The Van Tharp Institute Core Super Trader Program

The ultimate program for traders who are committed to being the best

The mission of the Super Trader program is to not only transform your trading but also your life. To accomplish that mission, you will commit to investing a substantial amount of your time, money, and effort over the next few years.

Regardless of your previous trading experience, you will work together with Dr. Tharp to define specific objectives for you to meet during the program and together you will also create a customized curriculum to help you reach those objectives.

"The Super Trader Program is life changing. With Van’s guidance, you begin to understand how you create your own reality and how that impacts your trading specifically and your life generally."

- Kirk Cooper - President, Cooper Money Management

"The Super Trader program has created massive transformation in my life. Before I started I felt I was on a treadmill, my emotions were dependent on what was happening, I was angry, defensive and unforgiving and I regularly broke my trading rules."

- Michael Grossbard

"The program has brought me a deeper sense of joy and gratitude, a realization that while I have always enjoyed trading, there had been no real sense of purpose or direction about it before."

- Chet Cushing

"The Super Trader Program has improved my trading results, given me more discipline and focus, and made my trading more rule-based and less discretionary."

- Sammy Billimoria

Most people just want to make a lot of money while doing very little work. That’s generally the case and especially true for many people who start trading. Invariably, they find out that trading is much harder than they ever anticipated and move on to flipping houses or multi-level marketing or some other venture. A few of the people who start trading, however, stick with the idea of becoming successful in the markets and begin a quest – eventually finding the Van Tharp Institute. By that point, this small group has separated themselves from the masses looking for “easy money” in the markets, as they know it’s not going to be easy. Our clients are looking for what works in the markets and they probably have some sense that finding success in trading may require a new level of personal awareness.

So much of our training does not involve charts, indicators, entry signals but instead involves working on yourself. Why? Because that is the foundation for helping you improve your results in the market – regardless of the indicator or entry you decide to use. Our goal for all of our clients, however, is much larger than becoming just a profitable trader, it is for you to experience radical personal transformation which will:

  • Make you happy for no reason;
  • Enrich you with extreme abundance;
  • Teach you how you create your own life so that you can create everything you want.

Our Mission

The mission of The Super Trader Program is to totally transform your trading and your life for the better. To accomplish this mission, you must be prepared to invest in yourself in many ways. While investing in your trading education is a big step financially, your returns will be huge when you also commit your time and best efforts to the program.

Approaching the curriculum with an intense desire will help you transform into the best version of yourself. This process requires careful consideration as it will thoroughly engage you over the next few years.  It’s a journey of Self-Awareness and Self-Realization.

A Unique Program

Many aspects of this program will be unique to you because each student comes from a different background with different trading goals. Students will complete Super Trader Program exclusive lessons, attend regular workshops, and send weekly reports to me describing their progress.

Your coach and I will also help guide you to solve all the issues that have held you back in your trading life. Many students come to realize that the same issues have mirrored limitations in their personal lives as well. They are what keep you from being happy for no reason at all.

Benefits of the Super Trader Program

Obtaining this kind of transformation requires work and commitment. As I mentioned earlier, however, most people want to make a lot of money and only do a little work – which makes marketing our products very challenging in many ways. We do not promise trading is an easy way to make lots of money (you have seen the infomercials). We do, however, promise you can improve your whole life and improve your performance in the markets by using models that have helped top traders become incredibly successful in the markets. So, what can we do to convince people we can help? Tony Robbins had good advice in this area when he said, “I teach people what they want in order to be able to teach them what they need.”

I just wrote a book on self-motivation titled, MotiMaps: The Definitive Guide to Self-Motivation and Getting Your Dream Life. Several of the Super Trader lessons involve mastering the material in this book. I talk about your wants in life having a lot to do with your values. Most people might say that they want a lot of money, some good friends, and a great spouse. For many of them, money comes ahead of everything – though maybe not to the extreme as John D. Rockefeller. When his net worth was about 20% of the US GDP, an interviewer asked him, “Now that you have so much money, what do you want now?” His response was, “More.”

That’s the way many people think – “I need more money.” I have heard people ask something like – if Van is such an expert on trading success, why doesn’t he just make a lot of money instead of teaching traders? That question originates in people who hold the assumption that everyone (including me) wants a lot of money more than anything else. Lots of money is not my top value. I want Self-Transformation and I want to help others achieve what I’ve achieved. I live quite well. From March through July of 2019 I made profits of a half-million dollars just investing in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. And then October-November 2020, I made $3 million in about seven weeks investing in cryptos.

Most investment newsletters generate much higher sales than the Van Tharp Institute because they appeal to low levels of consciousness such as fear and greed. They blast you with seven or more emails a week (sometimes several emails a day) and then they have their affiliates do the same thing. You might receive ten emails with the fear-inducing headline, “New legislation on September 23rd will devastate retirement accounts – but some people will make a lot of money by knowing insider secrets. Get the special report that tells it all for free with your $495 subscription to our newsletter.”

Greed-based headlines are a little better. They read something like – “New legislation allows the average guy to make a fortune and we’re about to share those secrets with you. Investment Guru Joe Smith will share his Wall Street knowledge in this webinar where he’ll show you how to make 100 times your money in a very secret area that few people know about.” On the webinar, Joe then reveals one of his top picks. Again, you get twenty emails about the webinar in a week, and perhaps 100,000 people sign up for the webinar. If 5% of those attending pay $2,500 for the newsletter, then that works out to $6.25M in revenue and a very healthy margin. The saddest part of this everyday scenario, however, happens when most people who subscribe to these newsletters discover that they lack either the knowledge or the mental capabilities to profit much from the advice being given.

I’m saying all of this because we want to promise you what you want and, in the process, we will also give you what you really need. Not through fear or greed but with openness and integrity.

That said, in order to help more clients transform their trading and their life for the better sometimes require change, therefore, we have added some huge modifications to the Super Trader Program in the last few years.  These changes:

  • Give you access to Core Insights from my modeling with great traders.
  • Allow you to do a one-year Foundation Program that will enable you to decide if the next step, the Super Trader Awakening Program is right for you, while at the same time, get as much as you can out of the one-year program which might be all you are looking for right now.
  • Give you access to VTI’s cryptocurrency systems.
  • Minimize the hours required to less than 500 hours – that’s less than 2 hours per day on average for the first year. Compare that to about 2,000 hours in lessons over three years for the “full” Core ST Program.
  • Help you clarify and understand your trading objectives (which is 50% of systems development).
  • Help you master position sizing strategies so that you can meet your objectives.
  • Expose you to some of the basic transformations that are necessary to become a great trader. And, for some people, that might be all you need.
  • Offer the opportunity to get some one-on-one coaching from one of our primary instructors, RJ Hixson.
  • And give you all of this for about half the price of a single day of my coaching.

This new program started as an experiment. It has been working really well, so we are now making it the gateway into our full Super Trader Program. You have to complete this tier first before you can do the rest. This way, you can be sure the program is right for you and we can be sure that you will actually complete the program.

The Core Of The Super Trader Program

The primary mission of the Van Tharp Institute (VTI) is Self-Awareness through a trading metaphor. The Super Trader Program is the most comprehensive and effective way we achieve our mission. We are only able to accept a limited number of motivated and qualified students into this program each year. Becoming a Super Trader is so much more than just figuring out how to be a more profitable trader. In fact, most students in our Super Trader program say that their personal transformations were as important or more important than the improvements in their trading/financial performance. We are honored to be such an important part of these journeys and the development of great traders – Super Traders.

The program itself is designed around the core elements that must be mastered in order to trade at the highest levels. As my research has proven, several elements are required for traders to ensure consistent long-term success in the markets – transforming one’s self, treating trading as a business, and developing trading systems that fit you.

All of the elements for trading success come down to awareness. No matter what market you choose or what system you are using – trading is 100% about awareness. Your beliefs, mental states, and mental strategies all inform the outcome of your time and efforts in the markets. For example, at the most basic level, the task of executing a trade involves the following mental strategy:

1) Seeing the signal for you to open a position.

2) Recognizing that signal is your entry signal.

3) Feeling good about it, and then…

4) Acting on it by opening a position.

If you were to change that sequence just a little, even by hesitating to ask yourself what could go wrong, then you are likely to imagine something going wrong which would then interfere with good feelings about the trade which could prevent you from taking action at the appropriate time. Notice that even the action phase of trading is internal. Because trading is a result of your inner maps of the world, anything that’s not useful or that creates a block will show up in aspects of your trading – and these prevent you from being successful. Non-useful maps of the world impact peoples’ personal lives as well but the markets are an especially expensive place to learn about them. Out of the entire Super Trader Program, the Self-Awareness phase typically takes the longest time to complete.

As you become more aware, then you can move into the second phase of the Super Trader Program. Here, you start to bring into focus your desires for your life and how you would like to really live. You may have had a number of ideas about what you want to be, to do, and to have in your life but now you will begin to transform those ideas into a plan – an actionable plan for creating your dream life.  Your dream life will integrate your trading as one component, a component which will need more development.

During almost 40 years of experience as a trading coach, Dr. Tharp has found that successful traders treat trading like a business. Many traders tend to trade as a hobby rather than approach it as a profession. Treating your trading as a business helps you cultivate discipline and a professional approach which fosters consistent and profitable trading.

Most people who want to run a successful business know that they need a thorough business plan – and trading is no exception. A business plan acts as a guide for everything involved with that business, and this applies equally if not more to a trading business.

Finally, traders need positive expectancy systems that meet two critical criteria – the systems fit them well and the systems work in appropriate market types. To develop and trade these kinds of systems, Super Trader students must develop a thorough understanding of –

  • The parts of a trading system,
  • The systems development process,
  • The kinds of systems that truly fit them, and
  • How different systems work in different market types.

To graduate from the Super Trader Program, students must demonstrate knowledge and application of that knowledge in the markets as evidenced by live trading results.

The Foundation Program

Level One

A Faster and More Affordable Super Trader Program

Criteria for Admittance:

  • Completion of the book Trading Beyond the Matrix: The Red Pill for Traders and Investors. We request that you read the Matrix book because it will help you understand the scope of what you are getting into when you enroll in the program.
  • Submission of the Super Trader Program application and student agreement/waiver. The application includes a personal statement of commitment that factors into your admission.

First, you will get ten fundamental ST lessons that form the core of everything we teach but require you to do very little of the personal soul searching that some people really want to avoid. These lessons include:

  1. Understanding Risk Control. This is the basis for everything in trading. If you don’t control risk, you have no chance of success as a trader.
  2. Mastering Position Sizing Strategies. Understanding position sizing strategies is critical before you can reach your goals as a trader. We won’t allow Super Traders to attend the Crypto Systems Workshop until they have proven some mastery over this skill. Now, it’s the second lesson. Once you master this, you can attend the two systems workshops that are offered only to Super Traders.
  3. Mastering Tharp Think. Tharp Think is the set of researched beliefs that I have gathered in 35 years of working with top traders. You learn a fast and effective process to get these beliefs into your neurology.
  4. Developing Effective Position Sizing Strategies. Next, you get experience in developing and using position sizing strategies through the Van Tharp trading simulation game. This invaluable experience is not offered by anyone else.
  5. Controlling Your Stress. We have a simple lesson on stress control because if you are too stressed, you cannot trade well. We’ve put this one primary self-mastery lesson in the foundation program.
  6. Discovering Your Personal Programming. Dr. Michael Hall wrote Figuring Out People which identified over sixty automatic programs that people tend to run subconsciously. That is, they just tend to behave a certain way and they aren’t really aware of those behaviors. You need to become aware of these programs if you want to make changes. Charles Faulkner (an NLP Trainer who was in The New Market Wizards) decided that he could trade well if he just learned the key metaprograms of good traders. We know that good trading goes way beyond metaprograms, but they are important to identify and master.
  7. Defining Your Values and Your Purpose. What are your values and what’s your purpose in life? These determine who you are and it is critical to becoming aware of how they shape your life. Thus, they are also a part of the ST fundamental lessons.
  8. Aligning Your Goals With Your Values. If you want to create your dream life, you need to master the process of setting your goals and aligning them with your values and your purpose.
  9. Connecting With Your Inner Guidance. You can only trade your beliefs about the market, not the market itself. Your beliefs are not true but hopefully, they are useful in a wide context (they bring much value to you and to others). This lesson teaches you that you can go beyond beliefs and allow your Inner Guidance to help you fulfill your purpose. This is a huge change for most people.
  10. Finding Your Deepest Motivation. The last lesson involves mastering the self-motivation concepts in my new book so that you can achieve your dreams. At this point, you’ll be ready to continue on in the core ST Program.
      • The ST Foundation Program has ten lessons, none taking a very long time—between 20-50 hours each. Thus, the ST Foundation Program lessons will take only about 200 to 500 hours to complete the lessons.
      • Upon completion of lesson two, after perhaps 60 hours’ worth of work, you will be allowed to attend two important ST systems workshops: 1) the ST Crypto Workshop and 2) Van’s Favorite Systems Workshop. These are only available to those in the ST program.
      • You’ll have a full year to accomplish the ten lessons and attend five workshops. You also have the possibility of extending your program by one six-month period.


The Super Trader Foundation Program also includes attendance at five key workshops, some exclusive to Super Traders.

The workshops included are:

  • Peak Performance 101 – This is the only workshop that is required.
  • Consciousness Awakening (when we return to normal classroom status).
  • Stuart Mooney presentation (this will be via zoom).
  • Peak Performance 202 (Advanced Peak Performance); ($1,995 Zoom)
  • Peak Performance 203 (Happiness); ($1,995 Zoom)
  • Peak Performance 204 (Mental Strategies); ($1,995 Zoom)
  • Systems Thinking (AKA Trading Genius II, Video Workshop);
  • Blueprint for Trading Success;
  • How To Develop Winning Trading Systems That Fit You;
  • Infinite Wealth; ($1,995 Zoom)
  • Super Trader 4-day Summit (a $5,000 value); ST Summit one-day Crypto (a $5,000 value); and
  • ST Summit one-day Van’s Favorite Systems ($2,500 value).

Peak Performance 101 is the one required workshop. Otherwise, you may pick 4 other workshops you wish to attend from the list. Systems Thinking and Peak Performance 204 (Mental Strategies) are not required until ST Professional.

Home Studies, E-learnings & Books

You’ll also receive the primary VTI products which include the following (totaling about a $5,000 value):

  • Home Studies 
    • Peak Performance Home Study Course
    • How to Develop a Winning Trading System Home Study Course
  •  E-learnings 
    • Trading Simulation Game
    • Tharp Trading Profile
    • Introduction to Position Sizing Strategies course
    • The Power of Position Sizing Strategies course
    • Tharp Think Essentials Videos course
    • Psychology of Trading course
    • Seven Principles of Great Trading course
    • ABCs of Trading course
    • Trading Genius I course
    • Business Planning course
  • And, physical copies of all of Van's books, excluding Van's newest book, Moti-Maps which is available to you as a virtual copy.

We are now also including the Trading Genius II: The Holy Grail – Systems Thinking and Beyond video workshop which is a $2,800 value.

Plus, if you decide to move on to the second level of the program, the Awakening program, you will receive a one-on-one consultation with me on Zoom (this adds as much as another $4,000 value to the price).


While the value for everything you get in the ST Foundation course is around $40,000, the price for the program is half that at $20,000 for one year. In addition, you will be eligible for the possibility of a one-time six-month extension for an additional $5,000. Once you complete the ten lessons and have the consultation with me you have a chance to enter into the next phase of the program.

You will also receive up to three sets of credits.

  • You can deduct 100% of the cost on anything you have spent with us over the last three months (applies only to workshops within the Foundation program).
      • If you have taken a workshop in the past three months which is on the ST Foundation workshops list, you can deduct 100% of what you paid for that workshop from the STF tuition. This workshop would be counted as part of your 5 workshop picks. For example, if you paid in full for Peak Performance 101, you can deduct the amount you paid and you can take 4 more workshops in your one year of STF. In another example, let's say you took both Peak Performance 101 and Peak Performance 203 in the last two months. In that case, deduct the full amount you paid for both of those workshops from your STF tuition and you will have 3 more workshops to attend during the STF program.

      • If you took other workshops that are part of the foundation program but not in the last three months you will receive 40% credit on those when moving to the Awakening level. No credit is available during the Foundation phase. At the same time, it does not impact your 5 available workshops in Foundation.

  • You can deduct 40% of the cost of any VTI products within the ST Foundation Program that you invested in the previous ten years.

Technical Workshops: All of our technical workshops are given through exclusive partner instructors. These are premium-priced workshops taught by the traders who trade them, each having studied Van’s methodology for years. These systems workshops include methods for day and swing hybrid systems by Ken Long, numerous reeds systems by Chuck Whitman, forex and futures by Super Trader program graduate, Gabriel Grammatid (who is also working on a stock day trading workshop). This is the level of work you will be experiencing either in the Super Trader Professional and/or Graduate programs. As a result, no technical workshops except for the ones given by me (Van) are included in ST Foundation. Payments made with the intent to come to any technical workshops are outside of the program structure and no credits will be held over for later use to apply toward future tuition due, if any.

We will also run specials from time to time.

The Awakening Program

Level Two

Phase two of the Super Trader Program is what we now call the Awakening Program. At this point, having completed the Super Trader Foundation program, we will both know that you are committed enough to continue. You are now prepared to move to a very important phase—what author Joseph Campbell has called "The Hero’s Journey" and you will begin to understand what that means for you, having read my book Trading Beyond the Matrix.

“The Hero Path: the adventure alone for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known … we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination we shall find a God.

And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outwards we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone we shall be with all the world.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

The ST Awakening Program isn’t for everyone. You have to accept such tenets as “the map is not the territory.” You have to accept that most of what you believe is not true – although society as a whole wants you to believe it to keep you in bondage. You have to begin to understand what Hinduism and Buddhism call Maya – the illusion of the world we know. We want to be right about what we believe and we have a strong desire to be right. Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong, but only what’s useful, where useful means that it is valuable for a large number of people in a wide context. But the games that our society would have you follow are the games that keep you constantly frustrated, constantly a financial slave, and constantly, wanting something more but never finding it.

If you believe that you are a limited human being living on a rock hurling through space, then the ST Program definitely is not for you. But if you are willing to go on The Hero’s Journey toward awakening to your full potential, then the ST Program will be the ultimate investment in yourself – which is the best investment that you could ever make.

Criteria for Admittance:

  • Completion of ST Foundation (level one of the Super Trader Program).
  • Consultation with me (Van) via Zoom.
  • Proof that the program makes financial sense for you. If investing in the Super Trader Program would cause any sense of financial insecurity or require an unrealistic return for your trading equity, then it’s not the right time for you to apply. So, if the program costs $75,000 for another three years and that leaves you with little liquid net worth remaining, then it probably doesn’t make sense to you.
  • My (Van's) approval.
  • Receipt of an initial payment.

Objectives of Super Trader Awakening:

  • Complete 13 ST Awakening lessons. We estimate that these will take an additional 800 hours on average.
  • Document five major life transformations.
  • Show that you are prepared to develop a trading business handbook.

What You Will Receive in Super Trader Awakening:

  • All Van Tharp Institute products that you have not already received.
    **Excludes Super Trader II materials, products from outside vendors, certain “special” Oneness Awakening events, and outside third-party workshops not listed below.
  • Thirteen Super Trader lessons, accessible through our online collaboration portal.
  • These lessons include:
      1. Mental State Control (requires Peak Home Study and Peak 101)
      2. Identity Level Beliefs (requires Peak 101)
      3. Life Review
      4. Conflicts and Beliefs (requires Peak Home Study and Peak 101)
      5. Self-Sabotage and Feeling Release (requires Peak 101)
      6. Understanding Projection through JYN and OBAT worksheets – (requires Peak 203)
      7. The Felix Process
      8. NLP/Korzybski Presuppositions with Mind to Muscle
      9. Infinite Wealth Plan (requires Infinite Wealth Workshop)
      10. Your Reinvention Game (requires Peak 202)
      11. Review of the Peak Performance Course
      12. Your transformation (requires you to do journaling in your weekly reports to make sure you have a good record)
      13. Preparation to do Your Handbook (requires Blueprint For Trading Success)
  • My (Van's) personal consulting and coaching time: monitoring your timeline, weekly progress reports, and your Super Trader lessons.
  • I (Van) will review both your weekly reports and your lessons. His consulting rate is $4,000. And this section will require about 12.5 hours of his time. That’s a $50,000 value so you are getting that at half price and the lessons and other programs are just a bonus.


  • Peak Performance 101—unlimited attendance
  • Peak Performance 202 and 203—unlimited attendance on a space-available basis after your first attendance, with in-person seat preference given to Super Traders who have not yet attended this course
  • Peak Performance 204, Mental Strategies.
  • Infinite Wealth Workshop—unlimited attendance
  • Oneness Awakening Course—unlimited attendance
  • Systems Thinking by Van Tharp (eLearning course)
  • Crypto Assets special events
  • Blueprint for Trading Success—unlimited attendance
  • How to Develop Winning Trading Systems—unlimited attendance
  • The annual Super Trader Summit, plus access to previous years’ Super Trader Summit video recordings
  • Tharp Think (via video recording)
  • After lesson 6, Academy of Self-Knowledge 28-day course Transformation Course which includes one-on-one instruction and coaching with Libby Adams. This is a $7,500 value
  • Access to the exclusive Super Trader online collaboration network

Cost of ST Awakening:

The cost of this program is $25,000 per year. If you need extra time, then you can extend for as long as you need to for an additional $1,000/month. Also, any time remaining from the one-year period of ST Foundation will be added to your time in ST Awakening.

In addition, at this point, you may deduct up to 40% of the cost of any VTI workshops that you took before joining ST Foundation that are included in the ST Awakening program.

A Note on Trading Workshops in Super Trader Awakening:

Students are discouraged from attending technical workshops during this phase, though you are allowed to do so. If students in Super Trader Awakening choose to attend a technical workshop, they will get discounted tuition per workshop. The amount varies but can be a discounted percentage, or in many cases, $2,000 per workshop. Technical workshops are outside of the Awakening program structure and therefore no credits will be held over for later use to apply toward future tuition dues, if any.

The Professional Program

Level Three

Criteria for Admittance

  • Completion of Super Trader Awakening (level two of the Super Trader Program).
  • My (Van's) approval.
  • Receipt of payment for any tuition due.


  • Ongoing progression on Self-Awareness work.
  • Completion of a personal business handbook approved by me (Van).

What You Will Receive in Super Trader Professional

  • One year to complete the program plus any time you have remaining from ST Foundation and ST Awakening will be transferred over.
  • Any new products developed and released by the Van Tharp Institute during your Super Trader Professional period (outside vendors excluded).
  • Access to all VTI workshops— including both technical and psychological workshops. Workshops presented by outside vendors may incur additional charges. These include workshops by ReedsTrader (Chuck Whitman) and Tortoise Capital (Ken Long).
  • From me (Van) –
      • Continued monitoring of your timeline and weekly progress reports.
      • Coaching, reviewing, and approval of the integration of your dream life with the development of your business handbook.
  • Access to recordings of VTI technical workshops – nearly all of which have been recorded.
  • Access to the Super Trader online collaboration database including Super Trader Professional only resources.
  • There are 14 lessons included in ST Professional relating to the development of your trading business handbook. These include the following: 
      • ST Professional 1: Preparation Work
      • ST Professional 2: Ongoing Self-Work Program
      • ST Professional 3: Mental Strategies
      • ST Professional 4: Efficient Strategies
      • ST Professional 5: Understanding System Thinking (requires Trading Genius 2)
      • ST Professional 6: Psychological Portion of Your Handbook
      • ST Professional 7: Strategic Thinking Portion of Your Handbook
      • ST Professional 8: Your Trading Business Portion of Your Handbook
      • ST Professional 9: Market Type Section of Trading Business Handbook
      • ST Professional 10: Big Picture Section of the Trading Business Handbook
      • ST Professional 11: Mistakes Section of Trading Business Handbook
      • ST Professional 12: Daily Checklists and Trading Plan Section of the Trading Business Handbook


The cost of the ST Professional Program is $25,000 for the year. You will have one year to complete the program plus any remaining time left over from ST Foundation and ST Awakening.

We will give you a 25% discount for eligible technical workshops that you took prior to ST Foundation as a bonus.

In the event that you don’t finish ST Professional in the allotted time, then you may extend your time for $1,000/month.

We estimate that ST Professional will take approximately 15 hours of my (Van's) time. At my consulting rate of $4,000 per hour that’s about $60,000, so this phase is a real bargain and all workshops and products you receive are just additional bonuses.

Other Coaching:

Seasoned VTI partner instructors Dr. Ken Long, Gabriel Grammatidis, and Chuck Whitman all have their own coaching mentoring programs for the approaches they teach. Should you take one of those programs, the cost is not included in the program. However, access to this unique set of teachers is a bonus itself. These instructors have walked the walk and trained for years with me. The principles of trading success that you are learning in this program are masterfully blended in with the trading systems, methodologies, and expertise that each brings to their area of specialty.

The Graduate Program

Level Four

Criteria for Admittance to Super Trader Graduate Program

  • Completion of the Super Trader Professional Program (level three of the Super Trader Program).
  • Attendance of at least one How to Develop Winning Trading Systems That Fit You workshop, and therefore a thorough understanding of the basics of how to develop good systems for each of the six market types.
  • Attendance at Trading Genius 2: Systems Thinking, so that you really understand the Holy Grail of Trading.
  • My (Van's) approval.
  • Receipt of payment for any tuition due.


  • Development of three systems that work in a particular market type – approved by Dr. Tharp and submitted in the Beyond the Matrix Thinking Format so that you really understand the beliefs and presuppositions behind your systems.
  • Evidence of knowledge and understanding of position sizing™ strategies. However, you should have mastered this in ST Foundation.
  • Ability to trade at 95% efficiency or better over at least 100 trades with at least 10 from each system. Students are not allowed to “cherry-pick” 100 trades out of a larger number of trades. These will be consecutive trades.
  • Traders must submit a mistake log monthly once they start trading.

What You Will Receive In Super Trader Graduate

  • Any new products developed and released by the Van Tharp Institute during your Super Trader Graduate period (outside vendors excluded).
  • Access to all VTI workshops— including technical (Sideways, Forex and Futures) and psychological workshops, during the first year of the program. Some technical workshops by partner instructors will have an additional, though discounted, charge (Hybrid, ReedsTrader).
  • From me (Van) –
      • Continued monitoring of your timeline and weekly progress reports.
      • There are 8 ST Graduate Lessons that I (Van) will coach you through.
      • Coaching, reviewing, and approving your trading systems.
      • Mistake Coach.
  • Access to recordings of VTI technical workshops – nearly all of which have been recorded. (These include Bear, Sideways, Day, Swing, Core, Forex, Futures.)
  • Access to the Super Trader online collaboration network.
  • This section of the program offers another year to flesh out and develop your systems. It will include support for you to accomplish all the following:
    • Be able to understand market types well enough to develop your own systems for each market type.
    • Decide on three different systems that you intend to trade. When you choose these systems, you will thoroughly understand:
      • The logic behind them
      • How they will work in different market types
      • Whether they fit you
      • Why they work, and
      • When you would know that they have stopped working.
  • If you aren’t trading successful systems yet, we have a Super Trader Playbook with 93 trading systems in it. These systems have been presented at prior workshops no longer taught at VTI, have come from current workshops, my (Van's) books, or are systems developed by Super Traders, etc.
  • Only Super Traders in this phase or later have access to this playbook.
  • If you improve upon three of the systems from the playbook, your enhanced version could be added to the playbook (with your permission of course).

If you decide to adopt one of the systems developed by one of our technical partner instructors, you will need their approval demonstrating that you are following the system as they intended—plus my (Van’s) approval that you understand all the beliefs and assumptions behind what you are doing.

The purpose of the Super Trader Graduate program is to become a Van Tharp Institute Super Trader Graduate.

Once you have your systems approved, then you will have unlimited time to graduate. To become a graduate, students will have successfully completed

  1. Super Trader Foundation,
  2. Super Trader Awakening,
  3. Super Trader Professional,
  4. And, you will have completed Super Trader Graduate requirements. This includes executing 100 trades profitably and at 95% efficiency with at least a 10% contribution to the 100 trades coming from each of the approved three systems. Most people have no idea of the power of having three non-correlated systems with good SQN® scores that work in different market types, and that they can trade at 95% efficiency or better.

In addition, if after a year of mistake coaching, you need additional help to develop systems that fit you, it will also be included at no additional charge either by Van Tharp personally, or a VTI instructor.


The cost of the ST Graduate Program is $25,000. You will have one year to get your systems approved. However, any remaining time you have leftover from your other programs will be added to that time.

If additional time is required to develop your systems, then you may extend for the cost of $1,000/mo.

Monthly, mistake coaching for up to 2 additional years after you start trading is also included.

We’ve estimated that the average time for me (Van) to approve a system is six hours per system. In addition, monthly reports for a year could take another two hours. Mistake coaching to be 30-60 minutes per month. At $4,000/hour, one could end up paying about $80,000 to $100,000 for this alone. Plus, the cost of additional workshops and other support you will receive are additional bonuses.

Exclusive Super Trader Events

Super Trader Summit

With the safety of our students in mind, the upcoming Summit may be impacted by COVID-19 health guidelines. 

If that is the case, we may stream some or all sections of the summit. This means no space limitations.

We hold one Super Trader Summit each year that includes presentations on psychological journeys, business plans, systems, and technical innovations by Super Trader students. Guest speakers often join for presentations in person or by webinar. Everyone in Super Trader Foundation, Awakening, Professional, and Graduate programs can attend this annual event usually held the first week in December. (ST Foundation students, attendance does count toward your allotted workshops. Also, ST Post-Graduates who have completed the ST Program and continue trader training with the Van Tharp Institute may attend upon request.)

While in previous years when we had the Summit in-person at our Cary, North Carolina office we typically met our capacity leading us to have to turn people away. To help maximize our available space, Super Traders voted to remove workshop room desks at that point and instead fill the room with as many chairs as will fit. If Super Traders wishing to attend exceeded the capacity of our workshop room, attendees would be given priority in the following manner:

  1. Active Super Traders (in any of the four programs) who are presenters.
  2. Guest presenters. Super Traders who are graduating from the program.
  3. Active Super Trader Awakening, Professional, and Graduate program students (with priority given to those who have been active the longest—since the start of their program or coming off of sabbatical).
  4. Active Super Trader Foundation students (with priority given to those who have been active the longest).

However, since we transitioned to live-streaming for our workshops, capacity limits are eliminated. Therefore, going forward, we will likely be streaming some or all of our sections of the summit, eliminating space limitations.

New Workshops

Super Traders are often the first to attend new workshops unveiled during the Summit. Those are open to anyone active in any of our programs, anyone on the psychological completion plaque who is not active in our programs on a paid basis, and if space allows, regular VTI clients. Super Traders will be given priority at new workshops in the following manner:

  1. Inactive Super Traders on the psychological completion plaque (on a paid basis).
  2. Active Super Traders who respond by the cutoff date with the following priority:
      • Active Super Trader Post-Graduates (This is a continuation program for those who finish all four Super Trader levels).
      • Active Super Trader Graduate and Professional program students (with priority given to those who have been active the longest).
      • Active Super Trader Awakening and Foundation program students (with priority given to those who have been active the longest), (Foundation students: attendance does count toward your allotted workshops).

TurboCharge Workshop

This is a three-day Oneness workshop designed to increase your level of consciousness. It is open to everyone who is active in one of our programs, but seating is limited to 20 Super Traders. There is an additional fee for this event but Super Traders attend at a significantly reduced rate (generally under $500).

This will not take place if we are required to stream the summit.

Video Recordings

of Technical Workshops

Recordings of most of our technical workshops are available for screening for those active in Super Trader Professional and Graduate programs, by request.

The answer really gets to the heart of what the Van Tharp Institute is all about. Our mission is “transformation through a trading metaphor.” And if you believe that you create your entire experience, or at least the meaning you give to that experience, then you must personally transform to become a Super Trader at some level.

Before I answer the question, I want to talk about the roles with which I like to identify so you can have a better understanding of what this is all about. Please refer to this article to learn more.

VTI guarantees all of our products and workshops; however, we provide no refunds and no guarantees for the Super Trader Program. Why? We have two reasons. First, you should only apply for the Super Trader Program once you are certain of the quality of our services. Most commonly, traders enroll in the program only after they have completed a home study course and attended one or more workshops. They have experienced the quality of our programs first-hand and have no doubts about the value we deliver in our training. Second, I (Dr. Tharp) only want to coach people who are completely committed to becoming great traders. It can be difficult to judge someone’s true level of commitment before admittance to the program. If you feel like you need to have a refund policy, the Super Trader program probably isn’t right for you just yet—or maybe it’s not for you at all.   However, unlike the prior structure of the program, you are only committing to a year of the program at a time.

That being said, we know that life happens, and we try to take that into account during your participation in any of our longer-term programs. If you need to take time off from working on your trading, we make allowances for that, called sabbaticals. Sabbaticals must be submitted in writing at least two weeks prior to your requested start date. Dr. Tharp will approve or disapprove all sabbatical applications submitted. However, we are only asking you to commit to one year at a time rather than pay for three years upfront, so if you foresee lots of time conflicts, then wait until it's a more appropriate time for you.

We are always available to help you in your journey to trading success—when you do your part. When you enroll in the Super Trader Program, you commit to a significant investment of your time and money. It is then up to you how you delegate your time. If you spend your time doing other things instead of working on yourself or your systems, you are responsible for that choice and its consequences. Activities outside the focus area of commitment to the Super Trader Program are not considered an acceptable reason for taking a sabbatical.

Acceptable Reasons for Sabbatical

  • Serious health problem of you or an immediate family member.
  • Death in your immediate family (spouse or child).
  • A natural disaster.
  • Special circumstances with my (Dr. Tharp’s) approval.
  • At my (Dr. Tharp’s) recommendation.

Unacceptable Reasons for Sabbaticals

  • You want to take a vacation.
  • You have relatives visiting.
  • You want to take time off to do other programs.
  • You decide you are not committed to trading or the program. We do not allow students to take a sabbatical for this reason, but you are only committing for a year at a time.
  • You have one of the legitimate reasons listed above but you didn’t tell me (Dr. Tharp) or my staff about it until the event already happened.

Trading great systems at 95% efficiency is one of the requirements for graduation, but it’s not the objective of the program. The objective of the program is massive personal transformation a big shift in awareness (i.e. consciousness). We’d like for each Super Trader eventually to score consistently 80+ on the happiness test and students who have completed Super Trader Awakening frequently do score that high consistently. When you achieve this sort of transformation, anything is possible, including being able to trade great systems at better than 95% efficiency.

The program is not a good fit for everyone. From a practical standpoint, you need to have sufficient capital for the program to make financial sense. In addition, with the new program level structure, Super Trader Foundation is a prerequisite for the program. I (Dr. Tharp) want to assess your receptivity to certain ideas. In Super Trader Foundation the one required workshop is Peak Performance 101. If you are not receptive to what we teach in that workshop, then the next level, Super Trader Awakening, may not be a good fit for you. By the time you finish Super Trader Foundation you will have a better idea if you’d like to move to the next, more challenging level.

The program is a lot of work and some of it is very, very challenging. We look for total commitment. Totally committed people always seem to reach their objectives regardless of obstacles.

If you have $200,000 or more to trade, then this program can make a lot of sense. You could easily save the cost of the program by simply learning how to avoid a few large losses. Furthermore, it is our intention that you will be able to recoup the total cost of the program within a few years.

If you have $50,000 to $100,000, then this program probably doesn’t make financial sense. Instead, take the time to learn about, and achieve, financial freedom. However, we look at each application carefully and may decide on a case-by-case basis to allow the student to enter if there are extenuating circumstances. That being said, ST Foundation by itself may make sense for people with limited capital.

During Super Trader Foundation and then Super Trader Awakening, we want you to focus on "first things first". Doing systems work or trading before you are psychologically ready means you will take more time to finish the program. If you normally spend 20 hours a week on your psychological work, attending one in-person workshop (about 24 in-class hours over three days—not to mention travel time!) will “cost” more than a week’s worth of work from your psychological assignments. Not only will that lengthen the time it takes you to finish the Super Trader levels 1 and 2 requirements, but you’ll also find your trading will continue to suffer because you are developing systems that contain all of the biases that you have not yet overcome. We have had several students enter the Super Trader program, attend lots of technical workshops, procrastinate or totally avoid the awareness assignments, and then wonder why they can’t trade very well. If you are truly committed to becoming a Super Trader in every sense of the term, then you have to do your transformational work first.

Super Trader Awakening members can still attend technical workshops – for a discounted fee and some have done so. However, note that later you do not get credits on these workshops which are not part of the program you are currently taking.

In addition, our technical workshops are given by outside vendors who have their own programs. Even the workshops that are totally free to STs require us to pay those vendors for your attendance. As a result, we’ve primarily decided to give discounts for those programs and have them exist more as outside programs that are available to STs. Three of our outside vendors (Chuck Whitman, Dr. Ken Long, and Gabriel Grammatidis) all have their own coaching/mentoring programs, but they tend to only work with VTI students.

There are now two distinct levels of achievement for the program: completion of your transformations and graduation. Completing the lessons in ST Foundation and ST Awakening, and documenting five major transformational changes in your life as part of Super Trader Awakening elevates you to “completion” status. This phase has usually helped people achieve the objective of massive personal transformation. People who have completed Super Trader 1 tend to say that what happened to them during this phase is priceless.

After completing Super Trader Awakening, however, you are still nowhere near graduating the program. To become a graduate, a Super Trader has to create a business handbook and have actively traded three approved trading systems at a very high-efficiency level.

What you learn in the program could help you trade other people’s money and help you manage your clients. However, I have not structured the program to teach you how to set up a money management business. Our emphasis is on awareness and efficient, mistake-free trading – which would certainly benefit anyone who wants to manage other people’s money – which some of my former Super Traders have gone on to do.

No, not anymore. I trade my own retirement funds but I no longer place money with others.

About half of the people in the Super Trader program right now live overseas. Recently, we have had seven Super Traders from Australia, six from various countries in Asia, one from South America, and a number of STs from Europe.

All workshops in 2020 and going forward will be delivered through Zoom and will available to watch later on a delayed basis. Therefore, where you live should not be a problem.

We take several measures to ease the burden of long-distance travel on our international Super Traders. First, much of the information exchange for the program can be done by email and Zoom. We also have an online collaboration website for the Super Traders, which is always available, regardless of location. Libby Adams’ Academy of Self-Knowledge 28-day course is also done by Zoom.

When people are working on their personal issues, they run into obstacles. Many are not willing to work through the obstacles and instead they dance around them. Because of this, they could take years of working on their own to do what could be done in one year with a coach and a structured program. We now give our candidates a year in ST Foundation to see if doing this sort of work is right for them, or not. 

See the section on Refunds and Sabbaticals, which includes details on the two opportunities you have to leave the program, should something major arise.

Right now there are several workshops that Dr. Tharp is directly involved with (Peak Performance 101, Oneness, Systems Thinking, Mental Strategies, and Infinite Wealth), but we are looking to make sure we have backups for him for these workshops in the future. We have recorded copies of each of those workshops with the exception of Oneness.

We have about five people now who can coach you through the ST Foundation lessons. These include RJ Hixson, Edward Mercado, Garcia Rosslow, Bruce Walicek, and Rui Luo. At present, Dr. Tharp does all the coaching in ST Awakening.

There are risks to everything, and this is a risk you would be taking. In the event that something happened to Dr. Tharp, you have the option to simply stop payments if you were to feel disadvantaged by continuing the program. Our company has been working actively to provide a lot of structure to the program and have others begin to help Dr. Tharp with the Super Traders so that they could continue in the program if anything happened to Van in the near term. For example, we now have five ST Foundation coaches.

First, I own the business and because the company has no mandatory retirement age, I don’t have any requirement to retire.

Furthermore, I have no desire to retire. I have the freedom to do only what I love to do so I feel like I’m already living the ultimate retirement. All aspects of the business that I don’t want to be involved in have been handled by a very capable staff for a number of years already.

Most of our Super Traders who have completed the first half of the program would argue that the benefits of the lessons alone are well worth the price for the entire program. You get all of that in just the first two years.

In addition, the Van Tharp Institute is already in a position where we can function well, no matter what role Van elects to take.

For the last several years, Dr. Tharp has been recommending that STs start a Sri Vidya meditation practice which is a Siddha Yoga program done through Stuart Mooney. (Stuart teaches a session annually at the ST Summit.) To find out more information about this program, please visit As with the oneness blessings, Sri Vidya is entirely an optional part of the ST program.

There is no particular requirement that says you have to move in this direction, but some of the biggest transformations in the program come from adopting useful spiritual beliefs.

This question is a little difficult to answer because an official “graduation” like we have now was not part of the program a few years back.

For a long time, Super Traders were allowed to just attend all of our workshops for two years and work with me to solve any issues they felt they needed to address. They determined what they wanted and needed from the program. There was neither an official completion point nor a graduate status like we have today. People were happy with two years of exposure to our programs and my coaching.

In about 2008, I started adding Super Trader lessons and completion requirements to the program. In 2009, we developed the separate ideas of completion and then a level of achievement beyond simply “doing all the lessons” to complete the program. One year later, we came up with the strong criteria for graduation and that’s what you are reading about now.

Since 2009, we have had over 70 Super Traders officially complete the Awakening portion of the program. Some people get to that point and are very happy with their transformed lives and trade on their own or go on to other projects. For example, one person is writing a novel, another is focused on developing a food business – though both still trade. Others want to achieve the level of trading required for Super Trader graduation. Since 2018, we have 12 names on the “Super Trader Graduate” plaque in our training room. More are added each year.  We currently have at least 10 people who could graduate at any time.

First, the 95% efficient trade criterion is not the overall objective of the program. The overall objective is a massive transformation and heightened awareness. I make that clear in Trading Beyond the Matrix.

Second, this question assumes that 95% trading efficiency is a stumbling block, but it’s not. Personal issues are the stumbling block. By the time candidates have documented five significant transformations, overcoming trading mistakes are truly minor problems. However, for traders who haven’t made the kind of massive transformation expected in Super Trader Awakening, overcoming mistakes can be a huge issue.

Third, most of the people who completed the program but didn’t graduate seemed to just stop doing Super Trader work after the two-year program in the past or after finishing Super Trader level 1 now. Those who stopped, for the most part, have been very happy with their accomplishments. For example, a local real estate businessman went through the old program and said he was the only developer among his regional peers who did not go bankrupt in 2008/2009. He credits the survival and growth of his business to what he learned in the Super Trader Program. Even though he never completed the entire psychological portion of the program, he came back to our office two years later to explore creating a program like Super Trader 1 for people in professions outside of trading. His story says a lot to us about the effectiveness of the program in helping people transform their lives.

Of those Super Traders whose business plans and systems I have approved, probably 70% of them reach graduation. There’s been only one person for whom the specific 95% efficiency criteria proved to be the identifiable roadblock for graduation. He had met all of the graduation criteria in less than 18 months – except for the 95% trading efficiency. He then decided to withdraw from the program and just trade his own way at that point. He’s probably doing much better than he ever could have without having completed all of the Super Trader work.

After graduation, Super Traders no longer have to turn in any results. Because they have graduated from the program, however, these traders understand the importance of high-efficiency trading and they also have the knowledge about how to resolve any trading problems that arise. Trading successfully is an exercise in internal control and they have already tackled far more challenging tasks simply by completing Super Trader level one and meeting the graduation criteria.

With the new level structure, entry has fewer prerequisites. Submit your application to [email protected] I (Dr. Tharp) will review your application.

He will look for the depth of your commitment, the strength of your discipline, and your willingness to do the psychological work that ensures success in this program. In addition, the program should make financial sense for you.

Yes! We are happy to help you make a sound decision about your next steps!

Feel free to email [email protected]

Have A Question?

Please don't hesitate to contact us. We look forward to your questions and wish you the very best in your trading endeavors

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