Sunday, January 18, 2009

Invest with the astrologers | The Australian

Here is an article I found while surfing the net... Julie McBeth is an astrological colleague who knows her financial stuff....

the link to the original article is:,25197,24860374-23634,00.html

Article from: The Australian

RELAX: Criterion is not about to ask celebrity shopper Paris Hilton for her investment advice, but the key to the market's fortunes could well lie in the stars -- as in the celestial variety.

Sceptical? Fair enough, but as the conventional financial experts were way off beam in 2008, we may as well air the astrological perspective.

The tidings are far from positive, according to star gazer (and former finance journalist) Julie McBeth. In fact they are downright horrifying. "Global share markets are not out of the woods yet," McBeth warns. "Early 2009 will see markets around the world slide again."

March 8 looms as a stinker because Venus (which rules money) starts to move backwards in the sky. The other celestial body to watch is Pluto, which was cruelly downgraded to a dwarf planet in 2007 but still steers the US Fed Reserve's astrological chart.

In February 2007, McBeth warned that as Pluto was moving into Capricorn, the Federal Reserve would face a crisis "that had not been seen or ever dealt with in its history".

On March 18, 2008, when Pluto reached a critical point in the Fed's chart, Bear Stearns collapsed and needed to be bailed out by JP Morgan.

"The problems for the Fed and the US have only just begun," McBeth says. "In 2009, dates to watch for similar problems for the Fed and the banking sector include January/February, late July to early August and around October 19.

"Astrologers see this all moving to a crescendo in 2010, when -- due to a line of planets not seen since the 1930s Depression -- the US will be in serious trouble. "The $US is likely to collapse, unemployment will reach double digits and the economy will be slowing to a halt."

The main culprit is the "hard aspects" between the outer planets -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto -- which will be at either 90-degree or 180-degree angles to each other. This pattern peaks in August 2010 and last happened during the 1930s.

"The same planetary alignment also occurred in 1873 when the New York stock market collapsed, closing for 10 days and triggering a severe nationwide economic depression," McBeth says.

"Unregulated speculative credit was the root cause then, as it appears to be now."

The good news: Australia will experience less pain because we are not as affected by this planetary combo.

Finally, various planetary alignments will cause global market volatility over March 7-8 and July 8-11, and in the first weeks of September and November and the second half of December. "If you think astrology is a lot of rubbish, mark these dates in your calendar and see what you think," challenges McBeth. OK, it's a deal.

Diamonds in the dust

LIKE a spluttering Beetle, investors have reached the 2009 finishing line, shedding an average 43 per cent of their savings (as measured by the All Ords) along the way.

The top 200 stocks provided little more sanctuary, tumbling by 41.2 per cent. Both indices have done notably worse than the Dow Jones industrial average (down 36 per cent), which seems unfair as the US has been the root of most of the financial woes.

But a sparse handful of stocks withstood the carnage and posted gains. Across the ASX200 index, 13 stocks ended in positive territory but only six were materially ahead.

The winners (on an index weighted basis) were Origin Energy (ORG, up 84 per cent), Queensland Gas (QGC, 75 per cent), AGL Energy (AGK, 14 per cent), Karoon Gas (KAR, 11 per cent) and Iluka Resources (ILU, 8 per cent).

On an absolute basis, coal producer Linc Energy (LNC) led with a 160 per cent gain, thanks to the $1.5 billion sale of its Queensland coal assets to Xinwen Mining.

Without the ongoing charms of gas -- especially the coal seam variety -- there would have been no gainers apart from Iluka, the recovering mineral sands play.

As for the living dead, they are household names such as Babcock & Brown (BNB, down 99.45 per cent), Allco (AFG, down 98 per cent and in receivership), Babcock & Brown Power (BBP, down 96.5 per cent) and Valad Property (VPG, down 96 per cent). The last time Criterion saw such delinquents, they were vandalising phone boxes.

The story across the greater All Ords is no more salutary: 35 stocks rose and 542 fell, with only ten of the 35 managing significant gains. Once again, coal seam gas players led the charge with Sunshine Gas up 207percent (the result of being taken over by Queensland Gas), and Eastern Star Gas up 104 per cent on takeover speculation.

The other noteworthy gainers were Portman Mining (PMM, 102 per cent), taken over by Cleveland Cliffs; New Hope Coal (NHC, 47 per cent) and Midwest Corp (MIS, 33 per cent).

So for those who retained faith in coal seam gas while managing to luck on to the isolated coal and iron ore winners, congratulations.

For the rest of us, there is always next year which cannot get any worse. Surely?

The Australian accepts no responsibility for stock recommendations. Readers should contact a licensed financial adviser. The author does not hold shares in the companies mentioned, but does own a telescope.


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