High-flying financiers subscribe to high-ticket astrologers

According to Heidi N. Moore's report in Marketwatch, thousands of high-flying Wall Street traders secretly rely on advice from "financial astrologers" who tell them what the stars and planets predict for the market. One trader requests his newsletter in a plain brown wrapper so that his colleagues won't know his secret.

Financial astrologers like Karen Starich say traders know they're up against a lot of rich, smart people.

"They want to have that edge," she says. "They want to know what the future is."

Starich chargest $237 annually for her newsletter, which 300 traders subscribe to for news of what will happen to the stock prices of companies, or even bigger, to the Federal Reserve. She sees dark times ahead in the Fed's horoscope.

"They now have Saturn squared to Neptune, which is really bankruptcy," Starich explains.

Astrology guides some financial traders (via Lowering the Bar)

(Image: Astrological Clock, Torre dell'Orologio, Venice, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from spencer77's photostream)


  1. Utterly unsurprised. Having worked with traders, it was clear most of them were nothing but professional gamblers who took credit for what was actually just luck.

  2. Superstitious speculators and religious (X graph be their holy symbol) economists, no wonder this world is going to the dogs…

  3. What do you want to bet that right now in some Wall Street office a man is consulting sheep entrails.

    1. the one I hope for is someone taking note of the flight of birds. Or has a bunch of chickens they spread grain for and watch how they eat it.

    2. Perhaps that’s what Bohemian Grove is all about.. yearly consultation of the Owl God’s oracles.

      All that plutocratic down-low circle-jerking might just be the side show.

    1.  Maybe her customers are the less successful Wall Street traders.

      On the other hand, this does explain why many of them needed bailouts…

    2. It doesn’t say how often it comes out.  Four times a year makes it $59 per issue.  Nice work if you can get it.

  4. Could just be a way of communicating trading intent to manipulate the market. If enough traders agreed to bet client’s money on common recommendations from an astrologer, it would move the market predictably. Whilst they obviously couldn’t give two shits about their clients’ money, they could then front run with proprietary or even private money to great personal benefit.

    But we all trust the markets and the traders, don’t we.

  5. This piece certainly fits well into the popular narrative that traders are ignorant egomaniacs, but I have a hard time believing there are ‘thousands’ of Wall Street traders relying on astrological financial newsletters to make their trades. Even if the two astrologers referenced aren’t inflating their subscriber totals, respectively, why would that mean they’re all professional traders? More likely they are laypeople that manage some or all of their own money. Funny piece, though.

    1. I had a hard time believing that the Nancy Reagan was constantly consulting astrologers, and that Ronald believed that the biblical Armageddon was already being fought.

      They weren’t even embarrassed to admit that was how they governed.

      Vonnegut had a better grasp of the gibbering insanity of the oligarchs than do all the CNBC chowderheads combined.

  6. Henry Weingarten has been doing this form of astrology for years now:


    There are more too; but I think one’s odds at this would be just as good for the specific financial information one needs by throwing sticks.

    However in a generalized broad brushed format this can show trends before they become apparent. Hardly anything to bank directly on though, as easily seen from the BS in that linked article.

  7. Considering the mess Wall Street led us down, it figures that they abandoned reason and went in for augury.

    What’s next? 

    Reading the entrails of sacrificial virgin maidens?

  8. Say you had insider trader information… say you needed to “launder” that information before making a profit from it… covering that information up as “astrology” and selling the information rather than trading directly on it is the perfect crime.

    1. But presumably the predictions would have to be reliable to have any value. Consistently wrong or consistently right hardly matters. Wouldn’t this – being rather uncharacteristic of astrological predictions – be easily detectable by any observer as a remarkable anomaly? Although I suppose if you’ve stopped looking at their success rates, because, umm, why bother? It could work once, or maybe unnoticeably infrequently … Hmm. OK. You might be onto something there …

      1. Yeah, as long as your predictions give returns of 10-20% per year overall you will retain a strong client base who run under the radar and make a reasonable amount of money quietly.

        Plus predictions like “dark times for the Fed” don’t really need an astrologer to predict with the debt servicing load and aging boomers set to demolish medicare.

    2.  Dude, the idea of laundering information through fortune tellers of various stripes is brilliant.  I guess Julian Assange could have saved himself a lot of trouble by teaming up with Miss Cleo.

    3. I find myself reminded of the returning gag regarding tabloid magazines actually being a reliable source of information to the people in the know.

  9. The algorithms powering a lot of HFT, while having a patina of greater of greater rigour and credibility, often provide no better real-world performance than consulting an astrologer.

    The (financial) market is not difficult to beat because it efficiently incorporates all available information, it is difficult to beat because it is random – because it is driven by, and produces, much more noise than signal.

  10. Any astrologer worth their salt would laugh at Saturn square Neptune being a prediction of bankruptcy! Bad debts coming home to roost? Yes. Bankruptcy? No.

    If you’re going to do it, for Christ’s sake do it properly!

  11. I know ‘successful’ brokers who fervently believe in fortune-tellers, signs, omens and the like.  I put this illness down to their inadequate mental capacity for understanding anything going on around them, hence positive outcomes (lots of money) for them simply trips fuses, and negative outcomes (2008+) simply … trips fuses.  Similar to sentient beings, their minds quest for understanding – devoid of any productive way to garner that, they default to the sell and hype of fortune telling.  Which is what they peddle to their clients anyway.  So it’s just a birds of a feather thing.

    All this would stop instantly if investors required brokers and traders to share in both profit and loss.

    Ultimately, I believe that it isn’t impossible there is some hyper-meta structure governing behaviour – but I do believe that there isn’t a person on the planet who can actually capture that fantastic concept and usefully apply it to predicting the future.


  12. Magical thinking and the problems thereof is well documented and ignored by all echelons of society.

    What I noticed is brokers need that competitive edge – why do thousands then subscribe to THE SAME NEWSLETTER? At least get your own magical fairy if you want that edge.

  13. I don’t know that this necessarily is magical thinking. It may simply be a means of making decisions in an overwhelming sea of information. Any method of cutting down the size of the decision space to something that you can actually, comfortably, examine might be used. It’s why HR departments use graphology and other worthless metrics to eliminate candidates from a flood of applicants. They don’t necessarily believe in the nonsense – it’s just a useful way of doing an automatic and no-thought-required algorithmic preselection. Almost anything will do. You’re never going to know you’ve pre-eliminated the ‘ideal’ thing you’ve been seeking and there’ll always be a ‘best’ in the set getting through the filter, so you can simultaneously pretend that you’re applying your best personal judgement in your final selection whilst allowing you to blame the woo if ever anyone demonstrates you could have had even better.

    It’s a simple responsibility-eliminating device is all. A deresponsibilinator, if you will.

  14.  Wieder mal vergessen: Das letzte Hemd hat keine Taschen. Die Gewinne der Einen sind die Schulden der Anderen. Wenn die Schuldenblase platzt, was sie bisher immer gemacht hat, hat keiner mehr was.

    Solange die Menschen nicht wissen, wie das Geld und die Wurst gemacht werden, können sie ruhiger schlafen.

    Würde der Staat, wie es ihm eigentlich zustände, sein Geld selber aus der Luft schöpfen, und dieses ungerechtfertigte Monopol nicht den Privatbanken überlassen, bräuchten wir alle KEINE STEUERN zu bezahlen.

    Das Verschweigen dieser Tatsache ist der wirkliche Steuerbetrug. Unser Geldsystem ist darauf ausgerichtet, die Menschen zugunsten der Eliten zu versklaven. Mit dem ESM wurde dieses Versklavungssystem von der BRD auf EU Ebene gehoben.

    Der Euro ist das Instrument dazu.

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