#850 August 9, 2017
  • Feature: Getting to Know Van: Looking Up My Ancestry, by Van K. Tharp Ph.D.
  • Workshops: This September Van Teaches a NEW Systems Thinking Workshop
  • Tips: Diverging Indexes – Sign of Distress or Success?, by D.R. Barton, Jr.
  • Announcements: Two Announcements from Van
  • FREE BOOK!: Trading Beyond the Matrix
New Innovations From Trading Psychology Expert, Van Tharp
Since I taught the last Systems Thinking Workshop, my understandings in this field have evolved greatly and deepened far beyond what I taught nearly a year ago. I will basically teach a new version of the workshop explaining my current thoughts, beliefs, and philosophies about my latest theory – the Matrix Thinking Meta-Model. Understanding it will help you begin to realize how YOU create everything around you.

You will learn how to see from multiple perspectives, why you should think in terms of probabilities all the time, and how to reach higher levels of consciousness. Using the Matrix Thinking frame will help you achieve an improved perspective of “you” and your world which will generate genuine new edges in your trading — and in every area of your life. —Van K. Tharp

Feature Article

Getting to Know Van: Looking Up My Ancestry
By Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

This newsletter is called Tharp’s Thoughts so I thought some of you might want to know more about what I think about on a personal level.

One of my hobbies these days is working on my family tree. It’s interesting for me although everyone else in my family seems mostly indifferent. Today with the vast amount of information stored on the internet and the ability to DNA testing, you can find out things that were impossible to learn even 25 years ago.

One reason I find my family tree interesting is that I never knew most of my direct family. For example, my grandparents on my father’s side were both born in 1865 (when the US Civil War ended). They had nine children and my oldest uncle, Verne, was born in 1883. My father was the youngest of the nine children and he was born in 1904. He was 42 when I was born. I spent most of my childhood living overseas so by the time I started high school in the US the early 1960s, most of my aunts and uncles on my father’s side had already passed away. In addition, my Dad never really talked much about his family that I can remember.

I had only one sister and she was born 15 years before me. She died at the age of 57 but my parents lived to be 73 and 85. In 1993, I became the only surviving member of my birth family. Because I never knew any of my extended family really well, I’m interested in learning a little bit more about who they were. As a result, I have a full subscription to ancestry.com and I’ve compiled a family tree with almost 2500 people in it.

Part of the reason I have been interested in my family tree stems from a family rumor I had heard in high school, that we were related to Daniel Boone. I wanted to see if that was true or just a rumor. Daniel Boone was born in 1734, so I assumed that any relationship would have been through his descendants. I set up a family tree for Daniel Boone’s descendants and started to trace it forward to see if I could find any common people but that process gets very complex and I could find no clues whatsoever. Anyway, I did everything I could to compile family information and that included taking a DNA test through ancestry.com.

I traced my relatives back in the family tree and they all seemed to come from England or Germany. My DNA test said I had the same genetic composition as someone born in England today (about 62% English and about 23% Western Europe). I also got a number of DNA matches from ancestry.com so I started to communicate with those who were close relatives (3rd cousins or closer). I asked one of those people about a Daniel Boone connection and 1) he knew exactly what it was, plus 2) he said that I was also related Abraham Lincoln. Both of these relationships were through my father’s grandmother (my great grandmother).

It turns out the Daniel Boone was a 1st cousin 7 times removed. I had been looking for the link in Daniels descendants but Daniel was born in 1734 so I had to go back further in time to find the link. George Boone III (born in 1666) was my 7th great grandfather and Daniel Boone’s grandfather. So, it was a pretty close link.

As it turns out, Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, was also a distant relative. By going backwards in the family trees, I found that Mordecai Lincoln II (born in 1686) is also a 7th great grandfather of mine. Mordecai is Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather. Thus, our 16th president is also my 1st cousin 7 times removed.

When you join ancestry.com you get access to tons and tons of records including numerous family trees. You can’t really trust the family trees entirely without any direct evidence but they certainly help trace one’s ancestry back a long way. For example, I’m sure of the Tharp name going back to Zebulon Tharp who was born in Virginia in 1720. Other family trees take the Tharp name back in the US to Thomas Thorpe who was born in Virginia in 1636. Then other trees take the name back to William Thorpe who was born in Bristol, England in 1585.

What’s interesting is that through the family tree connections (none of which I have verified yet like Lincoln and Boone), I may also be related to Sir Francis Drake, born in 1588, the great English sea captain under Elizabeth I. According to the tree, he is a 10th Great Uncle. There is probably less than a 50-50 chance that that relationship is accurate, however, since it’s all based upon the family trees of others with no real direct evidence.

You might have been as surprised as I was at the number of my direct ancestors who lived in the US before the Revolutionary War. People have four grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 great great grandparents, 32 3rd great grandparents, and 64 4th great grandparents. Of that group of 64 relatives, I have identified 21 of them in my family tree. Two of them were born after the Revolutionary War and I am missing the birth date and date of death for one but the other 18 were all living in the US during the Revolutionary War. It used to be a big status symbol to be a direct descendant of Revolutionary War era Americans but it doesn’t seem like such a big deal, I found out I have at least 18 of them.

What’s more interesting is that going back even further, I have over 100 early family members who were living in the US in the 1600s and about 5 relatives (I don’t know the exact number) came to the US somewhere in the early 1600s. Jamestown was settled in 1607 and the Mayflower arrived in 1620. I haven’t found any Mayflower relatives (yet) and there could be some from Jamestown.

When you go back a generation and you keep doubling the number of direct ancestors, you only need to go back about 1000 years or so before you have more ancestors than there were people on the earth at that time. About 1000 years ago there were probably between 250 and 350 million people on the planet. The doubling method doesn’t work exactly as it turns out there’s some overlapping. I found some evidence to how the numbers can overlap in my family tree. Mary Mosher, a 7th great grandmother had two sons. Both of those sons (Rev. John and Rev. Joseph Maxxon) are 6th great grandfathers. Then one of those sons, Rev. John Maxson, had two daughters, Bethiah and Elizabeth. The son of Bethiah and the daughter of Elizabeth both married and had a daughter who is my 3rd great grandmother. Thus, my 3rd great grandmother only had 7 great grandparents instead of 8. Lots of relatives were marrying in those days.
It’s also interesting to find living relatives who are older than I am but who are 1-2 generations further removed from me. For example, John H. Tharp was my grandfather. But I have talked to others researching their ancestry for whom John H. might be a second great grandfather and they are older than I am.
Doing ancestry research has also revealed some very interesting information about people to whom I was close (i.e., my parents) that I never knew at all. For example, my father didn’t have a college degree but he was a professional engineer in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and even electrical engineering. All of that knowledge came from on-the-job training. That part I knew. But I didn’t know his job description when we lived in England. He was in charge of maintenance and operations of all of the US Military bases is England and Norway. That was quite a title. In addition, he had been involved in some intelligence operations. Before we used the U2 for reconnaissance flights over Russia (if you are old enough to remember that), we used to float unmanned balloons over the Soviet Union to spy on them. My Dad said he had a big role in that effort and I have been able to confirm much of this through my ancestry searches.

What also interested me is that right after World War II, when I was about 6-months-old, my Dad went to the Philippines — presumably to be involved in reconstruction there. I found ships’ manifests that listed him going to the Philippines and returning. Both of the manifests listed him as a private in the US Army, however, that doesn’t make any sense to me. When he was in his 40s, had a family in the US, and such high-level skills, why would he have enlisted in the Army as a private? I know that when we lived in Japan (we were there from 1948-1951), he had a fairly high-powered job as an engineer involved in post-war reconstruction. By the way, through ancestry.com, I even found the manifest for the flight from Japan to San Francisco with my name on it.

None of this has anything to do with transformation, psychology or trading. I just thought you might find my thoughts (this material) interesting. I certainly do.

Workshop Schedule

September 2017
Over the past 25 years, Van K. Tharp has modeled traders and the trading process, seeking answers to questions like, “Why do some traders make fortunes while others lose their nest egg?”

Van Tharp is a NLP modeler. To “model” effectively, you have to find out what behaviors and habits highly accomplished people have in common. Once you identify the common tasks that produce excellent results, you need to develop the beliefs, mental states and strategies that allow you to perform those tasks.
You do not trade the markets. You can only trade your beliefs about the markets.—Van K. Tharp

The Peak Performance workshop hones in on these common tasks and puts you in the driver's seat to take control of your trading success. During this three-day intensive course, you will come to understand how your mental states and beliefs play such a major role in your trading, and reality, your whole life.

Workshop Objectives:

  • 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.

Note: This workshop is held in Cary, NC in September and again in October in London, England
Since I taught the last Systems Thinking Workshop, my understandings in this field have evolved greatly and deepened far beyond what I taught nearly a year ago. I will basically teach a new version of the workshop explaining my current thoughts, beliefs, and philosophies about my latest theory – the Matrix Thinking Meta-Model. Understanding it will help you begin to realize how YOU create everything around you.

You will learn how to see from multiple perspectives, why you should think in terms of probabilities all the time, and how to reach higher levels of consciousness. Using the Matrix Thinking frame will help you achieve an improved perspective of “you” and your world which will generate genuine new edges in your trading — and in every area of your life. —Van K. Tharp

What I Will Share With You

Beginning on Day 1, I will outline the various concepts that make up system thinking as we know it,

  • What systems thinking is and the four major paradigms
  • What is in a system and understanding how function and emergence play a part
  • How humans are “reflexive meaning makers” and how knowing that makes you powerful
  • The problem with “what Science knows about reality”
  • Why some believe we can never really know reality, only actualities
  • Why “The map is NOT the territory” and the reason this is important for your success
  • How logical, linear thinking fails the test for successful trading

Later on, I will share how NLP can be contextualized into a framework of systems thinking, allowing you to move from a problem state to a desired state. We break down key components of NLP, such as the TOTE model (Trigger, Operate, Test, Exit).

I will also compare SMART goals with well-formed NLP goals, and how they can become part of your trading plan. We will also discuss the 5 different models that make up Robert Dilt’s Unified Field Theory of NLP and also walk through my Personal Change Technique.

October 2017 LONDON, ENGLAND
Seats are filling up fast in this popular, new location. Register now to secure your seats!
November 2017

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


Notes From Van
I wanted to share with you a couple of updates that don’t really fit into an article format.

Item 1: We’re Growing! Job Opening(s) at VTI

First, we have a job opening – or two. We are actively in the search process right now to hire someone. Depending on whom we find, we are actually ready to hire two people and divide the responsibilities based on the experience of the new hires. We already have many applications, and we are being very thoughtful about the right fit for our customers and team. We’re looking for someone who wants the right job, rather than a job, and someone who is probably already employed.

This opportunity could be for you or it could be for someone you know so feel free to pass this on to others. The position(s) will require the new person(s) to live in (or move to) the Cary/Raleigh area of North Carolina. Regardless of where you live, we conduct phone interviews as an initial step for anyone qualified and interested.

If you or someone you know is interested, here’s more about the benefits of working at VTI:

  • Our salary level is competitive.
  • Second, we offer an attractive and broad benefits package.
  • Third we offer a 401K plan that includes profit sharing contributions by VTI.
  • Fourth, we generously share profits in the form of a year-end bonus. Depending on how the business has done that year, the bonus varies but it has never been lower than 10% and it has been as high as 40% (of salary).

Here is some additional information about VTI:

  • We have been in business as a corporation since 1992 (that’s 25 years).
  • We are small in staff size, but there is plenty of opportunity for growth for the right person.
  • We provide an autonomous working atmosphere without micro-management.
  • Most importantly, we are a transformational company that is unique in a number of ways. I recently described my role in life as someone who empowers people to greater success and to a happier, more enriched life. Any employee will have the ability to participate in that process here including attending workshops when we have space.

That said, now on to the job description.

We are looking for a person to help with 1) customer support 2) office administration 3) marketing, and 4) website content management. Strong skills in MS Office applications are required for the role and a background in WordPress is desirable. More important than any one particular skill, however, is the “right” person (or people) who will fit in with our educational oriented culture, who will work hard, and who will help our clients.

To apply, email your resume to [email protected].

Item 2: Super Trader Program Update

The price for the Super Trader program went up to $20,000 per year on August 1 (and the price will continue to go up each year). A lot of people have expressed interest recently in the Super Trader program though the timing wasn’t right for them. For one group, however, the timing was right and we welcomed ten people into the Super Trader program in July!

Because of those ten new Super Traders, the program is now full for the remainder of 2017 and the next slots will open in January 2018. We are taking deposits and compiling a waiting list for those slots. To get on the waiting list you will need to 1) attend either Peak 101 or the Oneness Course; 2) submit an application; 3) be accepted; and 4) provide a $5,000 deposit. You will then be placed on a waiting list according to the order in which your deposit was received.

Trading Tip

Diverging Indexes – Sign of Distress or Success?
by D.R. Barton Jr.
Since the Tech Wreck in early June, we’ve seen a “flight to quality” in the U.S. stock markets. We can tell this by looking at the relative price pattern for the four major indexes identified in this useful graphic:
Chart 1
This chart holds a deceptively large amount of information for a relatively short timeframe. Analyzing it will give us a really good clue about where markets will head next.

What Happened In June and July

First, let’s start with a straightforward description of what happened and after that, we’ll talk about what it means.

Looking at the chart above, we see that the lime green line – the Nasdaq – had a sharp pullback in early June followed through by more downside which gave tech stocks a -4.7% haircut. Tech recovered nicely, however, for a few weeks even though it has drifted down a bit over the last 7 trading days.

The Russell 2000 small capitalization index (small caps, for short) is the pink line on the chart. As I’ve discussed previously, small caps climbed during the tech wreck, then headed sideways followed by a nice up move. In the last 7 trading sessions, though, small caps have hit a deep pullback.

The Dow (red line) had a fairly steady climb during the past 8 weeks culminating in a sharp climb over the last 7 days.

And how about the steadfastness of the S&P? For this whole period, it has stayed boringly in the middle of the other indexes, not doing much relatively speaking – just continuing its drift higher.

For all of the rhetoric out there about overvalued stocks, a great-grandpa aged bull market, political train wrecks, geopolitical risks, etc., this bull market continues to march on. A lot more people than I can remember from previous bulls seem to hate this market . . . (. . . but it’s still a bull market).

And right now, the money is flowing into the Dow. That’s a “flight to quality” kind of rotation, which as we’ll see below has other implications.

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

During the past ten trading days (through Tuesday’s trading 8/8), the markets have shown a very interesting pattern-

- The Dow has soared.
- The S&P and Nasdaq have bored.
- While the Small Caps have been floored.

(Sorry about the rhymes, I couldn’t help myself after I wrote “soared”).

Here’s what that looks like on a chart:
Chart 2
Why This Is Important

We can gain a key insight from the indexes in the last week. During the tech wreck, I told you not to be concerned, that the market would head higher. You can review that article here:

Now, the market is telling us again to not be concerned. We have different circumstances than early June but we can make some similar common sense conclusions.

We continue to see a distinct and important pattern in the indexes: When one index has been knocked down, the money hasn’t flowed to the sidelines – it flows to another index. This happened when the Nasdaq had its little Tech Wreck in early June. Small caps were up for a few days and the Dow was up for more than a week. Over the last 7 or so trading days, we’ve seen the same pattern – one index (small caps this time) has swooned while another (the Dow) has soared.

For the short-to-intermediate timeframe, the diverging indexes tell us the stock market as a whole is not ready to go down. When one of the indexes has trouble, another picks up the slack. Traders and investors are not rotating money out of stocks when modest trouble strikes – they’re rotating from one stock index/sector to another.

As long as investors don’t want to miss out and money keeps shifting among indexes, the market as a whole will remain at or near the “top of the page” – even if it’s a bull market that so many people like to hate.

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

Great Trading,
D. R.
NEW E-learning Course!
The Power of Position Sizing Strategies:
SQN Secrets Revealed
with Instructor RJ Hixson
If you've ever wanted to know more about creating effective Position Sizing Strategies, we can now give you some powerful new tools to help you master this critical area of trading. Not only do you get a course with nearly 7 hours of instruction, you also get a FREE copy of Van's Definitive Guide to Position Sizing Strategies Book and a set of spreadsheet tools to put your new knowledge to work. Read more about this exciting new course below to decide if it will help you with your trading goals.
If you've ever wanted to know how to:

  • Use a Monte Carlo simulator to understand what kind of R multiples your trading system could generate in the best case scenario, worst case scenario, and most likely range scenario,
  • Use each trading system’s SQN score to help you craft a distinct position sizing strategy for each system,
  • Develop position sizing strategies that help you reach your returns objectives while simultaneously avoiding your drawdown limits,
  • Implement an effective Market’s Money mindset and position sizing strategy,
  • Evaluate the probable effects on your equity from different position sizing strategies and variations of them.
Then you’ll want to learn the simple process and use the powerful tools found in our new Power of Position Sizing Strategies—SQN Secrets Revealed home study course.
Watch this short 4 minute video to learn a little about what is included and hear what the impact has been on people who have gone through this course.
Position Sizing Video

Free Book

FREE Book!
We pay for the book, you just pay for shipping.

Read Van’s Latest Book —
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.

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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