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Tharp's Thoughts Weekly Newsletter (View On-Line)

December 22, 2009 - Issue #455


Holiday Schedule

Happy Holidays to Everyone!


A Look at 2009  Plus Thank You to Our Customers by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.


January Workshops

Trading Tip

 A Great Way to Approach the Markets by D.R. Barton Jr.


What Type Trader Are You? Take 3 Minutes to Find Out

Mail Bag

Ask Van Your Questions


Holiday Schedule

The Van Tharp Institute will be closed Thursday and Friday, December 24-25th for the Christmas holiday, as well as Friday, January 1st for the New Year's Holiday.  


A Look at 2009 Plus 

Thank You to Our Customers


Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

As 2009 draws to a close, I’m thinking of all the things I’m grateful for. I was very excited to release my new book Super Trader, the Tharp Trader Test, and the second edition of my Peak Performance Home Study Course. Also, the Super Trader program has really taken off. I’m amazed at the transformations that have been happening for my Super Traders. 

We lost a dear friend and significant staff member this past year. I’m grateful for the friendship we shared and that the Van Tharp Institute was able to endure this loss without impacting the quality of our service to our clients. I’m also grateful that our new staff member R.J. Hixson is making such a positive and impactful contribution to what the Van Tharp Institute has to offer, and to the rest of my staff who make strong contributions to everything we do here at VTI.

Most importantly, I’m grateful to you. My mission is to help traders have transformational experiences in both their trading and their lives. Without you—my readers, my students, and my colleagues—this would not be possible. So many thanks to you! I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

There have been wonderful trading opportunities this year for all of you. I hope you caught the right side of them. Here are some examples:

  • Our S&P based market type turned bearish (5 consecutive days of bear) on January 23rd with the S&P at 1325.

  • It turned bullish on June 5th at 1004.

  • Gold has gone from 875.50 on January 2nd to $1104.50 on the close of Dec 21st.

  • The CCI/CRB has gone from 352.06 to 492.22, so there have been huge opportunities in commodities.

  • And the dollar has gone down, while currencies like the Aussie dollar have done very well (and that should encourage everyone down under to enroll in our New Zealand workshops while your currency is still exchangeable at a good rate).

  • In addition, there have been numerous opportunities in the stock market in 2009 as the stimulus money has been used by banks to prop up the stock market.

This is an example of what I’ve always said, we’re in crisis mode, but there are always plenty of opportunities for those who just see what is going on. And hopefully that is you.

Most of our Super Traders are doing short term trading in the equities market. Some of them can pull out 4-5R each week, which adds up to 200R plus each year. And one of them is doing 4R per day with just an hour of trading—but it’s not the system that does it, it’s her ability to just flow with the market. Are you doing anywhere near that? Did you make money in 2009? If not, then perhaps it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions about your trading. Robert Tharp showed several systems in his Bear Market Workshops that are capable of doing that. And one of them, which triggered near the bottom of the bear in March, has an expectancy of 45R.

We’re very grateful to all of our Super Traders. We had a great December with the Super Trader Summit, the new Peak 203 (which many of our Super Traders said was better than 101 and 202 put together), and the new Bear Market Workshop. It’s a real treat for me to get together with all the Super Traders at one time, as we were able to do for nearly 9 days this month.

Our Super Trader program only has four slots remaining. Two people are entering in January, but they simply are replacing two who are going on sabbatical for six months. So if that program interests you, I’d recommend that you attend Peak Performance 101 in January and talk to me about joining. I expect we’ll fill up early this year, and then we won’t have any slots available until people graduate.

This will be our last Tharp’s Thoughts this year. I’ll be back January 6th, with my monthly market type update.

Until then…this is Van Tharp

About Van Tharp: 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 at www.iitm.com. 


Attend both Blueprint and Peak 101

These two courses are our cornerstone for successful trading. Build a solid foundation by learning about the most important aspect of trading (you) and then learn how to erect a sturdy structure for consistently profitable trading. We hear regularly from former students who refer to these two courses as the point where they turned the corner in their trading and in many cases, where they really began some big changes in their lives. 

January 14-16 Blueprint for Trading Success Cary, NC
January 18-20 Peak Performance 101 Cary, NC

(See our workshop page for more information about coming price increases.) 

Trading Tip

A Great Way to Approach the Markets


D.R. Barton, Jr.

With a deadline for a newspaper column looming, Cosmo Fishhawk and his young nephew have this interchange:

Skyler: “Uncle Fishhawk, Why are you staring out the window? Shouldn’t you be typing?

Uncle Fishhawk: (Standing at the window and gazing out) “Typist type. Writers stare out windows.”

-- From Jeff MacNelly’s wonderful comic strip, “Shoe”

My son Josh loves Fanta orange soda. Now, I know we all have our opinions about sugar and such; however, he’s 15, cranks out straight As and has a lean golfer’s build. So his indulging in a tasty (if nutritionally bankrupt) treat every now and again is just fine by me.

I was picking up some fresh asparagus at the store this afternoon along with some mint and basil. Now before you go all “ooh and ah” on me, I’ll confess that the basil largely will be blended up to make basil butter for the grilled lobster tomorrow night. And the mint will face death by mortar and pestle before joining the lime, simple syrup, club soda and light rum in pre-meal mojitos. Yet I digress.

While heading to the checkout lane, I saw that Josh’s favorite Fanta was on sale, so I decided to grab him a carton. And when I bent down to pick it up, the sharp corner gave me a deep little cut right across the pad of my middle finger. Ouch! And, oh boy, I still had an article to write.

It turns out that the whole episode was a blessing in a disguise.

Instead of sitting down and pounding out an article based on this week’s reading and research, I sat down and wondered how I was going to type with a very important digit stinging like a son of a gun.

And those wonderings turned into contemplation, a lot of looking outside at 18 inches of day old snow on the ground here in Delaware, and some looking though soft focused eyes at the Christmas décor of the Barton house. And ultimately, like Professor Fishhawk, I decided that instead of typing an article, I would do a little writing. And I stumbled upon a trading truth or two along the way.

I look out my office door and see a little Christmas village on top of some shelving. Building these little villages was one of Mom’s favorite parts about Christmas. Her attention to detail and the joy that she received from describing those scenes to all the kids that visited the house made it hard to tell the difference between the grandma and the kids she was talking to. I, too, like looking at the Christmas villages, but I’m not so keen on the tedium of setting them up or taking them down. And for that reason we haven’t set up our little village for the last few years. Life seemed just too busy.

As some of you know, earlier this year, my Mom passed on to be with the Lord that she celebrated with such joy, especially in this season. And you won’t be surprised to hear that I shed more than a tear or two when I decided to put our little village up again this year.

As I look on this little village now, I’m filled with gratitude. I’m thankful that this year was full of making new friends and re-connecting with old ones. I’m grateful that I understand the simple joy that Mom shared with so many others by serving, and I’m grateful that this joy has found a home anew in me. 

That little village recalls a simpler time. There’s a small dime store on Main Street like the one my Grandpa owned for five decades. Kids play in the snow with their friends. And neighbors actually take the time to visit each other and to share a hot drink and a kind word.

But for all of us, today is as simple and gentle and full of gratitude as we choose to make it. When economic times are tough, we don’t have to be get caught up in the negativism, whether in our own lives or in the news stories. Instead, we can choose to turn our attention outward and be of service to others. I have found it impossible to have a pity party for myself when helping out someone else.

And what about trading? Gratitude is a most useful state to use to approach trading and investing. And if you throw in a bit of joy, you can crowd out so many harmful emotions and mental states. As a matter of fact, Van think it's so important he's added it to the Top Task of Trading. 

Here are some good year-end questions: 

  • How did you approach your trading and investing in 2009?

  • Was there anger,  anxiety and stress? Or resourcefulness, gratitude and joy? 

If you didn’t use an optimal approach, forgive yourself and move on. The next trade or investment is the only one you can influence now. 

  • Most importantly, how would you like to approach your trading next year? 

  • What mental states will you access at the beginning of each trade to give yourself the best edge possible? 

Start your trading process with gratitude and see how your trading changes!

The Barton family is getting ready for a full-on celebration of Jesus’ birthday. Whatever traditions you celebrate in this time, we hope that you experience the love and joy of the season. Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to all!

Great Trading, D. R. 

About D.R. Barton, Jr.:  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 guest on both Report on Business TV, and WTOP News Radio in Washington, D.C., and has been a guest on Bloomberg Radio. His articles have appeared on SmartMoney.com and Financial Advisor magazine. You may contact D.R. at  "drbarton" at "iitm.com".



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Copyright 2009 the International Institute of Trading Mastery, Inc.




“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." 
~ Peg Bracken






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