Investment-obsessed Generation Z is using astrology and tarot for day trading

Some investors may ask their brokers for trading advice. The young people consult the stars and the sky.

Stefaniya Nova, who goes by @blonderichwitch on TikTok, is 25 years old and lives in New York City and uses astrology, tarot, and “intuition” to guide her daily operations.

“After scanning the market from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and choosing the stocks I’ll trade that day (today it was Amazon), I do a single card pull to confirm my decision or get guidance,” he says in a video. “Today I drew the Ace of Cups, which represents abundance; This gave me the necessary security to trust my strategy.”

The process seems to be working for her. In the next slide of her TikTok, Nova posts a screenshot of her portfolio from the day, showing a nearly $300 profit trading Amazon stock. “21% come back in 8 minutes trusting my higher self: heart:,” she writes. In another video, she posts a screenshot of her monthly earnings of almost $6,000.

Nova is one of many TikTokers who attribute their financial success to their trust in the universe: they promote techniques such as using lunar cycles to buy Bitcoin and astrology to make $440,000 trading cryptocurrencies. The practice, while far-fetched compared to conventional strategies of sophisticated investors, sits at the intersection of Gen Z’s love of vibes and financial freedom.

“It’s a new way to make money,” Nova said. Fortune. “New possibilities for people: that today it is not necessary to work so hard. Work smart and not hard.”

Following the stars has worked for Nova. This year she quit her day job as a tarot reader and astrology consultant to day trade, allowing her to earn a steadier income stream and earn around $5,000 a month. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for everyone, one expert warns.

“In financial markets, decisions should not be made based largely on perceptions of things,” said Samuel Hartzmark, a professor of behavioral finance at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. Fortune.

He added: “If this really predicted higher returns, then there are many market participants who would probably use it as signals in their portfolio.”

is in the stars

Nova shrugs at the dissidents. Some people find success by looking at market candlestick charts. She can do the same by looking at a deck of cards and planetary alignments.

“Everything in the world is a cycle: the stock market, the seasons and astrology,” Nova said. “As I got more into astrology, tarot, intuition and all that, I saw the correlation that I’m not the only one who is affected by these energetic influences.”

For example, Nova said on Friday that it would avoid making trading decisions at 1 p.m. because the moon was in a void stage, meaning it was not associated with a particular zodiac sign and had no influence on other celestial bodies. Decisions should be avoided during these periods, Nova said. Instead, he waited an hour, at which time the moon was in Virgo. After checking the market and making a tentative decision on a trade, Nova will confirm his decision and ask herself, “What is best for you in your soul?”

Hartzmark, the professor, says he doesn’t approve of astrology and tarot as a day trading strategy, but he understands why people gravitate toward them.

“The illusion of control,” he said. “Financial decisions are complicated and scary.”

Choices regarding money are different from other choices people make every day, he explained. The options are overwhelming, leading people to turn to any form of guidance available to gain clarity. Oversimplified logic about which stocks to day trade is one means to achieve this, as exemplified by the theory that stock-picking monkeys could perform as well as sophisticated investors due to the market’s inherent inconsistency. You shouldn’t buy Apple stock just because you like the iPhone, for example, Hartzmark argued. Decisions about buying stocks, particularly day trading, should be based on knowing something that other traders don’t, or having evidence that the iPhone is more valuable than the price the market has set for it.

“A lot of fads and vibes and things like that are really just similar examples of, ‘This sounds like a good story,’” Hartzmark said.

Generation Z, young people finishing college and finding their place in the professional world, are particularly vulnerable to these trends, he added.

Removing bad vibrations

Of course, the desire to control their uncertain future is one of the main reasons why Generation Z has fallen in love with investing in the first place. Driven by the fear of missing out and a determination to escape the corporate rat race, more than 70% of the generation owns stocks, according to NASDAQ, more than previous generations at the same stage of life. With apps like Robinhood at their fingertips, Gen Z also has the tools to invest cheaply and conveniently, catapulting them into trading sooner than previous generations.

Joyee Yang, 25, a financial influencer who has more than $150,000 in assets and 131,000 followers on TikTok, said Fortune She turned to the stock market to become financially independent after she was kicked out of her parents’ home at age 19, forcing her to move into an apartment with three roommates.

“I quickly learned that, damn, I’m alone in this world and I need to make more money or make my money work for me,” she said.

Yang believes he shares the attitudes of many members of Generation Z, who are seeking to gain financial stability in a landscape they see as largely unstable. Only 30% of the generation feels optimistic about the economy, according to an April report from identity verification platform SheerID, and more than 70% feel the need to stretch budgets or look for discounts. Investing, Yang argued, is a way to alleviate that panic.

“Generation Z is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Yang said. “They’re not completely alone or they don’t have to work for every dollar they earn.”

While financial influencers like Yang have shared their investment success stories online, increased access to stock trading platforms and the proliferation of online investment chatter has also given rise to a wealth of misinformation. . Research platform WallStreetZen found that nearly two-thirds of StockTok videos, or stock-related videos on TikTok, were misleading, according to a January report. Those videos garnered 21.5 million likes and 194 million views.

Patterns of the universe

But TikTok and Gen Z didn’t conjure up biased ideas about investment strategies out of nowhere. In fact, there is historical precedent for the wisdom of day trading based on the StockTok vibe.

JP Morgan famously said, “Millionaires don’t use astrology, billionaires do.” Even the American financier trusted the stars to guide his decisions: it is rumored that he canceled his planned trip on the Titanic at the last minute because his astrologer warned him.

William Delbert Gann, an investor who made his fortune in the early 20th century, became famous for using astrology, ancient mathematics, and geometry to inform his trading decisions. Using certain angles, Gann aimed to predict market trends and identify the perfect time to buy stocks. His graphics are still accessible today, although the validity of his philosophy is much disputed.

“After exhaustive investigations of the known sciences,” Gann said in a 1909 interview, “I discovered that the law of vibration enabled me to determine precisely the exact points at which stocks or commodities should rise and fall in a given time.” certain”.

If you look at the correlation between the decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and total solar eclipse days, you might, for a moment, forgive Gann for his eccentric ideals. According to an Axios analysis, during or shortly after five of the seven total solar eclipses visible in the United States since 1932, the Dow Jones fell. Of course, there is another, less positive explanation: The economy is often affected by eclipses, as people travel to witness the event, disrupting travel and typical spending behaviors.

Hartzmark is still not convinced of Gann’s dogma. Guys like Gann are destined for success sometimes, he said, simply because the base success rate for day trading is so low to begin with. A 2004 study that Hartzmark still cites, by researchers at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, and National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan, found that, of 130,000 individual investors, more than 80% lost money in practice. . The few who made money did not do so consistently.

Since the probability of success in day trading is already so low, success cannot simply be attributed to sophisticated investment strategies, Hartzmark argued. Part of it will be luck and circumstances. For the few who get rich and rely on unconventional strategies to do so, it is easy to attribute wealth to that. It is a phenomenon that has existed for hundreds of years.

“Psychology here is nothing new,” he said. “The way it manifests itself is a little different because of technological change and things like that, but I don’t think Generation Z deserves a particularly bad reputation.”

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