different.

We live most of our lives in an associated state. As a result, everything seems real. Our feelings seem real. Our beliefs seem like reality. Yet that is the case simply because we seem to be part of it. What we are thinking seems to be all there is.

As soon as you assume another position—dissociated—your experience changes dramatically. Your thoughts are different. Your experiences are different. Yet is this dissociated experience any more or less real? It’s neither; it’s just another experience.

This quality of assuming other perspectives, especially this dissociated perspective, is common to many great people in many fields. Einstein is just one example. Great quarterbacks have claimed to have the perspective of being above the entire football field (even while they are playing) so that they can see the entire field in a detached manner.

Imagine the perspective that would bring for anyone who could do it.

Michael Jordan claimed to be able to imagine floating over the basketball court and from that perspective being able to see everything that was going on. Perhaps that explains why he seemed to know where everyone was on the court. Again, think of the advantage such a skill would give you.

I did two interviews with the former fund manager Tom Basso some years ago. Jack Schwager interviewed him in The New Market Wizards and gave him the nickname “Mr. Serenity.” In my interview with Tom, he revealed that his ability to dissociate was one of the secrets of his success. Here’s a little of what he said:
In situations in which I felt I needed improvement or in which I wanted to improve my interactions with other people, I would just play key events back in my head—figuring out how others had handled the situation… I’ve always thought of it as some Tom Basso up in the corner of the room watching Tom Basso here talking to you in this room. The funny thing about this secondary observer was that as time went on, I found the observer showing up a lot more. It wasn’t just at the end of the day anymore. As I got into stressful situations, as I started trading, doing more interacting with a lot of people, getting our business off the ground, dealing with clients, and so on, I found that this observer was there to help me through it. If I felt awkward or uneasy, then I was able to watch myself do it. Now, I have this observer there all the time.—Excerpt, Course Update #9
A fundamental presupposition of NLP is that if one person can do something, everyone else can do it too. Since being able to move to another perceptual position is one of the critical aspects of genius and greatness, it’s important to start practicing it.
Here’s an exercise. At the end of the day, replay the day in your mind, especially critical junctures in the day. Do it from a disassociated point of view in that you watch yourself going through the day. Once you’ve completed the exercise, write down what you notice about yourself.

How can you apply this to your trading? Here is a simple exercise for when you feel that you are not trading well. Simply stand up, walk to a different part of the room and imagine observing yourself trading in that moment. Notice what you looked like sitting there in the state you were just in. What did you do with your body? How did you hold yourself? What did your face look like? What was your breathing like?

After you’ve observed all those things, notice how you feel now as the observer. You are no longer in that body in the chair. Instead, you are watching yourself from a dissociated perspective. All the previous feelings and emotions should be gone. If they are not, make sure you are watching yourself.

Now ask yourself some questions: What resources do I need to be able to handle this situation like a Super Trader? Do I need confidence? Do I need the courage to get out? Do I need some perspective? If I had those resources, how would I look sitting in that chair?

Next, see yourself sitting over there full of those resources and notice how different the situation becomes when you bring those resources to the table. Chances are that things are quite different.

Now we’ll find out the real power of this exercise. Actually go and sit down in your chair (become associated again) bringing with you the new resources. Become how you just imagined yourself being. Now, what is that like? Chances are that you have an entirely different perspective on the situation and that you are performing at a totally different level.

That’s the power of dissociation. Practice this technique at least once a day for the next week. The more you do it, the easier it will become.

Excerpted from Super Trader, 2nd Edition, (New York, McGraw Hill, 2011) .65

About the Author: Trading coach, and author, Dr. Van K. Tharp is widely recognized for his best-selling books and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program—a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors. You can learn more about Van Tharp www.vantharp.com.


Presented by Ken Long
October 28-30
Presented by Ken Long
October 31-November 1
Exclusive Event for Super Traders
Dec 3-4 (Sat/Sun) SUMMIT
Dec 5 (Mon) Day Off
Dec 6-8 (Tu-Thr) Systems Thinking
Dec 9 (Thurs) Day Off
Dec 10-12 (Sat-M) Oneness Turbo
December 3-12
January 2017
These workshops ARE confirmed! Register now before the holiday season gets hectic.
Presented by Van Tharp with co-presenter RJ Hixson
January 20-22
Presented by Van Tharp and RJ Hixson
January 24-26
More 2017 dates will be announced soon!
Other first quarter selections will likely include How to Develop Winning Trading Systems, Forex and Forex Live.

Trading Tip

A Very Scary Chart — How Bad Is It & When Should We Care?
by D. R. Barton, Jr.

Click here to resolve formatting problems

In my neck of the woods this Halloween season, the most popular decoration is a really big fake spider web that spans from a gutter and spills out onto the yard. I guess it helps that the web costs less than ten bucks and takes no time to put up…

Add big fuzzy fake spiders and – voila! Scary house:

In the same vein this past week, a reputable research firm published a “scary” chart and I just can’t help but comment. Here’s the chart:
Similarities, Likes, Dislikes

Before we talk about the merits and shortcomings of the analysis, let me point out some similarities between the chart and those giant spider webs around my neighborhood:

  • First, if you let your mind wander a bit and get into the season of scary things, you can imagine a scenario where this might hurt you.
  • Second, it’s scary only to little kids and perhaps old folks who can’t see very well.
  • Third, the chart (like that fake spider web) is cheaply made. As I’ll show, a rising wedge support line may have to be redrawn multiple times before it signals a top.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s check in on what I like about this chart:

  • I think the upper trend line is drawn correctly and has some validity. If that line is broken, then just like a mirror breaking, we’ll have maybe seven more months of uptrend (sorry bulls, not years).
  • I like the comments in the upper left box.
  • The concept of “increasingly dangerous bubbles” is quite compelling and I believe that we will look back on this bull market and call it the QE bubble.

What I don’t like about this chart:

  • The rhetoric in the bottom right box is a bit whack-o overall.
  • Specifically, saying that we have not been in an uptrend because the move up has been caused by multiple bubbles is absurd. If I’m running fast just because I’m being chased by a rabid dog, the dog does not negate the fact that I’m running fast. It just explains why…
  • Lastly, the bottom trend line / lower support of the wedge is subjective, capricious, and very tough to use for trading or investing decisions. One chart example will show why.

If we buy into the fact that we’re looking at a long term rising wedge (which we probably are), then completing the pattern will require a legitimate third touch of that bottom support line. And importantly - until we get the third touch, that bottom line can be moved. How? Let’s look at the support line as it would have been drawn in July, 2015:

Given what’s happened since then, we can see that the bottom line was broken with multiple closes below it in the last year:
Any exit on the break of the originally drawn line would have had you forfeiting a 12 – 13% move higher.

The Bottom Line

The market’s rising wedge pattern is useful to watch and it will become critical - once we get one more successful test of the bottom support line. Until then, it’s a just another pattern in development.

Please send your thoughts and comments to drbarton “at” vantharp.com — I always appreciate hearing from you!

Great Trading,
D. R.
About the Author: A passion for the systematic approach to the markets and lifelong love of teaching and learning have propelled D.R. Barton, Jr. to the top of the investment and trading arena. He is a regularly featured analyst on Fox Business’ Varney & Co. TV show (catch him most Thursdays between 12:30 and 12:45), on Bloomberg Radio Taking Stock and MarketWatch’s Money Life Show. He is also a frequent guest analyst on CNBC’s Closing Bell, WTOP News Radio in Washington, D.C., and has been a guest on China Central Television — America and Canada’s Business News Network. His articles have appeared on SmartMoney.com MarketWatch.com and Financial Advisor magazine. You may contact D.R. at "drbarton" at "vantharp.com".

Free Book

FREE Book!
We pay for the book, you pay for shipping.
Read Van’s Latest Book —
TRADING BEYOND THE MATRIX The Red Pill for Traders and Investors

Eleven traders tell their stories about transforming their trading results and lives, in this 400 plus page book.

Below is a brief video on how powerful this book is to traders.

Swing Trading Systems E-Learning Course
Swing with Ken Long
Ken Long's systematic approach to swing trading with 5 distinct trading systems. This course has over 10 hours of instruction with significant follow-along documents included for students to download.

Review the videos as many times, and as often as you like, for one full year. Plus, you receive a bonus workshop at no extra charge—Dr. Van Tharp's Tharp Think Essentials!

You can complete this course at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home or office, and access the materials as many times as you wish during your 1-year subscription period.
Take a look at this video from Ken to learn more about this course.

van tharp

We have extensive information about the Swing Trading System e-learning course, including how to purchase...click the link below!
Cary, NC
For a list of nearby hotels for our Cary, North Carolina locations, click here.

Book your flight arriving to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

When traveling to a three-day course, it's best to arrive the evening before.
To help determine your arrival and departure times, see:

Questions? Click Here to Ask Van...


If you no longer wish to receive our email updates, click the unsubscribe link in the bottom-left corner of this email.

This is a supplement to our subscription based newsletter, Tharp's Thoughts.

800-385-4486 * 919-466-0043 * Fax 919-466-0408
Share this email with your network on LinkedIn

This email was sent to [email protected] by Van Tharp Institute
102A Commonwealth Court | Cary | NC | 27511
Forward to a friend | Manage Preferences | Unsubscribe