Van Tharp – Peak Performance Course for Investors and Traders



Van Tharp – Peak Performance Course for Investors and Traders

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This home study course is Dr. Tharp’s masterpiece. It is designed for all levels of investors and traders—beginners, advanced, unsuccessful traders seeking to better their performance and successful traders who want to be continue to improve.

In the nearly 15 years since Dr. Tharp last made significant changes to the Peak Performance Home Study Course, he has researched and learned so much more about how to achieve peak performance in trading and investing.

In this second edition of the home study course, Dr. Tharp shares this knowledge.

The course contains five workbooks and four audio CDs. Dr. Tharp carefully crafted the information from his studies into a model that people like you can use to improve your skills and increase profits.

Do You Make Money in the Market or Do You Plan To?

Are you interested in learning how to make an extra $10,000, $50,000, $250,000 or even a million dollars in extra cash profits from the market over the next year or two? If the answer is “yes,” keep reading.

With this home study course, you’re going to learn to do exactly that with your trading or investing—regardless of any limits you may have put on your time—by discovering the simple “edge” you need for super success in today’s markets.

Once you master key trading principles often overlooked by even the most experienced investors and traders, you’ll finally understand and possess the same money-making and cash-flow secrets that have catapulted certain astute traders to superstar wealth and success status. You’ll understand why they continue to make money while everyone else is losing their shirts.

It has nothing to do with following conventional market wisdom; nor is it any ego-driven nonsense that passes for investment strategy. Instead, it has to do with understanding the principles contained in a unique system of mental technology pioneered by peak performance coach and investment psychologist, Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.

“I discovered your course and enrolled. I spent four months reading and studying the material until I felt confident with everything I learned. At this time, I began trading again and I could not believe the difference in how I felt when trading. The anxiety level was gone, sleepless nights disappeared.”—Terrance R. Caffey 

Dr. Tharp is a consistent and systematic researcher of human behavior. The opportunity to learn from someone of his caliber does not come along every day. He has collected psychological profiles from over 5,000 investors and traders and has personally interviewed hundreds of top people in the field to determine what makes them excel and how they make immense profits.

Once he obtained all of the information from the top investors and traders, Dr. Tharp carefully crafted it into a model that people like you can use to improve your skills. The model he developed really works to improve profits. In fact when Jack Schwager interviewed 16 of the world’s best investors and traders in his book Market Wizards, he also elected to interview Dr. Tharp as a Peak Performance Trading Coach.

Here’s what another professional in the field says about Dr. Tharp’s work:

“I have a Masters degree in a multi-disciplinary area that involved a considerable amount of psychology, and I continually read in the field—from the academic literature to Tony Robbins. Your work is, in my opinion, simply the best. I want to thank you for the efforts you have made on behalf of people like me. I’ve followed your work since inception and commend you on the wealth of knowledge you have added to the field.”—Brian Casselman, Portfolio Manager

And there’s an extra benefit: Dr. Tharp only studied those investors and traders whose lives really seem to work. As a result, when you apply his model, it typically helps you lead a much happier and more satisfying life.

What Kind of Profits Can You Expect?

How much you make depends upon the amount of work you put into applying the principles of the course to your investing and trading. It will also depend upon how much money you have in your account and the amount of risk you are willing to take. But if you are a losing trader with sufficient equity, you still could easily use Dr. Tharp’s course to become a full-time professional.

Here is what one long-term trader said about how Dr. Tharp’s Peak Performance Course helped him to become profitable:

“For the first 10 years of my trading career I was, on balance, a losing trader … Finally, I ordered the home study course. I got into it the first night. I was excited about this business and the future, so I knew I had to change me in order to get on track. So, without hesitation, I rolled up my sleeves and started the training.

“How well did it work? …. I had to pay taxes on my trading profits. While April 15th is typically not a fun time, I was delighted to have to pay taxes on gains … not get a deduction for losses. In fact, I was very close to making up all of my losses for the previous 10 years! My return for the year on my personal capital was a gain of 253.8%.

“After 7 months I am again in a situation where I have created a taxable event and, I have made up for any loss that I have ever taken! And as of the end of July the following year my personal gain is 226.5% (this is on top of the 250% mentioned above). In addition, I have begun trading personal IRA money in the futures market following the conservative mode of my system. Year-to-date I am currently up over 100% following the conservative mode!

“So confident am I in my abilities that I have registered as a CTA and have begun managing money for other people. My composite return for clients was a gain of 74.7%. (I trade my client’s money in a far more conservative fashion) and at the end of the first seven months the composite performance shows a gain of 54.7%.

“But the results can’t only be measured in dollars. Dr. Tharp’s training helped me to become a better person. Improved trading was just a beneficial side effect. I am happier than I have been in years, focused on what is important to me, and in better physical and ‘spiritual’ condition than I have been in years.”—George Moldenhauer, CTA

Another investor who ordered Dr. Tharp’s course wrote the following six months later:

“First, let me say that I now devote the majority of my investing time and energy in myself, instead of spending countless hours studying market theories, newsletters, and statistics. I made more money during the first four months after completing the course than I had made during the previous three years.”—George Hull

Here’s what a broker said about his performance with his client’s accounts after studying and applying the principles in the course:

“I took your course so that I could better understand my customers. I have tripled my business, while significantly helping my account’s performance.”—Russell Herman, Prudential Bache Securities

We have numerous success stories like these in our files—all from people like you. And if they can do it, you can, too. You only have to learn and apply the course materials. It’s that simple. Order NOW .


Is the Course for Everyone?

The Peak Performance Course includes over 1,000 pages of exercises and insights about investing and trading. It will take time, effort and the willingness to dig down deep inside to complete. We estimate it takes approximately 2-3 hours per day for approximately 2 to 3 months to complete the program. In fact, the best results usually come from going through the course thoroughly multiple times.

As a result, the course is most appropriate for success-driven men and women who really want to excel in the market and who are willing to devote the time and energy that it takes to master the key principles. It’s also for brokers and institutional investors and traders who want to improve their company profits.

We expect you to be logical, ethical, practical, open-minded and willing to tenaciously persevere. You must also be willing to invest the effort to better yourself and your trading business. You must be willing to really work to change yourself and your approach to the markets. If that description fits you, then the course will help you immensely.

The course is also for those of you who have considered casting off the handcuffs that tie you down to consistent tax write-offs every year for investment losses. Deep down you know there is a better way for you to direct your energy that will make you consistent profits.

“The Peak Performance Home Study Course is the most comprehensive guide ever written about achieving peak performance trading and a peak performance life! It is one of the most challenging things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. The comprehensive planning and discipline acquired through the course has improved my life on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. The improvement in my trading by reducing mistakes and maintaining the discipline to follow my trading rules has been invaluable. I have learned so much about myself and look forward to continuing to apply what I have learned to my trading and continuing to review the course at least once a year. No matter how new or experienced you are, if you commit to doing the work in this course, you will be amazed by the results in many areas of your life, not just your trading.”—Ashay

New in the Second Edition

Everything has been modernized and updated in this new edition. Market examples and real world references are from today rather than the early 1990s. There are numerous new ideas, theories, and practical exercises to help you become a more successful trader. And, an estimated 20% of the existing content of the five volumes has been revised.

Of all the additions and revisions, Dr. Tharp thinks these are the most noteworthy improvements:

– Four entirely new chapters.

– Major changes to other chapters amounting to about 16K words of additional, new material.

– Two new daily tasks of trading.

“I believe that increasing the scope of the 10 task of trading to 12 has made a profound difference in my trading and life. Focusing on these new tasks, and the belief that we all create our universe are the keys to your life mission, whatever that may be. This program can help make that possible.”—Thomas

The Four New Chapters

Personal Responsibility. “I am able to explain today what I was unable to articulate fully in the original course. Teaching this topic over and over again for the last 15 years has enabled me to now extensively describe the all-empowering idea of total personal responsibility. You create the results you want in trading. When you hold sources other than yourself responsible for your mistakes, you tend to repeat those mistakes over and over again. This chapter will open your eyes to recognizing and correcting mistakes that you once though outside of your control and allow you to take charge of your trading.” — Van Tharp

“I would recommend the new Peak Performance Course to anyone who wants to excel in their trading, and in fact, I would recommend that no one actively trade until you have gone through this material several times and understand it completely. The new version is excellent, and I found the new chapters on personal responsibility and changing your beliefs to be the most valuable. This course forces you to do the self-work that is critical to successful trading and improving all aspects of your life!” — Peter

Trader Preparation Self-Assessment. Are ready to trade now? Find out by answering questions regarding your psychology, your business plan, your systems and other major factors of trading success. If you find that you are not ready to trade, then that just means that you are taking the right action by working on this course rather than trading. People have been asking for a way to assess their preparedness as a trader, and now it is a new chapter in the course.

“The course was wonderful – well written, enlightening and full of great information and teachings. The quality and clarity were exceptional.  I did work hard to complete everything and made sure not to skip any exercises.  At the end of my work, I created a spreadsheet that has two columns.  One is a list of things that I need to go back and review, work more on, and just think about. The second column is a list of all the things in the five volumes that I need to incorporate into my Trading Plan/Business Plan and Daily Routine.  I will be working off this spreadsheet for probably all of 2013.  My next steps are to use the Designing a Winning Game Plan chapter as my Guide going forward along with the above spreadsheet. The most unexpected part of the course was all the “awareness” work I am now completely engrossed with, including ACIM, The Secret, Eckhart Tolle and the list goes on.  This is clearly the most amazing part of the course.”  — Kathy Rauzi

The Four Models of Self-Sabotage. Sometimes you try to stop a behavior but it continues and just seems impossible to change. Your mental states are so overwhelming that you cannot change them. Or you find a belief that you know is not useful, but you cannot change it. For example, suppose you believe that you are not worthwhile and that you do not deserve profits. When you think about that belief, you know it is not useful, but somehow you just cannot shake it. Those are the examples of self-sabotage that we will be dealing with in this new chapter, as well as a specific instance of a classic case of self-sabotage. Dr. Tharp has explored this topic in depth in the last 10 years. This new chapter also includes the oneness model of self-sabotage, Dr. Tharp’s most recent understanding of self-sabotage.

Changing Your Beliefs. This is one of the most important new topics in the course as Dr. Tharp believes that beliefs shape your world. When you realize that your beliefs control your reality, you can totally change how you experience the world simply by changing your beliefs. The straightforward step-by-step procedure found in this chapter will take you through how to monitor, look at, and most importantly, change your beliefs. Most beliefs can be changed with these procedures except those that have a very strong emotional charge on them. When you have emotional charge on your beliefs, that charge seems to anchor into your body until you release it, so there is a section in this new chapter dedicated to help you release that charge.

“For me, the Peak Performance Course is a very valuable working tool/frame for inner development, discovery and growth. It helped me to a large extent not only in my trading, but in my personal life (including relationships), as well. I became more balanced (in both trading and life) and achieved a higher level of peace and joy in my daily activities, making life and trading easier and more enjoyable. Although it is not always easy to find the time and courage to work on own issues, it surely has the potential to transform lives in many aspects.” — Gabriel

Section Revisions

Dr. Tharp has updated almost 20% of the course, including these changes:

  • Major new insights into the psychology of risk. This section has a new prediction test that amazes the traders that have taken it thus far. People are seldom as accurate as they think; furthermore, the more confident they are in their predictions, the worse their predictions can be. Find out for yourself.
  • Six new beliefs of top traders and a synopsis of how to control losing attitudes.
  • As mentioned before, there are now two new tasks of trading. A new morning task and a new evening task will add important dimensions to your trading day, and your life!

“The two new tasks, along with key beliefs, mental state, and mental strategies for each trading task, were very helpful. Compared to the previous version of Peak Performance, it has a lot of detailed steps and procedures. I found the new enhanced prediction exercise provides a great deal of insights in to some of my beliefs about the market. The new value elicitation test was beneficial in understanding my move toward value as well as move away value. This brings a new point of view to understanding myself and my behaviors.”— Ryan

  • An updated discussion of trader types and how understanding yours can help you leverage your strengths and manage your challenges.
  • I have expanded the value elicitation test significantly. Now you also identify your “move away from” values, those that are likely to conflict with your core values. You resist your move away from values but what you resist tends to persist. That is, the negative values that you defend against the hardest tend to stick around. The expanded exercise helps you identify these values clearly and then explains how you can clear them from your life.
  • I have expanded my 10-step plan for investment excellence to include a new eleventh step that leads you towards a place of gratitude in your trading and in your life.
  • A new discussion of the four methods of doing a feeling release. There is also an explanation for alexithymia and how to get rid of it (hint: it doesn’t involve an ointment).
  • Additional insights into compulsiveness and what you can do to prevent it from interfering with your trading.
  • How to really conceptualize mistakes as a measure of your self-sabotage and use them to quickly minimize your sub-conscious self-sabotage efforts.
  • How to design a winning game plan. The major changes in this section came out of my development of and experiences personally teaching so many traders in the Blueprint for Trading Success Workshop.
  • Fresh insights into diet and health to help you reduce stress and reach optimal performance. There were so many new insights in these sections that I had to split it up into two chapters. The first chapter focuses solely on nutrition. This chapter includes an in-depth look at common food addictions and a list of 24 things you can do right now to move toward peak performance health. The second chapter centers around exercise and gives you space to write out a plan on how to physically improve your body for peak fitness.


Peak Performance Gives You 24 Money-Making Secrets You Can Use Now!

  1. Imagine having a model of how the best investors and traders do it! It’s what they do in common that’s the real secret behind their greatness. Dr. Tharp has spent 27 years determining what those common elements are and he teaches them to you in his home study course. His top-task model for investing and trading success will help you dramatically increase your profits.
  2. Dr. Tharp’s course consists of five volumes and four audio CDs. You’ll get a complete volume on each of the following topics: risk control, stress control, turning around losing attitudes and beliefs, developing discipline, and making market decisions. And the four audio CDs will help you put what you learn into practice. The CDs help guide you through exercises in the course on such topics as: how you think when you make profits and lose money; stress reduction; programming yourself not to repeat your mistakes; and trading unemotionally.
  3. Learn 15 ways to control your mental state. When you master these techniques you’ll bring much more discipline to the task of making more money. What’s more, those techniques will not only help you make greater profits, they’ll help you in every aspect of your life.

“Since taking your course, I find it easier to stand back and observe my own mental and emotional state while trading and, if necessary, alter the emotional state rather than let it alter my trading strategies.”—Frederick W. Landru

  1. Learn self-confidence—the one trait that is most essential if you are to follow your game plan for making money. Dr. Tharp’s course will teach you techniques to overcome fear and nervousness and bring out the big winner in you.
  2. Make a habit of keeping an investment/trading diary that will put you in control and help you gain insight into getting more profits out of your trades. You’ll gain a perspective on what you’ve been doing and why. Put yourself in charge of your future.
  3. People do not trade the markets. They trade their beliefs about the markets. Learn about the six levels of belief and how those beliefs influence your investing and trading. Learn how to evaluate your beliefs, change those beliefs that are not serving you , and be able to adopt beliefs that will help you become more effective. And most importantly, learn the beliefs that only the best investors and traders have and adopt them for yourself.
  4. Learn how to avoid the school of hard knocks. Save thousands of dollars that you might have lost in the markets by doing it right to begin with instead of making lots of costly mistakes.

“I have learned many techniques on keeping track of how and why I make a trade plus guidelines to follow prior to making the trade.”—Gary Edlin

  1. Be able to deal with investing and trading mistakes immediately so that you don’t have to repeat them. Dr. Tharp’s third audio CD in the course provides you with an exercise that will help you avoid similar mistakes in the future. This CD alone is worth thousands of dollars to you in preventing losses.

This is just the start. Other tips are interspersed below. Keep reading to learn more…

What If You’re a Beginner? What If You’re Already Successful?

Dr. Tharp’s Peak Performance Course is for all levels of investors and traders—beginners, advanced, losing investors/traders who want to improve, and successful investors/traders who want to do better. Many of the best investors and traders in the world have Dr. Tharp’s course and use it regularly. Can you afford to be without it in the zero-sum game of trading?

“Thank you for teaching a beginner and saving me thousands of dollars and anxiety ridden hours.”—Leopold Hauser IV

In contrast, Mr. Larry Satell managed over $40,000,000 trading gold funds. Larry has done both the home study course and private consulting with Dr. Tharp. Here’s what he says about the course:

“I considered myself to be a top successful trader before taking this course and even more successful after completing “Peak Performance.” I highly recommend it as a requirement in the basic training category to anyone interested in trading. That goes for beginners, average traders, as well as successful traders.”—Larry Satell, President, Satell Investment Management, Inc.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Jack Schwager’s book, Market Wizards, in which he interviews some of the world’s top traders. One of these Market Wizards used to have a training program for traders. They kept five copies of Dr. Tharp’s home study course on file in their library for that training program—it’s that good. In addition, at least six other market wizards have Dr. Tharp’s course as part of their personal libraries.

Another major trading firm, Infinium Capital Management in the last ten years has grown their firm from a startup company to on occupying 60,000 square feet of space and employing 100s of traders all of whom their train using Dr. Tharp’s principles. They have met or exceeded their trading goals every year since they’ve been in business by applying the material in the Peak Performance Course. The President of the course was so impressed that he wrote the forward to the second edition of Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom.

  1. Learn how to prevent disasters. Think about how this will change your life knowing that your trades and investment are in safe hands you can trust—yours. You’ll develop two or three options to respond to everything that could possibly happen to you. The results will be consistent profitable performance.
  2. The course will teach you a self-improvement process that will apply to all areas of your life and can be used throughout your life. The benefits of going through the course just once can last a lifetime, but the benefits of going through the course four or five times are absolutely incredible.

“While sitting under a spruce tree in a lush Alaskan forest, success stories flowed from my mind, to the pencil, onto the paper for nearly two hours. My personal life feels balanced. I’ve made some money. And I’ve accomplished many great things as part of an outstanding team. … But the success I most celebrate is the improvement process you helped instill.”—Anonymous

  1. You’ll learn how to turn complexity into simplicity. And, interestingly enough, simplicity will make you the most money.

People reported improvement of at least 100% when they’d completely gone through the Peak Performance Courseseveral times. Think what an improvement of 100% would do for your trading or investing. For example, if you make a 20% return on your money, you could easily start making a 40% return.

All you need to do is plan some time to devote to yourself. Aren’t you worth the time it takes to study Dr. Tharp’s course? How much are the increased returns and improved lifestyle worth to you?

How Stress Affects a Trader

When people are over stressed, their ability to do things well shrinks dramatically. It’s directly related to what happens to the brain.

During stress, the hormone adrenaline is released into the bloodstream. This has the effect of diverting blood from the brain to the major muscles of the body. It means that you can run faster, but it also means you are much less effective at processing information. In fact, the conscious mind, which normally has the capacity to process seven chunks of information, shrinks down to the point of being able to process only one or two chunks of information.

Think what that means to most investors and traders. They get stressed—either by the market or by something going on in their lives—and can no longer effectively function. They either freeze or keep repeatedly doing what they are already doing—only with more energy. Neither response is healthy in today’s fast markets.

Dr. Tharp has the solutions to help you with stress management.

  1. One whole volume of the course is devoted to stress management. You’ll learn how to measure your stressors and your stress protectors. More importantly, you’ll be able to add enough stress protection so that you can withstand the effects of today’s markets. But the course also helps you deal with stress in many more ways.
  2. You’ll learn the one activity that almost all top athletes use in their training for peak performance, but only top traders and investors seem to use. This activity alone could mean a major difference in your profits. Why? When you use it, you’ll know how to deal with problems almost instantly and avoid the stress response. It makes the trading process almost automatic.
  3. Relax more and have fun in your life. Relaxation transfers directly into your trading so that what was once a chore is now a joy. And you’ll not only enjoy more profits, your family will appreciate the changes in you as well.



In the unique arena of professional trading coaches and consultants, Van K. Tharp stands out as an international leader in the industry. Helping others become the best trader or investor they can be has been Tharp’s mission since 1982. Dr. Tharp offers unique learning strategies, and his techniques for producing great traders are some of the most effective in the field. Over the years, Tharp has helped people overcome problems with system development, trading psychology and success-related issues like self-sabotage. He is the founder and president of the Van Tharp Institute, dedicated to offering high-quality education products and services for traders and investors around the globe.


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