News About the Van Tharp Institute by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

van tharp bkOnce or twice each year, I write an update on our company. Where are we going? What are our plans? And specifically, what are my plans for the next year or so?

New Projects

First, I’ve written a new book called Motimaps: The Definitive Guide to Motivating Yourself and Getting Your Dream Life.

I wrote this book while I was at an Ayurvedic Clinic in India for a six-week visit. Writing the book took only 3.5 weeks but drafting it two more times has taken about five months. The next draft will be released to some of our Super Traders for their comments.

Our plan is to publish the book and a supplemental workbook with exercises by the end of the year. Motimaps will eventually be extended into an e-learning course with supporting videos — perhaps by the end of 2020.

Second, several e-courses are coming out in the next six months or so.

  • First, we will convert the Trading Genius course (livestreamed in June) into an e-learning course. This project is underway and should be ready in a few months.
  • Second, we will turn the Bear Market Workshop into a e-learning course. We have not given our Bear Market Workshop for more than a year mostly because the instructor took a role as a portfolio manager and didn’t have time to teach. Luckily, we haven’t had a bear market since it was presented last so that’s a good thing. We expect to have this e-learning course out in the early part of next year if not sooner
  • Third, we are looking to create a five day options course in 2020. Chuck Whitman presented a five-day options course for the Super Traders several years ago with the idea that we would convert it into an e-learning course. He thinks he probably wants to modify the course and present it one more time before we record it and offer it as an e-learning course. Hopefully, that will also be coming in 2020.

Also, I plan to convert the Systems Thinking workshop into a e-learning course. That will be done in the first half of 2020.

Dr. Ken Long, our longest running instructor, teaches the Day Trading Workshop, the Core Trading e-learning course, and the Swing Trading e-elearning course. Ken has a Master’s degree in systems thinking and a Doctorate in decision making under uncertainty. This really influences his thinking about the market and he seems to be continually evolving his trading. Consequently, several years ago I asked him to present a workshop on systems thinking for our Super Traders which he did. He and I were jointly going to present the second version of that workshop but a conflict prevented him from coming for the scheduled dates so I was going to teach the workshop on my own. In the process of preparing for that course, I became fascinated with the topic and I changed the content of the workshop a great deal. Through four more presentations of the workshop (to mostly Super Traders), it has continued to evolve and I keep waiting for the final version of the course to happen, a version that I’m really happy to present as final. I think that will happen in 2020.

My goal will be to present the material as either six four-hour live-streamed lectures or four six-hour live-streamed lectures. We will probably start those in early 2020. I will know whether it will be four or six days after I have it put together.

Fourth, I’m planning to write another new book. The preliminary title of this book will be Beyond the Matrix Thinking: Moving from Force, to Power, to Awakening.

If you happened to be one of those people who thought that Trading Beyond the Matrix was far out, then the next book will take you to whole new levels of “Far Out.”

A number of the world’s great religions have said that our experience of the world is a complete illusion. Buddhism and Hinduism call it Maya. Even in his channeled work called A Course in Miracles, Jesus says the same basic thing. The introduction to the course states: “Nothing real can hurt you. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”

I now understand enough about projection and how the brain interprets our experiences to know that these can never be the same as reality itself. The “map is not the territory.” The bottom line is that when you really get that it’s all made up, you can aim for what’s useful in a context you desire and that leads to amazing things occurring in your life. We see proof of this happening all the time in the Super Trader Program.

I presented some of this material in the Trading Genius workshop and because I keep getting new material, I’m not sure when it’s going to be appropriate for the book to just flow out of me – but it’s coming.

Fifth, we have three software projects in the works.

Note – these projects may or may not materialize into products we offer – either for free or for a price. It will all depend upon their scope once completed.

  • One of my Super Traders is a senior software engineer and wants to help our company. As a result, I’ve asked him to develop a new version of Know Your System. Know Your System was my all-time favorite software project, but it had some serious flaws and was never fully completed. In addition, the developer of the software lost the source code…so we pretty much gave up on ever trying to sell it. We even wrote the second edition of the Definitive Guide to Position Sizing Strategy without much reference to the software. Instead, we used an Excel based simulator that cost an arm and leg just for the engine – so it was not something we could sell feasibly. If the new version of this system simulator turns out well, you may see it as a VTI product sometime in the future.
  • A young man is doing a summer internship with us developing a mobile app version of our VTI trading simulation game. You can expect to see our first mobile application from us sometime in the near future.
  • Third, we’ve started developing an online trading simulation game similar to the later levels of our current trading game. In other words, you have to manage your winning streaks to get big R-multiples. We had contracted out the development work and it’s been slow-going. But if our Super Trader software engineer gets on board with it, you can expect to see that completed as well. For this version of the game, players will play through one of five different websites –
  1. Trading for Engineers
  2. Trading for Medical Professionals
  3. Trading for IT Professionals
  4. Trading for Financial Professionals
  5. Trading for other Professionals

Each group will be able to play the game against the other groups so we can see which one is the most competent at trading. There will be a prize for the individual winner (perhaps even the top five individuals if enough people play.) We will also somehow glorify the winning group but, of course, there will also be a hall of shame for those who go bankrupt. Again, this is planned but nowhere near complete. It’s been a project I have wanted for years.

What are your thoughts on such a game? It would involve one trade decision per day for 90 days and though you play individually, groups will compete with the other groups. Would you play it if it was free? Do you have any other suggestions? You can email me your response at [email protected]

Sixth, I’m planning on offering a simple version of the Super Trader program that will be more accessible to average trader/investor.

Essentially, students in the new program would learn basic Tharp Think, risk control, position sizing strategies, stress control, and some simple trading systems that I like. I see it as having about ten lessons with an emphasis on improving your trading. The simpler program will allow attendance at about five VTI workshops, at a new ST Trading Systems workshop (in development now), and at my crypto workshop. The simple version of the program would take probably about 9-12 months to complete. Completing it would be required to continue on to the full (current) ST program where the emphasis will remain on self-awareness and trading at a professional level.

For this one to happen, we need some feedback from you. Would you be interested in this simpler Super Trader program? Given that you get to attend the new ST Trading Systems workshop, the ST Summit, probably five workshops (yet to be determined), the crypto workshop, and my feedback (or perhaps RJ’s) for ten thorough lessons – how much do you think we should charge for the program? If your responses suggest that the numbers could work, then we will consider it.

On the Subject of Feedback –

What other sorts of products do you want? One of our Super Traders has a background as a financial planner and is willing to develop some courses for us on financial planning – if they would match what you want. So, what sort of courses would you like to see more of in the near future? What areas do you have questions about that would be useful for you to know or learn? You can email me your response at [email protected]

Thank you for your input.

Staff Changes

Our VP of Operations, Cathy Hasty, has taken a business mastery course. She’s excited about what she’s learned and she expects to change how we run the business as a result of that course. You’ve probably seen the changes she instigated in the last year with respect to our new website. More changes will continue to happen under Cathy’s direction.

In recent months, RJ Hixson was certified as an NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner. This training may change some of his responsibilities at VTI. Congratulations to RJ!

The Super Traders now have additional help through my personal assistant, Chantal Noreika. Part of her job is helping them through anything that stumps them about the program. Also, we now have a Zoom account so the Super Traders are making video commentaries on the lessons through Zoom and posting them on YouTube. You can probably expect to see us put that account to a much broader use. Lastly, I’ve hinted above that we have several Super Traders who might become part of our team in the near future.

Van’s Plans and Travels

I like Vedic Astrology because of some of the predictions that I know about. For example, when my wife Kala was a young girl, she had a reading that said she’d marry someone with the highest education and that she would travel extensively. For an 11-year-old girl living in Ipo, Malaysia, this was a pretty far out prediction but it all came true.

My niece also got a very accurate reading several years ago. It predicted that she would get married last year and described the nature of the man she would marry. It also said she would buy a house last year which also happened although how it happened was a little more indirect.

I got a reading around 2001 that said I shouldn’t buy any new real estate because it would give me a lot of problems. It didn’t say anything about real estate which I already owned with a partner – and I didn’t think to apply the reading to that area. The partner had committed me to an investment of $35,000 in 15 houses in Tennessee. In the end, those houses ended up costing me about $350,000 to unload. So that prediction was also good even though it prevented nothing.

My understanding is that western astrology used to be the same as Vedic Astrology. Until around 1500, Catholic priests were pretty good astrologers. One Pope, however, thought many priests were gaining too much personal power through their readings so he put out an edict that changed how they were allowed to do the readings. This procedural change pretty much voided the accuracy of their predictions. Coincidentally, just about two years ago, Pope Francis warned followers to distrust horoscopes and fortune telling but instead trust in Christ.

Anyway, because of my experiences, I sometimes pay attention to my own Vedic Astrology readings as long as they don’t conflict with my Inner Guidance . Readings say I’ll live to be over 100 (I just turned 73 on August 15th). I mention this because I love my job and all the transformations we help people make. I never plan to retire but at the same time, I pretty much just do what I like to do and my staff does everything else. I now consider myself retired and still working. As long as my health is good, I pretty much will be doing the same thing for the next 30 years if those predictions are accurate.

I still like travel and adventure. This means that I take 3-4 trips each year that last 10 days to 7-weeks. And because of the Internet, I can do that and still stay in touch with my Super Trader students. What’s great about these trips is that I come back with a new perspective and that changes everything. For example, I have taken three driving trips around the country in my Tesla. I haven’t done one in the last two years because of experiences with non-functional superchargers plus concerns over how crowded they might be now that the Model 3 dominates Tesla sales. Model 3s don’t get free supercharging but that doesn’t mean that most cars at supercharger stations are now Tesla Model 3s. My next trip will be when I can drive across Canada and come back through the northern part of the US, especially through North Dakota – the only state in the US that I have not visited. That might be next year because Tesla says that those northern superchargers are “to be completed by the end of the year”. Tesla’s website, however, has said that same thing for the last three years.

For travel this year I spent 7 weeks in India – including the six weeks at the Ayurvedic clinic where I wrote the 1st draft of the Motimaps book. During that trip I had the chance to go to the Taj Mahal, to a wildlife sanctuary where I saw Indian elephants, and to Ramakrishna’s Ashram.

Van at the Taj Mahal


Elephants in the wild


Ramakrishna’s Ashram


Kala and I went to Las Vegas for 10 days in July. The trip highlight was a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon and a 25-mile boat ride down the Canyon. Without a power boat, the journey would have taken 5-7 days. At the beginning of the trip down the river, I was sitting in the front of the boat but we soon found out that our guide liked to go fast through the rapids. Kala was towards the back of the boat taking pictures except when we went through rapids and then she was hanging on for dear life. In the first few rapids, so much (very cold) water came over the boat that I decided I might not be able to stay in the boat for the upcoming rapids. I moved to the middle of the boat – I would have rather fallen to the bottom of the boat than into the Colorado River.


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At the boats

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Going down a peaceful portion of the Colorado River Through the Grand Canyon

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On September 16th, Kala and I are taking an 11-day cruise from Quebec to New Jersey. The leaves should be really beautiful at that time of year. We’ll spend a few days in New York City before returning.

On October 4th, we fly to Paris and take a train to London under the English Channel through the Chunnel. The train ride takes only 2 hours and 20 minutes to go from Paris to London and that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. After our workshops in London, we’ll go tour some English castles – which I love. We don’t return from that trip until October 25th.

Sometime this winter, I’m planning on getting away from the cold for a few weeks and perhaps going to Costa Rica.

Next year from mid-March through mid-April, I’m going on one of my dream trips – a private safari. We start in Johannesburg, South Africa and go through Botswana on to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe before returning to Johannesburg. During the safari, we’ll be camping out for four nights and our guide says lions and hyenas have been known to wander into the camp at night. Remember that I’m supposed to live to be 100 plus so I’m not too worried about being some animal’s evening snack. We also plan to spend a little time on that trip in Cape Town, South Africa.

Sometime next year, I’ll provide another update on our company. Next week, I’ll be writing the Market Update and the SQN Report after the trading session on Friday closes out August.

[1] I don’t know the exact date or the Pope responsible for changing how astrology was done but it’s someplace between 1400 and 1600.
[2] Before asking for references on getting a reading, you should know several things. First, the accuracy of the readings seems to depend upon the level of consciousness of the person doing the readings. The higher the consciousness, the better the interpretation of the information. Second, Stuart Mooney told me about a meeting of some of the best astrologers in India. They were all given the same chart to read and they all came up with different interpretations of what was going to happen. Thus, your chart might suggest that you will make a lot of money during a certain period but – it won’t tell you what to do and “a lot” of money is a relative term.

2 thoughts on “News About the Van Tharp Institute by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.”

  1. Avatar of Gene Steinmann
    Gene Steinmann

    I recently read what Van is reading. I am interested in reading the same books but can’t find the list.


    Gene Steinmann 101 Graduate

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