This April spend a full weekend with Van Tharp teaching the Oneness Awakening Course.
#882 March 21, 2018
  • Feature: Not Obvious, Not Natural, Not Quick: Designing My Trading System: Part 4:by G
  • Workshops: April Packed With Special Events: Oneness with Van Tharp, New Futures, and Adaptive, Advanced Swing Systems, offered only once each year.
  • Tips: Why the Market Is At A Key Decision Point In One Chart, by D. R. Barton, Jr.
  • FREE BOOK!: Trading Beyond the Matrix
A New Course This April
From The Van Tharp Institute
April Workshops
Imagine for a moment having a former PIMCO executive and graduate of Van’s Super Trader Program available to teach you the finer points of trading futures.

What distinct edges and unique insights would you be able to develop?
How much would your confidence level increase?

What advantages do you think you would possess over other traders?

Gabriel Grammatidis has graciously agreed to share his passion and knowledge of trading with you next month in our upcoming Futures Trading Workshop in Cary, North Carolina this April. You will discover:

  • How to use Gabriel’s systems to find multiple opportunities in the markets, no matter what timeframe you trade
  • How to boost your confidence with new systems with this simple tool
  • The 7 lessons you must learn in order to achieve success as a trader

To learn more about this new course, scroll down to our workshop's section.

Feature Article

Designing My Trading System:
Part 4: Not Obvious, Not Natural, Not Quick
by G
Van Tharp photo
Editor’s Note: G (who requested anonymity) is a client with an engineering background
who has been working on developing trading systems for the last several years. He
details his observations and insights from that process in this five-part series of articles.

After digesting the interviews in Jack Schwager’s three “MARKET WIZARDS” books, my highest-level take-aways were simple:

  1. The market exploits human tendencies as an opponent would.
  2. There is nothing obvious, natural, or quick in successful trading.

It took me two years to recognize the common denominator in the two take-aways … the trader’s unconscious mind.
Five years ago, I thought I could avoid the time-consuming psychological work needed to become a successful trader. Then I found out that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Until I experienced 1-minute and 3-minute intraday trading first-hand, I had no clue how many emotions I had, how little control I had over them, how harsh my self-talk was, how fearful I was of losing money and being wrong, and how scared I was of failing for the first time in my life. Trading brought out parts of me I didn’t know I had. So, like most traders, I found ways to paper over my trading demons … at least for a while.

From my early intraday trading, I know how natural it feels to do a myriad of things I did —
  • to trust your instincts on position sizing,
  • to quickly lock in small profits,
  • to feel good about winning most trades,
  • to forecast price movement,
  • to guess at the odds of a trade’s success,
  • to reduce uncertainty by creating complex entry conditions, and
  • to want results right now.

Ironically, what feels most natural in the short-term is usually the exact opposite of what works in the long-term. The majority of untrained traders end up transferring their capital to a minority of traders who have learned to trade “un-naturally” … Only the un-natural survive!

The first time I read Van’s assertion that trading is 100% psychological, I dismissed the notion quickly and without hesitation. I now understand why it was so easy to dismiss: my unconscious processes were at work protecting me from learning something new, something that might pose a threat to who I believe I am and how I think. I wasn’t aware how unfit the typical trader’s mind is for trading successfully and more specifically, how unfit my mind was trading successfully. Like many before me, I had to become ‘stuck’ in my trading before seeking help.

The Peak 101 and Peak 202 workshops were powerful experiences for me. Workshop exercises armed me with ways to access my unconscious mind. Swapping out limiting and dysfunctional beliefs for new beliefs was hard at first but became easier with practice. Other exercises made me far more aware of how my unconscious mind responded to a wide range of visual, audio, and kinesthetic channels.

In the months following Peak 101, I read as much as I could about the unconscious mind … evolution artifacts we all possess … how we store and recall information, experiences, and feelings … and how the mind manages to sift through billions of bits of sensory information presented to it each second of each day. Here are my three most important, trading-related discoveries from these deep-dives into the human mind.

(1) Both in trading and in learning about ourselves, lack of control over outcomes amplifies unconscious fears and insecurities. Our minds favor quick emotions over slower rational thought when faced with immediate and consequential uncertainty. Despite our knowing about this favoritism, the unconscious mind usually wins when faced with uncertainty by launching emotions first and taking control of subsequent responses. The subconscious process to go from uncertainty to fear is amazingly quick: detect uncertainty > sense ambiguity > become confused > start worrying > launch all fear missiles! This process starts and finishes in the blink of an eye and it happens below the level of our conscious mind.

(2) What happens when the conscious mind wants to recall a stored fact or event? The unconscious mind has two distinct functions to perform: the fetching of the needed info and the production of “a feeling of certainty” if the deeply buried Accuracy Committee of the unconscious says ‘close enough’. Evolution concluded that too much thinking bogs down quick decision making so even if the memory fetched is compromised or inaccurate, the conscious mind is told ‘you are certain’ so that you can quickly move on. You may feel quite certain about a particular memory even though the memory may be inaccurate. Accordingly, my entry and exit rules no longer require my recalling detailed set-up conditions or patterns; new graphics made the same rules visually simple to recognize and execute.

(3) Evolution has wired us for immediate responses that foster safety and enable survival when in dangerous territory … like when examining our beliefs about who we are. Our ever-vigilant guardians in our unconscious mind are quick to resist, to return us to the comfort zone, enabling us to get on with the next task. Dismissing new notions is the norm, not the exception. Awareness of evolution’s hard-wired resistance to accepting new ideas has enabled learning in ways I never thought possible; ‘feeling uncomfortable’ is now a reliable indicator of learning something new, different, and threatening!

Jumping up a level, it’s not obvious to most people that the money-printing-machine in trading, the Holy Grail, is the development of a trader’s mind. It’s not obvious how critical mental state control is for trading. It’s neither obvious nor natural to think you can learn to re-program your unconscious brain to be more fit for life, using trading as a driver for the learning process. Finally, it takes a while to recognize that you need to learn more about you, and then it takes even more time to do the needed psychological mining. Nothing is quick about developing a mind that is fit for trading.

So, there you have it: Successful trading is not obvious, is not natural, and is not quick … but think about it … what incredibly powerful edges these insights offer your trading if you are willing to make the investment!

In the next and final article of this series, Part 5 briefly covers the most important factor for me in completing the development of a trading system that fully met my original objectives for consistent and reliable performance.
– G
Learn From An Instructor Who Truly Cares
About Teaching You Everything He Knows
See video below.
In this 2 minute video, students discuss the benefits of taking Dr. Ken Long's upcoming Advanced Adaptive Swing Trading workshop this April.
Students Discuss Adaptive Swing

Trading Tip

Why the Market Is At A Key Decision Point In One Chart
by D. R. Barton, Jr.
D.R. Photo
Long-time readers know that I love basketball — to the point of mixing it up still with the 20-somethings in local league play. We’ve just passed one of the best sports weekend of the year and yes, it revolved around my beloved sport. Beyond my personal level of excitement, the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament is one of the biggest events in sport by many metrics. How big? The tournament makes more ad revenue than the NFL playoffs (which includes the Super Bowl).

Once again, March Madness worked its magic with upsets and Cinderella stories capturing sports fans’ imaginations. This is bound to happen when underdog small programs play tough against and even regularly beat their better-known opponents. This year was no different. In the very first round of play, one of the great David vs. Goliath stories unfolded when the unknown University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers knocked off the overall #1 seed University of Virginia Cavaliers. The upset was not only the biggest in the NCAA basketball tournament history, it was truly one of the biggest upsets in all of sports. The Retrievers didn’t just hang tough during the game and sink a buzzer beater to win. They completely dismantled their opponent with a 20 point crushing of the Cavaliers, the team deemed to be the best in the land at the start of the tournament.

Besides the great triumph of human spirit exemplified by this tournament, why talk basketball in a trading and investing newsletter? Because this most improbable of victories happened when the “little guy” figured out the tendencies of the “big bad #1 seed” and leveraged that advantage — over and over again. That’s what individual traders and investors do — we identify price tendencies and use that edge to make profitable trades. Charts are my preferred tool to do that.

Charts help me understand what the market is doing and what it might do. They help dispense with all of the rhetoric surrounding the markets. It's so easy to get caught up in that and there has been a lot of rhetoric ever since early February. That's when the “inverse volatility” bubble burst which sent the U.S. market to its first correction in two years.

For so long, the dialog (and the trading action) had been a one way street — up. The “flash correction” last month — the fastest 10% pullback in 80 years — changed that. With a two-way market now, those used to the one-way game are looking for some answers in the up and down movement. The bears have found their voice — and people are willing to listen.

Whichever way the S&P moves, the formation of bars guides my current thought process about possible price movements. What do the charts say? We only need to look at one today. I find the following S&P chart very informative — it shows lots of factors converging as we head into the March 21 Fed rate announcement.
DR's chart
Price action has pushed right down against the top of the two-week sideways consolidation box of last December (the light blue box). Price has also come right down to the upward sloping trendline drawn from the lowest close of the correction.

There's also a trendline formed by the series of lower highs made since the end of January. With these two converging trendlines, you have a pretty nice triangle formation. As a pattern, symmetrical triangles are most commonly seen as continuation patterns. If that is the case for this triangle, then we would expect an upside breakout to challenge the January highs. I believe this is the highest probability outcome. Should this pattern resolve to the downside (the lower probability), then the intraday February 9th low comes into play (which is 7.6% below morning prices on March 21).

With the new Fed Chair Powell’s first rate announcement and press conference on the afternoon of March 21, any surprising new hawkish or dovish tendencies could drive the markets in the near term. I expect him, however, to take a fairly centrist path his first time out.

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

Great Trading,
D. R.

Workshop Schedule

April 2018 - US
Participating in the Oneness Awakening Course is an extraordinary opportunity to benefit from some of the important journeys Dr. Tharp has taken to transform his life.

The course has become a fundamental tool in Dr. Tharp's mission to help his clients succeed. Don't miss a chance to learn more about how you can become more aware, positive, calm, centered, and successful. Plus, this is one of the few courses in which you can apply for Super Trader Program after completion.

Following this weekend training, 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! Plus, at $495 this event is a bargain!

April is for Systems Traders
Attend the NEW Futures Trading Systems with 3 all new systems,
plus several advanced swing systems in Ken Long's
Adaptive Swing Systems workshop!

April is the only time either of
these awesome workshops will be held this year.
Do you remember the big swings up and down lasting over several months in metals and energies (such as precious metals and oil)? Why don’t you trade moves like these in your preferred timeframe at a time during the day that fits you? I have a strong belief that in these trending markets following the trend is key. Why? The stronger the trend the more counter-trend traders are attracted into the “Market Traps” that are set-up by the specific patterns of my three systems.

Getting stuck in any of the traps can be a very painful experience —benefiting from it is a lot more fun. Do not miss the big number of opportunities presenting themselves to you now and in the years to come.

Gabriel will also share with you:

  • Why futures are better for trading than other asset classes
  • The specific indicators other professional traders use to enhance their profit potential
  • 4 unique strategies that consistently offer an edge to traders in futures

Now is your opportunity to gain an advantage over other traders in the futures markets. Let Gabriel share with you his specific systems, the edges they offer, and the beliefs behind them this coming April 21-23!

Hurry! Seats are limited and time is running out for you to take advantage of our special early bird pricing. Save $700 off the regular price today and invest in your trading education with Gabriel for only $3295.

Plus, we will offer Two days of live Futures trading so you can trade the systems live!

Check out Ken's 4-minute video where he touches upon a variety of trading edges to consider.

In this new three-day workshop, Dr. Ken Long presents a series of advanced, adaptive trading systems that work well in the swing period holding timeframe — from two days to two weeks.

In addition to the robust seven patterns found in the RL Framework, Ken will also teach at least three other swing trading systems:

MaxPain Range Compression System

In any given two-week period, some stocks and ETFs will be down. If you compare all of the issues that are down, some of them are down more than others. These are the issues with “max pain”. Of that max pain group, some of them are very near their 10 day lows — they have not yet started to recover. These are the ones who have range compression. MPRC symbols have a higher probability of popping than other groups and Ken has effective and simple ways to take advantage of these situations.

Autoframer System

For this system, Ken starts with the assumption that every symbol has a reward to risk relationship with its 10 day high and 10 day low. The potential long reward is the distance from its current price to its 10 day high and the risk is the distance from its current price to its 10 day low. Ken will stalk very closely those symbols with the greatest reward to risk ratio within those parameters. That idea is so simple that you might not think this system would work well but if you thought that, you would miss out on nearly daily opportunities.

Daily Squeeze Play System

While prices do not move reliably in a cyclical pattern, volatility tends to move much more cyclically. Periods of low volatility are typically followed by periods of high volatility. With an effective way to find symbols that have had low volatility recently, Ken has developed an effective system that captures those volatile moves out of the narrow price ranges.

May 2018 - US
June 2018 - US
July 2018 - US
August 2018 - US
September 2018 - US
October 2018 - US
November 2018 - US

Free Book

FREE Book!
We pay for the book, you just pay for shipping.
When you add the free book to an item already being shipped there is generally no extra shipping charge (of course, depending on your location).

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:

Questions? Click Here to Ask Van...


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