Psychics, market experts look beyond crystal ball
Original Post: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/report-on-business/psychics-market-experts-look-beyond-crystal-ball/article18257098/
JANUARY 2, 2004
Psychics rely on astrology, tarot cards and clairvoyance rather than economic reports and other indicators to make their market predictions.
We asked two of them for their take on 2004 and compared their reports with those of two stock market experts.
Internationally renowned clairvoyant Tony Uberoi, as he is self-described on his website, tonyuberoi.com, concluded after studying the movement of planets that this is going to be Canada’s year.
“Canada is ruled by the number 6 and if you add 2-0-0-4, it comes to a number 6, and this is why it’s going to be a fabulous year for Canada, especially for Ontario and Toronto, which are ruled by the number 9, which is very compatible to the number 6.”
He had one cautionary note for the country.
“Although we have an ex-finance minister as a Prime Minister, we will have to be careful of overspending because 6 is controlled by planet Venus, which could make us do badly for various reasons.”
From his astrological readings, he also sees the Bank of Canada’s key overnight rate, which is at 2.75 per cent, rising after September and climbing “sharply” in 2005.
Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones & Co., said she expects the central bank will raise rates 50 basis points, “but not until the second half of the year.” (A basis point is 1/100th of a percentage point.)
“As we move through 2004 and see stronger economic numbers, the Bank of Canada will feel the need to slow the economy down a bit in order to be sure we don’t see the resurgence of inflation that we saw in early 2003,” she said.
Madame Miki, as she is referred to by a virtual directory on the Internet, forecasts the bank rate staying “about the same” this year.
“There won’t be a significant jump,” she said. “You might see a bit of a rise in the second quarter of the year, but nothing that’s going to double up or anything like that.”
She did not use a crystal ball to make her predictions.
“I own one, but they’re really becoming quite archaic in the psychic business,” she said. “I just go by what’s in my head and the messages that come into my head.”
Madame Miki, who expects the housing market will continue to be hot, particularly in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, said she’s very good with real estate.
“I just know when it’s going up and down,” she said.
Just before the crash in the early 1990s, Madame Miki, whose surname is Corazza, sold a Toronto house in 1991 for $385,000 that she had purchased originally for $95,000. In 1994, she bought another home for $337,500 that was previously worth $600,000, property records show.
Only investors with a high risk tolerance should be in overseas stock markets, such as Asia and Europe, she said.
“Unless you’re someone who can shoulder a big loss, you have to be careful creeping around those markets,” said Madame Miki, who believes those two regions will continue to “take a big hit for 11/2 more years.”
At Edward Jones, Ms. Warne’s role is to provide investment advice, so she looks at general trends in the market. As far as she can tell, she has no psychic abilities, she said, even though she owns a crystal ball, a prize from a previous employer.
“It sits on my desk but I never saw anything in it,” she said. “Fortune tellers may have insight into things that we as market analysts don’t take into account,” but she added, “we hope that our accuracy is a little better than fortune tellers and that we have a more reasonable basis for what we say.”
Madame Miki, who has been in the business for 31 years, said: “It’s really hard for me to rate myself,” but “I get a lot of feedback from my customers.”
Mr. Uberoi, who has been providing advice for more than 25 years, said he arrived at his forecasts using what he called mundane astrology, but he does “not normally indulge in this because my expertise is in the field of personal one-on-ones.” He said he doesn’t keep track of his predictions but has many repeat customers.
Mr. Uberoi predicts the Canadian dollar, which ended the year at 77.13 cents (U.S.), will lose some ground after the first half of this year and will not reach 80 cents.
Ms. Warne also believes the dollar likely will not hit 80 cents in 2004. Factors, such as climbing commodity prices and a falling U.S. dollar, that helped the loonie move higher in 2003 remain in place this year, Ms. Warne said.
“We expect seeing prices to continue to move higher toward the high-70s, but probably not reaching 80 cents in 2004,” she said.
Clément Gignac, chief economist and strategist at National Bank Financial, said he believes the currency will be driven by commodity prices to 80 cents.
As for predicting the performance of the S&P/TSX composite index, which climbed 24 per cent in 2003, Mr. Uberoi expects it will drop “a bit” in January and February and then move higher.
“You can expect a 5- to 10-per-cent climb from where we are, said Mr. Uberoi, who doesn’t invest in stocks.
Ms. Warne is anticipating a similar increase. She believes the overall stock market will advance 6 to 8 per cent in 2004, given that company earnings are expected to grow 6 to 7 per cent and interest rates will likely remain “pretty flat.”
“We think investors need to stay well diversified owning some stocks and bonds,” she said. “That’s the right investment mix.”
She suggested either selling or pulling back on income trusts because “that has to end badly at some stage” since they’re paying out more in distributions than they are earning.