About Van Tharp

A life dedicated to helping traders and investors succeed

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if you follow the formula Van has created, you will personally transform in ways you couldn't imagine."

- Greg Markert

".. I felt confident with everything I learned. I began trading again, and I could not believe the difference. The anxiety level was gone, sleepless nights disappeared."

- Terrance R. Caffey

"I took your course so that I could better understand my customers. I have tripled my business, while significantly helping my account's performance."

- Russell Herman, Prudential Bache Securities

"Excellent! I never thought of how many separate elements went into a system. I now have the knowledge and confidence to develop a system for myself."

- B.F., Huntington Station, NY

"Thank you for teaching a beginner and saving me $1,000's of dollars and anxiety-ridden hours."

- Leopold Hauser IV


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Van K. Tharp

Ph.D. Professional Coach for Traders and Investors

Free Resources - Dr Van Tharp

In the unique arena of professional trading coaches and consultants, Dr. Tharp stands out as an international leader in the industry. Helping others become the best traders or investors that they can be was Dr. Tharp’s mission since 1982.

Over the years, Dr. Tharp has helped people overcome problems in areas of system development and trading psychology, and success-related issues such as self-sabotage. He founded the Van Tharp Institute (VTI), a training facility dedicated to offering high-quality educational products and services for traders and investors around the globe.

Dr. Tharp’s institute for training offers unique learning strategies.  His techniques for producing great traders are some of the most effective in the field and his institute continues his work and mission. 

While Dr. Tharp’s expertise was in the area of finance, his mission was to touch people in a way that changes them for the better. In his books, courses, and workshops, he uses the financial metaphor to do so. 

Dr. Tharp used a combination of skills and education to fine-tune his strategies to coach, consult and teach traders and investors. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. He was a certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a certified Modeler of NLP, and an Assistant Trainer of NLP. He used his expertise in NLP to create the successful models of trading and investing, forming a base of what we still use today at his institute of trading mastery.

Dr. Tharp published the Market Mastery newsletter for over 10 years and publishes a weekly e-newsletter, Inbox Coaching, since 2000. These services continue to go out in honor of Dr. Tharp. He wanted to get the vital information that traders needed to as many people as possible; therefore, he decided to offer his newsletter at no charge. Before that subscriptions to his newsletters were as much as $249 per year.

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Author, Publisher, and Educator

Dr. Tharp is the author of four acclaimed books published by McGraw Hill: Super Trader, Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom, the New York Times Bestseller, Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom, and Financial Freedom Through Electronic Day Trading. In addition to Trading Beyond the Matrix: The Red Pill For Traders and Eight Edges You Must Have: Your Written Trading Plan published by Wiley & Sons, and MotiMap: The Definitive Guide to Getting your Dream Life published through Amazon. 

His landmark publication, published by VTI, is The Definitive Guide to Position Sizing™. This textbook is for traders who want to limit risk and maximize profits using unique concepts which Tharp developed and are now widely used around the world. Dr. Tharp coined the term Position Sizing. 

Dr. Tharp was the only trading coach featured in Jack Schwager’s best-selling book, The Market Wizard’s: Interviews with Great Traders. He has been featured in Forbes, Barron’s Market Week, Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities, Investor’s Business Daily and Futures and Options World, and Trader’s Journal, just to name a few.

Dr. Tharp collected over 5,000 successful trading profiles by studying and researching individual traders and investors, including many of the top traders and investors in the world. From these studies, he developed a model for successful trading and investing that other people can adopt and learn. He developed a five-volume Peak Performance Home Study Course, teaching the results of this ten-year study. This home study is a must-have for any level trader. 

Van Tharp no glasses

He also developed the Investment Psychology Inventory Profile to help people better understand their strengths and challenges in relation to trading or investing. As well as How to Develop a Winning Trading System That Fits You home study and workshop. His quiz at TharpTraderTest.com lets traders learn their unique trader type.


Speaker and Presenter

The Van Tharp Institute offers workshops year-round to help traders improve performance. In addition, Dr. Tharp designed special seminars for banks and institutions and has presented these throughout the United States, as well as Paris, Italy, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Venice, London, Vienna, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Hungary, and numerous other places throughout the world. He toured Asia as a guest speaker with Dow Jones and was the keynote speaker in 2011 at the largest investment conference in Poland.

He conducted workshops for floor traders at the CBOT, the CBOE, and the CME. He also was a regular speaker to a portfolio and hedge fund managers worldwide. He was a member of the distinguished Investment Advisory Panel of the prestigious Oxford Club-a rare honor only half dozen or so individuals have received. Dr. Tharp was also a highly rated guest speaker at expositions and conferences throughout the world.

Dr. Tharp was an Insider

Through Van’s work personally modeling many of the top traders in the world, he learned inside secrets of which many professionals are unaware. They truly are secrets because many of these professionals couldn’t express them in words – they were non-conscious processes. Some examples include:

  • How to use position sizing strategies to meet your objectives,
  • How to understand risk from many perspectives,
  • How to understand the impact of mistakes,
  • How market types are critical for your trading systems,
  • How to do mistake coaching to manufacture R,
  • How to be (at minimum) a systems thinker in order to adapt to the ever-changing market,
  • And countless other helpful ideas that no one else teaches – because no one else has uncovered them.

Dr. Tharp was an Awakener

An awakener is someone who helps others raise their level of consciousness and awareness to the point where they become happy for no reason. Here are some testimonials from our students:

"One day during my meditation, I saw the image of the Avalokiteśvara (Bodhisattva of Compassion) instead of my usual Buddha image. During meditation, she said to me “I will open your Third Eye…” Avalokiteśvara was the Bodhisattva whom I once met in my dream during a Buddhist retreat almost 10 years ago – I was literally “transported” in a giant bubble up in the sky and heard her talking to me briefly about my mission/purpose (I could only describe her voice as from the edge of the universe). I tried to ask her questions but was told that I must return immediately, then I was transported back down in the bubble again. After I woke up, I shivered as if I had a fever for about 20 minutes. My mission sounded too big for me (my ego) so I probably tried to run away from it since then. But you brought me back to it through ST and I’m ready to take it on now. Thank you!"

- Rui Luo, ST1 Completion, Co-Founder, Stensal, Inc, and former Citigroup Analyst.

"Van's Great workshop. I think the System Thinking Workshop is the most important one for me since it pulls together the Beyond the Matrix thought system and worldview. It is like the capstone course in an MBA program that pulls it all together. Thanks Van! … I really enjoyed the lessons and workshops and they created many useful maps! … It was like I did a supercharged refresher of my undergraduate studies from a completely different perspective that changed my life!! Looking forward to ST2."

- Bruce Walicek, Venture Capitalist, and former Wall Street investment bank analyst.

"My journey through ST has been transformational. Intellectually I found the Systems Thinking and Beyond the Matrix Thinking the most exciting workshops. I have been shocked at the depth and richness of Korzybski’s work, at its age, and at how little it is known. Although I have done some meditation previously, awakening my spiritual side has been the most profound transformation for me personally. Whilst this will continue to be an ongoing process for the rest of my life, I have lifted the veil of spirituality and have some insights as to the subtle power of these practices, how they can change your life and perceptions, and allow you to strive for the life you wish to follow. This has been complemented by the Oneness blessings and the cohort of open, warm, enthusiastic students from many different backgrounds. I always thought there was a better, more effective way to think, and Van has introduced it to me. If more people were aware, the world would progress in a more effective way. As an aside, the whole process has also had an impact on my trading."

- Nick Falla, MBA, AMCT, Managing Director of Xocoatl, Ltd, and a Non-Executive Director of several listed Investment Funds in the UK.

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