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Forecasting Future Returns

Jupiter Ascending


Predicting the future of Wall Street is less science than art. One of the best artists was Evangeline Adams, a Jersey City–born student of the heavens. She predicted the Dow would soar when the planet Jupiter was ascendant. She was right. She predicted oil and shipping prices would lift on full moons. They did. Again and again she called it.

Rich and smart men came to Evangeline to learn how to buy. Among them were John Paul Getty and John Pierpont Morgan. Dressed as a gypsy, she sprinkled “gold dust” — cleaning powder — on their palms, then told them how they should invest their millions.  A typical reading: “The Sun being unfriendly to Neptune” encourages stock investments in “large industries connected with fire, railroads [and] machinery.”  When money and birthdays align properly, “it becomes propitious for entering into new ventures.”

Evangeline had a number of bellwether years. Then she hit the wall.

It was the year the planets signaled fat stock market profits. Investors should be bold. It was 1929, and those who followed Evangeline and her planets lost their shirts. She claimed the gold dust was bad. Getty and Morgan stopped calling.

Appreciating the difficulty of reading the planets, we offer a more terrestrial glimpse of “ The Future of Wall Street,” not so much a prediction as a mosaic of likely winners — people, banks, global exchanges, patterns of investment.
To which we add the caveat: Gold dust sometimes goes bad.