Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Path to Profitable Trading

I believe that every person produces the results he or she gets in life. This is especially evident in trading: the results you get in the market are the direct and precise consequences of your choices and actions. Most traders battle the market for many years before realizing this. Conservative investors seldom get to this point—they just have too few results to ever reach this conclusion.

I know you want to produce profitable results in the markets, and I want to help make that possible for you. That's why I created my Peak Performance Home Study Course, which teaches traders how to make money in the markets as easily and painlessly as possible by developing a sound game plan and the discipline to carry it out.

I developed the Peak Performance Home Study Course Course after conducting extensive interviews with the world's best traders and most seasoned investors. During these interviews, I learned that successful traders possess certain qualities and thought processes that enable them to produce outstanding results. By applying what you learn in this home study course, you can duplicate the thinking of veteran traders and get closer to the level of success they experience.

The Path to Profitable Trading

My students tell me over and over what a bargain the course is when compared to the many thousands of dollars it saved them in trading mistakes.

Many traders lack an understanding of exactly what the Peak Performance Home Study Course is about, so today I want to share some insights with you about the course and how you can benefit from it.

In a sense, you can compare this course to physical exercise. If you exercise, you have more energy. You feel better, and you perform better. You can probably get along without exercise, but not without a significant sacrifice in the quality of your life. Exercise is physical conditioning; peak performance is mental conditioning. You can make money without it, but doing so will require more effort, and you will probably sacrifice much of your personal life.

Is the Course Material Right for You?

Van Presents Regardless of whether you see yourself as a trader or investor, this course will help your performance in the markets. Every important aspect of this course—stress management, internal conflict mastery, developing useful beliefs, goal setting, decision-making processes, psychological biases, etc.—is equally applicable to Forex day traders, conservative long-term mutual fund investors and everyone in between.

Understanding and applying these concepts will help you make a lot of money consistently. If you neglect these areas, you will probably join the crowd and lose money occasionally or regularly.

What is the Format?

The Peak Performance Home Study Course consists of five books and four audio CDs. In addition, you may purchase the Investment Psychology Inventory Profile at a special price, which will provide you a baseline profile of your psychological skills and challenges as an investor/trader. Having this report prior to starting the course will provide you with some initial insights about yourself.

The Five Books

Book 1 provides you with a basic understanding of the course content and how to use the course. The focus for Book 1 is risk and its proper role in trading. You will also explore the concepts of position sizing™ strategies and risk control and how lacking an understanding of these two areas is the downfall of so many traders. Once you understand them, you can survive the learning curve for trading and use them to prosper.

Book 2 focuses on managing your stress. Most people worry about stress because of its potential threat to their health, but you will learn that stress also has an immense effect on human performance, especially trading performance. You'll be able to evaluate the specific areas where your stress level is high, and you'll learn how to manage that stress. Stress management is important for successful trading. In most cases, stress results from internal conflict. You will learn specific techniques for resolving internal conflict in Book 3.

Book 3 deals primarily with the beliefs and attitudes necessary for successful trading. You will also learn about the unconscious internal parts or personalities that you may have. Have your thoughts ever been in conflict about a particular topic or choice? There were likely two or more parts inside of you that wanted different outcomes. Book 3 includes several methods for bringing those parts together and eliminating your internal conflicts. Having all of your parts working together is important to successful trading.

Book 4 covers ways to develop discipline. You'll learn a little-understood aspect of self-control: a technique for developing the right state of mind for the task at hand. In addition, I provide specific suggestions for dealing with compulsiveness—the deadliest problem for traders. Book 4 will help you evaluate whether compulsiveness is a challenge for you, and, if it is, what to do about it.

Book 5 details the mental strategies and decision processes for optimal trading. Making effective decisions is one key way that top traders excel. This book provides specific methods for evaluating how you make decisions and how you can improve that process. It also presents the guidelines for developing a complete game plan for trading using all of the principles you learned in the course.


Four audio CDs supplement the material in the books. Each CD has a specific purpose.

CD 1 teaches you how you think and gives you the opportunity to evaluate your capabilities in each type of thinking. It also provides an introduction to the concept of internal parts or personalities. If you listen to CD 1 regularly and follow the suggestions provided, you'll begin to better understand your parts and the messages they give you.

CD 2 is a relaxation CD. If stress is a problem for you, play CD 2 a few times to discover how easy becoming relaxed can be. If you listen to it every day for two weeks, you will discover that you can relax at will.

CD 3 will help you stop repeating mistakes. A mistake occurs when you do not follow your rules. It has nothing to do with making or losing money. Play CD 3 when you discover that you’ve made a mistake and want to avoid repeating it. Once you have a set of tested rules, you can use CD 3 as part of a daily debriefing.

CD 4 is designed to give you confidence. If you listen to it regularly, you will be able to access confidence whenever you need it. However, only certain traders need confidence. If you tend to be compulsive, do not listen to CD 4. In general, I recommend completing the course before listening to CD 4.

Save Yourself Thousands of Dollars

If you haven't made money consistently in the market, I recommend that you immediately suspend your market activity (or at least avoid opening new positions) until you've completed this course and developed a written game plan for your trading. If, on the other hand, you consistently make money and just plan to use the course for improvement, continue trading as you work through the course.

Advice for New Traders

If you are a novice to the markets and choose to go through the course prior to trading, you are truly exceptional and will probably do very well in the trading business. The vast majority of traders make mistakes and lose money first before they realize that they are the cause of those mistakes, and that they can help themselves to stop making mistakes.

Some exercises, such as the compulsive trader exercises, will not apply to you at first. Feel free to skip those and just concentrate on uncovering as many insights about yourself as you can so that you can develop an effective game plan. That game plan will help you shortcut past many mistakes, minimize losses and earn consistent profits.

I recommend that you trade only after you go through the course step-by-step and develop a complete game plan. DO NOT ENTER THE MARKET UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE SO.

How to Use the Course

Commit to working on the course for one to two hours every day. Even with this kind of commitment, it could take several months to complete. Let’s go back to the analogy of physical exercise. How long would it take you to get in shape? If you are a bit out of shape, it can take several months to get fit through a daily conditioning program of diet and exercise. Think of this course as a daily conditioning program for your mind.

Once you've completed the course for the first time, go back to it yearly as a review. You can probably make a dramatic improvement in your trading in a few months of work, but you must continue to apply the principles. Would you expect your body to stay in shape if you stopped exercising? No. Similarly, you cannot expect your mind to perform well in trading if you stop the regular program we recommend in the course.

We also recommend that you complete the Investment Psychology Inventory Profile mentioned previously. The scores from the analysis, in combination with the first chapter of Book 1, will help guide you to the most essential elements of this course for you. Purchased separately, the Psychology Inventory costs $100.00, but if you purchase it with the home study course, you'll pay only $75.00.

I suggest that you begin the course by concentrating on the weak areas revealed by your profile results. Complete all of the exercises in those areas, then work through the remainder of the course. Once you finish the reading and exercises and develop your complete game plan, you can resume trading if you had stopped.

Keep in mind, however, that you have not completed the course once you complete your game plan. In fact, the course will have the most value for you once your game plan is in place. This is the stage at which you can apply the principles in the course most effectively. As you trade, you will discover new insights about yourself. You can use the course material to avoid repeating mistakes and increase your self-control. Traders get the most out of the course by reviewing the books regularly over time.

This course will start you on a journey of self-evaluation and self-discovery. Your objectives going through the course are to develop insight about how you produce your trading results, devise a complete game plan for making money, and continue to use the course and your game plan to improve. Although you may find some initial surprises about your current situation, if you proceed with enthusiasm and commitment to trading successfully, you will find the journey very rewarding.

Developing the necessary self-understanding and self-control for market success will also probably lead to a happier and more successful life. I base this statement on the many letters I receive from students of the course who report how much better their trading and their life overall are as a result of the coursework. That’s a wonderful by-product of this material.

We Love Our Customers

Our mission at the Van Tharp Institute is to help you transform into the kind of trader you want to be. We are proud of the customer support we provide and of our commitment to customer satisfaction; therefore, we offer you guarantees on your purchases. With the Peak Performance Home Study course, we have two levels of guarantees. You can learn more about the one-year guarantee here, but in short, you have 30 days to review the home study. If you don't feel the course is right for you, return it and we'll gladly refund your purchase amount.

We are often asked if the Peak Performance 101 workshop is the same as the home study course. The answer is no—one does not substitute for the other. Both help you learn and apply the same concepts, but the two distinct learning formats benefit students in very different ways.

Taking the time to work through the introspective home study course exercises yields numerous significant personal insights that just aren't possible to generate any other way. When people work with a coach and partners—as you do in the live workshop—they benefit from the powerful dynamics of group interaction. You could take the workshop first if you wanted to, and students do. However, completing the home study course first and then attending the live workshop is the ideal path. Plus, when you purchase the home study course, you get a coupon for an additional $200 off the workshop.

Click here to review and purchase the Peak Performance Home Study Course.

To purchase the Investment Psychology Inventory Profile with your course, be sure to add a check mark beside it in the shopping cart when you click the link above.

Good investing and trading, Van Tharp.