SteadyOptions is an options trading forum where you can find solutions from top options traders. TRY IT FREE!

We’ve all been there… researching options strategies and unable to find the answers we’re looking for. SteadyOptions has your solution.

Are You Following "Tharp Think" Rules?


Thirty years ago, legendary trading coach Dr. Van K. Tharp sat down with two top traders Ed Seykota and Tom Bassoand and discussed the importance of psychology in trading. They decided that the factors of trading could be broken down to three parts:

  • 10% Trading System
  • 30% Money Management
  • 60% Psychology

CTfrdiBXAAAbns1.jpg

Many years later, Tharp admitted that they were wrong. Now he thinks that Psychology accounts for 100% in trading success.

 

We can argue about the exact percentage, but there is no doubt that options trading psychology plays HUGE role in trading success.

 

If you still have doubts about the role of Psychology in trading, consider this:

 

Recent study by DALBAR shows that investors consistently underperform the broad markets by significant margins. For the 30 years ending 12/31/2013 the S&P 500 Index averaged 11.11% a year. A pretty attractive historical return. The average equity fund investor earned a market return of only 3.69%. What other explanation can you give to this huge difference if not Human Psychology?

 

I just finished reading Van Tharp latest book Trading Beyond the Matrix. This was fourth Tharp's book that I have read (after Super Trader, Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom and Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom. Honestly, I have a hard time to decide which one is the best - they are all excellent and worth reading.

 

Here are some extracts from Trading Beyond the Matrix. Every word is gold.

 

"Trading is not easy to do, but becoming a trader is easy. There are no obstacles whatsoever to anyone opening a trading account. I’ve said for a long time that if trading were easy, Big Money would monopolize it. They’d do so by making the entry requirements so steep that it would be impossible for an average person to trade, perhaps through an education and exam system that would weed out most people. If you want to know Big Money’s rule, just watch the financial media for a week or so. They’ll imply that:

  • 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.
  • You must spend a lot of time analyzing the market to find the right investment.
  • You should listen to experts for advice, including newsletter writers, brokers, and investment gurus on television.


My experience indicates that those old rules are what cause most people to be net losers in the markets. Through my modeling work with top traders and investors, looking at what they do and how they think, I’ve come up with a new set of rules."

 


fd56d501bd507c268b9872f0ea8e7215.png

 

We call these rules Tharp Think. Let’s look at these rules. First, you must understand that trading profitably and consistently is not easy. Sure, you can go into a brokerage company and open an account; that part is certainly pretty easy. As the e-trade baby says, “See, I just bought stock.” And the industry wants you to think it really is that easy—that even a baby can do it with the right trading platform. Can you imagine being allowed to perform open-heart surgery simply by strolling into an operating room and declaring that you want to do so? Of course not. It doesn’t work that way. Similarly, can you imagine building a bridge just by reading a book and then being put in charge of a construction team? Or, worse yet, giving a few orders to the construction team and then going along on your merry way? Again, it doesn’t work that way. Big Money wants you to think otherwise. They want you to believe that you need only turn on some financial program and listen to the stock picks."

 

So what are Tharp Think rules?

 

The first new rule is that trading is as much a profession as any other. It takes significant time (several years) and a deep commitment to become a successful trader.

 

The second new rule is that trading reflects human performance just as much as any top athletic endeavor. You must understand that you are responsible for the results you get. Thus, you should devote significant time to working on yourself in order to be successful.

 

The third new rule is that objectives are important. Furthermore, you achieve your objectives through position sizing strategies. The quality of your system just tells you how easy it will be to use position sizing strategies to achieve your objectives. Most people don’t even think about objectives, except that they’d like to make a lot of money and avoid losing, and they don’t have a clue about position sizing strategies. They learn that asset allocation is important, but they never understand that what makes it so important is the “how much” factor, which is what position sizing strategies are all about.

 

Dr. Tharp is also talking about the importance of taking responsibility for your results. In other words, if you decide to trade based on newsletter recommendations, and lose money, it is your fault, not the newsletter’s fault. You chose the newsletter, and you chose to invest based on its recommendations. You decided to trust the newsletter’s published results, showing they won 75 percent of the time. You decided not to paper-trade the recommendations for six months to confirm the results before starting to trade real money. You didn’t stop to find at least one independent source who had confirmed the newsletter’s track record before trading. You, you, you!

 

If you want to become a better trader, I would highly recommend reading Van Tharp's books.

 

Start Your Free Trial

 

Related Articles:
Are You EMOTIONALLY Ready To Lose?
Why Retail Investors Lose Money In The Stock Market
Are You Ready For The Learning Curve?
Can you double your account every six months?

What Is SteadyOptions?

Full Trading Plan

Complete Portfolio Approach

Diversified Options Strategies

Exclusive Community Forum

Steady And Consistent Gains

High Quality Education

Risk Management, Portfolio Size

Performance based on real fills

Try It Free

Non-directional Options Strategies

10-15 trade Ideas Per Month

Targets 5-7% Monthly Net Return

Visit our Education Center

Recent Articles

Articles

  • Bullish Short Strangles

    A bullish short strangle sounds like a complicated strategy, but it’s really quite simple for those familiar with option terminology. A short put is combined with a short call to where the position starts with some amount of positive delta overall. This distinguishes itself from a delta neutral strangle, where both the short put and short call are sold at the same delta.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 41 views
  • Eight Mistakes Every Forex Trader Should Avoid

    The forex market is currently the largest financial market in the world and, due to its highly liquid nature and low barriers to entry, is only expected to grow. Becoming a forex trader requires minimal effort and with a decent internet connection, a laptop or computer, and some spare money to invest, you can start in no time.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 35 views
  • Put/Call Parity - Two Definitions

    Put/call parity is a term options traders use to mean one of two things. The simplest definition and the one most applicable to most options traders compares the similarity in the bid/ask spread and the net debit or credit resulting from this.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 227 views
  • Put Selling: Strike Selection Considerations

    When selling puts, such as we do in our Steady Momentum PutWrite strategy, there are many questions a trader must answer: What expiration should I use? What strike should I sell? Should I choose that strike based on delta or percentage out of the money?

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 260 views
  • What Can We Learn From UBS YES Lawsuit?

    News followers may have seen the recent stories on UBS being sued by its clients and investors who participated in UBS’s “Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES).”  Evidently, numerous UBS clients signed up to participate in an iron condor strategy that lost a lot of money.They’re angry, and they’re filing a lawsuit.

    By cwelsh,

    • 2 comments
    • 863 views
  • Pinning Down the ‘Option Pinning’

    What many people on SO have in common is that they have read the books of Jeff Augen on options trading. Although written a decade ago they continue to be an interesting source of strategies for the retail investor. Retail investors have particular constraints that make most of the broad theoretical musings on options rather moot.

    By TrustyJules,

    • 0 comments
    • 367 views
  • Holding Positions into Expiration

    "Every once in a while you must go to cash, take a break, take a vacation. Don't try to play the market all the time. It can't be done, too tough on the emotions." - Jesse Livermore

    By Mark Wolfinger,

    • 0 comments
    • 294 views
  • Tales Of How Big Trades Went Wrong

    One way to learn from your past mistakes is having to go through the painful and challenging experience of explaining them. Another way is to listen to others who might have lived through some disgruntling trades. Joseph Trevisani goes deep into the rationale he followed during the volatile EUR/JPY days of 2007 in this article.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 302 views
  • Covered Straddle Explained

    The covered straddle is a perfect strategy for those all too common sideways-moving trends. When a company’s stock is in consolidation, how can you make trades? No directional trend exists, so most traders simply wait out this period.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 454 views
  • Why Doesn't Anchor Roll The Long Calls?

    Recently, an Anchor subscriber asked, “Why don’t we roll the long calls in the Leveraged Anchor portfolio after a large gain and take cash off the table?”  This question has a multi-part answer, from taxation to how the delta on a position works.

    By cwelsh,

    • 0 comments
    • 283 views

  Report Article

We want to hear from you!


There are no comments to display.



Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's easy and free!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

Options Trading Blogs