The Importance of Paradigms by Van K. Tharp

Some readers might recall that Dr. Ken Long and I developed a Systems Thinking Workshop last summer. The initial reason for that course was that Ken Long has a master’s degree in systems thinking and a doctoral degree in decision making under uncertainty. We realized that a good understanding of systems thinking really helped people understand Ken’s systems better. I delivered the second version of the systems thinking course at the annual Super Trader Summit last year and that experience really helped me understand it and even evolve it more. …

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Something Deceptively Simple May Be Holding You Back by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

One of my clients gave me a book by Carol Dweck called Theories of Self: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development. In it, Dr. Dweck states: My work is developed around the idea that people develop beliefs that organize their world and give meaning to their experiences. These beliefs may be called meaning systems and different people create different meaning systems. Wow, I was blown away, I never thought I’d hear a psychologist talk about the importance of beliefs. Many years ago I became disillusioned with the professional field …

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Enjoy Bumping Into Walls by Van K. Tharp

In any endeavor in life, you have up and down periods. Dealing with the market has many such up and down periods. In order to profit from the up periods, you have to tolerate or even “enjoy” the down periods. I’m an NLP modeler. That means if someone does something well, I can figure out the essence of what they are doing by understanding their thinking. Thus, when such a person goes from A to B easily and effortlessly, I can determine how they do it and teach that skill …

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How to be a Trading Genius: What are you doing with your money today? by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

One of the key exercises I have my Super Traders do is a full life review. The essence of the exercise is to write down as many memories as you can for each year of your life. Furthermore, you also look at the beliefs you formed in each year of your life. When confronted with this exercise, most people might say something like, “Well I can’t possibly remember what I did or what happened in 1986.” Also, I don’t believe people who want to use the excuse, “I’m old and …

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Understanding Your Trading System: A Market Edge by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

Most people don’t understand that they need a trading system if they are to make money in the markets. Most importantly, that system must fit you, your objectives, your psychology, and your beliefs, for you to be able to trade it effectively. Furthermore, that system, at minimum, needs an abort signal (when you know you were wrong about the trade), a profit-taking exit, and a position sizing strategy to meet your objectives. Without those criteria as a minimum, you don’t have a system. Money is made by cutting losses short …

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Where Have All The Traders Gone? by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

I first started this business of helping traders and investors in 1982. Those first years in business coincided with the start of the great bull market in stocks that lasted from 1982 through 1999. My first clients, however, were mostly futures and option traders; we had very few stock traders. Equity traders really didn’t make a significant portion of our customers until the mid-1990s. Fast forward to the year 2000 when we were teaching a workshop on trading stocks. One of my Super Traders developed a version of CANSLIM with …

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