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

  • Article Accepting by Lee Coit
  • Trading Education Peak Performance Home Study
  • Trading Tip Stocks in your Pocket or Purse: The Market Goes Mobile by D.R. Barton, Jr.
  • Workshops Early Enrollment Expires Next Week.
  • Mailbag SQN™ Calculation Using Daily Percentage Change

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Lee is an author and lecturer on the topic of spirituality and awareness.  Van has been friends with Lee for decades and in the early 90s, Lee taught  the Mental Strategies Workshop with Van.  While the content of this article should be familiar to long-term Van Tharp readers,  it comes from another messenger and  is always worth repeating.

You cannot make changes in your life until you accept responsibility for what is happening in it now.  This does not mean you should review every aspect of your life and figure out how you caused it to happen; however, consider how your beliefs about a situation directly correlate to how you experience it. To foster true change in your life, first you must take responsibility for your reactions to what is happening.

Your Circumstances

Take a few moments to think of a current situation that bothers you.

Decide to see the situation differently.  Even though you may not like the situation you are in, how will it ultimately benefit you?  What benefit can you see from simply having this experience?  If you can release the idea that something is wrong, notice how much more relaxed you become when you think about the situation. For a simple look at how you react, consider the following areas of your life.

Your Relationships

Use the mirror image method to see what you do not like about yourself.  Think of someone who annoys you.  Identify the characteristic of this person that you dislike the most. If there are several, try to pick the one you find most obnoxious; write it down.

What you most dislike about this person is what you most dislike about yourself.  Meditate on what you dislike in someone else and ask for the answer as to what about that quality bothers you in yourself.  It may be the reverse or a direct link. For example, you may dislike your co-worker’s punctuality because you put significant pressure on yourself to always be on time or because you feel guilty that you are constantly running late.  What emotions come up for you when you try to see how this person’s characteristic relates to you?  The stronger the emotions, the more direct the relationship. This may take several attempts since we tend to hide what we dislike about ourselves.

You will regularly find insights and realizations from those answers that can free you from significant blocks. 

Your Projections

One of the ways we hide things is through projection.  This is one of the main ways our beliefs color our experiences. When we focus on the faults of others, we avoid examining or even seeing our own faults.  Like a movie projector, we literally project our beliefs outward on the world.  The world then does an amazing job of acting as a screen and reflecting it back.  If you believe the world is filled with dishonest people, you will see dishonesty all around you.  Try to think of examples of how this process occurs in your own life and the world you experience.

Using projection in a helpful way.  Reverse the procedure and you can become aware of how you see your world.  What you believe you see out there is what you believe inside.  Now you can get a clear picture of your belief system.  Write down some of your more obvious beliefs based on how you view your current life.  Try to pick one you are willing to change for one day.  Watch the results.

About the Author: Lee has written books about his metaphysical journey, called Listening, Accepting, Being, and Awakening. Van wrote the foreword to Lee’s newest book Awakening, and we currently have some in stock in the office at $10 each. (Please email to order, [email protected]).


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Stocks in Your Pocket or Purse: The Market Goes Mobile

In 1986, my love affair with the market took off. As a chemical engineer, I naturally gravitated toward technical analysis and charting. At that time, state of the art charting was a printed chart book.

A Brief History of Charting and Market Data

Every Saturday I would receive my weekly chart book. Back then I had a very different version of end-of-day data. Monday mornings I had “off” but every Tuesday morning, I would read the Wall Street Journal before heading off to work. I would pull out a ruler and my trusty black Flair pen and draw in, by hand, the daily open-high-low-close bar on each chart from Monday’s data. I would repeat this process every morning until the end of the week!

I was not tech averse. Quite the opposite was true. I was a superstar programmer as a college engineering student, programming thermodynamics algorithms on the earliest PCs—floppy drive for data storage, and all of 32kB RAM under the hood.

Instead, the problem was that there were no commercial computer charting packages available. In fact, home PCs were still a luxury item.

Within a short time, though, that began to change. In 1988 I bought charting package from Bruce Babcock to use on a computer from work that had been declared obsolete. Back then, I had to buy a set of historical end-of-day data and, once again, use a data entry program to update data every day by hand using data from the Wall Street Journal! I became as fast using a keyboard for data entry as any good bookkeeper.

In 1994, I finally bought my own PC ($5,023, including shipping). That’s $7,000 in today’s dollars! It still took a couple of more years before I was finally able to get end-of-day data through the Internet—on a dial-up modem, of course.

One of the last steps in getting data before the Internet made everything a piece of cake was my first real-time data feed. Since I had cable television, in 1997 I was able to get real-time intraday futures data through a special cable signal converter. That service cost hundreds of dollars per month.

Finally, by 1999, the internet and its financial market data service providers were a part of the stock day trading explosion and real time data was finally becoming commonplace—even though I was still getting it through a dial-up modem at the time (56k…whoopee!).

Fast forward to today. An iPhone weighs 4.8 ounces. And, with 32GB of onboard storage, has one million times the storage space of that first IBM PC that I worked on in college, which, by the way, I could not put in my pocket.

In less than 25 years, retail stock market analysis has gone literally from pen and paper to a fully functional computer in your pocket. In the next few weeks we’re going to look at mobile phone apps designed for stock market analysis.

Mobile Phone Stock Market Apps: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

For the next few weeks, I’d like to take you on a tour de force through the iPhone apps I’ve been reviewing. Why the iPhone? Three words: installed user base. Apple announced on March 2, 2011 that they have now sold 100,000,000 iPhones. In addition, iTouch and iPad devices can use iPhone apps, so this really is the biggest mobile market around. However, with the Android platform now growing faster (by many estimates) than even the iPhone, later this spring or summer, we’ll also take a look at apps available for Android phones.

After looking at more than a dozen stock market apps, here are a few general comments on the state of mobile app world:

  • Almost all apps have a portfolio feature where you can track the movement of stock holdings. Profit and Loss tracking is clearly best done through an app that has a direct link to your broker or through an app that ties to a web site where buy and sell information can be entered. Therefore, portfolio management for a “general app” (as opposed to one linked to a brokerage) becomes a minimum requirement and not a distinguishing feature.
  • Charting across the board is surprisingly readable. While you will not be doing your technical analysis on these charts, the high resolution screen does allow you to make sense of the charts. Almost all of the free apps that I’ve looked at are limited to line charts with volume indication. I will eventually look at a few of the paid apps that provide more charting options.
  • Charting is also universally fast (at least it is with a Wi-Fi connection). The speed of chart drawing and switching on almost every app was one of the most surprising things I encountered in the preliminary screening.
  • Many of the free apps had significant advertising banners. I don’t really count this against them (they are free, after all!), but it is a plus for the apps that don’t take up limited screen real estate with banner ads.
  • A news feed is a key feature of many of the apps. Many have general market feeds plus specific chronological feeds for individual stocks.

I’ll be taking an in-depth look at a handful of the better apps over the next few weeks. Please send me the name of any apps that you have used with your comments on what you like and what could be improved, and whether I can use your name in upcoming articles.

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

Great Trading,
D. R.

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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SQN™ Calculation Using Daily Percentage Change

Q: How is SQN value calculated when using the daily percentage changes for the different markets shown in the newsletter?

A: To get the SQN value for a particular index, Van finds the daily percentage change from close to close for each day in whatever period of days he is measuring. That is the data sample to which Van applies the SQN formula. You can apply the same methodology to any index or stock that you like.

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March 23, 2011 - Issue 518

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