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Should Investors Ignore Astrological Forecasts

2 April 2007 - Features - Editor

Astrology and pornography have one thing in common: it is politically correct to deride the stuff, but who can resist a peak when no one is looking? The stock market crash of the first week of March 2007 is now an incontrovertible fact, but are astrologers right in linking it with the total lunar eclipse during the same period?

I would not dare to agree with any such irrational sooth saying if I were being interviewed by the likes of Morgan Stanley, but privately, the following words of noted astronomer Carl Sagan haunt my mind:

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

It is not just a matter of the recent lunar eclipse. Global stock market turbulence might have something to do with planetary positions. There may be no scientific proof as yet, but what can we do if train loads of Indian and Chinese investors think so, even if only in the privacy of their minds? Even Wall Street is not immune from shades of opinion which believe that the positions of Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Mars, relative to each other, bode ill for stock market prospects.

Precious stones and gems offer hope to some. Most astrologers will agree that you can ward off at least some of the negative vibes on your stock market securities by wearing a ring or a pendant. The choices of stone and color depend in part on the month in which you were born. The compromise is enticing because you can always pass off a new adornment to the dictates of fashion rather than superstition. However, recalcitrant executives laden with misfortune to queer the pitch: perhaps we should ask key managers to make disclosures of their birth details so that we can match their horoscopes for top stock market picks!

Do not get me wrong for I do not mean to mock. No one can be sure what the stars foretell for any stock market. It is equally true that the world wide investment climate could be headed for an extended bear phase. My personal approach is to view the stock market scene with an extra filter of caution. I have decided to favor proposals which focus on downsides and contingency planning. Bonds from well run and honest government bodies have acquired new sparkle for me. Glossy road shows and fairy tales are things of the past as far as I am concerned.

You are right if you think that I am running scared. The truth is that I cannot get this astrology thing out of my mind. I am unsure of how to deal with it, but brushing it aside altogether does not seem to be the right thing to do.

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