Financial astrology (also known as business astrology, economic astrology, and/or astro-economics) is the practice of relating the movements of celestial bodies to events in financial markets. The use of astrology in financial markets is not consistent with standard economic or financial theory, but might be considered heterodox economics. The practice has been used in various formats since 463BC.
The scientific community considers astrology to be a pseudoscience. Hard dates are rarely given, rather, advice is given based on which astrological sign is 'rising'. Long term predictions are made using more traditional methods of looking at prior history and making mathematical predictions based on patterns relative to astronomical events. Critics have pointed out that some astrological events that have been used in predictions occur so rarely that they may have never happened before within a human lifetime, thus having no precedent on which to predict results.
In 1992, 1994 and 2008, a magazine by the name of Wall Street Forecaster was named as one of the top forecasters on Wall Street, as the superstition was being leaned on for luck. It was also rated the second best performing forecaster in 2002. It was reported that some clients asked for their copies to be delivered in 'brown paper' to avoid mockery. As of 2001 the Astro fund trading company, which handled $3.5-5 million worth of investor assets, claimed 10-15% of fund managers were using their service or a similar company. The majority of the market demand for this service has come from the US and Japan respectively. In 2000, Bloomberg News was host to a weekly show dedicated to financial astrology. The 2000 financial crash led to a surge in companies and investment bankers using the services of financial astrologers.
Tellingly, large firms such as J. P. Morgan, refuse to take a stance for or against the practice, though the founder of the bank, John Pierpont Morgan, had a personal astrologer on staff, and he was attributed as saying "Millionaires don't use astrologers, but billionaires do.". In 2000, the chief technical analyst for HSBC was quoted as saying; "most astrology stuff doesn't check out, but some of it does". Similarly, in 1997, the treasurer for The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development admitted that they used the practice in their financial planning and described the correlation between astrological events and financial events as "uncanny".
The practice was used by Goldman Sachs in a paper released in 1999, focussing specifically on the correlation between eclipses and the state of the financial market at that time. Though floated as an idea by the company at the time, analysis showed that random data produced similar results. A 2007 study by The British Association for the Advancement of Science conducted an experiment wherein a financial astrology, professional investor, and five-year-old child, were asked to invest £5,000 on the FTSE100. The child earned the most money, with the financial astrologer taking the heaviest losses.