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  • Special Offer 20 Percent Off Sale Going On Now
  • Article Gratitude: A Personal Experience a Client Compilation
  • Workshops 2011 Winter Workshop Schedule
  • Trading Tip Ireland Debt Crisis: Another of the European "PIIGS" Bites the Dust by D.R. Barton, Jr.
  • VTI News!! VTI Office Closed November 25 and 26 for Thanksgiving Holiday

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Feature Articlevan

Gratitude: A Personal Experience

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I want to share a bit about the importance of gratitude in your daily life through what three of our clients have written about gratitude.

But first I wanted to give you a little background on what gratitude means to me. Gratitude is an important part of manifesting what you want.  If you want trading success, envision it and be grateful for receiving it.  It is so important that focus and gratitude have been added to the tasks of trading. The secret to oneness, happiness and increased personal power, is continual gratitude.

Ingrained Gratefulness (submitted by A.M., Canada)

Being grateful for your blessings in life is a strong part of the traditional Persian culture that goes back almost 3,000 years. I grew up in that culture in a family that encouraged observing our fortunes and blessings in life and feeling grateful for them. I was taught to see whatever I desired and didn’t have as an opportunity to work towards those goals and to be grateful for being given those challenges. I am saying these words in hindsight, though. The process was so ingrained in me since childhood that I never realized I was actively living it out until I recently took some of Dr. Tharp’s courses as part of my training in the Super Trader program. I started my gratitude journal last night because it not only felt right, but I also wanted to manifest this power to the fullest.

Long before Van’s courses, I had many opportunities to realize the power of gratitude. In one example, I had just moved to Toronto some years ago and was looking for a job. Someone asked me to write a one page summary of my achievements and qualifications. When I finished writing a few paragraphs, I felt really good about myself and that feeling stayed with me for quite some time.

I believe that we tend to forget how fortunate we are. Many forces contribute to forgetting our blessings. Here are just a few: the constant stream of advertisements encouraging us to acquire more or consume more, social norms, the standards of luxury living, and portraits of acceptable role models who have all achieved so many material things in a short span of time.

Having lived and traveled throughout Asia and the Middle East, I have been fortunate to see how little is needed to cheer up people who barely have enough to stay alive. We have more than we need, yet we tend to focus on why we don’t have more.

Give yourself the luxury of personal time and peace to reflect on yourself, your possessions, your talents, your opportunities and your relationships. Write down a few sentences of gratitude in a notebook. Even if you never go back and read what you have written, it will improve your attitude towards life and help you in whatever you choose to accomplish.

My Thanksgiving Story (submitted by F.R., Germany)

Over the past two years, I have had a five hour commute by car to work every Monday evening and then back home every Thursday.

I had to cram in the necessary meetings, alignments, and research activities of a workweek into the three days, which was sometimes a little exhausting. Then I jumped into my car on Thursday afternoons—just in time to get out of the city before the evening rush hour would extend my commute for another hour. I was often stressed.

And one day it struck me: Didn't I do this voluntarily? On most of the days, wasn't it really fun to work with and for these people? Wasn't I grateful for the satisfaction and joy my customers and colleagues give me every week?

Maybe I was not being truly grateful for all that I had.

So I took this idea of Thanksgiving and twisted it a little: I decided to make every Thursday Thanksgiving Day. I make it a habit to use my commute home as an opportunity to celebrate gratitude in a small but conscious way (e.g., stopping at a gas station to have a "Thanksgiving chocolate-bar dinner" or stopping for five minutes to watch the sunset). It may not be Christmas every day, but who has ever said that we cannot celebrate Thanksgiving every Thursday?

The Gift of Gratitude (submitted by E. D., South Africa)

The rich omnipresent goodness of people and the universe was on display over the last few days in an understated, energy-filled building in Cary, NC.

Close friendships and even closer connections were made and taken way to far places to be nurtured and distributed there for others to enjoy.

Love for oneself and for the current co-inhabitants of our universe is a special feeling that cannot be contained. It is abundance. Its spilling over is the joy that we have and crave. Expressing this gratitude is a gift.

I go into this festive season certain that gratitude in its purest form will permeate our various societies. A special thanks to my co-attendees for making this such a meaningful and life-changing experience.

Thank you Van and all your beautiful staff for facilitating the process and for the joy I now possess.

About the Author: 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  



2011 Winter Workshop Schedule

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February 14-18


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Trading Tip

Ireland Debt Crisis: Another of the European "PIIGS" Bites the Dust

The European debt crisis has hit the “Emerald Isle” full on in the last week. Even though the events are an ocean away, this round of the European saga seems closer and more personal to me. You see, the Barton family name harkens back to makers of whiskey casks and eventually the distilled spirit itself. With Ireland's tradition of whiskey making, I now have some heritage with which to connect to the unfolding crisis.

There was little major media exposure of a European debt crisis until early 2010 when Greece’s problems started to make big headlines.  While Greece was the first country to get attention, too much debt was already a critical issue for a number of European countries.  This group of countries with their big debt problems picked up an unflattering acronym—the PIIGS—Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.

To address the Greek debt problem and stave off additional problems, the European Monetary Union (EMU) in March orchestrated a bailout of Greece’s government and set up a €750 billion fund to backstop the other countries.  It was the EMU’s hope and belief that once they set up this massive fund, Greece would be saved, the problems with the other PIIGS country debt would be averted, and they would never have to dip into that bailout fund again.  But a scant handful of months later, that hope has been dashed.

Ireland Is Not Greece

“This time it’s different.”  Those are four words always make me wince when I hear them. 

In this case, though, Ireland’s woes are very different from Greece’s.  The Greek problem was (and is) one of profligate spending on entitlements.  Too many people are getting paid out of the public coffers versus the ability of the economy (the goods and services actually being produced) to support that level of spending.  Theirs is an economic problem.

Ireland, on the other hand, has excellent productivity numbers and does not overspend on its public expenses.  This island’s problem is not so different from Las Vegas's—overbuilding, over-lending, and over-leveraged balance sheets.  The Irish banks have borne the brunt of the effects of this process and they are essentially broke now.  So while Greece has a broad economic problem, Ireland has a more contained financial system problem.

Ireland has not let its bank go bust.  If they had, there certainly would have been some short term pain, but we would have some market clearing prices for real estate and more importantly, the Irish real estate market would unlock. Ireland, for political reasons, could not let the banks fail.   

Currently, public-controlled entities hold so much real estate that none of it is getting resold, and the market cannot find a bid.  The resulting strain on Ireland's financial system are now causing the Irish government financing problems.  Basically, Ireland cannot sell its short-term, expiring debt at any price because of the fear that the bond buyers could reasonably expect to be repaid.

And now the EMU, for fear of the domino effect, cannot let Ireland default on its debt.  If Ireland (or for that matter, any member of the EMU) should default, the whole monetary union would be called into doubt—so the theory goes.  So there have been lots of meetings and negotiations in the last few weeks within the EU about how to save Ireland, but this time, with only tens of billions rather than hundreds. 

And while tens of billions of Euros may sound small in today’s world of financial hyperbole, recognize that Ireland’s GDP is only 1.5% of the US’s.  A €16 billion bailout would essentially be equal to 10% of Ireland’s GDP.  Those really aren’t small potatoes. 

The EMU's Rescue: Comforting or a Red Flag?

Even though Ireland’s problems are different than Greece’s, the New York Times still called the EMU’s proposal a “Greek-style rescue.”  As if that was a positive thing!   Would this be like getting a Hindenberg-style hot air balloon ride?

So far, the equities markets and the Euro exchange rate have responded favorably to the bailout news. (Ed. Note – Mr. Barton wrote this article over the weekend and since then, the Euro and European equity markets have fallen off.) But looking at the bigger picture, I can’t help but think that this is just one more can being kicked down the road.  Pretty soon we’re going to have a pile of cans so big in the road that it will grind traffic to a halt.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this series or about trading and investing in general at drbarton “at”  Until next week…

Great Trading,

About the Author: 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 and Financial Advisor magazine. You may contact D.R. at "drbarton" at "".


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VTI News

The Van Tharp Institute will be closed in the afternoon on Wednesday November 24, as well as all day on Thursday November 25 and Friday November 26 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

For those in the states, we hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. To all of our clients, we consider each and every one of you a blessing. Thank you for making the Van Tharp Institute a success year after year.

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November 24, 2010 - Issue 502

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