RJ Hixson

About the Author: R.J. Hixson is a devoted husband and active father. At the Van Tharp Institute, he researches and develops new products and services that help traders trade better. He is the lead instructor for several VTI workshops and a co-instructor alongside Van Tharp in the Peak Performance workshop series. He can be contacted at “rj” at “vantharp.com.”

Psychology Patterns: Internal Conflicts by, RJ Hixson

  Have you ever thought or said something to the effect, “On one hand, I . . . while on the other hand, I . . .”? Has that kind of thinking ever affected your trading? If so (and it’s likely so), you have an experience of some internal conflict — which is entirely human. Different parts of you want different things and when two parts see something differently — as they often do — you wind up in conflict. Most typically, your logical mind takes control and makes a …

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Psychology Patterns: Dominant or Overwhelming Feelings by, RJ Hixson

  Do you know anyone with a feeling or emotion that seems to rule their life? Do you have such a feeling or emotion? Trying to trade effectively with this can be challenging if not outright self-sabotage. If it’s not you, consider someone who is continually anxious, angry, fearful, or sad and imagine how that emotion could cloud their ability to perceive price action, make good decisions (like entries & exits), and react well to adversity in the markets. Rather than trading with clarity, decisiveness, and focus, they would experience …

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Mental State Control By, RJ Hixson

  Have you ever traded when you were angry? When you were scared? When you were bored? If you haven’t done any of those, you haven’t traded very much yet. Trading from a mental state of anger, fear, or boredom — or other non-useful emotional states, happens for less experienced traders and these conditions invite mistakes — conditions where you don’t follow your rules. More often than not, you lose money when you don’t follow your rules. So what do you do? You change your mental state. But how do …

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Treat Trading Like a Business by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

  In the early 1990s, I did about 10 workshops with Jack Schwager’s New Market Wizards interviewee Tom Basso. In each of those workshops, Tom said, “I’m a businessman first and a trader second.” One of the major mistakes that most traders make is that they do not have that same business attitude. You need to treat trading like a business and prepare for the unexpected. When you don’t think like the CEO of your business, disasters will arise and cause havoc.   What if you were a hedge fund …

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Useful Beliefs by, RJ Hixson

  For almost a decade now I’ve been co-teaching workshops alongside Van. I’ve witnessed many traders who came into a workshop with a belief or strategy that had been holding them back. Most of the time, they had little if any awareness of it until a workshop exercise caused an eye-opening revelation or paradigm shift. Then they were able to leave the workshop with a new understanding about themselves. Those transformations are fulfilling and inspiring — to the other participants in the workshops as well as the instructors. Those transformations …

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February 2019 System Quality Number® Report The SQN® Report, by RJ Hixson

There are numerous ETFs that track everything from countries, commodities, currencies and stock market indices to individual market sectors. ETFs provide a wonderfully easy way to discover what’s happening in the world markets. I apply a version of my System Quality Number® (SQN®) score to measure the relative performance of numerous markets in a world model. The Market SQN score uses the daily percent change for input over a 100-day period. Typically, a Market SQN score over 1.47 is strongly bullish and a score below -0.7 is very weak. The …

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February 2019 Market Update Bear Quiet Market Type, by RJ Hixson

I always say that people do not trade the markets; they trade their beliefs about the markets. In that same way, I’d like to point out that these updates reflect my beliefs. I find the market update information useful for my trading, so I do the work each month and am happy to share that information with my readers. If your beliefs are not similar to mine, however, then this information may not be useful to you. Thus, if you are inclined to go through some sort of intellectual exercise …

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February 15th Update on Cryptoassets by RJ Hixson

February 15th Update on Cryptoassets by RJ Hixson This month’s cryptoasset update will be abbreviated for two primary reasons: Van is travelling and we are in the middle of two back to back workshops in the office here. Market Summary Cryptoassets are clearly still in a bear market. That’s easy to see just looking at a long term chart of Bloomberg’s Galaxy Crypto Index – Bloomberg’s Index tracks ten major cryptoassets and Bloomberg started the index in May, 2018 at 1000 – at about the dotted vertical line on the …

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Futures Trading: an Interview with Gabriel Grammatidis, by RJ Hixson and Gabriel Grammatidis

Editor’s Note: Gabriel is a successful full-time trader, a VTI workshop instructor, and a dedicated coach to traders who use his systems. Since his graduation from Van’s Super Trader program in 2010, he has mainly traded Forex and futures markets. He will share his extensive experience and trading knowledge at the two upcoming Futures Trading workshops in March at the Van Tharp Institute in Cary, North Carolina. We talked with Gabriel about what drew him to trading, his style of trading and about trading futures contracts in particular. Q. Tell …

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Sunset for Fiat Currency?, by R.J. Hixson

In its early days, Bitcoin attracted many for its promise of transactional freedom from governmental or institutional control. Indeed, some of those wanted to avoid governmental oversight because their transactions were illegal (think Silk Road) or because they were evading taxes (think money laundering). That illicit association kept a lot of investors and institutions away from bitcoin and other cryptoassets for many years. In 2018, however, billions of dollars are flowing into cryptoassets, infrastructure projects, and the crypto ecosystem. What do entrepreneurs and institutions see on the far side of …

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