#838 May 17, 2017
Tharp's Thoughts
Weekly Newsletter
  • Feature: An Introduction to Peter Max by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
  • Workshops: $700 discounts expire on June & July Workshops next week!
  • Tips: What to Do In a Flat Market by D.R. Barton, Jr.
  • FREE BOOK!: Trading Beyond the Matrix
3 Peaks in June

(scroll down for details)

Feature Article

An Introduction to Peter Max
by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Earlier this year, I made a fascinating discovery on board a Princess cruise out of Singapore and manifested something great in the process.

We recently hosted several workshops in Singapore, and on February 8th, I arrived in there. My wife Kala had traveled ahead of me to visit with family before the workshops, and originally she was supposed to pick me up at the airport at 2am. Unfortunately, we discovered a few days before my departure that she had contracted Dengue fever and hadn't been feeling well. As a result, I said I’d get myself to the apartment we were staying in. She's owned this place for a while, but it's my brother-in-law who lives there full time. Anyway, I knew the address, but as soon as the taxi dropped me off, I realized I had no idea which floor the apartment was on and then, if I managed to get to the right floor, I wouldn’t know the apartment number. I called my wife and the phone just rang and rang but there was no answer. I waited downstairs for almost an hour. Finally, I realized that it was still regular working hours in the U.S. so I called Cathy at the office to find that she had the apartment number (only to later discover that it was also in the address book of my phone). But the bottom line is that I got into the apartment after about an hour.

Kala was supposed to leave with me for a cruise to Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam before the workshops started, but it was clear to me the next morning that she wasn’t well enough to go anywhere. She had plenty of friends in Singapore — many of them nurses — taking good care of her, so we decided I would go on the cruise by myself. Being by myself on a trip was a big change. I could do pretty much anything I wanted — like eat what I wanted (with no one giving me subtle hints about my choices), go to the ship’s casino as often as I wanted, and go to all of the ship’s art auctions. Of course, I would have traded all of those activities to have my beloved wife with me instead, but they're interesting observations nonetheless.

In this article, I just want to talk about one aspect of the cruise — my addiction to art auctions. I believe I have very good taste in art, and I also have a wife who is a superb artist. I probably don’t have to tell you that we don’t have any wall space left for more art — in the house or the office.

Nevertheless, I went to the art auctions and I occasionally put my hand up in the air to bid. The story I want to tell started toward the end of the art auctions on the cruise. A new art director joined the cruise and he was hosting two talks. The first was on the history of art — which was quite good but he had a surprising bias for the art they had on the ship. The second talk he had was on the artist Peter Max. I have not been a big Peter Max fan … at least until I heard the talk on Peter Max.

Here are some incredible things I found out about the artist —

  • He was born in Germany and his father escaped the war to go to China. It was there where at a very early age, Peter learned Chinese brush strokes. In many of his paintings, he takes a big brush full of many paints and he goes over the whole canvas in one stroke without ever taking the brush off the canvas. While some of his work looks simple, no one can do that — except Peter Max.
  • When he was just out of art school looking for a job, no one wanted to hire him because his paintings were so lifelike. Almost everyone said, “If I wanted realism, I’d hire a photographer.”
  • During one of his interviews, a pop art sketch flew out of his briefcase. The interviewer told Peter, if you can do those I can get you lots of commissions.
  • Within a year, Peter Max became one of the most sought after commercial artists in the world. At one point, he was the world’s most successful commercial artists with his work earning over a billion per year in royalties. He did things like paint an entire Continental Airlines commercial jet. (photo courtesy of petermax.com)
  • Later, however, Peter gave that all up to go into studio art.
  • He painted a portrait of each of the fallen firefighters from 9/11 and gave them free to each of their surviving families. Then he raised nearly a million dollars with an online auction to support the families of the 9/11 victims. (photo courtesy of buzzfeed.com)
  • In the late 1970s, Peter became dedicated to the restoration of the statue of liberty and his fund raising efforts helped pay for restoring the national landmark. He still does a painting of the statue each year in commemoration. (photos below courtesy of petermax.com)
  • He’s done portraits of most of the recent US presidents, including Reagan, Clinton, Obama, and both Bushes.
  • He has also painted a number of well-known figures and celebrities including Swami Satchidananda, the Dalai Lama, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Taylor Swift (see photos below courtesy of pinterest.com).
At the art auctions on the cruise, about 200 people would be in the lounge bidding on pieces. For the talk about Peter Max, however, only five people attended. After learning about him and seeing many of his pieces in the art director’s presentation, I wasn’t sure how much I liked the regular Peter Max pop art. On the other hand, I totally fell in love with his portraits and I made myself a vow — that I’d get Peter Max to paint my portrait soon (he’s about 80 years old right now).

At the end of the talk, the auctioneer said he was going to give away six prize tickets so with only five of us in the room, that made for great odds of winning something. Two of the five people walked out at that point which made for even better odds. The first five tickets were for either $500 or $300 off of a Peter Max art piece for sale on the ship. I won a $300 ticket and then I also won the sixth ticket, the last prize — whatever it was — I didn’t know at that point. Then the art director said the last ticket was for something very special, a Peter Max Portrait for only $13,000. I estimated Max portraits might have cost as much as $60,000 based on information from the lecture so I was overjoyed. That was a very quick manifestation — my own portrait by Peter Max.

It took three months to arrive and now we have it. I couldn’t believe my eyes when it came. Although Peter is capable of extreme realism in his paintings, most of his portraits consist of a blown-up photo over which he paints the surrounding decoration. When you look at it closely, it’s clear that’s what he did with mine. Almost all his portraits show that same approach (except GW Bush and the Dali Lama above).

The Swami portrait he painted was one of my favorites. As a result, I asked for a title in my portrait — “Transformation Through a Trading Metaphor.” He painted the words at the bottom of the portrait which I like.

Here’s what the portrait looks like —

Peak Performance 101 is Dr. Tharp's core psychological workshop, and his most transformative course for over 20 years. If you want to know how great traders think, behave and act so you can achieve consistent and profitable results, without stress, then this workshop is for you. You will not only learn what makes a great trader great, but you will also discover what is holding you back. There are many ways you could be sabotaging your market experiences: overtrading, not pulling the trigger, over confidence or lack of confidence, or just making mistake after mistake. Van Tharp designed this workshop to help you break down barriers, as well as teach you specific tasks and strategies that will improve your trading results overnight.

Workshop Objectives

Students will learn and begin to understand each of these objectives after attending Peak Performance 101:

  • How great traders approach their craft and learn a daily procedure that resembles what they do.
  • How you create your own experience in the market and how you are responsible for the results that you get.
  • Become more aware of some of your own psychological issues that affect your performance as a trader/investor.
  • Learn about expectancy, position sizing strategies and the power of big R-multiples through a simulation game. This game is also designed to help you observe your emotions in a setting in which only a small amount is at stake compared with what you will face in the market.
  • Learn some of the variables that affect your emotions and how you can gain control over them.
  • Learn to overcome self-sabotage through exercises done in the class.
  • Students will get guidance on how to develop an ongoing program to work on themselves using the Super Trader Program as a model.
  • Students will leave with a plan to make the maximum use of the workshop.
  • Participants in this course will get to meet and network with some really great people who a lot in common with each other.

Peak Performance 101 is the prerequisite course for any other workshop in the Peak Series. This workshop is also a qualifying event for those interested in applying to the Super Trader Program. Peak 101 this June will be your last opportunity to attend before the Super Trader Program price increase in July.

Attend all three June workshops and get an extra $900 discount!


Workshop Objectives

This workshop has a team of instructors who will be focused on meeting these objectives:
  • To teach you how to obtain greater control of your life and to give you a broader perspective of what is possible.
  • To teach you how to create your own experiences and how you are responsible for the results that you get
  • To help you use “Big I” to solve what seem like issues and keep you on course. To make you aware of some of your own psychological issues that affect your performance as a trader/investor.
  • To teach you about games and the factors that affect games:
    1. Level of awareness
    2. The ability to make up rules
    3. Game domains
    4. Game rules
  • To teach you your “Winning Strategy” and how - although it has been responsible for your successes - it holds you back from doing even more.
  • To give you a procedure to re-invent yourself using advanced psychological principles.
  • To allow you to meet and network with some really great people who have a lot in common with you.

Modeling Great Trading Through Mental Strategies June 10-12

Workshop Objectives

The material presented in this new, advanced workshop is poised to make a dramatic impact on your life. While in attendance, you will gain understanding about how you are the central character in your story, and how you really create this story, and see how you can ultimately play an active role in shaping your own life. By thoroughly exploring how each of us uses mental strategies and the sequencing of thoughts, you will have the groundwork to continue to hone your skills throughout the workshop and beyond.

Learn the Mental Secrets for Getting What You Really Want!

Attending this cutting-edge workshop can translate into real profits and successes for you. The material presented in this three-day workshop will be information you can use to improve your life and increase your effectiveness, and is not the sort of thing that you can learn anywhere else.

This workshop is likely the only one of its kind, with such unique and powerful concepts geared toward traders — all in one place! Most importantly, the material presented is also quite practical, including plenty of exercises so you can incorporate the strategies you learn right into your daily life with ease. When you leave the workshop, these important strategies will become part of you.

Advanced Mental Exploration

If you have successfully completed Peak Performance 101, you have met the primary prerequisite to attend this course. However, we want to caution you that this workshop involves advanced mental exploration. You must be open to what goes on in your mind to appreciate the depth of this workshop. We will be doing a lot of work with sub-modalities so you should also have at least a little experience working within this framework.

Workshop Schedule

June 2017
The Super Trader Program has several openings currently available, however, the tuition will increase at the end of July. If you are considering joining the program, we would encourage you to apply now to "beat the rush" of new applicants that tend to come in before the end of the old tuition rate.

If you have not attended a workshop that qualifies you to submit an application there are two of these coming before the July 31 deadline. Peak Performance in June and Oneness Awakening in July. Click here to read extensive information about the Super Trader Program. Or go to www.vantharp.com/super-trader-testimonials.asp to see a short amount of info.

July 2017
Reach A Higher Level of Consciousness: A Special Event With Van Tharp
How could a higher level of consciousness help a trader? Most people have had the experience of watching someone who is really great at what they do. Whether it's a sports star in the game or a masterful craftsman, there is an element of effortlessness that comes from their ability to be "in the moment." Many people have had this experience themselves, in some aspect of their lives — for a few seconds or even a few minutes. The moments may be fleeting, but you know when you've had one. It's at these times when we can recognize these people are in a high state of awareness. Participating in the Oneness Awakening Course is an extraordinary opportunity to benefit from some of the most important journeys Dr. Tharp has taken to transform his life, and to cultivate this awareness in your day to day life.

The Oneness Awakening Weekend course has become a fundamental tool in helping Dr. Tharp accomplish his mission of transformation and ultimately help each of his clients succeed. Students who attend this two-day intensive workshop will walk away with tools to help them cultivate awareness in their life, and they will also experience an immediate and tangible shift in perception. As a result of this experience, traders can expect to naturally become more aware, positive, calm, and centered. By extension, they will also experience a shift in how they perceive the market. When a trader sees the market as it really is, rather than what they want to see, the act of trading becomes more relaxed and they become more confident and successful. Does this sound like the type of experience you want trading to be? While this two-day course is not a technical course about trading, we have seen amazing results in the traders who experience the benefits of being more 'awake' and aware, calmer and more centered. Why? Because the person themselves are always the primary instrument, even before the technical skills of trading are engaged. Just like the athlete with impressive skills, traders can also utilize the phenomenon of tapping into their awareness to achieve premium results. Keen awareness, in turn, opens up new possibilities. Another great thing about the concepts and experiences in this course is that they have benefits that apply throughout students' lives, not just in their trading endeavors. Time and time again, traders tell us that their trading improved after taking this course, but also their personal lives as well!

The Role of This Course and The Super Trader Program

If you are interested in applying for admittance to the Super Trader Program, this workshop is a qualifying event. The first stage of the Super Trader program is very much about working on the self, rather than working on systems or trades. Since this course focuses on your inner-growth and self-work, Dr. Tharp is willing to allow candidates to use the course in a similar manner to those that attend the Peak Performance 101 workshop, and motivated traders are able to apply to the program after attending either one. At $495, this course is also the most cost effective way to take a qualifying workshop to apply to the Super Trader Program.

If you would like to know more about this workshop, or talk with one of our staff members to see if this workshop is right for you, we invite you to call or email Rebecca Price. Rebecca is a certified Oneness Trainer. She has been teaching with Dr. Tharp for 3 years, and is enthusiastic about helping others to dive into their own transformation. Call 919-466-0043 or email [email protected].
August 2017

There is a possibility Dr. Tharp will be holding workshops in Europe this fall. More to come as that develops! When we confirm that location we will release dates for Sept, Oct and Nov.
The Super Trader Summit is in December.

Trading Tip

What to Do In a Flat Market
by D.R. Barton, Jr.
Warren Buffet is one of the world’s wealthiest men (second or third behind Bill Gates depending on the list) and is constantly in the media — for good reasons. He is great at what he does and he gives very good interviews. Warren was in the news again last week with the disclosure that Berkshire Hathaway had more than doubled their stake in Apple. While we could debate all day about where Apple stock price is heading, what I’d really like to talk about is about a well-known Warren Buffet saying that is SO VERY important in today’s sideways markets.

Traders’ Advice

When I ask other traders about trading slow markets, I get several very consistent answers — and most of them are about what to avoid. Invariably, someone will quote the old Wall Street saying, “Never short a dull market.” If I heard my friend and former floor trader Brad Martin say that once to new traders, I heard him say it dozens of times. Brad knew from practical experience that this was good counsel on the way short-term markets work.

Turns out that’s also very sage advice for longer-term market conditions and it is also backed up by very good research. In fact, Oppenheimer's Ari Wald shared data in a recent Barron’s article that showed low volatility periods — as we’re experiencing now — are followed by much stronger price action typically in the following 6-12 month period.

Another response from lots of traders — dull markets are a “stock pickers’ markets.” This means that when there’s not much happening, any returns come from finding companies that are doing something different than the broader market.

Many traders also repeat some version of “keep your powder dry” meaning take care of your money (in this case, keeping on the sidelines) until a more productive opportunity comes along. We heard that exact sentiment from Jeremy Grantham in the excellent short video I shared in an article a few weeks ago.

Warren’s Words

“Keep your powder dry” is exactly what Buffet meant when he was quoted in Andrew Kirkpatrick’s biography “Of Permanent Value: the Story of Warren Buffet”:

“When there’s nothing to do, do nothing.”

And in this market, it’s probably better to do nothing. On Wednesday morning, May 17, we are just dropping but we still remain well within a 65 day (and counting) sideways box. Here’s what the S&P chart looks like this morning not long after the open:
Della Donne
Bottom Line?

The markets are getting closer to a reaction point. In grinding bull markets, however, any move bigger than a few percentage points in either direction could take a while to show up. I expect that the time is coming soon for the market to flex its knees (have a very shallow pullback) and then push to its next level of new highs.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome — please send them to drbarton “at” vantharp.com

Great Trading,
D. R.

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Cary, NC Workshop Information
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Book your flight arriving to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

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