Day Trading Systems Workshop

Quarter 3 Starts July 1st

Learn how to trade two robust day trading systems!

In this three-month format, Dr. Ken Long presents systems that have proven that they consistently pull profits out of the market over and over!

Note: The Foundation course is required learning in order to attend Ken's technical courses. If you have not yet attended the Foundation Course, select it from the options below. One may take Foundation and up to two technical courses per quarter if your time allows.

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Foundation Course With Ken Long - Quarter 2 - Begins April 1st, 2022
Day Trading Course With Ken Long - Quarter 2 - Begins April 1st, 2022

Ken has been a long-time active trader and observer of the markets, and over the last few years, he has shifted most of his active trading to intraday. He's noticed the consistent habit of prices for particular issues to move a certain amount. Much like a frog jumps when it hears a loud noise, prices tend to move a certain amount before they pause or move again. Different frogs can jump different distances, but each one tends to jump about the same distance as it did last time. Would it be possible to know how far a stock’s price would move on any given day?

Lesson Structure:

There will be one lesson per week allowing you to manage your own study time and calendar. Lessons are delivered through live-stream and recorded material. In both cases, Ken will be available for live questions during and after the lesson.

This combination of recorded lectures, nightly strategy podcasts,  and live Q&A weekend sessions will also include access to past terms' Q&A sessions.

This course also includes personalized coaching sessions to review your first 100 trades and then your second 100 trades.

System I - Frog Trading System

About The Frog System

The system presents multiple intraday opportunities almost every day the market is open. Positions are closed by the end of the day, so there’s no overnight risk or worrying about positions while you lay in bed at night. There’s also no requirement to look at dozens of charts every night or every morning (trading homework time). Trades are usually initiated within the first hour after the opening bell, and they last anywhere from half an hour to nearly the entire trading day. The system delivers a win rate of slightly better than 50%, but the winning trades are typically one and a half times the size of the losing trades.

Once in a while, the system will catch a higher R-multiple trade, but typically, it generates consistent small-multiple trades. The rules take both long and short trades. Because the system is nearly 50/50 on winning and losing, drawdowns tend to be relatively short and relatively shallow. Ken has only traded this system intraday in the stock market but believes the concept could be applied to different time frames and used in different markets. (An Indian client has confirmed the system is working well with the Nifty 50 stocks.) With only a few rules, the system is easy to understand and execute. It does require discipline to follow the rules, but if you do, you have the potential to generate a consistent return.

Ken’s Secret Frog Number

Ken answered this question for himself some years back:

Is possible to have some estimate of how much a stock price might move on any given day?

He's a strong believer in the use of statistics to help him understand and describe price behavior in the markets. Average true range (ATR) is a widely used measure of price movement or volatility. This well-known indicator, however, didn't help Ken understand what he might expect from open to close on a given day. As he’s done in several similar situations, Ken invented his own measurement or range statistic. He now uses that range statistic every day as a basis for judging the overall market movement and for his swing and day trading systems.

Ken then evolved that range statistic again with the application of some additional statistical analysis. This new intraday movement measurement is the secret number to the Frog trading system that helps Ken understand the likelihood of a price movement continuing to move or not (flatten or reverse). It helps him dismiss some moves as noise and others as meaningful and therefore likely to continue for a profitable R-multiple price move. In essence, he can determine how far a frog might hop for a whole trading day and how far within a trading day. Once he learned this, he was able to create a very simple trading system that works remarkably well. At the workshop, you’ll learn how he calculates this important number so you can understand the process, calculate it yourself, and apply it profitably.

System II – RLCO, Regression Line Crossover System*

For years, Ken has been looking at regression lines to help him understand the broader trend in the market. Recently, he started applying linear regression methods to individual indexes and to individual stock prices to see what he could find. Ken is constantly finding what works and then extending it. He knew that a regression line gave the best linear description of a data set using its slope, and its R2 figure provided very helpful information. Don't worry if you don’t understand these terms or basic statistics—just know that regression lines can be very useful when applied in an appropriate trading system. In simpler language - they work!

As have most traders, Ken has heard plenty about moving averages crossover-based systems over the years. The idea has plenty of merit for finding shorter-term opportunities within longer-term trends. That is when there are trends. A major problem for moving average crossover systems lies in the flat periods. Traders can get “chopped up” when the price moves up and down causing the averages to cross and then cross back again. Ken wondered if regression lines would work better.

They did – but not good enough to have a great trading system yet. After more thinking, a good amount of research, and testing various strategies, Ken found two additional inputs that added a lot of confidence for his entry and exit signals. Ken first paper traded the concept for a while and then started a prototype trading test with small positions of real money. As he traded and evolved the concepts, they gained more clarity and evolved into a framework for a kind of trading with several possible entries and several possible exits. Today, he trades RLCO daily with a “production level” position sizing strategy.

*Now Including Second Generation RLCO Framework Patterns

As of 2022, Ken's course includes:

  • The Supported Spring Crossing
  • The Collapsing Dragon
  • Kata 2: The re-entry!
  • The Owl (a wise way to wait for confirmation)
  • The Z3P breakout
  • The Super Pinch
  • The VWAP magnet

 Top Benefits of The RLCO System

  • Finds Critical Moments:  RLCO helps traders identify key moments when the market or a single issue has an increased probability of transitioning from one trend to another.
  • You have a very good idea when price will start to move, continue to move, or has finished its move.
  • Works in Multiple Market Directions: RLCO helps traders when price is moving up, down and sideways.
  • You can focus on one tool to help you understand price regardless of the direction.
  • Works in Multiple Timeframes: The RLCO lens applies to time frames as short as minute charts to weekly and monthly timeframes.
  • Day traders, swing traders, and long-term traders can use RLCO.
  • Adaptive: The system adapts as price and volatility change whether that’s smooth or discontinuous.
  • You can focus on one tool to help you understand price regardless of the volatility.
  • Applicable to Multiple Markets:  The RLCO framework offers insights and can be traded in various capital markets: equities, currencies, and commodities so far.
  • You won’t have to switch markets to trade RLCO.
  • Continuous Update: The RLCO framework combines the immediacy of assessing current snapshots of market conditions and evolves with the market.
  • As prices move, your understanding and expectations adapt along the way to allow you to manage your trades better.
  • Sound Analytical Foundation: The broad application of regression lines across both hard and soft sciences, in theory, and practice, business, and academy suggest that it will continue to be robust and useful.
  • You can know RLCO works without researching its basic concepts because they have been broadly studied.
  • Forward-Looking:  Regression lines help forecasters in numerous fields assess future possibilities. They can help traders understand past prices, and they allow us to take informed action in the future with confidence.
  • You can understand how much price might move with some confidence.
  • Market Context:  RLCO helps traders answer an important question - How extreme is the current condition historically? The answer enables you to evaluate how critical, unusual, or abnormal the current price structure is and adjust your expectations for the level of the following action.
  • You can be prepared for and win from potential big moves in the market.
  • Disciplined Approach: RLCO can act as an overlay when applied to different systems and time frames. It can provide significant context and keep you grounded when it comes to making decisions across systems.
  • You can continue using your current trading systems and add RLCO methods to help

Why Did Ken Combine The Frog with RLCO For This Workshop?

Ken explains: Each system is standalone and independently tradeable.

For traders who want to minimize complexity and embrace simplicity, the Frog system is best. It reduces the entry and exit decisions to the simplest distinction between signal and noise in price action and combines that with clear, simple rules. There are enough optional decision points to fine-tune the system to suit your taste.

For traders who are interested in trading a conceptual framework and apply some level of discretion, the RLCO fits better. RLCO requires some interpretation of price action, volatility, time, time of day, and seeks to find critical moments when price is prepared to move sharply. RLCO can incorporate the previous day’s price levels as well as some additional indicators to suit each trader’s taste.

Operated together, Frog and RLCO reinforce each other. The Frog number can help fine-tune RLCO entries as well as inform decisions on when to exit after a particularly good run based on the range stat. The RLCO framework can provide additional decision points at various times in the day for a Frog trader to apply that system’s simple analysis of signal versus noise.

Van Talks About Your Instructor, Ken Long

Ken Long started investing in mutual funds in the 1990s but has grown over years into an outstanding big-picture thinker and tactical trader. He’s also evolved his strategies over the years and teaches his latest advancements in this workshop.

When Ken Long first attended my Systems Development workshop in the mid-1990s and submitted his objectives to me, I thought to myself, "Someone from the Army is going to apply this material?" Little did I know that Ken Long would not only apply it but master it and become one of the best traders I’ve met. I first asked Ken to help me teach the How to Develop A Winning Trading System workshop many, many years ago. He also taught with me in the Blueprint For Trading Success Workshop. Then, as Ken started developing a successful trading system, he started teaching his workshops for VTI. He has taught Swing Trading, Day Trading, Discretionary Trading, and Core (Long-Term) System trading.

Ken is one of the few people I know who has a graduate degree in systems design and a doctorate in management with a dissertation on making decisions under uncertain conditions. Because of his academic training, military background and vast market experience, Ken spots trading ideas that most people would never think of. For example, when Ken attended our systems workshop and learned about the complex training game we were playing, he developed a procedure for strategizing about the game that I now teach in that same workshop. He’s that good!

Ken is one of our best instructors mainly because he treats his trading and teaching the way he treats his martial arts, his soccer coaching and life in general: he pursues excellence to the point of mastery. Ken is a thinker, philosopher, tinkerer, and leader. He applies what he learns to everything he does and therefore gets more done each day than anyone I know.

A Note to Ken from a past student:

"Ken, I want to share a trade with you that I was fortunate enough to have positioned myself correctly to reap the rewards, thanks to your teachings. I found VRTX on Sunday night as a 5DD setup (I have to do all of my trading research and setups after-hours because of my job). I framed it as taught and set my entry at $65.10, 0.05 above the previous day's high. Notes from that night in my comments section are "price finding support at MLR90." Got in at 65.10 on Monday. Monday night, I put a trailing stop of $2.14 on it (I used ATR15, which was the middle value of ATR5, ATR10, and ATR15). Notes from that night are "again support at MLR90. Look out for hesitation at the BBmean (69.84, Zeno stop for 2R)." I went to work for 12 hours today and came home to find that I had sold VRTX at $96.65! WHAT! umm... MATH... that's a 14.7R gain!

I struggle to find the right words to express the gratitude I feel for you and what you have shared with me. You are what I call a "life-changer" — someone who emits high, positive energy, and who is willing to share his expert knowledge and energy for the betterment of those he comes in contact with. Thank you for sharing with me. I believe the right thing for me to do is to pay it forward, and so I am. I continue to learn and grow in life through trading. I appreciate this trade for what it is and how it makes me feel, and now it is time to prepare for the next one. Follow the rules and enjoy the process — the rest is MATH...I would have never known any of this without reading Van's books, taking your at-home courses, and subscribing to your newsletter for the past 5-6 years. So my deepest thanks to all of you guys for what you're doing. Keep up the great work, and hope all is well with you." 

— Anonymous

Video Resources

  • What past students say
  • Summary of Process Learning: Insights from a day trading workshop weekend.
    Ken Long debriefs students in this 19-minute video
  • One setup, multiple trades: In this 16-minute video, Ken Long explains a series of trades he took over the last two days using a number of his market methodologies. First, he gives a thorough review of his overall market health check chart, then provides a swing trade setup, and finally shows how a specific chart pattern offered a low risk opportunity. You can see and hear how these different elements fit together for a profitable day trade on February 2 that then evolved into a swing trade overnight. Then, on February 3, he closed the swing trade while the chart revealed another RLCO intraday trade opportunity in the opposite direction.
  • Ken Long has made a number of videos previously highlighting RLCO and Frog trades but he’s always evolving his ideas. In the following videos, he reviews some charts of interest and examples of his latest trading concept development — Regression Line Fractal Framework. He explores how regression lines of various period lengths relate to each other in price action evolution.
  • The first video below describes a framework where TNA was forecasted to move to 80 and XIV could move to 45, both of which have happened since. It is very instructive to review that video from June 10, and see what the follow through revealed.
  • The point: These videos not only illustrate trades we've completed, they frame trades going forward.
  • Here are 3 examples: Collection Case Study, Technique CLF Example, and Tortoise Weekend Trading Webinar


Students are required to take the Foundation Course before taking Swing Trading Systems, or simultaneously.

Note: If you are new to trading, Ken recommends you take Foundation alone (no technical courses added) during your first quarter.

Resources and Examples of Ken's Trades:


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Q and A with Ken Long:

We received this set of questions from a client and would like to share them with everyone.

Q: How many systems will we be learning?

A: You will learn three variations of the mechanical Frog system, along with reasonable points where parameters may be varied, supported by ongoing evidence from forward trading a conservative version that is positive expectancy.  You will learn and practice on the RLCO framework: a strategy that has at least five distinct applications with easily recognized patterns that can be traded separately or in an integrated way. You will learn how to combine these intraday strategies with longer-term swing trade patterns and trades to get more value out of longer-term systems. So, the answer is two systems with eight strategies that can also be done in tandem with swing trading in a systematic way.

Q: What is the expectancy of the systems?

A: The expectancy of the extensively studied conservative mechanical Frog system is .2, for a data set of 800 trades.  Our experience at the live trading workshops is that the RLCO can come in at an expectancy of .3 to .4 when you find the specific strategies and adaptations that suit you.

Q: What is the required capital needed to trade Ken's day trading systems?

A: I recommend a minimum account size of more than $25K to be properly capitalized for routine day trading.

Q: What markets can the systems be traded in?

A: The systems are designed for equity indices, ETFs, futures, and individual stocks, however, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests the systems may be effectively applied to Forex pairs and Forex pairs futures.

Q: What are the trading hours/time required to trade the systems?

A: The Frog can be traded in the morning on most days, some days allow for an afternoon move as well. The RLCO framework is flexible. Time of day and the amount of management correlates to how often you want to trade.

Q: What type of market context do these systems operate in?

A: The Frog system is robust in all market types; the RLCO framework has adaptive parameters that frame decisions and opportunities consistently across all market types. I make that statement given the particular methods I use to describe market conditions, but I believe the statement to be fair given what we mean by market classification.

Q: Is there any special software required?

A: Excel (and the Excel add-in XLQ for ease of data retrieval) — but only if you want to tinker with parameters and symbol sets.  Otherwise, none is required.  Any full-featured charting package will have the simple indicators we apply to create the framework, which is our particular way of describing market conditions and price action.

Q: What is the minimum risk required per trade?

A: My beliefs: ranging from .1% of portfolio, to not higher than 2% of portfolio per trade. I favor trading at the minimum risk per trade that remains acceptably cost-effective.

Q: What beliefs are required to trade these systems?

A: These are fully articulated in the system's definitions provided in the workshop, and they are exercised daily in our chat room. I have found, however, that it is easier for people to believe they have understood the beliefs rationally than it has been for them actually to put the beliefs into practice. I appreciate this question because I have not ever put that idea into those exact words, but I now recognize just how true and important that insight is.

Q: Does this workshop have the normal VTI guarantee policy? What if I need to cancel beforehand?

A: Customer satisfaction has always been important to the Van Tharp Institute, and we would much rather have an empty classroom seat than an unsatisfied client. Realistically, however, we do not worry about that because Ken Long has always delivered outstanding workshop value. Requests for a refund at one of his workshops have been exceedingly rare. Due to the length of the workshop, we do not offer refunds. But if timing is the issue you can move your registration to another quarter. 

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

A: We require that attendees at this workshop have some day trading experience and understand the various uses of the market, stop, and limit orders.  Without some previous day trading experience, you will likely be frustrated by the pace of the course and likely be unable to realize the full value of the workshop.

Q: Is there anything I can do before the workshop to get ready?

A: Yes, students are required to take the Foundation Course before taking Swing Trading Systems, or simultaneously.

Note: If you are new to trading, Ken recommends you take Foundation alone (no technical courses added) during your first quarter.

Q: Is there anything I can do before the workshop to get ready?

A: Yes, students are required to take the Foundation Course before taking Swing Trading Systems, or simultaneously.

Note: If you are new to trading, Ken recommends you take Foundation alone (no technical courses added) during your first quarter.