Old-fashioned IR executives had better start looking over their
shoulders or, more specifically, up at the stars. There's something new
on the horizon.
Reuters recently reported that financial investors and analysts were
cruelly ignoring the lavish four-color annual reports and video tapes
that IR people spend hours (not to mention megabucks) developing to tout
publicly traded companies as great investments. Instead, they're relying
on the up-and-coming field of 'astroeconomics' to decide where their
hard-earned dollars should be invested.
In this made-up-sounding field, astrological cycles are studied to
provide investors with a read on the economic fortunes of a company,
currency, or stock market. There are even financial astrologers like
Henry Weingarten, director of the New York-based Astro Fund, who
incorporates astroeconomics in managing his clients' investments.
Weingarten confidently predicted to Reuters that at least 10% of
professional fund managers are using astrology, often as a confirmation
or supplemental tool, to help make their decisions.
And it's serious enough stuff that Goldman Sachs even commissioned a
study trying to ascertain a link on how the solar eclipse impacted the
financial market in August 1999.
Qorvis Communications' Esther Smith is not one to readily relegate
astroeconomics to fodder for the staff writers of Leno or, for that
matter, Last Call, given how some people make their investment
decisions. 'When you consider how many people use the dart board system
to select their stocks, astroeconomics probably has a lot more thought
going into it,' she reasoned.
Frankly, it sounds like a load of crystal balls to us.