#842 June 15, 2017
Tharp's Thoughts
Weekly Newsletter
  • Feature: Why I Love What I Do and How I See The Future of VTI by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
  • Workshops: Workshop Dates Set for London, England this October! Plus the rest of 2017!
  • Tips: Tech Wreck FANG Stocks Dive by D.R. Barton, Jr.
  • FREE BOOK!: Trading Beyond the Matrix
Read Van's article below about new things to come at VTI and the future of the Super Trader Program...including information about a deadline that is fast approaching.

Feature Article

Why I Love What I Do and How I See The Future of VTI
by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
I’m now 70 years old, but, if I can, I plan to continue to do what I do for at least another 25 to 30 years. Warren Buffet is still running Berkshire Hathaway at 86 and his partner, Charlie Munger is still effective and 92. So I plan to do the same.
Effective this year I am required to take social security income and a minimum retirement distribution, but I do so reluctantly. Why? Because I absolutely love what I do. It’s my passion. Furthermore, I have a great staff who likes to do the things that I no longer want to do, so I basically spend my days working on raising my consciousness, being creative, and doing as much as I can to help people. I love to travel, so I try to take at least four trips each year. It’s an incredible life. I just finished doing three days of our Mental Strategies of Great Traders Workshop, and had numerous people tell me they’d gotten huge paradigm shifts and about how much I was impacting their lives. So, what’s not to love?

Earlier this year I did a life history review — for a second time. This is one of the exercises Super Trader students must complete. Perhaps in a few months, when I feel that project is totally complete for me, I’ll write an article about it. However, I’d like to tell you a little bit about it now. During such a life history exercise, you basically write down as many memories as you can think of for each year of your life. And if you organize yourself well, you can probably get at least 10-20 memories for each year. When I did this task, I divided my life into 8 sections as follows:

  • The early years and Japan (ages 1 through 6). I lived in Japan for three years between 1948 and 1951.
  • My years in England. I lived in England for 10 years and at one time had a British accent.
  • High school, college and the US Army Years.
  • Graduate school and my early research years.
  • Forming my business up until I married my present wife, Kala.
  • My early years with Kala until I went through a lawsuit because one of my clients was a super con artist.
  • The period up until I became a Oneness Blessing giver.
  • And the years up to the present, my awakening years.

The life history I’ve produced so far is well over 100 pages and is full of interesting pictures. What was insightful was the fourth period listed above — graduate school and my early research period. I now call this my dead period. My happiness score was about zero during that time and it’s usually over 80 now (the range is -55 to +85).

What’s surprising is that when I recalled all of the events that happened during my dead period, there were no huge negative events except for some trading losses. But somehow the period just seemed dead compared with the later years. I think the reasons were because 1) I didn’t believe in God; 2) I didn’t have any purpose in life; 3) I hated my early research work (it didn’t simulate me at all); 4) I wasn’t working on myself and constantly growing; 5) I rebelled against behaviorism and what the field of psychology was doing to become a science and 6) life didn’t have much meaning for me. As I recalled my memories from those years, some of that feeling of purposeless came back and I wondered why? Again, no significant negative events that I can remember happened during that period.

I now think that the main reason was that I wasn’t growing and I hadn’t found my purpose in life. One of my favorite models for my life, and I’d like to think that I’m at least a little like him, is Joseph Campbell. One of Campbell’s favorite sayings is that your purpose in life is to follow your bliss. I hadn’t found my bliss and I wasn’t following it.

I chose to study psychology because I wanted to model success. But psychology at that time was about behaviorism, which treated a human being like a black box. You didn’t pay any attention to what went on inside the box because that was too subjective. Psychology, it seemed, wanted to be a science and only study the objective. As a result, psychologists measured how to stimulate an organism (human, rat, or cat) and provide reinforcement (positive or negative) and then measured the subsequent behavior. To me all of that just missed the point. For one thing, they didn’t realize that the mere fact of observing their subjects amounted to the subjectivity they want to avoid. But more importantly, I wanted to know what people did to become really successful and really happy, and that involved looking inside the black box. But in those days, success and happiness were not even suitable subjects for study.

Approximately 35 years ago, however, I discovered a lot of things in a very short period of time. I didn’t believe in God as the deity in the sky who passed judgment over humans for their sins. But then it dawned on me that that was just a metaphor put out by some elements of religion. I didn’t have to accept that, but I could select my own metaphor. So, I started to see God as the energy of the universe and I started to see and that energy could be used and channeled by human beings. If your thoughts were negative, then you produced negativity in your life. But if you understood the power of thoughts, you could produce a life of total magnificence.

I lost money several times in the market, and I started to realize that the problem was probably me and thus there was probably something I could do about it. Some people made money in the markets so why couldn’t I and why couldn’t I help others do the same thing.

Around the same time, I also discovered NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) which was touted as the science of modelling. I suddenly had something that I could use to study how successful investors became successful and start to using it myself.

In taking NLP courses, I discovered all sorts of things that I could do to improve my life and help others improve their lives. Suddenly, I had a number of passions:

  • Figuring out how to model successful people.
  • Improving myself.
  • Teaching others how to improve themselves.
  • And developing a business where I didn’t work for the government doing research. One where I didn’t have to answer to the status quo about the direction I wanted to move in. I absolutely loved having my own business and working for myself to help others.

In the process of developing my business, there were many times during the early growth years when if it was going to get done, I was the one who had to do it. There were a period of years when I was somewhat burnt out. But that hasn’t happened for a long time. As all of you know, I have a great staff. I’ve found people who love to do the things that I don’t want to do and who revel in hearing about the transformations we help produce in people’s lives as much as I do. As a result, I get to do all the things I love to do. I own the business so no one can force me out. So why would I ever consider retiring as long as I’m healthy and effective. My plan is to work perhaps 20 or 30 more years and help as many people as I can to change their lives.

How the Future at VTI Looks to Me:

I get excited about the newest technological innovations so you can expect us to do our best to keep up as we have over my 35 years of working as a trading coach and NLP modeler.

  • I plan to continually look for new things to model to help people become more successful traders and investors. And what we are working on now is doing everything we can to make the Super Trader Program, which I think is already unique and the best in the world, even better. Right now I’m studying the differences between those who thrive in the program and those who get stuck. I think we have the answers and we made some significant changes to the program last year.
  • We have about 10 open slots in the Super Trader Program for 2017. We’d like to make sure that everyone who wants to join this year can get in at the current rate, which goes up after July 31st.
  • As a result, for those who qualify*, we are running a one month special on the program.
  • Right now the price of the program is $52,500 for the first three years. It will go up to $60,000 for the first three years in August 2017.

In July we’ll be offering the following specials;
  • A lump sum one-time payment of $50,000 (less applicable discounts**), which will save people $10,000 over the new price.
  • Or the option to make the current payment of $52,500 (less applicable discounts**) in three installments, each six months apart. This still saves $7,500 over the new price and gives you the option to spread the cost out, which I don’t normally do.
  • For more information about the program click here and see our new video here!
  • I’m working on a new book that has the tentative title: Systems and Matrix Thinking: Moving from Force to Power to Awakening. Einstein was one of the first people to introduce Systems thinking to the analytical/reductionist world of science and I personally think that Matrix Thinking is one step further. We’ll also be giving a workshop of the same name in September this year. Few people are even capable of systems thinking (perhaps 20% of the population), but we’re going to teach you to go beyond that to Matrix thinking which will give you the power to totally change your life.
  • There are now 108 Tharp Think Principles. Fifty-five of those are given in my book Trading Beyond the Matrix (which you can still get for free — just pay the postage). However, another 53 principles have been introduced for our Super Traders to improve the program. We are going to produce a video on one the first principles, teaching you the principle and showing you how to get it into your neurology. It will then be followed by weekly podcasts in which RJ Hixson and I explain them all to you. These will be free for everyone.
  • In addition, within the next 3-6 months we’ll be introducing five new websites based on clusters of professions that make up a large portion of our client base.
  • Trading for financial professionals
  • Trading for health professionals
  • Trading for engineers
  • Trading for IT professionals
  • And trading for business owners and other professionals
  • The websites will link to our primary website, but will have articles specific to your profession to help you move into trading.
  • In addition, we’ll be offering a new online trading game in which you can compete with others in your profession, and in all five professions, to see who can do the best job with position sizing to win the game. The trading will be automatic, but you’ll get an email each day with your results and standings plus a new Tharp Think principle. In addition, if you don’t like how you are performing you can place a trade manually or change your trading algorithm. There will be prizes for the top five players plus the top person in each profession. We think it will go viral and be a lot of fun and very educational. It will be like the marble game that we play in our “How to Develop a Winning System that Fits You” workshop in that you will have to earn your high level R-multiples and not just be able to draw them out of a bag. Stay tuned for more information.
  • When I finish the new book mentioned above, I will then produce a sixth volume of the Peak Performance Course for Traders and Investors entitled: Propulsion Systems for Traders and it will cover how to motivate yourself to get ahead in the trading world. However, we are probably talking 2-3 years into the future before this will be produced.
  • I’m also excited about the latest trends in Artificial Intelligence. Right now I have all of the main technologies that I know about. I have a Google Home machine; an Amazon Echo; and, of course, Siri on my iPhone and iPad. I’m watching the new developments in all three. If you know about other new developments, please let me know. My goal will be to incorporate AI into making Super Traders, even though I have no idea yet how we’ll do that.
Just writing about all of these things gets me excited. I see a lot more opportunity ahead to fulfill our mission at the Van Tharp Institute which is Transformation Though a Trading Metaphor, as shown in my new Peter Max Portrait by the same name.

* The way to qualify to apply to the program is to attend Peak Performance 101 or the Oneness Awakening workshop. This allows to me personally assess your openness to the psychological, self-work, part of the program, and to gauge your level of commitment. There is one more qualifying workshop that you can still attend in July before the price increase.

**Additional credits apply to the program cost based on your other activity with VTI. For example, if you already attended a workshop or purchased a home study, which will be part of the program, you'll get a 50% credit for the amount you have spent already, further reducing the cost of the program.
Qualify to Apply To The Super Trader Program
by attending Oneness Awakening this July!
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.

The price of the Super Trader Program will increase after July 31, 2017. This is the last qualifying workshop before the price increase.

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!

If you would like to know more about this workshop, or talk with someone 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].

Workshop Schedule

July 2017
August 2017
Dr. Ken Long begins his Day Trading Systems workshop by teaching you two day trading systems called the Frog and RLCO. Through his action-packed lectures students will gain an understanding of each system’s beliefs, rules, and variations.

Ken has been a long-time active trader and observer of the markets. He's noticed the consistent habit of prices for particular issues to move a certain amount. Much like a frog jumps when it hears a loud noise, prices tend to move a certain amount before they pause or move again. Different frogs are able to jump different distances, but each one tends to jump about the same distance as it did last time. Would it be possible to know about how far a stock’s price would move on any given day?

After attending this three-day workshop you qualify to stay on and live trade these same systems for the next two days alongside Ken. Plus attendees will receive follow up assistance in Ken's ongoing Chatroom for Traders.

Special Bonus: Free Membership in Powerful 'Chatroom' Plus Three Coaching Calls

Inspired by the powerful networking Ken has seen develop over the years at VTI, both through the Super Trader program and workshop attendees, he created and leads a group of traders with a shared interest in swing trading and intraday trading which he calls the Chatroom.
Ken and his chatroom members have been developing a daily community of practice to encourage a healthy and helpful environment to support each members' development as a trader.
And, as a way to maintain the spirit of cooperation experienced at the workshops after you are headed back home, you get free membership and access to this chatroom forum. And while this membership is free to workshop attendees, the value of this ongoing interaction and learning is likely as valuable the workshop itself.
Announcing An Exclusive New Trading Workshop:
Sideways Market Strategies
Profit When Price Goes Nowhere:
How to Successfully Trade Sideways Markets In Every Time Frame
Kim Andersson covers a few objectives of the new Sideways Market Strategies course in this short video above.
Did you realize that no matter what time frame you trade or what method you use to measure them, Sideways markets happen between 59% and 65% of the time!

And yet scant attention is given to this market type. When you encounter them the task of trading becomes much more challenging, stressing your systems and your psychology beyond your normal comfort zone. This new workshop is the antidote to this under appreciated, and least understood market type.

As an extra added bonus, Kim Andersson has agreed to provide additional support to all Sideways Market Strategies attendees for the remainder of 2017! This is no small offer. Your class will get four monthly calls (1 hour each), as well as ongoing email support for months after the workshop. She will offer her feedback and expert guidance for any sideways trading issues you may have for the rest of 2017. This way you know that you can be fully prepared to trade in Sideways conditions and get your follow up questions answered.

September 2017
October 2017 LONDON, ENGLAND
November 2017

The Super Trader Summit is in December, dates to be announced.

Trading Tip

Tech Wreck — FANG Stocks Dive
by D.R. Barton, Jr.
“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
The “Tech Wreck” — Not that Big of a Deal

I remember a hugely hyped event back in 1986 — and maybe a lot of you do, too. Geraldo Rivera was going to open Al Capone’s vault, live, on national prime time television. Workers had found a hidden subterranean chamber at Chicago’s Lexington Hotel, Al Capone’s former base of operations, when preparing for a renovation.

A TV show was built around a live demolition of the wall leading into the mystery chamber and was hyped relentlessly leading up to the event. For 2 hours, 30 million people watched the lead up to the big moment… Would bodies be found? Would they find a huge hoard of cash and jewels? Much to the dismay of the viewing audience, the vault only held a pile of dirt and a few empty bottles.

All that hype and no follow through.

I couldn’t help but feel that same way as the great stocks of our day had a true swoon last Friday, June 9. Goldman Sachs had issued a warning that the top tech stocks were in a "Valuation Air-Pocket” (meaning that they were overvalued). Led by the so-called “FANG” stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) and Apple, most other tech stocks joined the ride down. Mind you, a drop of 4% in a stock like Apple or Amazon is nothing to sneeze at. Then on Monday, a second tier firm downgraded Apple to help fuel a subsequent day of selling in the world’s largest company.

At 9:58 on Monday night, CNBC called me on the comfy confines of my couch to ask if I could give an interview at 11:15 p.m. about the Tech Wreck. I had to scratch my head wondering why people were freaking out. There was no panic in the markets — the rest of the indexes really didn’t even care about the drop in the Nasdaq. I told the CNBC viewers as much, but there was a lot more to the situation than I could share with them in that brief segment. Let’s take a look at some of the analysis.
What if You Gave a Panic Party and No One Came?

Even as the tech giants tanked on Friday, the Russell 2000 small cap index was actually up pretty strongly most of the day. Here’s what that looked like 1 ½ hours before the close on Friday:
So while the Nasdaq was getting hammered, the Dow was up a touch. The S&P was down a touch but it looked like all the money rushing out of tech was actually rushing into… small caps?!? The reactions of the other indexes did not signal any panic.

As tech continued to sell-off on Monday, the other indexes ignored tech’s decline and were basically flat for the day:
Other Signs of Panic?

OK, so tech’s stumble actually led to “risk on” type behavior in the other indexes. What about other indicators? How did the “fear gauge” the VIX fare?
Hmmm — the VIX barely moved on Friday and ticked up slightly on Monday. Then it said, “No worries at all” on Tuesday. That’s not how a panic looks.

Well then, surely traders were piling into gold. Many traders classically think of gold as inflation hedge but it actually trades much more like an uncertainty hedge and is a go-to place early in “risk off” moves. Here’s how gold fared Friday through Tuesday —
As Alice would say, “Curiouser and Couriouser” indeed.

I was left with only one conclusion: This was just the normal “breathing” of the market – not a panic. Before Friday, the FANG stocks were up between 23% and 35% for the first half of 2017 — an impressive run, for sure. But after an amazing run up, I believe investors and traders were looking for a chance to take profits:
With the fundamentals and cultural trends providing a strong tailwind for all of these names, there’s reason to believe that price dips are just good opportunities to buy.

A Word on Fed Day

By the time you read this, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC or the Fed) will have raised interest rates by 25 basis points. That act in and of itself will not be much of a market mover. Why not? Almost everyone on planet earth is expecting just that (hyperbole anyone?). See what the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Fed Fund Watch page showed on Wednesday morning based on trading of Fed Funds futures:
I circled three numbers on this graphic. Near the top is the astonishing 99.6% probability that the Fed will raise its target rate by 25 basis points. Below left is the 0.0% chance that the Fed will keep rates the same. This means that everyone trading Fed Funds futures thinks there will be a rate hike today. Lastly, the bottom right circle highlights the 30.8% chance of no rate increase from one month back. I believe the world of the FOMC and central banks is one of the most esoteric out there…

If the fully expected rate increase will have no effect, what could move markets Wednesday afternoon? Two things — the wording of the FOMC prepared statement or Dr. Yellen’s answers in the Q&A session. In the wording, analysts will be looking to see if the Fed removed or revised the phrase “transitory weakness” used in last month’s statement to describe first quarter economic health in the U.S. Also, analysts and traders will look for clues on how many more rate increases we might expect this year (can anyone get enough of those thrilling dot plots?) and when the Fed might start unwinding its massive balance sheet.

A fun afternoon for sure…

I love hearing your thoughts and comments! Please send them to drbarton “at” vantharp.com

Great Trading,
D. R.

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Cary, NC Workshop Information
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:

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