Van Tharp and Mark Douglas

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by WDGann, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. With the quality of Psychology forum deteriorating to a personal problem help hot line forum... I'm going to make a brief attempt of bringing some trade specific thread in...

    Let's discuss about the differences between the two.

    One. Van concentrates on having a plan and having the psychological backup to actually execute the plan. Somewhat like Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich". Mark Douglas concentrates on the mental conditioning of "trading the moment".

    Personally, they are both the same but Mark's book is more towards discretionary traders and Van's more helpful for mechanical traders. But taking traders in general, which do you prefer.

    Personally, I prefer Van's work. He has a more detailed explanation of the process of trades and it fits me personally. (I have all his courses from Peak Performance and further Financial Freedom book doesn't cover so much... :( ) Anyways, the steps of trades, planning exercise, etc. etc., it keeps me disciplined and focused towards the long term objective rather than being over-whelmed by the trade-to-trade results...

    Any thoughts from others...
  2. dbphoenix


    There's a considerable difference between viewing trading as a trader and viewing trading as a therapist of traders.

    Tharp has certainly made his contribution. From a psychological, sociological, anthropoligical standpoint, one can make some very insightful observations simply by observing a population, even if one doesn't go so far as to create and implement a full-blown research study. If one does go that far, the hypotheses generated can be intriguing.

    However, Douglas has a personal understanding of the way in which the stomach lurches and the heart begins to beat faster when the "Transmit" key is pressed, regardless of how much one trusts his system. I find the steps he suggests to achieving discipline, objectivity, self-control, etc., to be far more pertinent and practical than Tharp's. Being a trader, Douglas has a tacit understanding of the emotional aspects of trading that Tharp simply does not.
    NQurious and oly like this.
  3. Pabst


    Well put DB. The Disciplined Trader was a personal treatise rather than a manual. One can imagine that Douglas's thoughts began as the journal of a losing trader searching for internal answers, and then became the basis of publication.
  4. dbphoenix



    Sorry . . .
  5. Pabst


    I just thought you were getting real deep there.
  6. I have read works by both- I agree that Tharp tends to apply to more mechanical traders, while Douglas is a little more vague. I am working through Tharp's Peak Performance course, which is oriented towards a lot of the psychological issues, so I may need to comment more, later.

    Tharp IS a trader, he did not trade for a while, but currently trades his firm's retirement account. He may not be trading full time, but he does understand the technical issues of trading, plus the psychological side as well.

  7. dbphoenix


    He may be trading now, but he wasn't then. In fact, he got fleeced by one of his own clients.

    As for Douglas being vague, he's one of the few traders who can tell you step by step how to get from being a mess to being an accomplished trader.

    I'll stick with someone who's walked the walk.
    NQurious likes this.
  8. db,

    That's fair. Van did get taken by one of his "Supertraders", and that's unfortunate for sure. I do see merit in both guys work- but perhaps I need to read Douglas again, I may skimmed it too much.

    Thanks for the comments.

  9. dbphoenix


    When you say "it" rather than "them", I assume you've read only one. And neither book lends itself to skimming, though if you've read the first, it's not absolutely necessary to read every word in the second.

    For anyone who hasn't read either one, I suggest getting both through the library, then buying whichever you'd like to own.
  10. db,

    Good comments- thanks for the feedback.

    #10     Aug 31, 2003