Van Tharp HomeProductsWorkshopsBack IssuesContactAbout Van TharpSite Map —————————

Tharp's Thoughts Weekly Newsletter

  • Article: Principles of the Conscious Mind by Van K. Tharp
  • Workshops: $700 Discount Ends TODAY for Peak Performance 101!
  • FREE BOOK!: Trading Beyond the Matrix
  • Tip: Tesla in the News — Plus a Look at the Technicals for the Stock by D.R. Barton, Jr.
  • Swing Trade E-Learning: Learn More About Our Newest Home Study Course.

Back-to-Back Trading Workshops in November

Day and Live Day Trading and Trading in a Bear Market

Day Trading and Live Day Trading with instructor Ken Long

In this three day workshop, Dr. Ken Long lectures on the first day about his general approach to intraday trading and about two specific day trading systems — the Frog and RLCO. You will learn the "why" behind each system and the rules for each. Over the next two days, you put your knowledge to work learning these trading systems the best way possible — actually trading them. Ken will review a series of case studies with you and then you make trades in a simulator — using historical price data. You’ll get plenty of practice so that before you get back home, you have already made numerous trades.

After three action-packed days of instruction and hands-on trading, you can opt to stay an additional two days and trade these systems live! See how these systems trade in real-time in the live markets with a successful, experienced coach in the room guiding you the entire way.

Trading in a Bear Market and Down Markets with instructor Mark McDowell

This workshop helps you learn how to think about trading broad bear markets and trading an asset class, sector or even one symbol that is moving down in bear mode. For a major bear market, think equities in 2008-2009. For a down move, think oil in 2014-2015. Imagine having had some ways you could have effectively traded those periods. Major bear markets don’t come that often but “lesser” down moves can be found almost anytime – including during bull markets. Start using the information from this workshop when you return back home — and also be prepared for the next big bear market.

  Study in depth the concept of a bear market.
  Learn what a bear market truly is and learn several ways to define and measure the bear market type. 
  Know when a bear market type might be starting and how to know when it might end.
  Learn 5 trading strategies suited for bear market conditions.
  Learn how options can be especially useful for bear market types. 

Read our recent interview with Mark McDowell from our
Newsletter: "Bear Markets Here and There"

To register or to see the full workshop schedule, click here.

Feature ArticleDR

Principles of the Conscious Mind

by Van K. Tharp

Click here to resolve formatting problems

Through my workshops, courses, and programs, traders learn that whatever you have in life right now is exactly what you want. It might not be what you think you want, but it is what you want. If what you have doesn't correspond with your conscious goals, it is because you have a lot of conflict and sabotage programmed into your unconscious mind. I have devoted a good deal of my work to self-sabotage and how to overcome it.

The Conscious Mind

I define the conscious mind to be everything you are aware of and the unconscious mind to be everything else. However, this definition can be expanded by comparing the qualities of awareness with the qualities of those parts of your mind of which you are unaware. For example, your conscious mind has four primary qualities that are useful to explore.

FIRST: It has a limited capacity for processing information.

: It is the seat of your intellectual capacities. It is responsible for such skills as planning, logical reasoning, higher order thinking, etc.

THIRD: It provides you with your sense of self. That is, your conscious mind helps you distinguish what is you and what is not you.

FOURTH: Lastly, your conscious mind tends to focus on those things that you do poorly. More on Limited Capacity:

Here’s a little more on the conscious mind’s quality of limited capacity:

You might think of your conscious mind as that part of you which is constantly thinking and chattering in your head. You think diverse thoughts such as what you are going to have for dinner; how you should have gotten out of that last trade much earlier; why your spouse left the house without saying anything to you last night; one of your upper molars is starting to bother you; and you need to lose weight. Bits and pieces of different thoughts such as these, plus thousands more, are constantly going through your head.

As you observe all of this, notice that you only have one thought at a time. Why? Because your conscious mind has a limited capacity for processing information. Psychologists estimate that its capacity is seven chunks of information, plus or minus two. For example, if I were to ask you to repeat a long list of numbers, you probably could recall about seven of them.

Interestingly enough, because of the way we evolved, your capacity for processing information under stress is even less. For example, imagine primitive man fleeing from a predator. One of our primary advantages in the evolutionary scheme of things is our large brain. It allows us to be creative, to plan, to develop tools, etc. Normally our brains get a large percentage of the blood supply flowing from the heart in order to sustain these functions. But under stress, that blood is redirected toward the major muscles, such as the legs and the back, and away from the brain so you can run faster or you have more strength to fight. At the same time, conscious processing capacity is reduced dramatically. In a typical stressful but non-life threatening situation, you just keep doing what you are already doing only with a lot more energy. This automatic response to stress is not particularly effective for traders. Thus, one of the secrets of trading success is to use more unconscious processing capacity.

Editor's note: This article was reprinted from a past Tharp's Thoughts edition.

About the Author: Trading coach and author Van K. Tharp, Ph.D. is widely recognized for his best-selling books and 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 His new book, Trading Beyond The Matrix, is available now at



October 9-11

$700 Early Enrollment Discount Ends TODAY!

Peak Performance 101 Workshop

with Van Tharp and RJ Hixson

October 13-16

Peak Performance 202 Workshop




November 6-8

Day Trading Systems Workshop

with Ken Long

November 9-10

Live Day Trading

with Ken Long

November 12-14

Trading in a Bear Market and Down Markets Workshop

with Mark McDowell


December 2-10

Super Trader Summit

Exclusive Events for Super Trader Program Students

2016 - January

January workshops dates are firm and open for registrations!

January 22-24

January 26-28

How to Develop A Winning Trading System

Blueprint For Trading Success

2016 - February

February workshops dates are firm and open for registrations!

February 14-15

Oneness Awakening

February 19-21

Forex Trading Systems

February 22-23

Live Forex Trading

2016 March - Van Returns to Sydney Australia

March workshops dates are firm and open for registrations!

March 11-13

March 15-17

March 19-21

Sydney, Australia

Peak Performance 101

Blueprint for Trading Success

How to Develop A Winning Trading System

Combo Discounts available for all back-to-back workshops!

See our workshop page for details.

Free Book

We're Giving You a FREE Book!

The Red Pill for Traders and Investors

We pay for the book, you pay for shipping.

Below is a brief video on how powerful this book is to traders.

Trading Tip

Van Tharp

Tesla in the News —
Plus a Look at the Technicals for the Stock

by D. R. Barton, Jr.

Click here to resolve formatting problems

Elon Musk has an amazing knack for keeping the Tesla brand in the public’s eye. The most recent example — just a few weeks ago he made some new announcements about projected delivery dates and cost structure for the Model 3 car. That’s the one that will be targeted at the “regular” consumer (as opposed to the Model S and Model X — with prices for both in the six figure range).

This Model 3 announcement was made even with the launch of the Model X only weeks away. Some may ask why that was done; I believe that Musk is a master at keeping the interest in Tesla peaked which drives (no pun intended) both their marketing and the company’s stock price. More on the stock price later in the article because today belongs to the Model X. Model X is the all-electric SUV that Tesla launched yesterday with the official delivery of the first 6 cars to their ecstatic new owners.

But before we talk about this fast (ridiculously fast!) SUV and look at the price chart, let me say something about the man pulling the strings. I have some good friends who work in Silicon Valley. They are well-educated, 20-something, big name tech company employees — and they all tell me that everyone out there wants to work for Elon Musk! Yes the man is a visionary, but when people who work for Mark Zuckerberg and other well-known high-tech leaders tell me how awesome it would be to work for Musk — that makes me stop and take notice.

The Tesla Model X

The Model X is just another in a string of seriously difficult targets that Tesla has hit. Sure the car took longer than originally expected, but it is yet another home run in terms of product design and development. While this is not a car column (though our very own Tesla aficionado, Van K., might wish it were), let me hit some Model X highlights from an engineer’s perspective:

  Ludicrous Mode: that a 5,441 pound car can go 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds is outrageous. And yes, that’s faster than most (but not all) Lamborghinis, Porsches, Corvettes, etc. It may not be the fastest car on the road – but come on – it holds 7 people! And, oh yeah, you will have to pay $10k extra for the ludicrous mode…
  Those Falcon doors: cool looking, yes, but double hinged and using ultrasonic sensors, they can contort themselves to open with only a 12-inch gap. To be honest, this seems like some automotive engineers just showing off. To them, I offer a very well-deserved slow clap…
  Compatibility: all of this has been done keeping the drive-train and software essentially the same as the Model S so that both models can stay on the same upgrade cycle.

All of this innovation and marketing charm may not have been lost on stock market participants . . .

Tesla Stock Holding Up Quite Well

Since the August broad market swoon, Tesla has been one of the few stocks that has held up well and outperformed the general market. Let’s look at a comparison chart:

For a larger image CLICK HERE.

In this chart, we see Tesla stock price in the top graph, the SPY in the middle graph and the ratio of the two (Tesla/SPY) on the bottom. The bottom ratio line shows that Tesla has outperformed a meandering S&P 500 since April. More importantly, however, during the 5 week market swoon we have had recently, Tesla has fared quite well.

A Longer-Term Investing Perspective

If you are interested in the company long term, first I’d say TSLA is a “buyer beware” stock in the near term. With the successful launch of the Model X, it may be more appropriate to “sell the news” — or at least wait for a deeper pullback before investing in the stock.

Also, Tesla’s stock price will likely have huge swings over time. Among other factors down the road that will affect the stock, I believe there will be two major ones: the inevitable delays in bringing the new gigafactory online and the challenges of producing the Model 3 in quantity. But with that said, I do believe that Mr. Musk will continue to wow us and will continue to earn his stock price’s gaudy multiples in the long run.

And as always, your thoughts and comments are welcome — please send them to drbarton “at”

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 analyst on Fox Business’ Varney & Co. TV show (catch him most Thursdays between 12:30 and 12:45), on Bloomberg Radio Taking Stock and MarketWatch’s Money Life Show. He is also a frequent guest analyst on CNBC’s Closing Bell, WTOP News Radio in Washington, D.C., and has been a guest on China Central Television — America and Canada’s Business News Network. His articles have appeared on and Financial Advisor magazine. You may contact D.R. at "drbarton" at "".


NEW! Swing Trading Systems E-Learning Course

Swing with Ken Long We are excited to announce that our new Swing Trading Systems home study course is now available! Learn with Dr. Ken Long as he teaches his Swing Trading Systems Workshop via streaming video!

This new e-learning course includes Ken Long's Swing Trading Workshop, 5 swing trading systems and a bonus workshop featuring Van Tharp on Tharp Think principles. The course also includes extensive downloadable files to support your learning.

You can complete this course at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home or office, and access the materials as many times as you wish during your 1 year subscription period.

Take a look at this video from Ken to learn more about this course.

van tharp

We have extensive information about the Swing Trading System e-learning course, including how to the link below!

Learn More....

This minute and a half video tells a little about our Swing Trading Systems home study course.


Matrix Contest

MatrixEnter the Matrix Contest 
for a chance to win a free workshop!

We want to hear about the one most profound insight that you got from reading Van's new book, Trading Beyond the Matrix, and how it has impacted your life. If you would like to enter, send an email to

If you haven't purchased Trading Beyond the Matrix yet, click here.

For more information about the contest, click here.

Ask Van...

Everything we do here at the Van Tharp Institute is focused on helping you improve as a trader and investor. Consequently, we love to get your feedback, both positive and negative!

Send comments or ask Van a question by clicking here.

Also, Click here to take our quick, 6-question survey.

Back to Top

Contact Us

Email us at

The Van Tharp Institute does not support spamming in any way, shape or form. This is a subscription based newsletter.

To change your e-mail Address, e-mail us at

To stop your subscription, click on the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom left—hand corner of this email.

How are we doing? Give us your feedback! Click here to take our quick survey.

Call us at: 800-385-4486 * 919-466-0043 * Fax 919-466-0408

SQN® and the System Quality Number® are registered trademarks of the Van Tharp Institute and the International Institute of Trading Mastery, Inc.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!


Back to Top


September 30, 2015 #753


Our Mission




Van's Top-Twelve Favorite Trading Books


Van's Favorite Non-Trading Books





Viewing on-line eliminates spacing, and formatting problems that may be unique to your email program.



Trading Beyond the Matrix

Ongoing Contest: Learn how you could win a $50 coupon and a grand prize of a free workshop!





Long Term Systems

"I base my long-term, monthly rebalancing [core] strategies on research into relative strength and momentum as it relates to broad asset classes."-K Long








ST expanded

A Must Read for All Traders

Super Trader








How are we doing?

Give us your feedback!

Click here to take our quick survey.

From our reader survey...
"I think the newsletter is extremely generous and it is a resource I utilize constantly. I have saved every single one since I first subscribed."







Trouble viewing this issue?

View Online. »


Van Tharp You Tube Channel



Tharp Concepts Explained...

  • Trading Psychology

  • System Development

  • Risk and R—Multiples

  • Position Sizing

  • Expectancy

  • Business Planning

Learn the concepts...







Read what Van says about the mission of his training institute.









The Position Sizing Game Version 4.0

Have you figured out yet how to pick the right stocks? Are you still looking for a high win-rate trading system? When you’re ready to get serious about your trader education, download the Position Sizing Game to learn some true fundamentals of trading success. Learn more.

To Download for Free or Upgrade Click Here


Download the first three levels of Version 4.0 for free:

Register now. »



Trouble viewing this issue?

View Online. »






Dr. Tharp is on Facebook



Follow Van through

Twitter »



Check out our home study materials, e-learning courses, and best-selling books.

Click here for products and pricing


What Kind of Trader Are You? Click below to take the test.

Tharp Trader Test


Back to Top


Position Sizing

Introduction to Position Sizing™ Strategies E-Learning Course

Perfect for auditory/visual learners who learn more effectively from an instructional format that is full of interactive features!

Only $149

Learn More

Buy Now



SQN® and the System Quality Number® are registered trademarks of the Van Tharp Institute