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

Tharp's Thoughts Weekly Newsletter

on Our April Peak Performance Workshops!

Peak Performance 101 has been Van Tharp's signature workshop for decades. Come experience for yourself why this workshop changes the lives of so many traders...year after year!

Click here to review our no-risk guarantee on workshops.

April 15-17

Peak Performance 101

Workshop Objectives

Students will learn and begin to understand each of these objectives after attending Peak Performance 101:

  • How great traders approach their craft and learn a daily procedure that resembles what they do.
  • How you create your own experience in the market and how you are responsible for the results that you get.
  • Become more aware of some of your own psychological issues that affect your performance as a trader/investor.
  • Learn about expectancy, position sizing strategies and the power of big R-multiples through a simulation game. This game is also designed to help you observe your emotions in a setting in which only a small amount is at stake compared with what you will face in the market.
  • Learn some of the variables that affect your emotions and how you can gain control over them.
  • Learn to overcome self-sabotage through exercises done in the class.
  • Students will get guidance on how to develop an ongoing program to work on themselves using the Super Trader Program as a model.
  • Students will leave with a plan to make the maximum use of the workshop.
  • Participants in this course will get to meet and network with some really great people who a lot in common with each other.

April 19-22

Peak Performance 202
is one of our most significant breakthrough workshops. You'll learn how to reinvent yourself as a trader, gain greater control of your life, and broaden your perspective on what is possible. Step out of your comfort zone. In Peak Performance 202, you’ll learn how to make a declaration for a trading vision that might seem all but impossible now. You’ll learn how it IS possible, and how you can take the first steps toward a new you, and success that’s beyond your current scope of understanding. This workshop is that powerful.

May 17-19

Peak Performance 203 - The Happiness Workshop
Dr. Tharp has now discovered how to help people through these self-sabotage issues at the deepest level. And the basic concept is simple: When you are not doing what brings you joy, you are committing self-sabotage. Imagine moving toward being happier and happier, and at the same time becoming more and more successful as a trader. Well, that’s the core concept behind Peak Performance 203 Workshop: Avoiding Self-Sabotage by Following Your Bliss.

May 21-23

New! Modeling Great Trading Through Mental Strategies (Peak 204)
The material presented in this new, advanced workshop is poised to make a dramatic impact on your life. While in attendance, you will gain understanding about how you are the central character in your story, and how you really create this story, and see how you can ultimately play an active role in shaping your own life. By thoroughly exploring how each of us uses mental strategies and the sequencing of thoughts, you will have the groundwork to continue to hone your skills throughout the workshop, and beyond.


Click Here to Register NOW!

Feature ArticleDR

A Belief is a Meta-State

by L. Michael Hall

Click here to resolve formatting problems

Like attitudes, beliefs partake of the structure of a meta-state. Beliefs are actually pretty strange things. Well, beliefs are not really "things" because they do not really exist, but they are phenomena. We all believe and we all believe in thousands of things. Philosophers have even called us humans "homo credo" (believers). As human beings, we have to believe in things. We don't have another choice. And yet, our beliefs don't seem like beliefs nor does anyone actually think of them as beliefs. Instead, we experience them and we think of them as just what's true and right and real. Then again, that's an operational definition of a belief — what you consider true, right, and real is what you "believe."

From Thought to Belief

Because NLP never really distinguished thoughts from beliefs in a really clear way, we took the opportunity to do precisely that in Neuro-Semantics. One of the first things we do on day one in our flagship training APG (Accessing Personal Genius), we present how a thought differs from a belief.

The meta-state structure distinguishes the two phenomena by the multi-ordinality of "thought."

  • At level one, a thought is a representation (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, words, diagrams, etc.) of an awareness.
  • At level two, a thought is embedded inside of another thought so that it is much richer. The higher thought is a frame for the lower — a classification, category, assumption, etc. When at level two, the higher thought is a confirmation thought that validates the first, then it transforms the "mere thought" into a belief — a command to the nervous system.

By transcending the first level thought to a confirmation thought about it, you are putting the first level thought into the class of things Validated and Confirmed as Real, True, and Right. That makes the thought more than just a thought, more than just a signal to the body. It transforms into a command to the nervous system. In systems language and thought, the higher thought as a "belief" sets up a self-organizing attractor so that it operates like a self-fulfilling prophecy. That's why we have known for thousands of years that beliefs are very power things. People tend to see what they believe. What they believe, they see in the world and it confirms the belief over and over.

By believing, you empower a mere thought with meaning — and that meaning is energizing the thought so you treat it as if it is real, right and true. Now you no longer question it; now your perceptions and behaviors keep reinforcing it; now you are inside of a belief system that validates itself. No wonder Jesus warned us to be careful what we believe, "Be it unto you according to your belief."

Given this semantic and representational structure of a belief, the essence of changing a belief involves removing it from its classification. That is, remove it from the class of Confirmed Things, that is, change the meaning so it is "just a thought." Do that you and you will de-energize the belief and limit its ability to be a "command to your nervous system" to try to actualize it.

This explains the so-called "magic" in the Mind-Lines Model. Remodeled from the old NLP "sleight of mouth" patterns and extended, Mind-Lines gives you seven directions to send a person's mind in thinking about something and twenty-six linguistic patterns for reframing the meaning of a belief that creates limitations. Knowing how we build up beliefs and the essential structure of a belief as a meta-state, now you can pretty easily change beliefs and update them with more empowering beliefs that will support your development and self-actualization.

What's the Bottom Line?

Where you have a belief, you have a meta-state. When you meta-state, you are setting beliefs in place. "Beliefs" are meta-level confirmation-ideas that describe an understanding that we treat as real and true and which thereby send "commands" to our nervous system to make real. And where you have one belief, you almost always have an embedded set of beliefs — a belief system. Knowing this, you can now meta-state new beliefs into existence, beliefs that you want to believe. Knowing this also means that you can suspend a belief that no longer serves you well.

An example: If you believe that "criticism can hurt you," then you have a cause-effect belief. You believe that when something you call "criticism" can influence your mental and emotional state and result in what you call "hurt." Thinking about words and their effect on you is the primary state; confirming that this primary state is true and real turns it into a belief. Then it orders your breathing, muscle tension, throat, etc. to respond in a way that makes this actual (actualize). When you meta-state questions and doubt about this as "real and true" the belief begins to loosen up, when you bring the meta-state of realizing the idea is just a mental map, the belief fragments even further. When you bring the idea that "words" are just words, you undermine the old limiting belief even further.

Beliefs can be at your command — when you know their meta-state structure and have developed the skills of confirming and suspending. This is what we mean by "running your own brain" in order to manage your own state.

L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. Neuro-Semantics Executive Director

A Belief is a Meta-State
Reprinted with permission
2016 "Neurons" Meta Reflections - #9
Meta-States "Genius" Series (APG) #14

Dr. Hall is known as a prolific writer with 30 some books to his name, more than 100 published articles and is recognized as a leading NLP Trainer and developer of many models, most notably the revolutionary Meta-States model and more recently the Matrix model. Learn more...


2016 - April
$700 Early Registration Discount ENDS NEXT WEEK!

April 15-17

Peak Performance 101

Presented by Van Tharp with RJ Hixson and Kirk Cooper

April 19-22

Peak Performance 202 Workshop

with Van Tharp, Libby Adams, RJ Hixson and Kirk Cooper

2016 - May

May 17-19

Peak Performance 203 — Happiness Workshop
Presented by RJ Hixson and Kirk Cooper

May 21-23

New! Modeling Great Trading Through Mental Strategies (Peak 204)
Presented by Van Tharp

July All New Line-Up

(More information coming soon.)

July 8-10

Infinite Wealth
Presented by Van Tharp

July 12-14

Strategic Thinking for Traders
Presented by Ken Long

July 15-17

Advanced Swing Trading
Presented by Ken Long

See sneak peek video below!

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

See our workshop page for details.

Trading Video

Swing Trading Video From Ken Long

In case you missed it last week, Ken recorded this video last Sunday night when he reviewed swing trading candidates and open swing trades. In some cases, the trades are being added to while in others, Ken is looking to either harvest a gain or pare a loss. He ends with a short market analysis which informs him on likely scenarios for the coming period and guides his next moves. Ken will be teaching these kind of dynamic swing trading strategies in July at his new “Advanced Adaptive Swing Workshop”. To learn five more mechanically oriented swing trading systems, look into our Swing Trading Elearning Course.

van tharp

Trading Tip


The Best U.S. GDP Growth Forecast Tool Says,
“Look Out Below”

by D. R. Barton, Jr.

Click here to resolve formatting problems

On Tuesday of this week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen made some dovish comments (looser money/market friendly comments) that sparked a continuation in the rally that the market has seen since mid-February.

Dr. Yellen cited the global economic slowdown and the lack of inflation as reasons for pushing back against the Fed governors who are looking for another rate hike sooner rather than later. The likelihood of a rate hike as soon as June has dropped significantly (according to Fed Funds futures) since Chair Yellen’s comments.

Undoubtedly one of the inputs driving the continued “easy money” thought process has been the forecast for a significant slowing in growth rate of the GDP at home here in the US. Let’s look at the what the best forecast model has to say.

The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow Model — This One Works

Last April, I wrote an article extolling the virtues of the still relatively new GDP prediction model that has been developed by the quants down at the Atlanta Fed. I won’t rehash the numbers on how good the model has been, especially when compared to the high-priced institutional economists that it consistently bests. If you’d like to look at those numbers, you can find them in my earlier article.

What we do know is that this excellent forecast tool has grown significantly more pessimistic as the quarter has progressed and new inputs have come in. Let’s look at the forecast:

van tharp

Basically, the Atlanta Fed’s forecast has jumped off a cliff! The last ugly piece of data added to the model was a drop in real consumer spending growth during the first quarter of 2016 from 2.5 to 1.8 percent. That’s a big plunge in one of the economy’s main drivers.

If you’d like to keep track of this excellent forecasting model, you can find the up-to-date forecasting model at Atlanta Fed’s website here:

This page alone is quite rich in detail. Be sure to check out the tabs below the chart for a good FAQ section and lots of other useful material. The next update to the model is scheduled for April 1.

A Few Take Aways

By itself, this swan-dive forecast is only one piece of the puzzle. Taken together with Chair Yellen’s comments and the markets bullish reaction, however, we can still see that the markets are not yet over their love affair with the easy money coming out of central banks. Bad news (weakening global and domestic economies) is seen as good for stocks. With the monthly employment numbers coming out we’ll soon see if this trend continues.

Will good employment numbers push the markets down and bad ones push it up? If so, we will have relapsed into a central bank / easy money narrative in the market and this rebound will push higher. More on that in my next article. Until then…

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome — please send them to drbarton “at” — I always enjoy hearing from you!

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 "".

Free Book

FREE Book!

The Red Pill for Traders and Investors

We pay for the book, you pay for shipping.

Eleven traders tell their stories about transforming their trading results and lives, in this 400 plus page book.

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

Swing Trading Systems E-Learning Course


Swing with Ken Long


Ken Long's systematic approach to swing trading with 5 distinct trading systems. This course has over 10 hours of instruction with significant follow-along documents included for students to download.


Review the videos as many times, and as often as you like, for one full year. Plus, you receive a bonus workshop at no extra charge—Dr. Van Tharp's Tharp Think Essentials!

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 About The Swing E-Learning 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


March 30, 2016 #778



Our Mission




Van's Top-Twelve Favorite Trading Books


Van's Favorite Non-Trading Books





Viewing on-line eliminates spacing, and formatting problems that you may experience in 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!


















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...
















Trouble viewing this issue?

View Online. »








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