Newest Changes to the Super Trader Program By, Van K. Tharp, PhD


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Our Super Trader program has just undergone two changes that are huge for those who have considered it or who have wanted to join. The changes don’t really impact the program for the current Super Traders although they could take advantage of the changes if they wish.

The purpose of establishing these changes is to make the Super Trader (ST) program easier for those in the program and also more affordable.


Change #1 – Workshops

First, all of our workshops through June 30, 2021 will be delivered online. And we will probably deliver most of the workshops through June 30, 2022 online as well. This means that workshop attendees will be able to save the monetary and time costs of traveling great distances as well as eliminating any risk of catching COVID-19.

In these last three months, we have found that we can do certain things online that we cannot do in a three day in-person workshop. For example, we can schedule workshops as half days a week apart with homework exercises in between. This means that you won’t get overloaded in one weekend and that you have plenty of time to practice the material and fully digest it. In addition, you have the convenience of watching the video replay of each workshop session until the next day of the workshop ends. We fully intend that students attend the live sessions but if someone’s schedule prevents that, they can stay in the workshop by catching up between sessions. We will probably present about two workshops a month – one that will have a shorter format – perhaps six half-day sessions and a second one with a longer format – perhaps fifteen sessions of ninety minutes to two hours which will be held over several months. We intend to present every workshop in our portfolio at least once each year. The only exception will be our workshop to produce blessing givers which must be done in person.

Change #2 – Program Structure

ST Foundation will now become the starting phase for the full ST Program. Our experiment with ST Foundation is by no means over but we think it works so well that it will be the foundation for everyone starting the full program. The cost for ST Foundation is only $20,000 for a year. Considering that all of our workshops through June 30, 2021 will be online, the total cost for anyone joining will be less because there is no travel involved. ST Foundation will provide a solid basis for trading that most people want, so it can be taken by itself for those who cannot afford it or do not wish to invest in the entire program.

After ST Foundation, the ST Program will consist of three more parts. And it is these parts that really fulfill our mission: to help you change your life and become happier for no reason. Here’s how the new program structure will look:

  1. ST Foundation: Every member will start now with this level. As soon as you complete ST Foundation, you can join ST Awakening and any of your remaining time will be added to the year of ST Awakening.
  2. Super Trader Awakening (the Hero’s Journey): Together, ST Foundation and ST Awakening are equivalent to the current ST1 phase. It is here where you will be doing massive self-work and going through some major personal transformations.
  3. ST Professional: This is the former ST2 phase where you become a trading professional by developing a Trading Business Handbook as a planning guideline to make sure that you have a real trading business. In addition, I have created new lessons for Trading Genius II on Systems Thinking and Mental Strategies because I came up with a number of important developments in that workshop last year. When you join ST Professional, any remaining time from your ST Awakening year will be added to your time here.
  4. ST Graduate: Equivalent to the current ST3 phase, this is where you develop and trade three or more systems. Those systems will fit the Beyond the Matrix Thinking Format which we consider to be the Holy Grail of trading. You demonstrate that you can trade the three systems profitably and at 95% efficiency meaning less than 5% of your trades are mistakes.

This may sound like the ST program has increased from three to four years but that’s not necessarily the case. The program still has all the possibilities of the old ST program –

  • First, you can extend any program for up to a year for $10,000 or by paying $1,000 per month– giving you extra time to complete it if needed.
  • Second, when you finish one program and move into the next, any extra time remaining from your year gets added to the next phase.
  • Third, if you have a year or more remaining when you enter either ST Professional or ST Graduate, then there is no charge for that phase unless you use up all the remaining time without finishing.

We used to give discounts for what you’ve purchased in the three months prior to joining the ST Program in addition to discounts for any purchases in the last ten years. Those discounts will still be available, but they will be divided up so that some of the discounts will come in each of the first three yearly payments.

The specific details of each program are now on our website. And I also held a webinar on Monday, Jun 29th which can be found here which introduces these changes, plus my once in a lifetime offer.

Once in a Lifetime Offer

For the month of July 2020, as long as the price per coin of bitcoin (BTC) remains below $12,000, we have the following offer:

Pay VTI $10,000 to $25,000 toward the Super Trader Program and we will invest that amount in GBTC – the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. It is our opinion that the ideal time to invest is probably after July 11th when accredited investors can get out of GBTC and the premium is expected to decrease, perhaps even to zero. Near the BTC low in December 2018, the GBTC premium was about 17.3%. Today, it’s about 5% while BTC is three times higher in price. That means the premium is disappearing, which makes our next step a little easier. We will be taking all the risk and you have the potential to credit the gains (fewer taxes we have to pay) to the cost of your Super Trader Program.

You will get credit for GBTC at the closing price on the day we receive your money or a copy of our legal notice executed by you, whichever is later (if not received the same day). If received after 1 PM or on a non-business day, your money will be credited at the closing price the following business day.

We will take any downside loss. For example, let’s assume that BTC is at $10,000 and that GBTC is at $10 (with no premium). If you pay us $10,000, we would buy 1,000 shares of GBTC. Now suppose BTC and GBTC both go down 30%, then there would probably only be $7,000 worth of GBTC, but you would still have $10,000 that you applied toward the Super Trader Program. We would absorb the $3,000 loss.

On the other hand, you can ask us, with at least one full (24 hrs) business day’s written notice, to exit out of our position at a particular price. Now suppose GBTC goes up enough in 7 months that your next year in the Super Trader Program would be fully covered. At that point you might want us to lock in the price or convert it to a fixed credit. We are willing to do that provided we get at least one full (24 hrs) business day’s written notice from you; we will give you credit for any gain made, less 21% that we will have to pay in taxes at that time.

Limits to the Offer

The following limitations will apply:

  • Per student, the minimum payment we will accept toward a future Super Trader enrollment to participate in this GBTC Special is $10,000 and the maximum is $25,000.
  • We will accept no more than 40 new people in ST Foundation this July.
  • The maximum total VTI investment in GBTC is $750,000.
  • Credits are used when you need money for a new phase of the Super Trader Program or need money for an extension. You may allow your credits to grow until you have used them all up in Super Trader Program fees or until August 1, 2023, whichever is earlier.
  • In the event that something strange happens to Grayscale, regardless of what happens to BTC, we reserve the right to terminate our position in GBTC. We may take a loss, which may mean you will have no credits.
  • There are no refunds in this program and all credits will expire on August 1, 2023. So, you should only participate in this GBTC Special if you are confident that you will be enrolling in or continuing the Super Trader Program prior to August 1, 2023.
  • Finally, if GBTC does extremely well and were to rise 500% or more, then we could end up with a scenario where the IRS could regard us as a personal holding corporation (PHC). We reserve the right to amend the terms of this GBTC Special as necessary to prevent that from happening.

Questions and Answers/Additional Terms

Question 1: Give me some examples.

Scenario 1: Suppose you cannot afford ST Foundation, but you really want to at least do that program. We will accept a down payment of as little as $10,000. That will cover your costs in ST Foundation for six months. (And any discount you may otherwise be entitled to may extend that time a little longer.)

At the end of six months, let’s say that your $10,000 worth of GBTC is worth $18,000. You would then have a credit of $6,320 ($8,000 profit less 21% in taxes) which would mean you would only owe $3,680 for the rest of the program (less any discounts you may have under other ST offers.

Scenario 2: Suppose you plan to do the entire 4-level ST Program. Your best bet would be to put down $25,000. At the end of the year, when you would either need an extension or go into ST Awakening, you would have $5,000 plus 79% of the growth in GBTC over the year to apply toward the rest of your ST program. And if you have more than $25,000 in credits, that the remaining credits have the potential to still grow.

Scenario 3: Suppose you want to do the entire ST program, but it’s not feasible right now. However, you can commit to doing it within the next two years. And then let’s suppose you actually start at the last possible date in two years. You put down $25,000 which we invest in GBTC. Let’s say that GBTC is $10 when you join so that you have 2,500 shares. Let’s say that at some time during the program the price of GBTC reaches $50. You now have $25,000 plus $79,000 (i.e., 79% of the gain of $100,000) for a total of $104,000. You have enough credits to pay for the entire program plus $9,000 remaining that could be applied if you needed an extension. Yes, your credits will expire in a year, but we will be willing to apply all your credits to the program immediately. Your only risk is if you do not complete the program.

However, remember that there are no refunds in this program so you must be committed to doing what it takes to complete it. And should you not do the program at all, you would lose your original payments plus any accumulated credits.

Question 2: What about if I can pay the full price for ST Foundation now and may want to complete the rest of the Super Trader Program?

This is similar to scenario #2 above. We will accept a payment of up to $25,000. You won’t owe anything more until you complete ST Foundation and join ST Awakening. Let’s say that happens 9 months after you make the $25,000 payment. And let’s say that the value of GBTC doubles in those 9 months and is now worth $50,000. You would have a credit of $5,000 (your $25,000 payment less the $20,000 fee for ST Foundation) plus 79% of the $25,000 you just made, or $19,750. That would equal a total credit of $24,750, which would almost cover the ST Awakening fees.

Question 3: What if I am currently in the Super Trader Program? Can I take advantage of this special?

Yes, for up to $25,000. Pay $25,000 toward the Super Trader program in July 2020 and receive credit for 79% of any gains you make when your next payment is due. It doesn’t make sense for you to participate in the GBTC Special, of course, if you don’t anticipate needing to make any payment in the next 24 months.

Question 4: What if I decide not to go on in the Super Trader Program, can I get a refund?

No, there are no refunds in the Super Trader Program and we are taking the downside risk. However, if you decide not to continue in the Super Trader Program after completing ST Foundation, your credit accumulation will stop and you will have until August 1, 2023 to apply your credit to fees for VTI workshops (excluding some partner workshops).

Question 5: What if I don’t want to join the Super Trader Program now? Perhaps I want to join in six months or in two years?

This is similar to scenario 3 above. We will still give you the same opportunity. Put down between $10,000 and $25,000 in July 2020, and if you don’t join the Super Trader Program for two years, you will get the potential gain in GTBC over that two-year period or you can say “Cash me out,” at any particular time, and we’ll give you a credit toward Super Trader Program fees for your original amount paid plus 79% of the gain. However, the credit expires on August 1, 2023, and no payments will be refunded, so your application must be received prior to August 1, 2023 for your credit to apply.

Question 6: What if I don’t want to join the Super Trader Program? Can I use this opportunity for just products and services?

No. You must at least join ST Foundation to have an opportunity to take advantage of this offer.

Question 7: Are there any limits to this program?

Those were listed above, and VTI expressly reserves the right to modify or suspend the terms of this GBTC Special at any time as it deems necessary in its sole discretion to comply with applicable law and/or to avoid any unwanted or unintended tax, organizational, or other consequences to VTI, including, but not limited to, the potential designation of VTI as a personal holding company (provided, however, that we will not change the term that credits you for, at a minimum, the amount you have paid toward Super Trader Program fees in this GBTC Special).

Question 8: Why are you making this offer and are you likely to make it again?

We think that right now is a once in a lifetime opportunity for cryptos and BTC. BTC has recently had a halving and that means it costs between $12,500 and $14,000 to mine a single BTC. Thus, at $9,100, BTC is a relatively low-risk proposition for us. And, as of the drafting of this document (June 29, 2020), GBTC is selling at less than a 5% premium above the price of the coin. Yes, BTC might go as low as $5,000 again, but we don’t think that is likely and if it does, we think it will rebound quickly. Thus, we are willing to take the risk.

Secondly, since the halving, GBTC is buying the entire supply of new 900 BTC that is manufactured each day plus some of the pre-existing supply. We actually expect that BTC should have gone up significantly since the May halving, but it hasn’t. Why?

However, this is probably the only year that we will be willing to make such an offer where we take all the downside risk. There is a remote possibility after the next halving in 2024, but it’s not likely that we will repeat this offer.

Question 9: Why are you limiting this offer to a total of 40 new ST Foundation applications or $750,000?

First, 40 new people in the ST Foundation program is the maximum we can manage.

Second, we might not have use of the money for six months or a year, because it will be in GBTC, so that’s the second limitation. We don’t wish to tie up more than $750,000 right now in GBTC, because we need money for ongoing operations.

Third, and we reserve the right to use any of the money if we have to for ongoing operations which could limit the credits we are able to provide.

Question 10: Can I just do this strategy on my own – invest it in BTC or GBTC and then use it to pay for the Super Trader Program?

Yes, you could and we have encouraged that. But there is a downside risk that you would be taking – in 2018 that was a fall in price of 84%. If you take advantage of the GBTC Special, we will take the downside risk in the price of GBTC, based upon the limits stated above. The minimum amount you will have credited toward the Super Trader Program will be the amount we actually receive of your initial investment less the costs of investing ($6.95).

Question 11: Is that money mine?

You are investing in your own education. The money belongs to the Van Tharp Institute once we receive it. (See Question 4). However, it has the potential to grow while we have the money invested in GBTC, while you are in the Super Trader program. Thus, if it does, it will give you credits toward more time in the Super Trader Program.

Question 12: What are the risks?

If the price of GBTC goes down, you have no risk. Even if something happens to Grayscale, you have no risk, but we will terminate our position.

Your primary risks would be if something happens to the Van Tharp Institute and we discontinue our operations. However, you have that risk any time you join the Super Trader Program. We have been in business as a C-corporation since 1993 and survived many things in our 27 years in business. We even have steps in place to continue our programs should something happen to Dr. Tharp, including having video recordings now that we are doing zoom of all of our workshops.

The Benefits of the Super Trader Program

The new ST Program is extensive and culminates Van’s trading coach experience over 30 years.

One truth stands from all these years of study: Trading is a game of “big money” and the individual trader must go on his or her own “Hero’s Journey” to find success in the markets. Individual traders must understand certain principles and have the discipline to carry out these principles. Trading is not a quick or easy way to make lots of money. To win in this game you have to have an edge. A winning edge is understanding that you are the most important factor in your trading success, so understanding your beliefs, your shortcomings, your strengths and your own mindset are the biggest edges you can have.

After that, you have to stay in the game. You do that by managing your trading capital first and foremost. You do that through position sizing strategies. You find or develop systems that fit your trading style. Trade with the flow, not against it. Not having a system that fits you is like swimming upstream. There is no need to trade like that. Systems are as simple as entry and exit rules with risk management (which includes position sizing, R-multiple and SQN principles). And armed with position sizing mastery you make your money when you exit a trade, not when you enter it. Stock picking is the least of your tasks. You want to run your trading as you would a business. Don’t make the amateur mistake of treating your trading like a hobby. You spend money on hobbies, you make money on a business. And you eliminate trading mistakes by trading at optimal performance levels.

To obtain mastery of these edges you will discover, practice, dig deep to understand yourself, and grow. The program is the nurturing ground for this growth. Our objective is also that you transform. You not only become a good trader you become a happier, more well balanced person who is following their own path of bliss, but one of joy and contentment, not stress that comes from what can be a fear and greed based industry.

You will take the path of the hero’s journey as explained by Joseph Campbell who made the call to action of FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, a well-known doctrine.

You will join a self-selected group of like-minded traders who knew there must be something more to trading, something deep and enriching to be found. You will get to interact and learn from unique people from around the world who have heard the same call as you.

The details of the offer can be read here.
The details of the program can be found here.
Recorded testimonials from other students can be viewed here and read about here.

Digest the details. Think about your goals and objectives. Then reach out to us if you have questions, comments, or need advice.


Have a question? Email [email protected]

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