Last Updated on June 19, 2022 by Quantified Trading
Van K. Tharp is an American investor and #1 New York Times bestseller of Financial Freedom Through Electronic Day Trading and Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom: The Definitive Guide to Position Sizing™ Strategies. He is the president of Van Tharp Institute. Dr. Tharp stands out as an international leader in professional coaching and consulting. His mission is to use his expertise to help traders to become better.
Van K. Tharp was interviewed in Jack Schwager’s first book about the Market Wizards.
Van K. Tharp passed away in February 2022.
Van K. Tharp’s life and trading career
Van K. Tharp was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and completed his high school at Green Bay West, and later he completed his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Centre in 1975.
Dr. Tharp is a certified Master Time Line Therapist, Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Modeller of NLP, and Assistant Trainer of NLP using his expertise in NLP to create many successful trading and investing models that are widely used today.
His learning strategies for producing great traders are one of the most productive in the field. He has helped traders conquer their problems in the areas of trading psychology and system development.
Dr. Tharp has been featured in Forbes, Investors Business Daily, Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities, Futures and Options World, and is the only trading coach to be featured in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards.
Dr. Tharp is a trend trader, cutting losses early and letting his profit position run. He emphasizes having a trading plan and sticking to it “so that you can stay in the game.” No trade should be large enough to make traders lose all their capital if their bet goes wrong. “1% of the equity in a trade (where 1% is the amount you would lose if your stop loss were hit) is a prudent risk. Risking any more than 3% is usually financial suicide, and the average trader commits financial suicide all the time without knowing it,” said Dr. Van K Tharp.
“This all about trading psychology,” reiterated Tharp.
“When you understand what’s involved in winning, as do professional gamblers, you’ll tend to bet more during a winning streak and less during a losing streak. However, the average person does exactly the opposite: he or she bets more after a series of losses and less after a series of wins,” said Dr. Van K Tharp.
Dr. Tharp is the author of the Market Mastery newsletter for over ten years. He published a weekly e-newsletter up until his death, initially charging a fee, however, he later offered it for free to help traders get access to vital information.
He has a collection of 5000 trading profiles which he studies, researching the top traders and investors in the world. He developed a model for successful trading and investing for other traders to learn and add to their knowledge. Also, he authored a five-volume Peak Performance Home study course he uses to teach his ten-year study.
Dr. Tharp lived and worked in Cary, North Carolina, where the Van Tharp Institute is located. The institute offers workshops and a four-year super trader program which focuses on psychology in trading.
Van. Tharp quotes
Motivation to make money is not significantly correlated with success.
There are three factors in the decision-making area…….an aptitude for making sound decisions without common biases, and the ability to think independently.
What typically happens is that when people approach the markets, they bring their personal problems with them.
When people are stressed, they also tend to be crowd followers.
The best traders are always those who practice simplicity.
A fourth major problem is that many people allow their emotions to control their trading.
There are three primary factors involved in duplicating success – beliefs, mental states, and mental strategies.
Many people actually want to lose on a subconscious level.
A mistake is when you don’t follow your rules. If you don’t have rules in trading, everything you do is a mistake.