New! Systems Thinking Workshop

Presented by Van K. Tharp

Trading Your Edge:
Mastering Your Trading Maps with Matrix Thinking

Fellow traders and investors,


Since I taught the last Systems Thinking Workshop, my understandings in this field have evolved greatly and deepened far beyond what I taught nearly a year ago. I will basically teach a new version of the workshop explaining my current thoughts, beliefs, and philosophies about my latest theory – the Matrix Thinking Meta-Model. Understanding it will help you begin to realize how YOU create everything around you.


You will learn how to see from multiple perspectives, why you should think in terms of probabilities all the time, and how to reach higher levels of consciousness. Using the Matrix Thinking frame will help you achieve an improved perspective of “you” and your world which will generate genuine new edges in your trading — and in every area of your life. —Van K. Tharp

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Where All of Your Success Centers...

Very likely, this trader acts solely from a tactical point of view:

ID a chart pattern, create an order, and execute.

They then wait and see if their system, if they have one, has delivered a profit. And yet, there is so much more at play…

Capital markets, and the traders who participate in them, are both made up of complex, dynamic, and adaptive systems.

By thinking only about tactics, you miss the bigger factor shaping your success. Your beliefs, and every thought that you hold as true, need to be explored in a deeper, more comprehensive way.

After all, ALL of your success as a trader, and even as a human being, centers on your beliefs.

This is where Matrix Thinking, a higher level of systems thinking, comes in...

Where you will learn more about yourself, the markets you trade, and the systems you use…


Giving you a genuine opportunity to master the craft of trading.

First, however, we need to define what systems thinking is.

What is Systems Thinking?

Systems thinking should not be considered one simple idea, but rather a combination of numerous subjects. For example, systems thinking is considered:

  • An integrated body of knowledge or discipline—think the Scientific method and Sir Isaac Newton. Here, focus is on the objective, or that which can be observed. 
  • An idea involving your mindset, or way of looking beyond the basic trading aspects of tactics. Here, we are starting to look at beliefs.
  • A recurring and iterative process, requiring various inputs. These might include changes in oneself, the markets, your results in comparison to your objectives, and more. The outputs include informed decision making about what systems to use, what position sizing strategies to employ, if and when discretion is utilized, and more.

Advanced systems thinking also involves mental maps, and how they are useful to guide you while in the trading process. Here, the subjective becomes as important as the objective.

However, even this has limits, as most standard systems thinking is mostly linear thinking,

I believe I have found a new, more robust way of thinking about systems…

And it’s here where we can begin to reach new levels of awareness and increase the chances of achieving success through trading.

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An Evolution in Systems Thinking

In the past, I worked with Ken Long to get a better understanding on certain aspects of systems thinking. With a military background and a PhD in decision making under uncertainty, he provided great guidance in explaining some of the more analytical areas involving the trading process.


Recently however, I discovered various new ways of thinking about systems and the mental maps we create around them, going beyond today’s current limits. My new concepts involve systems thought from a unique perspective, including Oneness and the applications of NLP to trading. From these, as well as what I have studied and learned over the last 35 years as your trading coach, I have developed a decidedly different model; one that involves not just a single map, but multiple layers of several different maps. It is the basis for this workshop.


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“The Map is not the Territory”

One of the key principles of systems thinking is the concept that “the map is not the territory.” Alfred Korzybski first coined the phrase back in 1931, and he explains how people confuse models of reality with reality itself.

On the first day, we will take a deep dive into the whole concept of what we perceive as reality. It’s here where you will learn that everything is made up. From this understanding, we can begin to lay the groundwork for matrix thinking and its benefits to you as a trader.

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How Matrix Thinking Can Work for You

For most of you, the need to be right is the main issue you face as traders. We were taught in school that being right is important; after all, you had to be right to get good grades. And while this served us in school, it creates major issues for traders.

The lower emotions of fear, greed, anger, grief, shame, and guilt tend to come from need to be right.

So, imagine for a moment…

What if you could trade from a place where not having to be right is ok?

Where being right is much less important than making money?

What if you could trade from a position of strength, and above those lower emotions?

Instead of fear—— Peace…

Instead of anger—Joy…

And instead of greed—Satisfaction.

These higher emotions are available to you on a consistent basis…

And that is what this workshop is all about; to get you to think from a higher level…

One where you can see how you create everything in your life, including your trading results.   

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What I Will Share With You



Beginning on Day 1, I will outline the various concepts that make up system thinking as we know it,



  • What systems thinking is and the four major paradigms
  • What is in a system and understanding how function and emergence play a part
  • How humans are “reflexive meaning makers” and how knowing that makes you powerful
  • The problem with “what Science knows about reality”
  • Why some believe we can never really know reality, only actualities
  • Why “The map is NOT the territory” and the reason this is important for your success
  • How logical, linear thinking fails the test for successful trading

Later on, I will share how NLP can be contextualized into a framework of systems thinking, allowing you to move from a problem state to a desired state. We break down key components of NLP, such as the TOTE model (Trigger, Operate, Test, Exit).

I will also compare SMART goals with well-formed NLP goals, and how they can become part of your trading plan. We will also discuss the 5 different models that make up Robert Dilt’s Unified Field Theory of NLP and also walk through my Personal Change Technique.

This alone could be worth the price of the workshop.

Finally, I will lead the discussion into strategy, where we will talk about the qualities of strategic thinking, Game Theory (including its inherent weaknesses), what to do when your strategy breaks down, and what to include in the strategic section of your Trading Business Handbook. We will get into:

  • Checklists- when they are valuable and when they can be destructive
  • How to use metaphors to greatly enhance your trading success
  • Where mind mapping, mental models, and critical thinking should come together
  • The 8 step process for setting a vision-NLP style
  • How to apply matrix thinking to trade planning and trading systems

Then, on day 2, we will get to work and apply what you have learned so far. Such things as:

  • How to utilize various models in your trading
  • How Ken Long’s various models and maps can useful to you
  • How to map out your trading system using NLP-Unified Field Theory
  • How the Role of Complexity and Law of Requisite Variety fits into your trading
  • Why House of Trading and Scaffolding Metaphors are at “genius thinking” levels

Finally, on day 3, we will play various team games, all designed to get you in the habit of systems thinking and beyond. After the games, we will review and discuss:

  • How well you matched capability with strategy
  • Accepted risk concepts- when and why
  • Plan flexibility – as a team, did you take advantage of this? Should you?

We will also tackle the self and the system…

From Zero State…

To Coach State…

To my own model for Mental State change.

We will then review what you have learned over the last few days.

Finally, as a bonus, we will also map out the entire Super Trader Program, taking a complex system and converting it into a basic TOTE as discussed on day 1. Everyone will then have an opportunity to complete an advanced lesson on Systems Thinking.

Usually reserved for ONLY my Super Traders, this BONUS section will give ALL attendees a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective into the activities world-class traders utilize to win the game of trading on a consistent basis.  

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Q and A with Van Tharp

Q: How can Matrix Thinking help me as a trader?


A: First, this workshop will help you take a big step in raising your level of awareness. Most traders are just acting out of fear and greed with many non-useful beliefs. By raising your awareness, you can move your consciousness from these basal states toward acceptance and beyond. Most importantly, you’ll start to operate from a state of useful beliefs, where the definition of a useful belief for a trader means that it makes you money.


Q: Are there any pre-course requirements?


A: No, but if you want to get a head start on understanding some of the new concepts I will be teaching, you can take some of the free courses offered over at ( I specifically recommend studying The Systems Thinking and Systems Paradigm courses.


Q: Is this an advanced course. Can anyone attend?


A: Yes and Yes. This is a more challenging workshop, but the vast majority of VTI subscribers can understand these concepts. It is designed to get all attendees to consider how their thinking creates their results from a unique point of view, and I will show you how you can deliver a better trading experience by thinking from this perspective.


Q: How much trading experience should I have before attending?


A: Attendees to this workshop do not need to have traded before to benefit. This is important self-work that will lay the foundation for becoming a profitable trader and better human. For those who are already in the markets, it will offer a unique advantage over others who do not see this type of work as important or necessary.


Q: Should I take this course if I’m not actively trading? Why?


A: The benefit of raising your level of awareness is life changing. Most people are just robots, thinking that their inner map is reality, and then project that onto the world.


Furthermore, they have a strong need to be right about whatever they believe. When you can give up your need to be right, realize that your map of the world is not reality, and start looking for whether your beliefs are useful, then you can change EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE

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Don’t Delay — Take Advantage of the “Early Bird” Deal Before It Ends!

While I know you are going to benefit greatly by attending this workshop, it is ultimately up to you to decide.


However, I can make the decision as easy and risk-free as possible for you. Normally, our full price fee for this systems thinking workshop is $2,995. However, if you sign up today, you can save a FULL $700 off…bringing your investment to just $2,295.




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Here at VTI, we believe that our clients are our most valuable asset. And, we want to exceed your expectations with our unconditional 100% guarantee.

Learn about thinking from a systems perspective, meet fellow traders and investors, and interact with me.

If you are not completely satisfied with my workshop by NOON on the second day, you can request a full refund, no questions asked. Just return you workshop notebook to a staff member and I will happily refund your workshop fee.

At the Van Tharp Institute, we gladly take this risk at almost every workshop we offer, believing that the value we give you far exceeds the cost for you to be here.

With your registration today, you can begin the process of adopting the successful mental states, strategies, and beliefs necessary to use systems thinking to your advantage. And with my true commitment to teaching, you will come away with the tools you need, for trading as well as for life in general, all designed to give you the results you are striving for.

I believe this Systems Thinking Workshop can deliver new insights into both yourself and your trading. With me as your guide, you will leave with a different perspective on new, useful beliefs and discover what is possible for your trading and beyond.
I look forward to seeing you in Cary, NC this September.


To your success,        
Dr. Van Tharp


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