Thursday, September 30, 2010

Transformational Trading Part II

Dr Van Tharp Trading Workshops
The Transformational Journey of a Super Trader Part 2

By Van K. Tharp and William D of the Van Tharp Institute of Trading Mastery

Click here for Dr Van Tharp Trading Workshop Schedule

The journey for people in my Super Trader program starts with an intense year of psychological work. I’m looking for major personal changes during that year. Typically, Super Traders attend Peak 101 (again), Peak 202 and Peak 203, which are amazing workshops and probably my favorites. After completing Peak 202, they take Libby Adams’ Transformational 28 Day Course. They also complete a six week follow-up exercise to Peak 203 and work through 15 Peak Performance Lessons. Each lesson can take two weeks or more to finish. As you can tell, this is intensive psychological preparation that I believe is required work to trade successfully.

One of my Super Traders took two months to explore himself deeply and blew me away with his answers to the ninth Peak Performance Lesson on self-sabotage. As a result, I wanted to share some of his responses just to show you what is possible. For professional reasons he wishes that his identity not be revealed, so he is using a pseudonym.

We all sabotage ourselves, whether consciously or unconsciously. Anyone who is tired of repeating the same patterns in their trading or their lives will benefit from the following exchange. To make the responses more readable, we modified them into a Question and Answer format. Because of the length of this article, we have split it in two parts. We ran Part 1 last week; this is Part 2. My comments are in bold.

Since resisting feelings was so core for you, how did you go about doing that?

For most of my life I wasn’t even aware of my feelings at all. So in a sense I was totally asleep. That is one way we resist our feelings.

Another way was denial: “I’m not feeling this.” When I would become conscious of certain emotions, I would simply deny that I was feeling them and go on as if they didn’t exist. This was particularly true for feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness.

I’d also avoid feelings by distracting myself with something else—even something as simple as moving a part of my body.

Even as I started becoming more aware of these feelings, I would try to get rid of them whenever I sensed them arising. From the time I began therapy until the time I started my core work, repression was the primary way I would deal with any sense of unworthiness or inadequacy that came up. While these feeling were no longer unconscious, I would simply try to suppress them whenever I noticed them appearing.

So finally beginning to allow myself to experience my emotions was a key turning point for me. But even after that I would often find myself getting all worked up because I noticed some unwanted feeling arising. “This feeling is bad,” I would think. While I was not repressing them anymore, I still was judging them.

Again, I would have this reaction to feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness, in particular, and frequently still do. A lot of the suffering I continue to experience comes predominantly from judging myself. Usually I find that when I’m feeling intensely inadequate, about 85% of that feeling is a sense of inadequacy about the fact that I’m feeling inadequate. “Shouldn’t I already be over this inadequacy stuff? Why am I still feeling this?” Once I feel through that reaction and just experience the underlying, primary feeling of inadequacy, it seems to make up a rather mild 15% of the intense feeling I started out with.

How about projection? That is part of the illusion that we all live in; we see it out there and lay it on other people. Did that come into play?

It certainly did. I would often take some feeling I had and project it onto the rest of the world. Projection actually took many forms. Sometimes it would follow from avoidance. To avoid a feeling, I would make up an imaginary drama involving someone else, such as having an argument in my head with the person, coupled with a strong emotional reaction to my image of them.

At other times, projection arose from an attempt to deny a part of my past, a part I would subsequently see in others around me and feel contempt for them for it.

Another major manifestation of projection for me has been co-dependency, a clinical term that refers to rescuing others at your own expense. To avoid feeling unworthy I would attempt to fix other people’s problems for them and thereby feel worthy again.

One of the methods I describe in Volume 4 of the Peak Performance Course is a feelings release exercise that you found useful. Can you please share a specific example of your experience and what you learned from it?

I went to a park near my house recently and did the “General Feeling Release” exercise you teach in Volume 4. I’d done this exercise before. When I first began the core work, I would use this method every day. I would pick a feeling off the shelf, bring it up so that I’d feel it intensely, and then just try to experience it fully. I found that although the exercise was effective in dissolving beliefs and feelings temporarily, I had to keep doing it on a regular basis. The beliefs and feelings did not disappear permanently—even after about six weeks of daily work. Nevertheless, I thought it worthwhile to try again because my resistance to my emotions had decreased significantly since I had first attempted the exercise.

That said, I still found myself experiencing resistance, so this is what I decided to work on that day in the park. It turned out to be an interesting exercise in resistance itself. When I sat down, I set the alarm on my phone to go off after 50 minutes so I wouldn’t have to keep looking at the time. I then brought up the feeling of wanting to resist my emotions and experienced it in all its aspects: in particular (1) my frustration with the fact that I was still experiencing emotions such as inadequacy on a regular basis despite all the work I had done, (2) the general sense of unpleasantness that comes with feeling negative emotions, and (3) the fear that if I go into interactions with people while feeling certain negative emotions, like inadequacy, I would put out a negative energy that would turn people off. The third belief was the most powerful.

Okay, so what happened?

After about 40 minutes all of these feelings just kind of dissipated. However, when my alarm went off I opened my eyes, stood up, and immediately felt a sense of fear around experiencing feelings of inadequacy during social interactions. The fear was directed toward a woman with whom I was to have a date the next day; I was afraid that if I went into the date feeling inadequate, she would sniff it out and reject me. (Note: I am now seeing her regularly. Just to underscore how groundless most of our anxieties are, she reports that what she initially found most attractive about me was my confidence.)

I walked around and felt this feeling for a while but it stayed with me. I eventually discovered that I was simply waiting for it to go away, which itself is a form of resistance. That very resistance, in turn, was preventing the feeling from going away in the first place.

Excellent observation. So what did you do?

I set the alarm on my phone to go off in another 20 minutes and resolved to use this time to just experience my fear of feeling my inadequacy. The act of setting my alarm and creating a designated period of time to feel the feeling helped to reduce the pressure I felt around making the feeling go away. In other words it (temporarily) extinguished my resistance. The effect was dramatic; after only two minutes my fear of feeling inadequate evaporated. The reason, I’m sure, was that I was no longer resisting the feeling.

But then the feeling came back. I immediately became frustrated with this. The frustration, of course, amounted to resistance. I knew that and began to feel even more frustrated at the fact that I was feeling frustrated. Needless to say, this cocktail of frustration and resistance made the underlying feeling—the fear of feeling inadequate—persist. So that is where I ended this part of the exercise. I learned that even when the process works, the feeling I’m working on may return. But the lesson here is to just be patient when that happens and experience the recurring feeling without resisting it.

Where are you with all of this now? How has it changed your life?

I have now spent a good two weeks going to the same spot and feeling through my inadequacy and unworthiness, devoting 45 minutes to an hour each time. (I have switched the spot from the park to a lookout point on the top of a mountain near my house.) While I haven’t been able to do the exercise every day, I have managed to do it every other day at least. Most of the time the feeling ends up dissolving towards the end of the hour and I feel extremely clear and confident. This feeling of clarity tends to last at least until the end of the day. The effect on my mood and especially my interactions with others has been dramatic.

Also, on recent occasions the feeling of inadequacy has become harder to “stir up,” proves less and less intense, and requires shorter and shorter spans of time before it dissolves. I take this to be a sign of improvement.

So I now have two separate exercises that I’m doing on a regular basis. The first method, which I have just described, is the one that you teach, Van. In this meditation you take a particular belief or feeling, go to a neutral spot outside of your house, and spend 40 minutes to an hour doing everything you can to stir up these emotions. Continue this exercise every day for a week or two, or until you start noticing real changes. Again, do everything you can to bring up the emotions—use thoughts, mental images, anything, and do not let up until the end of the hour. Also focus on accepting everything that you experience during the exercise; this point is very important.

I’ve found that this method is really helping to dissolve these core beliefs I’ve always had about myself. The effects have been dramatic and lasting. I’m clearer and more confident in general and my old feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness are coming up less frequently and less intensely.

The second meditation, which is closer to the one that Erwan Davon teaches, simply involves stopping your thoughts, bringing yourself back to the present, and letting yourself feel fully whatever emotions happen to be there. Whereas in the first exercise described above you are consciously trying to stir up certain feelings and are using anything you can to do that including your thoughts, this second method is different. Here you are not trying to stir anything up; you are just working on whatever is there to begin with. The goal is to get out of your head entirely—that is, to completely ignore whatever thoughts are there—and come back to the present. Being present means noticing your body, the sounds around you, and any sensations you are experiencing. Then look for any feelings that happen to be there—not thoughts, but feelings. A thought is in your head; a feeling is in your body and consists of physical sensations and sometimes images. Feel any emotions fully and accept them.

This second method involves combining presence and acceptance—getting out of your head and into your feelings and accepting whatever you are experiencing in that moment. You can designate, say, 20 minutes a day to sit down and really concentrate on this exercise. But I actually try to do this all the time now—while driving, interacting with people, etc. With practice I’ve become better at noticing and accepting my moment-to-moment feelings and often find that they simply flow through and out of me in a matter of minutes. I’ve also developed the ability I mentioned earlier to feel my emotions in my body without identifying with them in my thoughts. This is a very powerful skill.

Both practices have their time and place. Maybe you’ve spent two weeks using the first method on a particular belief or feeling and found that even though the feeling is less intense and frequent it still comes up. When it does, you can use the second method to let the feeling simply roll through you without letting it permeate your thoughts and affect your actions.

Remember that the key to both methods is acceptance: whatever you are feeling—accept it. Whatever your reaction is to what you are feeling, accept that as well. If you are having trouble doing the exercises and find yourself getting distracted or lost in your thoughts, accept that too and just bring yourself back to the present. Acceptance is a skill just like any other. As such it requires patience, practice, and persistence.

How do you think all of this work relates to your trading?

Recently there have been times when I’ve felt a sense of fear and pessimism about being profitable as a trader. This belief is irrational given that I’ve been profitable in the past. However, a couple of recent attempts at paper-trading some new strategies did not prove successful; it was then that I developed this belief.

So I did some work on releasing these feelings. But despite my best efforts, I struggled to bring them up. My attempts to feel the fear and pessimism gave way to a sense of determination to learn from my mistakes and correct them, which is, of course, a healthy mental state. The parallels with my past were not lost on me; my usual (unconscious) strategy for motivating myself has always been to derive strong determination from a fear of failure (negative motivation as opposed to positive motivation). In any event, by the end of the hour I no longer felt any pessimism or fear over my prospects as a trader.

Some readers may be thinking, “This sounds painful and boring and there is no way I’m going to spend hours feeling negative feelings.” And, of course, that’s the resistance that keeps those negative feelings in place and brings them up unconsciously all the time.

To me, this is like saying “I refuse to brush my teeth.” To begin with, if I do not devote any time to consciously experiencing my negative emotions, I will have problems. Furthermore, engaging my emotions has become a normal part of my routine. I really do see it as akin to brushing my teeth. Anyone can do it and you don’t have to spend hours and hours lying on the floor like I did. I took the hard route and figured out a lot of the mechanics on my own. But in doing so I hope I have made things a little more efficient for those who are reading this. Taking 45 minutes every day for a few weeks to go to a park and work on some particular feeling will probably yield enormous benefits. If you absolutely need to, skip the gym for a week or two and do this instead. These practices have done more for my physical health than exercise and medication. If you don’t have time to go to the park, then there is nothing stopping you from using the second meditation I described above—that is, taking a few minutes during your day to bring yourself back to the present moment, feel your feelings, and accept them.

You can try to avoid your emotions. But that won’t make them go away. They will continue to affect the results you get in life even if this happens entirely unconsciously. So you may as well just learn to accept them. That way you will be able to manage your emotions instead of them managing you.

So what has this process meant to you and why is it important? More significantly, when you finish all your psychological work and move on to full time trading, what do you think will be the impact?

As many readers can attest, few activities bring out your emotions like trading and investing. You can have a great system, but if you make emotionally-driven mistakes while trading it, as most people do, you won’t come close to achieving its potential results. Because I’ve done all of this psychological work, I am now able to feel my emotions without being affected by them. I do not doubt that this ability will be critical once I return to active trading. People always talk about the need to have an edge in the markets. Well, this is my edge.

Far more important than any effect on my trading has been the impact this practice has had on my state of mind and my life. Being able to experience my emotions without being beholden to them has fundamentally altered the way I walk in the world. Moreover, the feeling of clarity I can attain after doing this work is unparalleled and indescribable. It is like having a completely clear picture of the world before you, one that is unobstructed by all of the false conceptions that usually muddy that view.

The state of clarity, alas, tends to be elusive; sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. Regardless, my everyday existence is entirely different than it used to be. Until recently I lived mostly in my thoughts while ignoring, denying, and repressing my feelings. But now, for the first time, I am experiencing reality. Sometimes it is placid and beautiful, other times it is raw and intense. But it is pretty incredible out here.

Click here to learn more about the Market Wizard and Traders Coach Dr Van Tharp at the Van Tharp Institute of Trading Mastery

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trading Crystal Ball

What I wouldn't give for a Crystal Ball

You know, where you're knee-deep in a trade but for whatever reason (be it gut, instinct or fear) you jump out to keep the small amount of profit you gained only to see the market spike in your favor just as you jumped out?

Ugh, there's no way around it - that sucks!

A Crystal Ball would have been nice at that moment. You know, something that could warn you when the odds are in your favor so despite your fear, you've GOT to stay in to really steal as much profit as you can!

Good news: There is a Crystal Ball of sorts and it's called the Dynamic Profit Generator.

Through use of well-known & well-respected trending principles - that an ACTION creates a REACTION that, in turn, spawns another similar action - I've literally isolated a whole new trending strategy that allows me to predict how the market is going to move (just like a Crystal Ball).

This is an extremely powerful strategy into a piece of simple and elegant software that actually does 99% of the work for you.

3 simple steps to get the Dynamic Profit Generator to work for you.

Compatible on all charting platforms, data feeds, markets & time frames.

No system? No problem. The DFG is your 1-stop for simple, stress free profit.

You get: the DPG Software + Dynamic Calculator, In-Depth Video Training and Comprehensive Market Walk-Throughs so you can not only learn how to 'turn on' your Crystal Ball but wield it like a pro.

Again, you don't have to be trading ANY specific system to be able to start profiting with the Dynamic Profit Generator Got TradeStation? Think or Swim? MetaTrader? Trade Options, the EURJPY or ETFs? They're ALL compatible with the DPG - I custom developed this software to be used as universally as possible.

But in all seriousness, there's alot of man-hours developing this software so use this to boost your own bottom-line!

Click here for the Free Download of the Dynamic Profit Generator

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Real Estate Market's Ugly Secret

USA Real Estate Market
The Real Estate Market's Ugly Secret: Shadow Inventory

By D.R. Barton, Jr. of Van Tharp Institute

Click here for Dr Van Tharp's 2010 Trading Workshop Schedule

Back in December of 2005, I wrote a series of articles on the pending real estate bubble. Several key factors stuck out back then, not the least of which was the unsustainable leverage being offered to home buyers. This meant that more folks could buy more house with less money. That process drove up home prices at a dizzying pace for several years.

As prices continued to climb, the game seemed like a sure thing. More leverage and lower qualifications led to even higher prices, and the spiral continued. We all know how it ended.

I have heard renewed interest in real estate investing lately, with phrases like, “prices are firming up” and “the worst is behind us.” However, I really don’t think it’s that easy. Just as the data in late 2005 was waving huge red flags, today I think there are some serious issues with the so-called real estate recovery.

First and foremost, a “shadow inventory” of houses has a vast effect on the national housing market. The phrase refers to houses that are destined to be sold on the open market but are not yet formally listed—they are in the shadows still.

The shadow inventory numbers are overwhelming. In fact, several different studies show that the shadow inventory is many times that of the actual listings. That’s a big red flag for real estate recovery if there ever was one.

What Is Shadow Inventory?

Let’s start with an explanation of shadow inventory. This phrase was only coined a few years ago so people have yet to agree on a definition or specific statistics for it. This means real estate professionals, economists, and talking heads will continue to debate for some time on the exact definition and number of houses that fall in this category. The term generally represents houses that are not formally listed for sale but are distressed in some way and will be coming to market soon.

For the most part, shadow-inventory houses fall into two groups. Many foreclosed houses or houses under a short sale contract are already in the “real” inventory, meaning they are included in the public MLS listings. (A short sale is a house that is worth less than the outstanding mortgage where the borrower and lender make a settlement contract to sell the house for less than what is owed.) The difference owed by the borrower is then a term of negotiation as part of the settlement. Many houses in foreclosure, however, are not in the real inventory because banks and other holders of these properties have not publicly listed them (for a variety of reasons).

I’ve seen a number of estimates for the size of this portion of the shadow inventory. The most conservative figure I’ve seen for this portion is half a million houses, though it’s likely much bigger.

The second main component of shadow inventory is properties in default. Banks have started the foreclosure process on these houses but have not yet listed them for sale. This number alone is staggering—one trade journal has it calculated above two millions houses in the US.

Those are some of the less debatable portions of the shadow inventory. In future articles we’ll look at other, all too real “houses not yet for sale” groups that should be considered part of the shadow inventory.

Bottom Line Implications

This lurking problem could make the recent home price slide look like just the tip of the iceberg. Some estimates have the shadow inventory at around seven million houses, which is many times larger than the number of houses officially listed for sale. We’ll dig into those numbers and the implications for traders and investors in the coming weeks.

Click here for more on D.R. Barton and the Van Tharp Institute of Trading Mastery

Friday, September 24, 2010

Asset Allocation and Correlation

Sector Timing Report Market Timing
Take Advantage of the Power Asset Allocation and Correlation Can Bring to Your Portfolio

"These two concepts are the holy grail of successful long-term investing as they will determine 91.3% of your portfolio return over the long run!"

Could This Be the Holy Grail?

* If you knew of a strategy that could determine 91.3% of your investing success and was easy to follow would you use it?

* What if you could also lower the risk of your portfolio at the same time with a second easy to follow strategy?


"91.3 percent of variability in a portfolios' investment return is due to allocation of assets" - Ibbotson & Associates 10 year study of 91 large pension fund results over a 10 year period.

The Biggest Decision You Make

The asset classes you select to include within your portfolio is the single LARGEST investment decision you will ever make as it will account for 91.3% of your return over time.

What is Asset Allocation?

In a nutshell, it is the process of dividing your portfolio
investments across different asset classes to optimize the
available return for a given level of risk. The best asset
classes to combine in a portfolio all have a low correlation
with each other.

Why the Average Investor Fails at Investing

* inadequate asset allocation

* always chasing last years hot performers

* unaware of the psychological pitfalls of investing

* decisions made on emotions that lack a disciplined strategy


"The average correlation among industry sectors is 66% LOWER than that of traditional size and style breakouts" - 2002 study by Ibbotson and Associates Ltd.

Low Correlated Assets Reduce Risk

The best asset classes to combine in a portfolio should all have a low correlation with each other. How you define a distinct asset class really should be based on a review of its correlation. The correlation scale ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 indicates no correlation and 1 indicates perfect correlation.

Here are some examples:

* Russell 3000 index and the S&P500 index have a correlation of 99% (almost identical movement)

* the average correlation among traditional size and style breakouts of mutual funds is 90%

* the average correlation among sectors is only 31%

How You Can Maximize the Power of Asset Allocation While Minimizing Correlation Risk

This unique approach to asset allocation within the Sector Timing Report creates a ranking list of the top performing asset classes and sectors each month. Our primary goal is to identify the top performing assets within each category or grouping of exchange traded funds.

This allows our users to construct a well-diversified portfolio, while at the same time identifying what ETFs within each category are performing best. This also allows our users to construct a portfolio containing top performing assets with lower correlation risks, and have the ability to diversify across multiple asset classes.

Click here for the Sector Timing Report

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Candlestick Charting Basics

Nison Candle Scanner Trading Software
Nison Candle Scanner Trading Software

Steve Nison Candlecharts Trading Seminar
September 25 - 26 MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas

There are many important candle patterns and trading tactics not discussed in this basic introduction. As such, do not trade based on the limited information. The goal of this blog post is to illustrate how candles can open new and unique analytical doors, not to provide a trading methodology. For example, there are many times candle signals should be ignored. This is where experience with candle charts comes in.


Japanese candle chart analysis, so called because the lines resemble candles, have been refined by generations of use in the Far East. These charts are now used internationally by traders, investors and premier financial institutions. Candle charts:

Are easy to understand: Anyone, from the first-time chartist to the seasoned professional can easily harness the power of candle charts. This is because, as will be shown later, the same data required to draw a bar chart (high, low, open and close) is used for a candle chart.

Provide earlier indications of market turns: Candle charts can send out reversal signals in a few sessions, rather than the weeks often needed for a bar chart reversal signal. Thus, market turns with candle charts will frequently be in advance of traditional indicators. This will help you to enter and exit the market with better timing.

Furnish unique market insights: Candle charts not only show the trend of the move, as does a bar chart, but, unlike bar charts, candle charts also show the force underpinning the move.

Enhance Western charting analysis: Any Western technical tool you now use can also be used on a candle chart. Candle charts, however, will give you timing and trading benefits not available with bar charts. This merging of Eastern and Western analysis will give you a jump on those who use only traditional Western charting techniques.

Candlestick Charting Basics

The broadest part of the candlestick line is the real body. It represents the range between the session's open and close.

If the close is lower than the open the real body is black. The real body is white if the close is higher than the open. The real body is white if the close is higher than the open.

The thin lines above and below the real body are called the shadows. The peak of the upper shadow is the high of the session and the bottom of the lower shadow is the low of the session.

The color and length of the real body reveals whether the bulls or the bears are in charge. Note that the candle lines use the same data as a bar chart (the open, high, low and close). Thus, all Western-charting techniques can be integrated with candle chart analysis.

We have found the candles are most potent when merged with Western technical analysis. Accordingly, we harness the best charting techniques of the East and West to provide you with uniquely effective trading tools.


A critical and powerful advantage of candle charts is that the size and color of the real body can send out volumes of information.
For example:

* a long white real body visually displays the bulls are in charge

* a long black real body signifies the bears are in control.

* a small real body (white or black) indicates a period in which the bulls and bears are in a "tug of war" and warns the market's trend may be losing momentum.

Candlestick Charting Basics
While the real body is often considered the most important segment of the candle, there is also substantial information from the length and position of the shadows. For instance, a tall upper shadow shows the market rejected higher prices while a long lower shadow typifies a market that has tested and rejected lower prices.

Spotting market reversals before the competition. This is based on the powerful fact that candle charts will often provide reversal signals earlier, or not even available with traditional bar charting techniques.

Even more valuably, candle charts are an excellent method to help you preserve your trading capital. This benefit alone is incredibly important in today's volatile environment.

Let's look at an example of how a candle chart can help you avoid a potentially losing trade.

Exhibit 1 (below) is a bar chart. In the circled area of Exhibit 1, the stock looks strong since it is making consecutively higher closes. Based on this aspect, it looks like a stock to buy.

Candlestick Charting Basics
The candle chart below uses the same data as Exhibit 1 (above), (remember, a candle chart uses the same data as a bar chart; open, high, low and close.)

Let's now look at the circled area on the candle chart in Exhibit 2 (below). Note the different perspective we get with the candle chart than with the bar chart. On the candle chart, in the same circled area, there are a series of small real bodies which the Japanese nickname spinning tops. Small real bodies hint that the prior trend (i.e. the rally) could be losing its breath.

Candlestick Charting Basics
As such, while the bar chart makes it look attractive to buy, the candle chart proves there is indeed a reason for caution about going long. The small real bodies illustrate the bulls are losing force. Thus, by using the candle chart, a trader or investor would likely not buy in the circled area. The result -- avoiding a losing trade.

This is but one example of how candles will help you preserve capital.

Candles truly shine at helping you preserve capital!


With candle charts, one can use candle charting techniques, or Western techniques, or a combination of both. This union of Eastern and Western techniques provides our clients with uniquely effective tools to help enhance profits and decrease market risk exposure.

A Japanese proverb says, "His potential is that of the fully drawn bow- - - his timing the release of the trigger." The timing of the "release of the trigger" depends on many factors not addressed in this pamphlet. However, while this pamphlet provides only a basic introduction to candle charts we hope you have discovered how candle-charting techniques open new and unique doors of analysis.

Click here for more from Steve Nison at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grain Futures Gaining or Waning?

Day Trading Grain Futures
Will Grains Gain OR Wane? Find Out For FREE

Over the past few months, leading grain prices have climbed up the commodity wall like a "mile-a-minute" kudzu vine. From late June to early August, the big three grain markets (wheat, corn, and soybeans) soared 40%-plus in a coordinated rally to multi-year highs before leveling off.

The question on the minds of market participants is simple: Is the grains' uptrend set to end?

Well, according to the mainstream experts, the answer is a definite NO -- and an equally definite YES. See, according to recent headlines, grain prices are as likely headed for strong gains as they are for a world of pain. On this, following news items capture the very conflicting grain complex picture:

* "Wheat futures decline, fall most in two weeks after Egypt looks elsewhere for supplies... We have a bearish tone." (Wall Street Journal)

* "Wheat Soars Despite Reassurance On German Crop." (AP)

* "Corn Above $5-per bushel mark; prices expected to pull back." (Cattle Network)

* "Corn (Soybeans) Still King... the bull market is intact for now." (Farm Forum)

* "Grain Markets Are Hot: But Is It Too Late? One money manager believes the dance will soon be coming to an end." (Minyanville)

I rest my case.

(Near-Term Opportunities On The House: On Wednesday September 16, EWI launched its famous Futures Junctures Free Week,providing all Club EWI members with instant, no-cost access to comprehensive near-, and long-term commodity analysis. Sign up today and take advantage of this amazing offer.)

Fortunately, there's a quick and easy alternative to the mixed messages of the mainstream: the September 14 Daily Futures Junctures. In that publication, EWI's chief commodity analyst Jeffrey Kennedy presents in depth analysis, labeled price charts, and live video commentary on all three grain markets -- a total of 12 charts in all.

The best part is, you can get instant access to Daily Futures Junctures, along with its long-term sister Monthly Futures Junctures at the unbelievable discount of 100% off. This complimentary admission to one of EWI's most exclusive subscriber resources is the benefit of Futures Junctures Service Free Week.

Click here for the free commodities forecasts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Steve Nison’s CandleStick Trading Seminar Las Vegas Sept 25

Steve Nison's Candle Scanner Software
Steve Nison's Candle Scanner Software

Steve Nison’s Live 2 Day Seminar

September 25 & 26, 2010

MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas, NV

At these seminars you will discover my favorite and most powerful candlestick techniques and how to use these techniques in combination with my favorite western technical tools and trade management.

One of the great things about candle charts is that they work exceptionally well in any market - and in any frame - especially today's markets that offer great opportunities.

If you're truly serious about improving your trading skills, then these seminars are for you. I can show you exactly how to analyze and trade your personal markets to help generate more profits while protecting your capital.

You will walk away with a clear vision of how to:

Time your trades better

Avoid potential losing trades and preserve your capital

Spot turning signals before the competition

Combine your own favorite analysis methods with my powerful candle charting techniques.

These live in person and web based seminars will help you trade smarter and more safely than you ever have before. In fact, these seminars are so loaded with "ready-to-use" methods, tips, techniques, and ideas that you can immediately reap the benefits when the markets open the very next day!

Please note that seating is extremely limited, and these seminars always
sell out quickly.


Steve Nison - President

Monday, September 20, 2010

China's Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical

China's Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical

This week I’ve got what I consider to be low-risk high-reward short sell recommendation on China’s Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company listed below. Long term China and Sinopec is a buy. Short term Sinopec is a sell. First some analysis on the markets this week moving forward.

USA Indice's Look Down

After reviewing last week’s indices charts, I see another downturn coming this week for the DJIA, S&P500, and Nasdaq heading for new near term lows. The market is technically and fundamentally weak with low volumes, and with the weakness in the financials, the market seems to be showing no confidence to further upside right now. This week or next is showing to me it’s a good low-risk high-reward time to short equities again.

Low Volumes and Weak Fundamentals Technical’s

With the low volumes in the US markets, some of the Asia markets have been doing quite well enjoying what seems to be a current infusion of capital from around the world with their healthy growth rates of 5% plus and current strong stock prices. Maybe this is just fast money chasing strong momentum? Or is it money invested to stay there long term? I’m a pessimistic optimist on this currently, as I want to see if Asia will stay strong if and when USA and Europe markets head south.

High Flying Markets

Gold has been hitting new highs outperforming stocks, bonds and commodities lately which looks like investors and traders might be showing less and less interest in buying into the positive spin that the economy is on a healthy road to recovery. The real facts don’t support the healthy recovery story right now like those optimists wish.

USA Interest Rates Decision Tuesday

Tuesday is the USD Federal Open Market Committee rate decision, and on Wednesday is the Bank of England minutes. I’m betting on US rates staying the same at 0.25% which are as low as they can be. With interest rates being like this for some time now, is inflation a factor or problem? Not even. It is in Asia where growth is relatively strong right now and some of the Asean countries have been raising rates. In the USA, the rates look like they’re staying low for a long time to come in my opinion.

Deflation Is Real Right Now

The real issue I see is deflation, and declining prices in all asset classes across the board. Countries around the world want their currency weaker to compete and grow their GDP. I see equities heading further down, along with the current high flying commodities, and the current top flying ace gold. I agree with George Soros, that Gold is in an “ultimate bubble” right now. The best time to buy gold is at the beginning of a growth and inflationary period. Not now chasing record high prices because there’s nothing else to buy right now. Sure 52 week price breakouts are nice, but in a healthy economic environment. Not a very un-certain environment like we have right now. 52 week breakouts can easily reverse in a market environment like now.

My Stock Pick This Week Is a Short Sell

It’s what I consider a low-risk high-reward sell position on Sinopec. With China slowly putting on the brakes to their red hot smoking economy over the past few years, and the USA still trying to get China to move faster at increasing the value of their Yuan currency, some China stocks in general should be under pressure for the time being. I don’t usually short China stocks, but Sinopec’s price is near the top of its 52 week range, and the risk reward ratio and trade setup looks very attractive right now to short it.

If the USA stock market tanks again as I forecast it will anytime now, the big question comes as to whether growing Asia follows or bucks the trend either short or long term. I believe that Asia will lead the global economy recovery, but in the short term, I’m watching it like a hawk with some of those markets hitting new 52 week highs. Is this finally the time for decoupling in the global markets with Asia leading the way? So far yes, but how long will it last? If the whole global economy was in a bull trend, I would say yes, but it’s not, and these markets that are in new 52 new highs can easily see a reversal once they’ve trapped enough money for the selloff. Always be ready for what you don’t see that can blind side you.

Sell Short Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical – Ticker SHI

Sell Entry: 42.46 to 41.45

Stop-Loss: 43.50

Take-Profit Areas: 38.86 to 38.48, 38.05 to 37.69, 36.06 to 35.70, 31.97 to 31.65

Sinopec Company Profile

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Limited engages in the production of polypropylene compound products, polypropylene products, acrylic fiber products, petrochemical products, synthetic fibers, resins and plastics, and petroleum products in China and internationally. It also involves in the import and export of petrochemical products and equipment. The company was founded in 1972 and is based in Shanghai, the People's Republic of China. Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Limited is a subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation.

Click here to review different investing trading software that scans analyzes stocks for different technical criteria, and low-risk high-reward trade pattern setups.

Click the Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical stock chart below for a larger view.

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Stock Chart

Friday, September 17, 2010

Free Commodity Forecasts Video Analysis Trading Lessons

Free Commodity Picks
It's Commodity FreeWeek at EWI: Get Complimentary Forecasts, Video Analysis, Trading Lessons and More

Elliott Wave International has just announced the beginning of their popular commodity FreeWeek event, where non-subscribers can test-drive some of their most popular premium services -- they're so excited, they've even turned it on a day early!

Now through noon Thursday, Sept 23 (Eastern time), you'll get access to all of EWI's hottest daily, weekly and monthly opportunities in softs, meats and ags, plus all the charts, world-class analysis, video forecasts along with a treasure chest of trading lessons and more!

Learn more and get instant access to EWI's FreeWeek of commodity forecasts and trading education now -- before the opportunity ends for good.

FreeWeek is one of EWI's most popular programs, and it's perfect for anyone curious about EWI's subscription services. Please don't hesitate to tell your friends about the exciting opportunity FreeWeek provides.

Click here to get the free commodity forecasts for one week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Transformational Trading

Super Trader
The Transformational Journey of a Super Trader

By Dr. Van K. Tharp of Van Tharp Institute of Trading Mastery

Click here for Dr Van Tharp 2010 Trading Workshop Schedule

The journey for people in my Super Trader program starts with an intense year of psychological work. I’m looking for major personal changes during that year. Typically, Super Traders attend Peak 101 (again), Peak 202 and Peak 203, which are amazing workshops and probably my favorites. After completing Peak 202, they take Libby Adams’ Transformational 28 Day Course. They also complete a six week follow-up exercise to Peak 203 and work through 15 Peak Performance Lessons. Each lesson can take two weeks or more to finish. As you can tell, this is intensive psychological preparation that I believe is required work to trade successfully.

One of my Super Traders took two months to explore himself deeply and blew me away with his answers to the ninth Peak Performance Lesson on self-sabotage. As a result, I wanted to share some of his responses just to show you what is possible. For professional reasons he wishes that his identity not be revealed, so he is using a pseudonym.

We all sabotage ourselves, whether consciously or unconsciously. Anyone who is tired of repeating the same patterns in their trading or their lives will benefit from the following exchange. To make the responses more readable, we modified them into a Question and Answer format. Because of the length of this article, we have split it in two parts. This is Part 1. My comments are in bold.

You’ve done quite a bit of work around self-sabotage. How did you first get into this work?

I’ve always considered myself a pretty well-adjusted guy. I come from a solid family and have great friends. I’ve been given tremendous opportunities. And by any standard I’ve been successful professionally and in life. However, we all have our issues. Mine mostly consist of the lingering belief that “I am inadequate and unworthy.” This belief goes way back and is completely irrational given my station in life. But try telling that to the eight-year-old kid still inside of me.

Many people trade the markets from such feelings but are unaware of what is going on inside. This can have serious consequences for their results.

How were these feelings of inadequacy affecting you?

I too was unaware of these feelings until relatively recently. About a year and a half ago I began therapy, which helped me make immense progress in uncovering this belief in my unworthiness and identifying how it impacted my life. The primary domain in which it arose was my relationships. By living with this belief, I was sabotaging myself; I was entering and staying in the wrong kinds of relationships instead of seeking out healthy ones.

However, despite my new awareness of these feelings, the underlying sense of inadequacy and unworthiness persisted and continued to affect me in various ways. The belief that I am inadequate is “highly charged,” meaning it is linked to deep, underlying emotions. While it is easy to take an uncharged belief and replace it with one that is more useful, highly charged beliefs cannot simply be wished away. This led me to look for methods to deal with and manage beliefs that have a high emotional charge. When I began this process, I had not yet read the section of Volume 4 of your Peak Performance Home Study Course on self-sabotage.

So what was the turning point for you?

In late May 2010, I attended a seminar taught by Erwan Davon and his wife, Alicia, who teach individuals and couples how to experience more pleasure and passion in romantic relationships. The title of the seminar was “Uncovering Your Romantic Blueprint and Changing Your Romantic Fate.” Erwan presented a method for dealing with emotionally-charged beliefs at the workshop that I have since seen discussed in other sources as well, including Volume 4 of the Peak Performance Course. The way most of us react to our negative thoughts and feelings is to resist them. Resistance, however, is actually the essence of self-sabotage and has the ironic effect of causing these beliefs and emotions to persist. So Erwan’s method involves doing the exact opposite—that is, accepting all of your negative beliefs and their related emotions and letting yourself feel them fully. Once you do that, you come to realize on a very fundamental level just how false they are, at which point they simply dissolve. He calls this process “core work.”

I went home and tried it out. I spent the better part of three days lying on the floor of my apartment and letting myself feel beliefs such as “I am inadequate” along with other core beliefs I have held onto since childhood. Then, just as Erwan said, I reached a point where the beliefs just fizzled out and were not there anymore. A few days later they came back again, suggesting that this method of feeling is not a one-off event; it is a practice that I need to follow on a regular basis.

Since then I have spent literally hundreds of hours doing core work. With the exception of a week attending Ken Long’s workshops, this was pretty much all I did for two months. I even traveled to Bali for a workshop on mindfulness that my therapist suggested once he learned I had taken up this practice (

Can you describe your experience with this exercise?

At times, especially during the first few weeks, I could feel the emotions coursing through my veins with a raw intensity unlike any I’ve felt before. This is probably because I had never actually allowed myself to feel these feelings fully in the past. Deep feelings brought to the surface memories that I had not thought of in decades, which unleashed more feelings. For about the first six weeks I would start my meditations with a belief such as “I am inadequate.” I would feel the belief and the emotions associated with it until they went away. I would do as much as I could to bring up the feeling and keep it there until, finally, no matter how hard I tried, the feeling just disappeared.

Eventually I learned, with Erwan’s guidance, that (1) I don’t have to start with a “topic” and can instead just work on whatever emotion happens to be there in the moment, and (2) it can be more efficient to consciously drop the thought, and often the image, associated with a belief and just feel the emotion in my body. Doing this tends to make the meditation an entirely different experience than when I get caught in cycle where thought perpetuates feeling and vice versa, or when I try to manufacture a feeling that isn’t there to begin with.

So what has been the result?

These practices have fundamentally transformed my life. Through them I can often reach a state I can only describe as “clarity,” or what’s left once all of my false feelings and beliefs have dissolved. Van, I imagine this is what you mean when you talk about “Oneness.” When I am in this state I have no “self,” probably because I am shorn of all the false conceptions that made up my sense of self in the first place. Instead, all that remains is the world before me—or, in a word, reality.

I can imagine many readers growing skeptical at this point. Anyone who knows me well, however, will assure you that nobody has been more cynical about this spiritual stuff than I used to be. It can make a world of difference in your life, but you’ve really got to experience it for yourself. That’s what it took for me.

Now that you have some experience getting into that mental state, can you go there at will?

If I “try” to get into this state of clarity, I don’t get there. The secret is simply to accept your present experience, whatever it is, and feel it fully. I now truly understand the statement “If you want happiness, want what you have.” For a long time while doing this work I often found myself resisting negative emotions precisely because I wanted to be in the state of clarity when I wasn’t. Since then I have become much better at accepting my feelings and whatever happens to be there in a given moment.

But I believe I’ve finally found a way—the way, perhaps—to manage my emotions and whatever else comes up in life. The two central principles are (1) being present, or getting out of my head and into my experience, and (2) fully accepting my experience, i.e., feeling it fully without resistance. And if I am feeling resistance, I accept the fact that I’m feeling the resistance and try to feel that, too.

Noticing the resistance is the key! Releasing the resistance makes it easier to release the underlying feeling. So what have you learned from this?

The most important thing I’ve discovered is that I no longer have to be afraid of experiencing my thoughts and feelings, for they are only that—thoughts and feelings. My old, emotion-laden beliefs certainly have not disappeared forever. But they no longer own me; I own them. When I consciously get out of my head and just feel my experience, and when I accept whatever that experience is, I easily and instantaneously get to a point at which these feelings and thoughts stop affecting me. I can let myself feel them in my body without identifying with them in my mind. Doing this completely changes my interaction with the world.

Franz Kafka wrote, “You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world. That is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature. But perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided.” I actually got this quotation from watching The Wire on HBO, not from reading Kafka. But to me it rings true, especially now.

I believe a core principle is that you are not your thoughts and feelings, so they are not “your” thoughts and feelings. Right now you just think they are and so you identify with them. You are simply the awareness of them. Suffering comes from identifying with them and thinking they are you and yours.

This is exactly what I’ve come to understand through all of the work I’ve done.

Let’s turn to the various perspectives on self-sabotage. In Volume 4 of the Peak Performance Course I present four models of self-sabotage. Which of the models do you relate to most?

When I read this chapter, I was struck less by the differences between the various models than by their commonalities—particularly the Unwilling to Experience Feelings model (hereafter referred to as UEF), the Unwilling to Experience our Creations model (UEC), and the Oneness model. I’ll give my own interpretation of these models for the readers.

The UEF model views self-sabotage as a product of our efforts to avoid experiencing our beliefs and feelings. The remedy for self-sabotage, according to the UEF model, is to do the opposite of resisting—that is, to fully experience your beliefs and their associated feelings. Once you do this, they tend to dissolve.

In my case, I have always felt inadequate. But whenever the feeling would arise I’d ignore it or try to push it away. By doing that, I was preventing myself from really examining this belief for what it is. As a result, it stayed with me. Once I started allowing myself to truly feel it, I came to realize, not just intellectually but on a deep, emotional level, that it is entirely false.

The UEC model regards self-sabotage as the result of our unwillingness to experience not just our beliefs and feelings but all of our creations. However, while reading this section, it seemed to me that many of the types of creations that are discussed really amount to particular kinds of beliefs and/or feelings. That said, I found it useful insofar as it specified the various and important manifestations our beliefs and feelings can take (games, identities, etc.). The solution to self-sabotage in the UEC model, similarly to the UEF model, is to accept and fully experience your creations.

The UEF model is really a subset of the UEC model. Creations would include a part of you that you create and then tend to disown as well as disowned feelings and beliefs. What about the Oneness Model?

The Oneness model presumes that any thought, feeling, or action that brings about a sense of separation or takes one out of a state of peace, joy, and bliss is self-sabotage. The solution to self-sabotage in this model is to return to an awareness of Oneness and do whatever makes you feel Oneness, peace, joy, and bliss. Upon my first reading the Oneness model seemed quite different from the UEF and UEC models. But then I remembered that the best—indeed, the only—way I know of to attain the state of Oneness is to open up to your experience and feel it fully, with acceptance (that is, to do exactly what is prescribed in the UEF and UEC models). It is only then that any “false” perceptions, perceptions that comprise your awareness of a distinct “self” that is separate from everything else, dissolve, thereby bringing you into the state of Oneness.

I think there is a lot more to Oneness than that, but I’ll save my comments.

What else have you learned during this process?

During the past few months I’ve discovered three successive stages of consciousness. The first is resistance: you resist whatever parts of your experience you dislike. But by resisting it, of course, you cause it to persist. The second stage, acceptance, comes when you stop resisting, truly and fully. In the third stage you transcend your experience. But you can transcend it only once you have accepted it. The UEF and UEC models you present in Volume 4 of the Peak Performance Home Study Course seem to help with the second stage, acceptance. It is at the third level of consciousness, transcendence, that I believe the vision outlined in the Oneness model can finally manifest itself.

A core principle of Oneness is that there is no thinker, only thinking, because you are not your thoughts and feelings. They are just there and you are simply the awareness of them. But you routinely identify yourself with your beliefs and think they define you.

That is one of the most important things I have learned.

You’ve been talking a lot about the need to accept your feelings instead of resisting them. How has this shown up for you in your own work?

Up until these past few weeks, while doing my core work, I spent a lot of effort resisting any negative emotions whenever they would appear, particularly around my sense of inadequacy. I resisted these feelings because I was attached to being in a state of clarity and oneness. Whenever feelings of inadequacy would pop up and “ruin my clarity party,” I would judge and resist them. This only caused them to persist, which in turn prevented me from being in the very state of clarity I was “aiming” for.

As you would say, Van, this was all a big game I was playing that I was only half-aware of. But in the last month I think I’ve made a major shift in this regard. During my meditations and throughout my day I’ve been much more accepting of any and all emotions that arise. The reason, I think, is that I’ve shifted my goal away from attaining clarity to simply experiencing my emotions fully.

I now realize that the main purpose of all my meditation work is not to “reach clarity,” although that is often a pleasant byproduct. The purpose, rather, is to be able to feel my emotions without letting them affect me. Of course, since I’ve shifted my outlook in this regard I’ve spent considerably more time in that elusive state of clarity than I had at any time in the previous couple of months.

Perhaps you are now focused on simply being aware of your beliefs and feelings and understanding that they are not you.

Yes, I think that is true. While I still feel them, I have stopped identifying with them. That marks a major shift for me.

About the Author: Trading coach, and author, Dr. Van K. Tharp is widely recognized for his best-selling books and his outstanding Peak Performance Home Study program—a highly regarded classic that is suitable for all levels of traders and investors.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Van Tharp at the Van Tharp Institute of Trading Mastery

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yen Down Big On Japan Intervention

Dollar Yen Paper Currency
Dollar Rockets Higher Versus Yen As Japan Intervenes

By InstaForex

The dollar rallied versus the yen Wednesday morning as Japanese officials intervened in the currency market, snapping up greenbacks to halt the dramatic ascent of their currency.

A stronger yen hurts the export-driven Japanese economy by making goods more expensive to consumers abroad.

After officials failed to talk down the yen in recent weeks, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda confirmed today's intervention at a news conference in Tokyo.

Noda declined to provide details on the size of the intervention.

"We conducted intervention to contain excessive movements in the currency market. We will continue to watch developments in the market carefully and we will take bold actions including further intervention if necessary," Noda told.

The buck jumped to Y84.50 after hitting a fresh 15-year low of Y82.86 late last night.

At 7:30 am ET, the buck was quoted at $1.2980 versus the euro, an improvement from yesterday's monthly low of $1.3030.

Eurozone annual inflation slowed from a 20-month high in August, official figures showed on Wednesday.

Consumer prices in the 16 Eurozone countries were up 1.6%, Eurostat said, matching the preliminary estimate and in line with expectations.

The dollar was stuck in neutral versus the sterling, unable to pare much of yesterday's losses. The buck held near 1.5525 in choppy trading.

Inflation in the U.K. is running much too high for comfort and there was a great deal of uncertainty over the outlook for prices, a senior Bank of England policymaker was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Looking at today's economic calendar from the US, traders are likely to focus on industrial production data, along with reports on New York state manufacturing activity and import and export prices.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trading Workshop Boot Camp Sept 17

No Pain No Gain
Click here for Dr Van Tharp Institute Trading Workshop Boot Camp September 17 - 24

Know Which Van Tharp Workshop is Right For You

People just like you call or email us daily wondering if the value and opportunity offered by our trading workshops will provide a definite positive return on their investment of dollars, time, and travel. For some the answer is a definite yes, and for others, the answer is no. We want you to feel confident in your decision to attend our workshops. Read the outline of our workshops and how they fit together that follows, so that you can make an informed decision and best choice for you.

Our workshops have an outstanding reputation both for their content and for the level of attendees. This incredibly high caliber of clientele just keep coming back. Time and time again, familiar faces return to repeat courses and attend new ones both for the educational experience and the networking opportunities. We must be doing something right!

Whether you are just starting out on the trading journey or have been a trader for many years, Van Tharp’s materials and tools are fundamental to helping you to be the best trader you can be. Our workshops are an outstanding learning format to effectively and efficiently share with you the valuable knowledge that Van Tharp has accumulated through more than two decades of research and coaching top traders in the world. In conjunction with his world class instructors, Van has put together a trading curriculum that is unrivalled in the industry.

I. Foundation Workshops

Tharp Fundamentals and the Backbone of Great Trading

Although these workshops are called Foundation Workshops, they are definitely not basic. There is certain core material that you must master to become a great trader; these workshops provide that material. Regardless of your background or trading experience, you should regard these workshops as the starting point for your trading education. What you learn in these core workshops is not dependent on the market, nor the timeframe. You will find value in these workshops whether you are a short term or long term trader.

* Blueprint for Trading Success

* Peak Performance 101

* How to Develop a Winning Trading System that Fits You

If you attend these workshops, you will master yourself, understand what you need to do for profitable trading, learn to develop a blueprint for trading/investing success, and learn how to develop systems that fit you.

II. Specific Strategies and Proven Techniques in Various Trading Styles

For these workshops we bring in long time student and master trader, Ken Long. Ken started out as a student many years ago and now is our best technical instructor. The Van Tharp Institute has made available to you three of Ken's workshops that will fit your short-term and longer term objectives as well as many markets (stock market, futures, ETFs, options).

* Systems That Outperform the Global Markets Long Term

* Mechanical Swing and Day Trading Systems for Equities and ETFs

* Discretionary Swing and Day Trading Systems

III. Advanced Workshops with Pre-requisites

* Peak Performance 202; Peak 101 is a pre-requisite.

* Peak Performance 203 (the Happiness Workshops); Peak 101 is a pre-requisite. Note, Peak 202 is not required before 203 so if desired one can take Peak 101 and then go straight into Peak 203

* The Super Trader Program. (Peak 101 and Dr. Tharp’s approval required).

* Discretionary Swing and Day Trading Systems; Mechanical Swing and Day Trading Systems for Equities and ETFs is a prerequisite.

Foundation Workshops

The Blueprint for Trading Success Workshop. Whether you are a full-time professional who wants a solid foundation or someone who would like to make a lot of money trading/investing and eventually move into trading full time for yourself, this is the ultimate course to provide you with exactly what you need to master trading success.

You will be guided step-by-step by Dr. Tharp through a series of 52 pertinent questions designed to get you thinking strategically about your trading. He will touch on all of the specific areas that you need to address, in the order that you need to address them. You will walk away from this workshop with a business plan outline and an understanding of why you want to trade, how you want to trade, the specific steps that you need to take to create a winning trading plan that works in any market condition and what type of trading systems you want to incorporate into your plan. You’ll also learn some of the key things that you need to personally master in order to be successful. You will learn how expectancy, position sizing, R-multiples, objectives, the big picture and other Tharp concepts fit together. After this workshop, you will know where you need to delve next to increase your profits and success in the markets.

Peak Performance 101. Two types of people frequent the Van Tharp Institute—those that believe that trading is purely technical and a learned skill (those people tend to head for the Systems and Strategy workshops first and eventually join us at Peak 101), and those who already know that their thoughts and beliefs play a huge role in their individual trading results. We can prove to you that trading is largely psychological. You must master yourself if you want great trading results.

Peak Performance 101 is Dr. Tharp’s core psychological workshop and his most famous course for over 15 years. If you want to know how great traders think, behave and act so you can achieve consistent and profitable results, without stress, then this workshop is for you. You will not only learn what makes a great trader great, but you will also find out what is holding you back. There are many ways you could be sabotaging your market experiences: overtrading, not pulling the trigger, over confidence or lack of confidence, or just making mistake after mistake. In this workshop, you are taught exclusively by Dr. Tharp. He designed this workshop to help you break down barriers, as well as teach you specific tasks and strategies that will improve your trading results overnight.

Developing a Winning Trading System that Fits You. Do you spend small fortunes buying other people’s trading systems, and following their recommendations and ideas, yet you still don’t win in the markets? Is it because you think that you can’t do it yourself? Or is there a holy grail that a few have mastered that they won't share with you?

Well, Jack Schwager, after writing Market Wizards and The New Market Wizards concluded that the secret was to develop and trade a system that fits you. You do exactly that in this workshop. You can create a system that fits you regardless of your technical know-how. Anyone can create a system. You just have to have the knowledge and commitment to do it. In this workshop, you will learn the key components of a trading system (there are more than most people realize), how and why they are needed, and how to use position sizing to help you fulfill your trading objectives.

Strategy and Systems Workshops

Our strategy workshops help you to either master the time frame that you have chosen, or give you the tools to decide what type of trading you are really interested in. These workshops are packed with great systems that really work well. These workshops also go in depth in their specific trading area, while you simultaneously learn how to incorporate the key Van Tharp principles and rules into the trading technique.

Systems That Outperform the Global Markets Long Term

You will be given a series of intermediate and long term systems in Ken’s re-engineered ETF 101 workshop. Ken has structured this course so you can adopt systems of various time horizons from several days to one year. In addition to his long performing and well-developed systems, you can learn a brand new strategy that Ken started developing just this summer. It requires only monthly position adjustments for a “hands-free” approach for part of your equity, yet has consistently bested the market averages. Ken’s other intermediate and longer term systems have a variety of logical foundations and some traders have adapted them successfully for other instruments like futures and options. Not to worry though, with Ken’s approach, there’s always some market performing well somewhere and his systems tell you how to find them and profit from them.

Mechanical Swing and Day Trading Systems for Equities and ETFs

You will learn Ken’s best shorter-term systems in the re-engineered ETF 202 workshop. Ken starts you off at a very high level of thinking about and looking at current market conditions. He will then take you down a level to focus in on which strategies you would most likely benefit from. Finally, he gets you to ground level with a strong daily trading plan that defines your entry points, position sizing strategies, and exits. You can operate many of these systems with automated orders so that you don’t have to be monitoring prices during the open market hours when most people are working. If you can watch prices, however, you can execute these systems with live trades for even better results.

NEW Discretionary Swing and Day Trading Systems

You will understand how to apply Ken’s mechanical systems’ setup and entry signals discretionarily—beyond the strict rules—in this brand new workshop. Ken is the archetype of a rule-based discretionary trader—the kind I have found to generate the highest returns. His mechanical system setups will guide you to prime opportunities and then you can see how to exploit intraday price movements at very low-risk levels. In this workshop, you will prep for the trading day, make trades, and perform your daily debrief alongside Ken and the other traders in the room.

Because Ken bases his intraday discretionary trading on his mechanical swing and day systems, the Mechanical Swing and Day workshop is a prerequisite. (Attendees of the previous Mechanical workshops and former ETF 202 students are also eligible. If you have any questions regarding this requirement, please call or email us directly.)

Advanced Workshops

Advanced Peak Performance 202

In this advanced workshop you will experience a dramatic personal reinvention. You’ll learn how to make a declaration for a trading vision that might seem impossible now, uncover the beliefs that shape your success, and find out what you can really accomplish. Moreover, you’ll learn about the games we play—the most important psychological breakthrough of the new millennium.

Peak Performance 203

In Peak Performance 203 you will in touch with your higher guidance. In your natural state, you have the ability to see the market just as it is. You have no thoughts come up to remind you of the past or attempt to predict the future. Instead, you see exactly what’s happening in the market. And from that flow state an amazing level of trading is possible.

When you really understand that you are not your beliefs about the market, but the awareness of those beliefs, then you can really know what the market is doing. It gives you a tremendous edge. That type of trading is possible for everyone.


Once you know how you think and why, uncover what you really want to achieve with your trading and then develop a specific plan to make it happen. You can fit workable trading systems into that plan, and you’ll be well on your way to success as a trader.

However, trading is trading, and the markets can be brutal sometimes. So whether you are a short term or a long term trader or something in between, it is essential that you learn how to integrate the foundation of great trading into the specific trading style that is right for you. From there, you can look at specific trading strategies that might fit with who you are and add them to your arsenal.

Click here to review the most up-to-date workshop info with links to all workshop descriptions.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stock Mania Mascot Names

New York Stock Exchange Blurr
Drum Roll, Please: And the Stock Mania Mascot Is

Eliott Wave International asked readers who should be the mascot to represent the Stock Mania of 2002-07, and you replied with several excellent suggestions. Two of our EWI staff members had a big hand in choosing the winners: Pete Kendall, the co-author of The Mania Chronicles, and Nico Isaac, our writer who originally suggested day traders as the mascot. She wrote about a particular young day trader whom the IRS is after for not reporting his profits and losses from 2006-7.

The entries were divided fairly evenly between real people and real and fake animals as mascots. We decided to stick with animals or general ideas, which left out some excellent suggestions for real people, such as Alan Greenspan, Jim Cramer, Bernie Madoff and a few other more obscure names.

The three winners will receive a signed copy of Pete's book, The Mania Chronicles: A Real-Time Account of the Great Financial Bubble. You can get your own copy, too, at a special discount for The Mania Chronicles (for a limited time), a timeless book that will remind you of what it was like to live through a stock mania.


Blue-Footed Booby - David P Frasz

I suggest the Blue-Footed Booby. It is a real bird and that's its real name. Google it. It's a serious but ridiculous-looking bird who reminds me of all the economists and their wrong predictions, all the over-confident bankers and brokers, all the wishful-thinking in real estate, and all the ineffectiveness of the Fed.

Editor's note -- We did google it and learned this from the National Geographic web site: "Blue-footed boobies are aptly named, and males take great pride in their fabulous feet. During mating rituals, male birds show off their feet to prospective mates with a high-stepping strut. The bluer the feet, the more attractive the mate … These boobies live off the western coasts of Central and South America. Like other boobies, blue-foots nest on land at night. When day breaks, they take to the air in search of seafood, sometimes fishing in cooperative groups … All half-dozen or so booby species are thought to take their name from the Spanish word 'bobo.' The term means 'stupid,' which is how early European colonists may have characterized these clumsy and unwary birds when they saw them on land—their least graceful environment."
Don't Worry, Be Happy song

Bobby McFerrin is the perfect mascot for the stock mania. He wrote and performed the 1988 hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy" which seemed to be the exact attitude of not only stock investors, but quants, hedge funds and talking heads on CNBC during the mania of the 2000s. Credit over-extension? Don't worry, be happy! Liar loans? Don't worry, be happy! Record high debt/GDP ratio? Don't worry, be happy! Looming "Black Swan" event? Don't worry, be happy! I could go on and on...

Dodo bird - Kanishk Singh

In my opinion, the most appropriate mascot for the 2002-07 stock mania, in hindsight, is the long-extinct Dodo bird. What seemed to be never-ending optimism during the stock bull run now seems truly extinct, just like the dodo is.

The dodo was considered an easy prey, which is exactly what I feel of all those people who entered the markets lured by talks of Dow 100,000, or making a quick buck on the great housing bonanza.... They share something common with the dodo -- easy prey.

Another critical reason would be that the dodo was supposed to possess a 'greedy appetite' and when in captivity 'overfed easily' which pretty much sums up the mindset and thought-process of people who entered the markets in those 5 years, expecting it to go on forever ... until of course we all know what happened!


"The crooked man" as in There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile, He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse. And they all lived together in a little crooked house. - Mark Neff

I think it has to be the average Joe who quit their former jobs to become a Realtor, real estate "investor," or mortgage broker. I know several people who did just that, despite knowing little to nothing about the business. To me, captures the feeling of those years more than anything else, much as the day trader signified the tech boom days. - Justin Brill

And more mascot suggestions from our readers

White Elephant -Laurie Burridge

I nominate the Pig. Bulls make money, bears make money but pigs get slaughtered. -Monty Langenhoff

Daffy Duck - Jim Myers

One single tulip, broken in the stem -Leo Stedehouder

The Ostrich of course. It ran strongly and occasionally showed its true nature by putting its head in the ground but eventually, it's time for the slaughter house. - Damien Lim

Kitty the Cat, can climb a tree but needs help to get back down. -Boris Dzula

The Trojans - They thought the battle was won and allowed the Greeks to breach their walls by bringing in the Trojan horse only to see the walls of Troy fail. This was not the type victory trophy they expected. Reminds me of Wall St. -Jason White

My Stock Pick This Week

Is a short sell on Host Hotels & Resorts real estate investment trust.

Sell Short Host Hotels & Resorts / Ticker HST

Sell Entry: 14.44 to 13.99

Stop-Loss: 15.00

Take Profit Areas: 12.82 to 12.63, 12.11 to 11.92, 10.60 to 10.43

Host Hotels & Resorts Company Profile

Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. is a publicly owned real estate investment trust (REIT). The firm primarily engages in the ownership and operation of hotel properties. It invests in the real estate markets of United States. It also invests in Canada, Mexico, Chile, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and Poland. The firm primarily invests in luxury and upper upscale hotels. It was formerly known as Host Marriott Corporation. Host Hotels & Resorts was founded in 1927 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

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