Trading beyond the matrix Tharp review

February 21st, 2013

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Mostly reads like his newsletters, and Tharp claims this is his favorite book, yet he really didn’t write it or write anything new at least, it’s mostly commentary/essays from his students about how they went through a process towards improvement. As Ed Seykota, one of the market wizards, said to Tharp in 2006 when Tharpy was looking for ‘interview’ material to create a new book, “You might also consider adding a chapter to your book about your own personal experience, Writing Your Way to Freedom.”

Clearly, Tharp is just a guy who tells people how easy it is to profit in the financial markets once they overcome their psychological barriers, and he claims he will show them ‘techniques’ on how to do it (for example, Parts Party), yet Tharp has not overcome his own psychological barriers to trading success and has no trading success.

In the Preface of ‘Trading beyond the matrix’ this issue arises…

“If Van Tharp knows so much about trading, then why doesn’t he just trade?”   Well, the assumption behind that statement is that the “be all and end all” of life is the money you get from trading.  That is not the case for me.  [My commentary: no of course not, your mission is to sell overpriced seminars about how to become a great trader – something you have not achieved. If one can’t make money in the financial markets at least talk about it and get paid for it.]

  • The Preface; Tharp outlines three levels of trader transformation,

  • The Introduction; Transformation of the Trading Game: Understanding the Basics,

  • Chapter One; the first in a series of real traders’ successful journeys to trading mastery,

  • A brief summation of each chapter of book, the table of contents, and free bonus offers.

A few students who improved their trading abilities for one or two seasons is not mastery. I like the idea of transformation, not the crappy ‘Matrix’ theme though, but it is a good reminder about ‘programming’ and how that becomes our ‘reality.’ The reality is that it is easy to place a trade but difficult to compete with people and institutions who have access to multi-million dollar trading systems and a team of research staff. Perhaps the idea of attempting to constantly fish in the financial markets to feed yourself is silly and foolish, the ultimate goal being not to have to continually fish and be at risk but to benefit from a very short period of luck, or timing in investment choice. If people are programmed to fail in the markets, why paddle upstream to battle such currents with force? Power is the ability to receive a benefit, to accrue cash flow from wherever it flows.

Tharpy only recently came to the conclusion that there are three positions of transformation:

transformation of the trading game

psychological transformation around beliefs, stuck feelings and conflicting parts

change in your consciousness

Well, let me take a moment to throw in the ‘War Games’ film theme instead of ‘the matrix’ theme as Tharp likes to use for the purpose of shoveling his new book out into the marketplace with affiliate offers. In the film War Games, the computer ‘realizes’ that it is best not to play a game which cannot be won. I’ve listened to some of the Tharp audio from seminars on trading and psychology and nothing significant was mentioned that would help myself or the attendees perhaps. One interesting attendee from outside the States mentioned his urge to buy 25,000 shares of an equity was stifled, only to watch that stock rise in value and not participate. Our inherent programming is not conducive to participating profitably in the financial markets for any length of time – I disagree with Tharp as he seems to purport that once you address your barriers and make a business plan for trading you are on your way to making a living in the markets, but these barriers never seem to permanently disappear, one will probably at best temporarily overcome one’s own negative influence. Tharp’s own experience of being around the markets for twenty years or more and not making a fortune ought to speak for itself. During the dot com boom times the financial press covered accounts of regular people, whom were not associated with Tharp in any way, and these individuals made, at times, hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit during the late 90s. They took risks beyond what Tharp would say is ‘safe’ and they bet on fast moving equities that moved higher and eventually exited their positions favorably. Their goal was not to do this each day or for the rest of their life… simply to benefit from the goings-on in the marketplace around them. Those stories are interesting to some degree because they do not deal with the psychological aspects that Tharpy claims are so important in trading.

Tharp does say something about his belief, which is nice:

I believe the financial markets are part of a huge game, and
at the top level—where the rules get set, made and changed—
there is Big Money. Big Money makes its own rules and profits no

matter what you or any individual trader does; they are much bigger than that.

Big Money controls the U.S. government. You might
have noticed, for example, where U.S. Treasury leaders so often
come from and where they go afterwards. The last six secretaries of
the treasury have included two people with strong ties to Goldman
Sachs, a former president of the New York Federal Reserve, and a
chief economist at the World Bank. The other two were both former
company CEOs. Much controversy has been associated with
these men, but it is generally ignored by the public.
In addition, the Federal Reserve, which prints dollars, is not
government owned or controlled. Instead, it is privately owned by
some of the richest people in the world.

Here’s the thing though, it shows he got educated along the way, and fairly recently. His other books did not mention this, and neither did his monthly newsletter until the last two years or so… (not sure if this belief was mentioned in the ‘Super Trader’ book) This line of thinking, or belief, that Tharp espouses has already been expressed in numerous blogs.

Thus, one of your jobs as a potential Super Trader is to clear out the crowd and
bring your mind toward oneness and serenity.

Much of our education for traders involves this sort of work.
Imagine looking at all of your trading beliefs and eliminating those
that don ’t help you win. On top of that, imagine eliminating all the
beliefs that limit you. Now imagine eliminating all the beliefs about
the universe that seem to indicate that you can’t win because the
universe (or God) is against you. Lastly, imagine getting all of your
parts unified so there is no conflict inside. This is how powerful
personal transformation can be.

[my commentary: So Tharpy is going to show me in his book how to eliminate all the beliefs that limit me, yet I don’t imagine the guy has done any such thing for himself. Certainly not imagining Tharpy having any kind of breakthrough since he doesn’t trade.]

A lot of Tharpy’s nonsense about trading is about risking 1% or less on each trade because no individual trade is important… instead of finding a meaningful edge and placing one large bet where it matters most. I like having a ‘why’ – some reason about potential earnings changes that has the capacity to drive the share price.

In the Preface the work of Dr. Hawkins is mentioned, and I must admit, Power vs. Force is a much better work than any of Van’s books or materials… The idea that you could raise your consciousness to make better decisions – or rather, that you could use your body as a mechanism to inform you of true/false so you can ask questions to make decisions is quite tempting. But Hawkins in that particular work does not have data on making financial decisions. I don’t think the Van Tharp Institute is going to help me get rid of 1,500 to 5,000 nonuseful beliefs in a year. RJ, at the institute, has been there for a few years and has not traded his way to financial freedom. RJ, to me, represents the dream of striving of toward an idealized blissful profitable trading life, yet he’s trapped in the lure of the financial markets. If the goal is provide for yourself and your family with abundant cash flow, what does it matter where the cash flow arises from? Why does it need to be from trading in the financial markets? Seems shortsighted at best… to have access to capital but no imagination other than participating in the financial markets.

Here’s the best part of the Matrix book or best part of the Preface at least:

Consequently, there is nothing we do, at least in the Super Trader
program, that you couldn’t do on your own.

[my commentary: Yep,  there is nothing Tharpy does or offers that you couldn’t do on your own. Since he has no substantial trading profits I don’t even imagine he’s had any significant personal transformation with regard to investing in the financial markets. If you take a look at his original Peak Performance home-study workshop material it is poorly written, as it does not show an understanding of the dynamics of the money system, Federal Reserve, pass-through inflation, or how institutional traders interact in the marketplace, nor does it contain actual financial market success examples or useful insights. Train your mind, deal with your emotions, etc. but realistically what does it matter how you ‘feel’? – all profit is determined by your exit. If you could safely buy 10,000, or 50,000 shares at a time and that particular equity position does not move against you significantly or for very long before moving in your favor and allowing a favorable exit point five or more points beyond your entry point you seem to be more productive than fussing with constant low-dollar value transactions.]

Just to give you a sense of what Van has the Super Traders do so you might see what he believes is the proper order for trading preparation:

1. Complete the Peak Performance home study course,
2. Write a lengthy (>100 pages) business plan
3. Develop three non-correlated trading systems
4. Trade those three systems at a 95%+ efficiency level for >100 trades

Doesn’t sound like winning to me… and Tharpy has done all this himself and still can’t trade his way into a fortune but he’s going to teach others? Laughable.

Tharp believes unless a trader understands his psychology at a deep level, then trading may turn out to be an experience of self-sabotage and frustration.  Van actually has most of the Super Trader candidates stop trading for the first three stages of the program so they can focus on their personal and business development.

And yet Tharpy can’t trade for a living? Silly. But, oh sure, he’s going to teach you to remove your barriers and trade your way into a fortune. Oh sure… junk seminars.

Tharp does not try to sell you on a trading system, but rather a way of thinking about markets.  This can be summarized by:

  • Be long when the markets are going up.
  • Be short when the markets are going down.
  • If you are not sure then stand aside.

And some people think they need a bunch of seminars for this?

Come to my seminar!


What do you say?


C o m m e n t s @ s t o c k t r a d e r d u d e . c o m




@ s t o c k t r a d e r d u d e


Transformation of the Trading Game

February 20th, 2013

More junk from Tharp’s Trading beyond the Matrix begins as follows – with new rules, that are really just restatements of stuff Tharpy has said before… only now it’s called transformation of the trading game.

1)  trading is as much a profession as any other.

2)  trading reflects human performance just
as much as any top athletic endeavor. You are responsible for the results you get.

3)  objectives are important. Achieve your objectives through how much to bet strategies.

4)  trading/investing is all about probability
and reward-to-risk ratios under specific market conditions. Use statistics
to predict what your performance will be under similar market conditions.

So call it Tharp Think or Tharp Junk, but another book is here…

Although it feels like we’ve covered this ground before… (taking a point on #2)

Certain accomplishments are inherently beyond our abilities. Average Joe can’t be a professional sports star just because he wants to and puts in the effort. Anybody can place a trade, but not everyone can make their living from it. In trading, emotions, instincts and conditioned behavior act against the best financial interest of the trader.

One could argue that financial market profitability is not about transforming into a better trader, but a better listener…

Successful trading, at times, can be summed up by the result of you following the market’s orders.

Inflation hedge & protecting purchasing power

November 8th, 2012

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Investors may be able to offset potential erosion of purchasing power through exposure to asset classes that offer ownership of real assets or claims on real earnings, hedging dollar weakness and import price inflation, and income growth enterprises.

What about TIPS?

For ten to fifteen years some proponents in the financial media have suggested TIPS but Treasury Inflation Protected Securities have not fared well as a form of inflation protection…

As of 9/30/12 for example, 5-year TIPS yields were negative (source: Bloomberg data)

What has fared well you may ask?



Real estate

What else has potential?

Global equities with dividend growth

Senior floating rate loans

Ideas as reference point: (indices are not managed and cannot be purchased by investors)

S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity index

NCREIF Property index


What do you say? What’s on your list?


C o m m e n t s @ s t o c k t r a d e r d u d e . c o m




@ s t o c k t r a d e r d u d e



Strong Bear Volatile: Analysis of an analysis

October 6th, 2011

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Part I: Commentary—The Big Picture

…Funds are selling everything that is liquid, so gold and gold stocks are going down. However, I don’t expect gold to go down any further.

[I haven’t seen an update that says Van K Tharp bought gold futures or gold ETF – this guy enjoys talking about how you can make money trading in any market conditions, yet, he hasn’t made any significant money from trading. But he likes to sell books and courses about how easily you can do it.]


[Update: (March 2012) This would have been an interesting group of trades since gold has traded up to around 1,800, then down below 1,600 where it was in October when Tharpy made his newsletter commentary, back up to around 1,800, and now roughly where it was in October.]



QEII has ended and right now there is nothing but low interest rates to support the economy. Banks are not lending and part of that is people who have money are paying off debt rather than borrowing. And right now it looks like we could be in for another round of deflation.


[What is this guy talking about – another round of deflation? When was the last round of significant deflation? Later in his commentary he talks about inflation reported at 4%, but unofficially, according to shadowstats reporting inflation under the original methodology, inflation is 7%.]


Market volatility illustration over the last year.


Tharpy was worried because, as he phrased it, “For the DOW and S&P 500, every week last month was down.  The NASDAQ 100 managed two up weeks and closed up slightly over the 2010 close.  But the S&P 500, which is probably the best overall measure of the US stock market, closed last month down 8.47% on the year.”



[Bear in mind he’s been screaming in his newsletters about a secular bear market since 2004, yet there’s no evidence he ever traded his market belief profitably – but buy his book so he can encourage you to trade.]


Part III: Our Four Star Inflation-Deflation Model

Here is the data from our four star inflation-deflation model.

I’ll spare you the data table, but he sums up as follows, “We were in a strong inflationary period until QEII ended, but now we are starting to move into a deflationary environment according to the model. I’ve added a column on the right to help you see the total score for the month.

Speaking of bank lending, the money multiplier situation had a nice upward trend until it got to about 0.8 and then it started down again. However, anything under 1.0 is terrible for the economy. Right now, this means that banks are lending about $78 for every $100 they have. Since the historical norm is about $300 loaned out per $100 of bank capital, you can see that this lending situation remains a serious hindrance on growth.”


[I’ll say something positive here, Tharpy has at times seemed that he has become better educated about the nature of the Federal reserve and money creation – but say for fifteen years prior he’s been in the dark about how the money system works as it is not even covered in any of his old newsletters or books.]


[I’m not going to comment on his bank lending assessment – the focus here is to point out his comment about being in a strong inflationary environment and his claim that we are starting to move into a deflationary environment according to his model. I don’t have any faith in his models – and I’m guessing neither does he since he isn’t able to use them to make any significant trades. As you can tell from his money management approach, which he terms position-sizing, he takes such small positions of less than one percent of equity. In his little computer game he’ll show you that this approach makes you a fortune – in real life, well, not for him.]

[What should I say, sure I’m tired of all this inflation… let’s have some potent deflation and have our dollars worth more, like what they were worth in the early 80s or 50s.]

The government reports unemployment at between 9% (U3) and 12% (U6), while Shadowstats’ version has it about 22%.

The government reports inflation to be about 4%, while Shadowstats reports it at above 7%. Shadowstats uses the original CPI calculation method the government used to report the inflation rate.

The government reports the GDP growth at about 2% and heading down now, but this is still positive so we are not in a recession. While the government uses their current inflation methodology to adjust its GDP rate, Shadowstats uses the real inflation rate to adjust its GDP calculation. Shadowstats shows GDP at -3% growth right now. Furthermore, it shows that the US has been in a recession since 2000 with the exception of the 4th quarter of 2003.

[That’s the most powerful comment: the US has been in a recession since 2000]


Part IV: Tracking the Dollar

…Second, we are beginning a credit crisis similar to late 2007 to early 2009.

[Tharpy, do you think you are going to make money off this opinion? Actually trade on your market belief?]


General Comments

Warren Buffet is again making it sound like the economy is golden and this represents a time of real opportunity to buy bargains. He’s investing in the financial industry and buying back his own stock. To his credit, when you have billions and a very long-term perspective, this might be okay. But XLF is now around $11, and I’d expect it to test its prior low of about $6. That prior low represents a further decline of about 45%. Would you want that kind of holding in your portfolio?


[Update March 2012: XLF goes up… It never even came close to testing the low as Tharpy indicated.]


Tharp wrong prediction XLF


Our statistics now show that we are in Strong Bear Volatile territory during a secular bear market. These are the worst market conditions for long-term investors. Are you ignoring what we’ve been saying for the last few months and still long in the equity markets?

Look at the monthly candlestick graph of the S&P 500. Do you want to be long in the US stock market right now?




[He shows a chart – but then guess what, the S&P goes much higher, as of March 2012]

I personally believe that the secular bear market has at least 5-10 more years to go. Shadowstats (with accurate statistics) shows only one quarter in which the US hasn’t been in a recession since 2000 (4th quarter of 2003).

[Tharpy, but you’ve never made money with your secular bear market belief. You’ve been screaming about that in your newsletter since 2004… and then the S&P 500 went up much higher.]

[And Tharpy in his books, at least prior to 2005 never discussed government statistics intelligently the way Shadowstats does… only over the last few years or so has he began to wise up and mention this in his newsletters. ]

You should use the information in these monthly updates to determine which trading systems will work best rather than try to forecast the market. Which of your trading systems fit the current market type? The question implies that you have multiple trading systems and that you know how they perform under various market conditions. If you haven’t heard this before or the other ideas mentioned above, read my [junk] book Super Trader, which covers these areas and more so you can make money in any kind of market conditions.


[The Super Trader book wasn’t a good read, not as crappy as your other books, but it showed that you are not a Super Trader… Tharpy never achieved Super Trader status in terms of actually making any money in the market. Here’s a book that has other people talking about how they traded and made money professionally, just so Tharpy can say, ‘You see, I told you people make money from trading.’ Fine but you don’t make money trading, and of course, there are super traders who do without ever having heard of you.]


Crisis always implies opportunity. Those with good trading skills can make money in this market—a lot of money. There were lots of good opportunities in 2009. Did you make money? If not, then do you understand why not?

[Tharpy, you didn’t make a lot of money. You didn’t see the crisis coming. There was no warning in your newsletters prior to the crisis. So tell everybody they can make a lot of money when you can’t even get the job done.]

The refinement of good trading skills doesn’t just happen by opening an account and adding money. You probably spent years learning how to perform your current job at a high skill level. Do you expect to perform at the same high level in your trading without similar preparation? Financial market trading is an arena filled with world class competition. Additionally and most importantly, trading requires massive self-work to produce consistent, large profits under multiple market conditions. Prepare yourself to succeed with a deep desire, strong commitment, and the right training. Until the October update, this is Van Tharp.

[Self-work? If that’s all it takes to produce consistent, large profits under multiple market conditions then what’s holding you back? You haven’t made any trading income in any market condition, definitely nothing substantial.]

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.

[He’s recognized for selling books – and the Peak Performace Home Study course was crappy, it was boring, and there was no actual profit documentation, but don’t take my word for it, here’s a comment from a gal on a trading forum:]


And others…

What do you say?


C o m m e n t s @ s t o c k t r a d e r d u d e . c o m




@ s t o c k t r a d e r d u d e



Typhoon shuts down Hong Kong

September 29th, 2011

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Nature in Action:

Typhoon shuts down Hong Kong, and reaches China’s island of Hainan. Approximately 300,000 people were evacuated in Hainan in the face of the strongest typhoon to hit China this year as it reached Wenchang city with winds of up to 151 kilometres an hour.

HONG KONG — A powerful typhoon brought Hong Kong to a shutdown Thursday, with financial markets and businesses forced to close.  The Hong Kong Observatory hoisted a number-eight tropical cyclone warning before dawn, triggering the closure of schools and transport services. The number-eight warning was changed to number three at 4:10pm (0810 GMT).

Typhoon shuts down HK, (source: AFP)

In Vietnam, authorities said fishing boats should return to port and urged farmers to harvest crops quickly to reduce potential losses from the typhoon/tropical cyclone known as Nesat/Quiel (Nalgae) , which is expected to reach northern provinces on Friday.

Nesat made landfall in the Philippines on Tuesday, bringing heavy rains and winds that caused storm surges and massive flooding including in the capital Manila.

In the Philippines, tens of thousands of people were still engaged in neck-deep floodwaters Thursday after Nesat’s deadly path across Luzon.

Residents make their way along a street in Haikou (Source: AFP)

Residents make their way along a street in Haikou (source: AFP)

Fire still rages, Shell ready to shut Bukom

(SINGAPORE) Shell – which has already started a two-day sequenced operation to shut down its 500,000 barrels of crude oil distillation capacity – is prepared to shut down its entire Bukom manufacturing site ‘if need be.’

Germany approves a bigger European bailout fund

Nokia to eliminate 3,500 jobs by end of 2012

Nokia announced Thursday that it will cut 3,500 jobs by the end of 2012, as part of a major restructuring effort. The scheduled layoffs are in addition to an announcement in April of eliminating 4,000 jobs.

US stocks slip despite jobs boost

Although the DJIA ends Thursday at 11,153.98 +143.08 points, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that US stocks declined earlier in the day, as losses by consumer and technology companies offset lower-than-estimated claims for unemployment benefits. [editor’s note: The DJIA index ends Thursday up 1.3% — no significant trading movement]

Mortgage Rates in US Fall to Record Low


China Internet Stocks Fall in New York on US Investigation

Chinese Internet stocks tumbled in New York trading after a top US securities regulator said the Department of Justice is reviewing allegations of accounting fraud at firms operating out of the (Sept. 29, Bloomberg)

Furukawa agrees to settle US car parts action

Furukawa Electric, a Japanese car parts maker, has agreed to pay a $200m fine as part of a settlement with US antitrust authorities that marks the first US charges in a global investigation into practices in the car parts … (Financial Times)

Saudis aim to build 16 nuclear reactors to cut domestic oil use

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, holder of one-fifth of global oil reserves, aims to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030 as the nation seeks to cut the amount of crude it burns in generators to meet rising power demand, an official said.

Google plans $200 million Asian data centers

HONG KONG – Google plans to invest at least $200 million to build its first three data centers in Asia as it expands its infrastructure to keep pace with the region’s burgeoning Internet use.

China’s great leap towards superpower status with space station test launch

Tiangong 1, China’s first unmanned space module, blasts off in Jiuquan, Gansu province on Thursday.

CEO Survey Shows Less Confidence in US Hiring, Outlook

Top business executives are less confident about the US economic outlook and their ability to hire new workers than in previous quarters this year, according to a survey released Thursday by Business Roundtable. (Wall Street Jounal – blog)

FBI Said to Be Probing Solyndra for Possible Fraud

FBI agents exit the Solyndra LLC headquarters in Fremont, California, on Sept. 8. The company sought bankruptcy protection two days before the raid by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. (Bloomberg)

Entrepreneurs flee Chinese of Wenzhou city over debts

At least one entrepreneur has killed himself and dozens of others are on the run in China after borrowing money from private lenders at very high interest rates, state media reported on Thursday. (Straits Times)

Protesters disrupt “troika” talks in Athens

Angry Greek civil servants have again been blocking the doors of government ministries in protest against austerity measures. They disrupted the start of talks between ministers and senior officials from the European Union, the International Monetary

Reactor No. 2 cooled to below 100 C

JAPAN – The temperature at the base of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant fell below 100 C for the first time since the March disaster, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Imaginary ETrade Global fund advanced 45p

September 6th, 2011

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ETRADE Global announced 45% returns for a fund that did not exist. ETRADE Global directors who engaged in unlicensed activities are convicted…

Goldwind (02208) announced yesterday China Securities will receive a Commission license, approved for the company’s public offering of not more than 50 billion face value of corporate bonds.  First issue of nominal value not exceeding $4 billion.

Yuanchang Optical (00155) announced that the company entered into a memorandum of understanding with potential partner Gu Shan Jiangyin joint venture company to be invested for a project of ​​approximately 1000 acres.

Long Yuan Electric Power (00916) announced that, according to preliminary statistics, power generation of 1,744,100 MWh, and annual growth of 1.91%, of which 12.42% growth in wind power.

Major shareholders increase / reduction

Blackrock, Inc. -> China Life (02628) +694 million shares (0.09%) 5.02% shareholding

Brandes Investment Partners -> Weiqiao Textile (02698) +100 million shares (0.24%) 14.22% shareholding

Lazard Asset Management -> Sinoma (01893) +121 million shares (0.1%) 5.07% shareholding

JP Morgan Chase -> Shanshui Cement (00691) +649 million shares (0.23%) 5.08% shareholding

Chi Wen Fu, Century Sunshine (00509) +148 million shares (0.06%) 41.09% shareholding

TOKYO, Sept 6 – Nikkei declined 2.2 percent on Tuesday to a 2-1/2 year closing low

FTSE at two-week closing low

Groupon cancels IPO roadshow set for next week, reevaluating plans due to market volatility.

Dell Inc and China’s top search engine Baidu Inc plan to jointly develop tablet computers and mobile phones, targeting the Chinese market dominated by Apple Inc and Lenovo.

BofA China asset buy-back: A consortium that included the Chinese government was the biggest buyer of a 5 percent stake in China Construction Bank Corp sold last month by Bank of America, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Solyndra LLC, a solar panel maker that received $535 million in federal loan guarantees, filed for bankruptcy (the third U.S. solar firm to exit the business due to marketplace pressure from Chinese rivals in recent weeks).

Simplicity: sell

August 12th, 2011

Thinking about what you should do with your “investments?” The only reason you bought them was in the hope that you could sell sometime later to someone else at a higher price. As soon as the likelihood for that to occur is diminished it is always better to sell. How can the decision be so easy? In a non-taxable account, why not sell and preserve your capital, especially when there are no tax considerations?

Holding on to equities won’t make you rich, while declining prices will jeopardize your portfolio health.

For taxable accounts, you can always hedge with options or short the same stock that you are holding long. If you don’t have some form of protection plan in place you’re just gambling unnecessarily… and you don’t belong in the game.

I want you to think about something:  it is nearly impossible for anyone to make enough money to support themselves as an “investor” – the professionals survive by selling services and advice, not from investing. All that matters is when you sell… so, come to your own conclusions about protecting yourself.

The reason I can be so casual is because I’m not in a position to lose anything.

Use those upticks, while you have them to go short… For investors in other countries that was partially taken away yesterday evening. Officials in France, Italy, Belgium, and Spain, all announced short selling in specific financial stocks would be banned starting today (August 12).

After efforts by the European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) to put together a coordinated short-sale ban across the European Union fell through, the four countries each rolled out their own individual restrictions on the short selling of most major financial institutions.

On September 19, 2008, a short selling ban was instituted on financial stocks in the United States and remained in place until October 8, 2008. You may recall the great interview with Ken Griffin of Citadel in the December 22, 2008 issue of Fortune Magazine. It substantially negatively impacted their portfolio health.

Here’s news from today: Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) — Citadel LLC, the $11 billion hedge fund run by Ken Griffin, raised its stake in Evercore Partners Inc. to 5.2 percent as it ends a three-year effort to build its own investment bank.

In the December 22, 2008 Fortune article Citadel is cited as a $15 billion firm after the September/October financial market decline.

But let’s get back on track about short-sale bans…

France, Italy, Belgium, and Spain, also instituted short-sale bans in 2008, roughly around the same time as the U.S. However, these countries kept their bans in place far longer than the U.S. Regardless, it did not stop the decline in bank stocks and simply limits your avenues to hedge, which is useful for retail investors who cannot get approval to trade options.

When looking at the countries that did not ban short selling, such as, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel and Sweden for example, declines in the share prices of bank stocks took place as well.

Bank stocks weren’t fundamentally attractive at the time so there was no reason to buy them, and with a ban on short selling of financial stocks, it makes it seem a stronger argument that there aren’t any reasons to buy.

As for bear market expectations, here’s a very limited example:

On April 29, 2011, the S&P500 (SPY) reached a closing high of 1363.61.  At the end of January 1998, the S&P 500 was at 1050.5, and during August 1998 was the surprise S&P 500 decline triggered from the financial woes in the Russian market.

I don’t see how the market environment today is any better than August 1998 – and even during the mid to end of the 90s analysts were very concerned that the U.S. stock market was inflated. Remember the “irrational exuberance” comment toward the end of 1996 – yet we’re in much worse global markets and no one thinks irrational exuberance about the U.S. stock market today?

Market snapshot:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) increased 3.9% to close yesterday at 11,143.31. The Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) jncreased 4.6% to close at 1,172.64 and the Nasdaq Composite Index increased 4.7% to finish the day at 2,492.68. The CBOE Volatility Index decreased 9.3%. It was another busy day on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq, with consolidated volumes totaling 12.99 billion shares, compared with the year’s estimated daily average of 7.8 billion. On the NYSE, for every 12 stocks that jumped up, only one stock was on the losing side.

The DJIA has never ever exhibited this amount of one-day percentage moves within a week (in the last four trading days).  This was the index’s fourth straight day of over 400-points of movement, including the 423 points movement yesterday.The DJIA gained 3.9% yesterday, declined 4.6% on Wednesday, climbed 4% on Tuesday, and decresed 5.6% on Monday. Over the same period, the S&P 500 moved up 4.6%, down 4.4%, rose 4.7% and declined 6.7% a day before that. The Nasdaq gained 4.7% yesterday, declined 4.1% on Wednesday, rose 5.3% on Tuesday and declined 6.9% on Monday.

And you want to hang on because you’re too scared to sell? We’re searching for equilibrium here… frankly, domestic and global economic conditions don’t change in twenty-four periods, so there’s nothing of merit in any subsequent increase after a decline. We’re simply refusing to see domestic and global economic conditions clearly… and to let the truth set us free from all these false assumptions about growth. Even in the boom times of the dot com era actual economic conditions were not good, how people are able to wish the market up from here is beyond me.

Transformation through Financial Metaphor

June 9th, 2011

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Recently, I began to look more closely at our mission statement and realized that we actually take people through three levels of transformation. 

The first level we offer is transformation of the trading game—from rules that assure big money wins to rules that give the astute trader a huge edge.  These new rules consist of the Tharp Think concepts that I require all Super Traders to know and understand as the first part of their program.

That’s funny, you want them to know and understand, yet Van Tharp is not a super trader.

In one of my advanced workshops I teach the concept that we all play “games” in life. A game can be defined as any dynamic consisting of two or more players with a set of rules that generally define how the game is won or lost. I’m using the concept of the “trading game” to symbolize a big picture description of all aspects trading.

Don’t forget about the financial education game, too. That’s where the money is, right? If you learn something – I make money. If you do not learn anything of value – I make money. If your trading improves – I take credit (or you credit me for the improvement). If you lose in the markets – I make money. Win – Win – Win –Win!

Level I:  Transformation of the Trading Game

I believe the financial markets are part of a huge game and at the top level, where the rules get set, made, and changed, there is big money.  Big money makes its own rules and profits no matter what you or any individual trader does—they are so much bigger than that.  Big money controls the US government—notice where US Treasury leadership comes from so often and where they go afterwards. Big money also has created a two party political system in which people argue over everything except what is really going on.

Van Tharp actually begins taking some sense, maybe’s been reading the blogs. Ten to fifteen years ago he never made such statements. It never entered into his market beliefs… 

Trading is not easy; however, becoming a trader is very easy.  There are no obstacles whatsoever to anyone opening a trading account. I have long said that if trading were easy, big money would make the entry requirements so steep that it would be impossible for an average person to trade.  Big money might do this through an education and exam system that would weed out most people.  Even today, brokers have to take a Series 7 exam; however, passing this exam has nothing to do with success in the market.

Tharpy makes a nice point here about the lack of entry requirements… at nineteen I had already achieved a Series 7, at twenty I was trading futures contracts and options from my college dorm room.

Big Money’s Rules 

Generally, big money believes the more people that play the trading game, the easier it is for them to make money.  And, as I said before, big money has a set of rules for how it makes money, which has little to do with you making money. I’ve listed some of the rules created by big money here.

  • They profit on commissions, which they take whenever you make a trade, whether or not you make a profit.  In fact, the industry considers it unethical for a broker to take fees based on the profitability of his clients.
  • They make markets and get the bid/ask spread on every transaction.
  • They continually invent new products for you to buy and they profit when you do so.
  • They get paid a fixed fee based upon the amount of assets that they are managing without respect to their performance.

They also get you to believe that you have to follow a certain set of rules for success in the market.

  • Selecting the right investment (i.e., picking the right stock) is everything.
  • When you find the right investment, buy it and hold it for the long term.
  • Spend a lot of time analyzing the market to find the right investment.
  • Listen to experts for advice, including newsletter writers, brokers, and the investment gurus on television.
  • The market will determine whether or not you make money.  You are at the mercy of the market in the short term, but if you hold on, you will prevail.
  • If you do lose money, it’s not your fault.  Find someone to blame and a good lawyer to help you sue them.
  • The market is efficient.
  • Asset allocation is very important (even though most people are not sure what that means).

The New Rules

The new rules are born out of the idea that trading is as much a profession as is any other profession.  Most people spend many years learning their profession, but anyone can start trading today.  Can you imagine walking into a hospital and saying, “I think I’ll try some brain surgery today.”?  It just won’t work.  Yet you can open an online brokerage account, transfer in $100,000 and, suddenly, you are a trader.  Trading with no preparation, however, could be as fatal to your account as performing brain surgery would be on that unlucky patient in the hospital.   (Training is important in medicine, it’s also important in gambling.)

It takes significant time (several years) and a deep commitment to become a successful trader.  I hold a similar belief to author Malcolm Gladwell that the best people in every field usually excel because they have successfully practiced their craft for 10,000 hours.  That means they know enough about their field to produce success.  By working on your personal psychology (which we’ll cover in the second level of transformation), you learn how you produce your own trading results and how you have tended to make everything much more difficult than it need be.

Tharpy makes the point about practice being important, so how many hours of actual trading experience does Van Tharp have? Six or seven hours perhaps… his only experience is in talking about the markets for ten thousand hours!

Learning the key rules is an essential part of this process.  Here are some of the new rules that make up the first level of transformation:

  • You are totally responsible for your performance as a trader; therefore, you should devote significant time to working on yourself in order to be successful. (Yet, Tharpy isn’t a successful trader.)
  • It’s important to know your initial risk in a trade before you enter a position—this allows you to ensure that your trade has a favorable probability for a sufficient reward-to-risk ratio.  In other words, it will help you cut your losses short and let your profits run. (Still, you know how tough this is? Tharpy can’t support himself by trading – yet he’s going to teach you how to train yourself!)
  • Calculate the R-multiples of all your trades; this allows you to think of a trading system by the distribution of R-multiples it generates. (He began using the terminology R-multiples several years ago…)
  • Measure the quality of a trading system by its SQN® score.  The SQN score tells you how easily you can meet your objectives through position sizing™ strategies. (Something he developed a belief in over the last few years, it wasn’t important in his training for most of his market training years back.)
  • Position sizing strategies help you meet your trading objectives. (He’s been saying this since at least 1998 when I noticed it in magazine interviews. Yet, it appears he hasn’t used it himself to reach any kind of trading success.)
  • There are as many objectives as there are traders. (On Sunday June 5th, 20/20 aired a segment on High Frequency Trading. Tharp has not discussed the technology edge in his newsletters. There’s real money to be made there, but he is not a part of it.)
  • You can easily develop a Holy Grail trading system for any one market type; however, it is impossible to develop a system that will perform well in all market types.
  • Your trading system must fit you.  In fact, trading a good SQN system that fits you is probably better than a great SQN system that doesn’t fit you.  Trying to trade a system that doesn’t fit you will likely cause you to make a lot of mistakes and see poor results—regardless of the system’s SQN score. (Tharp has been saying this for years – he just added the SQN thing to his belief. The funny thing is, he doesn’t even have a trading system that fits him.)
  • Great performance is a function of the market, your system, and you as shown in the diagram below where the three circles intersect.



  • Minimize your mistakes and trade at 95% efficiency or better.  You make a mistake when you don’t follow your rules.  If you don’t have rules, everything you do is a mistake.  When traders do have rules, most of them have trouble trading above 70% efficiency (3 mistakes every 10 trades) simply because they haven’t worked on themselves.  Trading at 70% efficiency will destroy the results from a good trading system. (Does Tharp follow this himself? No, because he doesn’t trade for a living.)
  • Trading is a process that can be statistically measured and described if you understand probability and sampling theory.  Within one market type, the mean and standard deviation of your system’s R-multiples will give you a good idea about the future performance of that system under those same market conditions. (Tharp does not have a system that makes him money, other than a system for recruiting people to pay him for stock market education.)
  • Winning is a function of planning, so write a business plan to guide your performance and keep working on that document as you evolve as a person and trader. (A good example of being right under Van Tharp’s wing and not having things work out profitably is the example of R.J Hixson, one of Tharpy’s comrades, who has taken the super trader seminar and who helps out with seminars. In the Van Tharp newsletter R.J. documents the difficulties in being able to meet any goals and profitability. He still has no edge in the marketplace to earn a living from trading. Van Tharp is able to keep his mouth shut on the difficulties of trading for a living because he has not done it, nor is he capable of doing it himself, or providing R.J. with any meaningful results.)

Can you see how the first set of rules can lead to disaster while the second set of rules are a major transformation of the trading game and can lead to success?

My next book will be about trader transformations.  The book will cover the three levels of transformation and include stories from five or six different people who have accomplished a major transformation on each level.  We are accepting submissions now, and we’ll be paying $250 for any chapter that we publish in the book.  If you think you’ve made a major Level I transformation, as described in this article and would like to write a chapter-length article (3000-6000 words), we would love to see it.


There a number of Market Wizards who did not recognize working on themselves as anything meaningful during their interviews. And it becomes obvious how little Tharpy values your transformation so he can have content for his next book.


Van Tharp, through his newsletters, and some of his books has a very limiting view of the world. Everything is a transaction where risk must be limited – in 2004 when he was screaming in his newsletters that the stock market was in “red-light mode” and was due for a crash he completely overlooked the IPO of Google, or the comeback of RedHat Linux share prices, or of Apple computer, which was trading around $28 to $32 per share in April 2004. He cannot see opportunity – holding Google and Apple computer from 2004 would have been more profitable than anything he offers. The proof – he never generated any insight of specific stock portfolio value, and none of his strategies from around the time of his Safe Strategies book was released in 2004 outperformed simply holding Google or Apple computer stock.


My failing, after buying RHAT, GOOG, and APPL I didn’t hold them long enough.


Oneness awakening workshop Tharp review

May 18th, 2011

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Tharp is at it again with pushing his oneness blessing course. Perhaps when it gets tougher to sell educational training courses he makes progress getting people to give him money for a lower priced course which gets them to feel good before he can take them for thousands of dollars on a blueprint for trading course.

Don’t you wonder if he offers to teach you how to be a profitable trader and learn all the important stuff to make a fortune then why doesn’t he just record the training sessions and post them online for free? The guys who make fortunes in the investment world aren’t fussing around giving seminars to teach you how to be profitable in your trading.

But since Tharp doesn’t make any money from directly trading the markets, but from selling seminars, so he doesn’t have much else to do. But here’s the interesting thing: This is the first time I’ve noticed in his email newsletter where he states he is trading.

That totally surprised me – normally when pressed for details about his trading he would say he invests passively with his “students” or people he coached to improve their trading ability.

But that answer never really made sense compared to what he offers – So, you’re claiming to teach people how to be great traders and make a living trading in the markets when you have never been a great trader or made a living from directly trading in the markets?

Does that make sense? But some people buy out of hope that someone else has the answer.

How do I know Tharpy doesn’t have the answers?

He’s been wrong about his biggest conviction – that the market was in red light mode and was going to significantly fall and remain depressed in a bear market. His safe strategies for financial freedom book didn’t seem to make anyone any money. And at the time, during 2004, he couldn’t stop himself from promoting his belief in his book and newsletter about a bear market that was going to happen in the near-term. He kept talking about his red-light market mode indicator for several years and saying we were due for a massive bear market and then he dropped it before the bear market arrived in 2008 and 2009, hardly mentioning that he didn’t make any money when the stock market finally did decline – he seemed to be caught unaware just like everyone else. There were no significant developments or insight from his newsletters in the preceding months before the market decline.

And his newsletter profile of a system he was showing for illustrative purposes to be a safe stock buying platform didn’t make any money and he dropped it. The stocks he selected weren’t behaving as orderly as he wanted – the share prices started to decrease – and while he did track some losses in it to show people the actual unflattering results – it showed me that he has no great trading ideas, and even he has trouble implementing a system that fits his style, so how is it possible to believe he can teach anyone how to develop a profitable trading system?

Let’s look at a recent email advertisement he sent: (I’m adding my comments as we go along)

New! Three-Day Oneness Awakening Workshop

One level of transformation, for example, involves adopting the basic model of successful trading that I’ve developed over the years. That means you need to start thinking in term of reward-to-risk ratios (R-multiples), to adopt a trading method that fits you and the current market type, to think carefully about your objectives, and to use position sizing™ strategies to achieve your objectives. These concepts are just scratching the surface of the successful trading model. (Scratch the surface? In interviews and in his newsletters and books for the past ten years he didn’t have much else to say about improving performance.)

Again, that is just one level of the several levels of transformation that I think we provide.

In fulfilling our mission to help others transform themselves, I believe that I need to transform myself first. As a result, I’ve done just about everything that has appealed to me in terms of transformation over the years.

  • I’ve worked through A Course in Miracles (ACIM) twice.
  • I’m an NLP Master Practitioner and an associate trainer. In fact, I did enough NLP until I was convinced I could model any behavioral skill set.
  • I completed the Avatar Course (twice), the Avatar Masters Course, and the Avatar Wizards course (also twice).
  • I attended basic and advanced Landmark Education courses.
  • I went as far as I could go through Scientology (from a former practitioner who had developed her own technology). This was hundreds of hours of transformational work. I stopped when she said I was at a quasi-spiritual level. I didn’t see a benefit from going any further.
  • I completed Byron Katie’s School for the Work.
  • I participated in the Sedona Method course that was recorded and is now sold as a part of the home study. I’ve also purchased and gone through all of the Sedona Method programs and have attended several 7-day Sedona Method retreats.
  • I went through Bruce DuVe’s “transform your body” diets and methods for over nine months.
  • I’ve completed Libby Adam’s transformational mediation course several times.

All of this has been accompanied by massive work on my own in which I’ve followed up on the material from each of these various trainings.

My Journey into Oneness

All of that personal work pales in comparison to the journey I began in early 2008. That journey involved becoming a Oneness Blessing giver and eventually a Oneness Trainer. If I were to rate my personal journey, I’d say that I’ve traveled 1,000 miles, and at least 700 of those miles have been the result of becoming involved in the Oneness Process. I began my transformation journey 30 years ago and started working with the Oneness movement only 3 years ago. 70% of my total progress in the last 30 years, however, has come within the last three years. Oneness has been that significant for me.

Here are a few of the examples:

  • I developed a feeling form of internal guidance after completing ACIM; however, after going through the Oneness Process, I developed a very deep and personal guidance. I can ask that guidance questions and get profound answers whenever I need them.
  • Immediately after becoming a blessing giver (July 2008), our business started to take off dramatically. And while the markets were terrible (and we usually don’t do well during terrible markets), we set record months. (One thing does not necessarily relate to the other. It implies that financial rewards could be forthcoming to the reader.)
  • Most of my staff members really enjoy getting blessings and have become blessing givers. (How about the ones who don’t? They might have an interesting story or perspective.)
  • I developed a new advanced psychological workshop (Peak 203) out of my experiences with bliss while doing the Oneness processes.
  • Over 70% of my Super Traders have become blessing givers and taken the Oneness Awakening course. Now, many of them are pursuing local Oneness activities in their communities. Those that have done so are making huge leaps in their levels of consciousness, which has an incredible effect on their approach to trading and their profitability. (No link to a list of examples?)
  • When I give blessings to our clients during some of the psychological workshops, we usually see huge changes in their ability to understand and integrate the material presented. (In one of Tharpy’s newsletters last year there was an interesting interview with someone who went through analyzing and explaining how he played with his feelings and what he learned from the course – a great personal description – but no figurative pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In the end he chose not to feel bad. That about sums it up – choose not to feel or succumb to negative or unhealthy feelings.)
  • For my Super Traders in December 2010, I presented a Oneness Awakening Course followed by a one day technical course, Trading in the Now. In January, I traded the Trading in the Now techniques for about 15 days. I don’t normally trade intraday because of lack of time, but I just wanted to prove to myself what was possible. I made around 30 trades and about 80% of those trades were profitable; the SQN® rating of that trading was nearly 10. (Very surprising to me, first time I’ve noticed him talking about trading directly. What he doesn’t say is how much profit there was on thirty trades. Why is this important? Well, when you ask for thousands of dollars to join a seminar on profitable trading, people want to know the dollar value of your experiment. I’m sure you would ask them about the level they trade at for your coaching program, right?)
  • And, most importantly, I’ve had numerous experiences that I would call bliss/rapture that have come from doing the various Oneness trainings. (But he chooses not to list a single one or link to a list of them for reference, so I’ll just guess how meaningful they are then, so it’s like that, huh?)

There is a lot more that I could talk about, but I think you get the idea. (The idea I picked up is that this guy has constantly been searching – and all his talk about developing  good trading habits and such discipline was always a little off base when he struggled for years to address being overweight. I think he finally handled this, but for years it seemed like he was saying I can get you to train your mind to do the most difficult thing in the world, such as, making a living from trading in the financial markets but he didn’t have the discipline to train himself to be more healthy with walking or doing whatever he needed to do lose the excess weight. And in one newsletter from 2004 or 2005 he discussed holding back on entering a transformational life coaching program. It just wasn’t a priority then. Then he raved about it with an endorsement and now it’s on his list as another thing he tried.)

Originally, I became a Oneness Trainer because I wanted to organize the local blessing givers in the Raleigh/Durham/Cary area. The last thing I’d planned to do was offer the Oneness training as a part of our core curriculum through the Van Tharp Institute.  So far, all of our Oneness Courses have been sold out and we’ve produced about 70 new blessing givers through those courses. (I’m still waiting to hear about all those individual miracles and amazing transformations experiences…nothing to share about those 70 folks? I’m going to start selling this oneness awakening stuff, too.)

What Past Attendees Have to Say

Guess what – he lists a few positive comments – no surprise there. Nobody said they didn’t like it or it was a waste of time?

And the quotes he shared had one thing in common – nothing specific about individual experiences. It could have looked like this:

Nothing specific

Nothing specific

Nothing specific

So I decided to look into descriptions of Oneness Awakening and Oneness blessing away from Tharpy and his sales pitch and here’s some of what I found:

The new Oneness Awakening course, taught over two or three days, is designed simply to help a person move beyond the limitations and structures of the mind. When we are identified with the mind– when we filter our experience through our past conditioning– we are in fact not living, but merely existing, merely surviving. When we live within the structures of the mind, we are not actually alive at all. The purpose of life is simply to live– to experience reality as it is– that natural state where the senses are alive, the heart is open, in direct contact with the Oneness in everything.

The course will make use of all of the various teachings and processes that the Trainer has received from the Oneness University and through their own life experience. It is not a course to convey information or to help you to work on yourself, but rather a vehicle through which to show you directly what life is like outside the realm of the mind– that vast peace, stillness, and love that is revealed in direct experience.

This is a very sacred, divinely led process which culminates in the transmission of a very special Deeksha called the Mukthi Deeksha, given through an ancient spiritual technology called Padukas. Padukas are symbols that represent the feet of the Divine, a powerful cross-cultural understanding of surrender. What makes this Deeksha unique is that it comes directly from the Divine and is not routed through the human being. It is a direct transfer from the Divine to the recipient, with the sole purpose of taking the recipient into the state of Oneness and Awakening—that same state enjoyed by saints, sages, and mystics world over.

The Mukthi Deeksha is transferred as part of a three-fold process, which serves to prepare the recipient to receive this Divine benediction. First, the physical body is prepared through dancing, an ancient ritual practiced by all cultures and traditions as a way to open to the Divine. Through this dancing, the kundalini is activated and the chakras are opened. Next, the participant is guided through a process of chanting to fill the mind and unconscious with the presence of the Divine and to clear away any remaining obstacles to the full receipt of the Deeksha. This chanting serves to “program” the mind and energy body for Awakening. Finally, the participants receive the Mukthi Deeksha itself, in a sacred ceremony involving the touching Padukas or other Sacred Religious objects of your own faith.

Once a participant goes through the Oneness Awakening Course, they are initiated as a Oneness Deeksha Giver, and will be shown how to give Deeksha to others.

— and a more descriptive overview of a oneness blessing course —

What is the Oneness Blessing?
The Oneness Blessing (also known as Deeksha) is a non-denominational benediction.   It is the
transfer of Divine energy which over time is designed to bring about the state of Oneness in the

What happens during the Oneness Blessing?
The Oneness Blessing initiates a neurobiological change in the brain that enables the senses to be
free from the interference of the mind.  When the senses are unclouded by the mind’s interpretations,
a natural clarity of perception occurs with accompanying spontaneous feelings of joy, inner calmness,
and connection to the Oneness in everything.

How is the Oneness Blessing transferred?  What might I experience?

The Oneness facilitator transfers the Oneness Blessing by placing his or her hands on the crown of
your head, usually for about one minute.  Experiences during the Oneness Blessing vary.  Sometimes they are strong, sometimes subtle, and sometimes delayed until much later.  The recipient may experience a tingling sensation in the head, blissful energy flowing through the body, or nothing at all.  Whatever the experience, the recipient can trust that the process of Oneness has begun.  It is a process that will lead gradually (or sometimes spontaneously) into your own spiritual awakening.

Who can offer the Oneness Blessing to others?
The Oneness Blessing can be given by anyone who has received training by a Oneness Blessing Trainer and participated in the sacred Mukthi Deeksha Process.  Those who have received this training are referred to as Oneness facilitators or Oneness Blessing/Deeksha givers.  The Oneness Blessing giver acts as a channel for the energy to transfer to the recipient.

Can anyone receive the benefits of the Oneness Blessing?
Yes. All adults and children can receive the Oneness Blessing at any time.  The energy will do what it is meant to do for each individual.

What if I wish to become a Oneness facilitator and give the Oneness Blessing to others?
To become a Oneness facilitator it is necessary to attend a Oneness Awakening Course with a Trainer who has attended the Oneness Training Course at Oneness University in India..  Go to the Onenesss Blessing website for more information.

Does the Oneness Blessing adhere to any particular religion or belief?
The Oneness Blessing is not connected to any religion, particular belief or spiritual path.  The Oneness Blessing is given each day to people all over the world, people of all spiritual practices and national origins.  It is not necessary to change one’s religion or adopt a new guru or spiritual master to receive the Oneness Blessing or to offer the Oneness Blessing to others.

Why has the Oneness Blessing come at this time?
Our planet and all of humanity are currently undergoing a major evolutionary transformation.  This has
an impact on our environment, our social structures, and our individual and collective consciousness.  The co-founders of the Oneness University, Sri Bhagavan and Sri Amma, are here to help us with this transformation.

Here’s what I found: The general idea from Oneness University in India is not to charge people — blessings should be shared to help people and communities.

And here is an example of a healing exercise, not sure how closely it matches Oneness protocol but it was from a Oneness themed website:

We recommend this exercise to you. First, notice the hurt. Look within and, in
meditation, examine it objectively. We do not recommend re-living the pain or reexperiencing
the emotional trauma for this can cause it to grow into an awesome
spectacle, an enormous genie let out of the bottle. One can become afraid and
overwhelmed. Therefore, view it objectively. Raise above your personality self. View from
another perspective, like you are watching from outside yourself. See if you can discern
its origin. Soon, many thoughts arrive and the mind begins to sort through these. All sorts
of extenuating circumstances may appear. Emotions may emerge.
In your meditative state, reassure your inner child by projecting love. Breathe in,
using the power of your breath to calm the emotional body. Keep breathing until you feel
calmer. Breathe in and out of your solar plexus. After you feel calmer, begin to breathe in
and out from your heart chakra. Breathe until you feel calmer. After a while, imagine the
breath coming down through the crown chakra, through the top of the head. Focus your
attention at the crown chakra and observe the breath coming in and come from that
center. See or feel light coming down from your Higher Self to you through your crown
chakra. Now, look at the hurt as if from outside your personality. Feel the light from
Higher Self pouring light into the wound. You may need to practice this over several
days, or even months. You will feel when you are ready for the next step. You will become
aware that the light fills the wound. Watch as the physical fabric, emotional fabric,
begins to fill with light. Keep flowing light each day filling the sore spot with light.
Observe each day as the wound fills with light and its colors, for those of you who can
see psychically, turn from angry red, to orange, to yellow, green, blue, purple and finally
to white. Feel the dent filling with light. You may observe strands of light, threads of
light, interweaving as the pit fills with woven strands of light. Keep working in meditation
until the dent completely fills with light.
Sit quietly and appreciate. Appreciate the work you performed on yourself and
appreciate whatever lesson the hurt brought to you. Feel gratitude, dear hearts. We hope
these words soothed your soul, dear hearts. We love you dearly. We are One.

I’m thinking of going to India for two weeks to become a oneness trainer so I can take some oneness business from Tharpy. Besides, I like the idea of helping people.

I hope oneness is just not another thing for Van Tharp Institute to sell, for nearly fifteen years he’s been saying he can tell people how to trade profitably and earn a fortune in the markets – without having done so for himself – and during most of that period he’s never stated in his books the importance of spirituality, or blessings, so his guidance was historically you don’t need that stuff. How about another example? In 1997 when a Forbes journalist went to do a story on trading he listed Tharp’s tips and spoke with the attendees – the journalist wasn’t impressed with his presentation of offering anything of significant value – it just seemed, in the journalist’s opinion, that Tharp was trying to cash in on the dot com, trade from home boot camp mentality that was prevalent at the time.

And the one investment that Tharp did state he was directly involved in from his newsletter from 2004 or 2005? Stamps. Antique postage stamps was where he was putting his money. That’s like saying, “Come to my seminar where I’ll talk to you about making a living trading stocks or earning a fortune trading the financial markets, but where I’m investing my money is in collector postage stamps.”

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Citigroup suckers – reverse stock split

May 17th, 2011

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For the last few years a friend of mine has said he bought shares of Citigroup for less than $5 per share and that he intends to hold them for the inevitable rise, however, after the 1-for-10 reverse stock split he’s lost his ability to garner substantial profits. And that’s why he bought Citigroup penny stock in the first place – for the potential reward of thousands of dollars from a relatively small investment.

Over the last few years he kept trying to convince me to buy a few thousand shares, and now I’m glad I didn’t. Let’s see if the stock price falls back to the ten to twenty dollar range… I lot of people hate Citibank, and who can blame them? Why should I pay more for the same junk stock?

The low price of Citigroup stock made it attractive to trade – representing as much as 10 per cent of US volume. It was averaging 6.1 per cent of daily US volume in 2011, according to Rosenblatt Securities. Since 2009, Citigroup options were frequently 2 per cent of US monthly volume. Citigroup’s market cap is around $124 billion. But that’s high compared to Apple computer, Google, etc. which actually have some form of business and societal value, whereas, a corporate bank is a corporate bank – and frankly Citibank as a brand, or as a company would not have been missed in a consumer sense if it had been allowed to fail and become bankrupt. But consumers would surely miss Apple computer or Google. People may only be expected to become passionate about banking when it involves a public community bank that serves the public well.

US equity markets exhibited a significant decline in daily trading volumes following a reverse split for Citigroup, by far the most heavily traded company stock.

I think the reverse stock split is negative to the psychology of individual traders – when C was cheap they could buy it knowing it might only drop a point or two, but now the share price is high enough to fall quite a bit – and there’s less upside profit potential compared to the rise of a cheap brand name stock.

*** Update:
Since May 6th to June 17th the share price has moved from around $45 to $38.

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