Matrix Insight Essay Contest




Submit your essay on your most transformational insight from Trading Beyond the Matrix for a chance to win a free foundation* workshop or a VTI product (priced at $795 or below), of your choice.



  • Each essay should be around 1200 words.

  • The ideal entries will focus more on a single transformative insight as opposed to “the whole book was transformational”.

  • Dr. Tharp and the VTI team will pick the top 5 best entries from the submissions and our newsletter readers will vote to choose the top winner.

  • The winner receives one free VTI foundation workshop, valued at $2,995. Foundation workshops include: Peak Perfomance 101, How to Develop a Winning Trading System That Fits You, and Blueprint for Trading Success. The winner also may substitute the in-person workshop prize for any single VTI product of their choice, valued at $795 or less.

  • Over the duration of the contest, we will choose our favorite entries and publish them in our weekly newsletter, Tharp’s Thoughts. All entries appearing in the newsletter will receive a $50 coupon which can be used on any VTI product or service.
From Dr. Tharp

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Trading Beyond the Matrix is my favorite, individual book that I’ve written. Why?


Until 1993, 100% of my business was devoted to the psychology of trading.  We had the Peak Performance Course, my private consulting work, and several psychological workshops including Peak 101.  In 1993, I presented the first version of a new workshop, How to Develop a Winning Trading System that Fits You.  That workshop began our diversification into other products and services beyond the psychology of trading.  Then in 1998, my first published book was Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom.  That book was never meant to be anything other than a systems book, even though it is often cited as a great psychological book.  In fact, I originally wanted to avoid talking about psychology in my published books because I felt it might take away from the Peak Performance Course.  My subsequent books — Financial Freedom Through Electronic Day Trading (2001); Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom (2003); and the Definitive Guide to Position Sizing (2008) — all continued on this trend of including, at most, very basic psychology.  I didn’t emphasize psychology in my books partly because I thought putting “our bread and butter” material into a published book would hurt our overall business.

That all started to change, however, when I finished the book Super Trader in 2009. Super Traderwas a collection of tips, many of which were related to psychology.  The book was quite successful and it didn’t lessen the interest in our more powerful psychological material, so that experience paved the way for Trading Beyond the Matrix.

I decided to write the ultimate psychological book probably because of a set of experiences and a realization:  I had cleared many, many psychological issues myself in the last five years and I really came to understand that our mission was to help people transform their lives.  I decided not to hold anything back anything in this book and conceived a framework to explain everything that was really important in order to be a successful trader.  Because personal transformations are so critical for successful trading, the book would have a very strong emphasis on this area. 


One of my goals with Trading Beyond the Matrix was to show the key inputs and outputs of successful traders: what people did and how they did it, then the results were.  I wanted the book to be full of real stories of success and transformation so that people could relate to those topics in a very personal way. Because many of the chapters were written by my Super Traders and I knew they’d talk about how much they liked our programs,  I wondered if some readers might decide the book was just a promotional piece for our services.  As a result, I went out of my way to include so much material that no one could possibly say that the purpose of this book was just to promote myself.  The book makes it possible for anyone who reads it to have a significant roadmap to success, regardless of whether they used any of our other programs or not.  

To achieve this, I included in the book:

  • All of the key aspects of Tharp Think.  I left nothing important out. I gave enough information that once you have read the book, you should be able to think about the markets and design a good system that fits you.
  • I also decided to include a complete listing of everything a good trading business plan requires.  None of my other books have this kind of valuable information but one easy and understandable table in this book has the entire list. 
  • Most importantly, I included every important thing I could think of for changing yourself, including a self-assessment, seeing how you limit yourself through your beliefs, knowing how to evaluate your beliefs, a feeling release, conflict resolution, accessing spiritual resources, everything!  In doing that, I broke through many of my own barriers.  I used to think, “How can I give this much information away in a $30 book?”  But it’s all in Trading Beyond the Matrix.

It’s my belief that if someone thoroughly studied all of the information in that book and had the discipline to follow through on the actions, they would be successful in the markets.  So am I right?  Well, only time will tell.  

One of my core teachings is that we are shaped by our beliefs.  Beliefs form the Matrix of our illusions.  In addition, different kinds of beliefs form a hierarchy with environmental beliefs being the least impactful and spiritual beliefs being the most impactful.  In my basic psychological workshop, Peak 101, I tend to avoid spiritual level beliefs but we get into them in much more depth in the more advanced psychological workshops, Peak 202 and 203.  People tend to react strongly to spiritual level beliefs that don’t match their own. 

Because spiritual level beliefs play a part in trading success, I took a big chance talking about them in some detail in Trading Beyond the Matrix but I really wanted to make the book complete.  To prove my point about strong reactions to spiritual beliefs, currently the book has about 16 five-star reviews on Amazon and 5 one-star reviews.  The five-star reviews are from people who get it.  The one-star reviews include comments like “useless junk,” or “no more than promoting VT services,” or “either the most or (more likely) least important trading book you’ll ever read.”  And those were just the review titles.  I noticed, however, that every one-star reviewer rejected the entire contents of the book because of one section of spiritual beliefs.

While it would be nice to see the book on the top of the best seller lists, my primary intent right now is to let our current subscribers know about all of the incredible information given in this book which include a comprehensive checklist on being ready to trade successfully, a process for personal transformation, and more than ten chapters written by traders who have transformed themselves at various levels using my processes.  In addition to being my favorite book so far, I also believe it’s one of the best trading books ever in terms of the information value provided.  

Decide for yourself whether it is one of the worst or best trading books ever.  And if you have a belief that clashes with the writing in the spiritual section of the book, you have some very valuable feedback which you can use to your benefit.  Just ask yourself, “Does my belief give me peace or stir up emotions?”  If your belief stirs up emotions, is it really a useful belief?

Email your insight to

For more information about Trading Beyond the Matrix, click here.

Or to purchase the book for $29.95, click the button below.



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