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Plotting the future: review of Time and Money

Studying the birth chart of the US shows planetary patterns coinciding with upheavals and depressions in the country's history – and in his new book, Robert Gover predicts a decade of depression ahead. Helen Avery looks at this alternative approach.

"If I'd foreseen the bear market, I'd have left to run a hedge fund," says a long-only portfolio manager with a large US house. But among the reams of analyst reports and economic forecasts at the end of the 1990s, there was no indication of the downturn the market was about to take. In an industry where having an insight to the future is crucial, an increasing number of fund managers, disillusioned by analysts' predictions, are looking to the skies for answers. It might cause titters among their peers, but when you look at the returns of Henry Weingarten's Astrologers Fund, for example, the smiles soon fade. Over the 12 years it has been running, the fund has outperformed its benchmarks nearly every year. "It's not what you know, it's when you know it," is Weingarten's philosophy.

For those who share Weingarten's thinking, it might be worth taking a look at Robert Gover's new book, Time and Money: The Economy and the Planets.* The recent bear market pales in comparison to his predictions for the 20-teens.

What Gover has done, with the help of a computer, is to plot the US's birth chart (unsurprisingly July 4 1776), and has sat "with a history book in one hand and a table of daily planetary positions in the other", searching for repeating planetary patterns during times of significant economic events.

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