Animal Spirits, Geomagnetism and Feng Shui For Traders

One area that is of widespread interest is the idea that life on Earth is influenced by the magnetic pulls of various bodies in our Solar System. Most of you will know that the Moon – which is but a tiny rock compared to the planets in our Solar System – has such a significant effect on the Earth it moves the seas. Many women find their menstrual cycle is influenced by the Moon, many animals reproduce at certain phases of the lunar cycle and the agricultural practice of Biodynamics has found that if you plant and harvest at certain phases of the cycle you get more crop.

In Feng Shui, this has been a long-acknowledged truth. The Tong Shu for example tells us days to plant and harvest based upon similar lunar observations. We don’t end there. There are other systems and cycles. Another well known one is Tai Sui, which looks at how the movement of the planet Jupiter – the biggest planet in our Solar System at more than two and a half times the size of all the other planets put together – affects the psyche of those on Earth. In addition we look at the Sun and the stars as well. The study of geomagnetism is very well developed in Feng Shui, since much of Feng Shui is the study of geomagnetism.

Have you ever heard of animal spirits? I’m not talking Taoist shamanic practices, rather in investing circles it’s a phrase used to say why stocks do well or worse in any given period of time for no apparent reason. The term animal spirits with this meaning was first used by the famous British economist, John Maynard Keynes. Many books have been published on it since but perhaps of more interest is the question it raises – if financial markets ebb and flow according to this hidden force, what is it that drives animal spirits?

Stocks' solar system article in The Investor's Chronicle

It was really interesting to see a recent debate on this be raised by Dominic Picarda of the 150 year old weekly publication, The Investor’s Chronicle. In it, Picarda draws attention to a research paper by The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta called Playing the Field: Geomagnetic Storms and the Stock Market. Their research looks at how the Sun’s geomagnetic storms influence people’s mood enough to affect financial market activity.

Artist’s rendition of Earth’s magnetosphere.

Probably the best known geomagnetic storm of recent history is the Carrington Event of 1859. It’s widely thought that if that same storm happen today, it would wipe out the power grid and electrically powered machines around the world. Storms that size are believed to happen every 500 years but ones at least a fifth as big happen several times a century and cause significant disruption. Perhaps more personally, they’re also indicated with increased:

  • anxiety
  • disturbed sleep
  • mood swings
  • angina and heart problems
  • admissions to psychiatric hospitals

It’s not been lost on the Western investment community. John Hampson has created a model based on both geomagnetism and lunar phases and rightly points out that the last solar minimum was in December 2008 – which was the bottom for the markets – and the next one is predicted for July 2013.

In the East, this type of study is already massive business. For instance, Hong Kong headquartered stock brokers, CLSA have issued an annual market outlook based on Feng Shui principles. I’ve presented for CLSA’s clients in the past, giving investors a briefing in London as to what the implications of forecast patterns are. In a nutshell, the science behind this, as many of you who’ve taken my Feng Shui Essentials course already know, goes like this:

  • The body works by sending tiny electrical impulses around our nervous and neural systems
  • Humans are classed as a carbon based life form but factually speaking we ought to be called a water based life form since we’re an average of 80% H2O. As you know by the Moon and oceans, water is moved by magnetism
  • Objects, buildings, planets and other celestial and man-made bodies all exert magnetic fields of varying strengths. One reason many people feel so stressed after a time in a city center is because of the many competing and unnatural magnetic fields in areas like this caused by big buildings, EMFs and other objects
  • Just like a magnet, our body’s tiny impulses may be attracted by these fields or repelled
  • If we’re under the influence of repelling energy, our moods, confidence, health and outlook all tick down
  • If we’re under the influence of attracting magnetic fields, we become lifted up and confident.
  • The phase where attracting energy shifts to repelling is often marked by excess exuberance as people begin to become intoxicated with success they see as of their own creation rather than as part of a cycle or phase
  • The part that confuses most researchers is the fact that because we are born and conceived during different magnetic phases, we have different preferences and tolerances. This is why markets overall can be bad but there are always some winners, at least relative to the market.
  • Knowing what works has to start from the self and at the same time incorporate the global view of how the majority of humanity is being affected. Putting these two together puts a trader at an advantage

I’ve done a significant number of Feng Shui consultations for city traders, forex pros and professional brokerages. Although solar and lunar influences tell a part of the story, I also believe that both Jupiter and the movement of certain significant stars plays a noticeable role in human psychology.

One tip that well worth looking at for traders is this. Keep a financial record of year and tie them not to the Western Gregorian calendar but to one of the Chinese calendars.

Why?

These are based on the solar or lunar year whereas the Gregorian calendar simply counts a number of days before starting a new year. Look for the years that you’ve made losses and gains in and base that as a percentage of your overall wealth at that time because the sums we play with tend to get bigger as we get older so ratios are more useful an indicator than simply the face value amounts. If you have enough history to chart over 12 years, there’s a good chance that you’ll start to see patterns emerging!

For those of you that need help seeing what your patterns are or separating out the periods which were caused by solar energies (Ba Zi, Xuan Kong and Tai Sui) from the regular interference we get from our environment (Feng Shui), do get in touch. I can help you get in at the ground floor by helping you understand what phase you are in now and how your personal cycle runs based upon an analysis of your birthday. Not even great sages are always in luck, and there may also be sectors that simply clash with your energetic preferences.

If this is the sort of information you’re bullish on knowing, don’t sit on your hands! Get in touch and for a small fee I’ll give you all the details you need.

This type of information does not replace technical and fundamental analysis. It compliments it by helping you see your own madness (or genius!).

You’ll still need to make investments in sound companies and if you’re trading, you’ll still want to be watching your candlesticks so you know when to get in and out. As a confirmation tool on whether your feelings on a certain trade are sound or are being influenced by animal spirits, it’s a valuable second opinion and a mirror into your mind that’s hard to get any other way.

A big thanks to Dominic Picarda for raising such an interesting article (see 27th Jan 2012 Investor’s Chronicle for the full article). For those of you taking a view on markets, it’s worth following him on Twitter as well as subscribing to his regular columns in The Investor’s Chronicle. You’ll frequently catch me and other members of the Rising Dragon Feng Shui team at the regular Investor’s Chronicle Roadshows at which Dominic always presents plenty of thought provoking ideas! Here’s to knowing how to stay on the right side of the cycles!