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Interview with Bill Meridian

By Larry Jacobs

 

 

Question: Where do you work and what is your position?

Answer: I am a fund manager for an institution in the Middle East. My responsibilities include

managing the technology stocks in the portfolio. I also sit on the currency hedging committee

and am the technical analyst for the USA market.

Question: How long have you been studying the markets?

Answer: I became interested in the market in 1966.

Explain how successful you have been in the markets?

Answer: Funds under management have outperformed the S&P in 5 of the last 6 years. I

can either be long stocks or in cash. No leverage can be used.

Question: What methods do you use to analyze the markets?

Answer: First, I must say that the single most important matter is to ask myself what this

graph is trying to tell me about fundamentals in the future. All charts, whether technical bar

charts or horoscopes, are a reection of something real Years ago, the price of cobalt rose

without any news. Most cobalt comes from copper mined in Zaire. Weeks later, the Kinshast

mining province of Zaire was invaded. The price was telling us something. In the early 1980,

the disination stocks made big bases and started to rise, signaling the end of the ination era.

No one saw it then, Whether smart money makes these moves, or whether some entity from

the X-Files causes this, I cannot say. I always remember P.Q. Walls statement that the market

is a 600-pound gorilla that does whatever it pleases.

Question: You are extremely knowledgeable using Astrology for trading. Explain how

you use it?

Answer: Ill use whatever works. Pattern recognition was the rst method that I was exposed

to. There were not many books in 1966. One of the few was the Edwards and Magee bible of

technical analysis. I was a young kid, and thought that this was the way that all Wall Street

looked at the markets. Fundamental analysis came along later. Momentum indicators and

sentiment have also been very useful. Todays index options on industries are very useful. I

keep one based upon the option trading on the semiconductor index, or the SOX. It gave overly

optimistic reading in the summer of 1995, so this was a signal to lighten up on the semi stocks.

That indicator then fell 90% into the summer of 1996, an indication of extreme pessimism. After

the June-July decline, it looked as through the stocks had made a 3-wave decline. All momentum

oscillators were oversold. I bought Micron at 23. Thus, the pattern, momentum, and the sentiment

all conrmed. And, all the major Wall Street houses were bearish.

Seasonal tendencies as rst researched by Arthur Merrill are very valuable. This is the type

of analysis that started my on the road to cycles work. I noted that there was an annual cycle, an

election year cycle, and a decennial pattern. Now the annual cycle is based upon a year, which

is based upon the relationship of the Earth and the Sun. So why not research a 1.8 year cycle

determined by the orbit of Mars? In addition, I noted that some of the stock market cycles as

described by Ed Dewey were the same length as those of planetary periods such as 9.3 and 18.6

year cycles that are half and whole multiples of the orbit of the Moons Node.

I use Ganns day counts and time ratios as Bob Miner does. This yields a series of

potential turning points. I then go to my planetary indicators and project those for the month

ahead. I have found that those dates that are tagged by both methods tend to have a higher

probability of being a turning point that in those dates that are indicated by any of the individual

methods used alone.

Once this is done, I attempt to conrm the turning point with the standard technical tools:

overbought/oversold oscillators, wave pattern, etc. By this approach, the standard technical

indicators assume the role that I always felt they should have. They describe the past and current

condition of the market. After all, they are all based upon yesterdays data. The planetary and

Gann-derived dates are based upon future data. Technicians and traders who do not utilize this

approach are at a disadvantage. It is like trying to eat soup with a fork.

Question: How is it possible that planetary movement can affect a stock or commodity

movement?

Answer: I use 2 approaches, First, I analyze past turning points and see if there are similar

planetary patterns at the time of the highs and the lows. Second, select a phenomena such

as eclipse and see how the market reacted at the time of the eclipse. There can be 2 results.

The event has no effect on the market under study, or , it will have an effect. In this case, the

phenomena may be associated with highs, low, or both highs and lows. The last case produces

what I call tofu indicators; they have no avor of their own. They tend to take on the avor

of the other indictors that occur at the same time. This is, they are indications of a reversal,

depending upon whether the market is rising or falling before the phenomena. I have all the

planetary indications posted a year in advance. Then I do new studies during the year that

add to my tool box. For example, I only recently found that heliocentric Mercury 150 degrees

to Pluto tends to fall near short-term tops. This is a light weight indicator which needs

much conrmation.

All of the above methods yield high-probability turning points. In between, I add planetary

cycles to the 3 cycles mentioned above. The Mars cycle was already mentioned. This cycle

tends to peak out when Mars enters Libra. If it does so during the late summer when the annual

or solar cycle also peaks, then there is an increased probability of a lower market in the second

half. In the bond market, Venus cycles are much more important. I have a 5-cycle composite for

bonds that turned down in late 1993. At the same time, the horoscope set for the rst T-bond

trade in Chicago in 1977 was hit hard. The market was very overbought, and I saw technical

sell signals. Bonds fell for about 9 months. Now that is an example in which all the pieces

t together. It is not always so clear.

Planetary movement affects everything. If one is looking for a physical connection, I can

offer one that I came across in 1973. We know from the work of John Nelson that the positions

of the planets affect solar activity. Changes on the Sun affect the Earths magnetic eld. There

is a substance call serotonin which is the stuff that sensitized the brain of a homing pigeon

to the magnetic eld and enables the bird to home in. This same substance exists in the

human brain. Serotonin levels can increase and decrease stress levels. Taking a long jet ight

increases serotonin levels and stress. By the way, taking a sauna after a ight will relieve what

is known as jet lag. That is the only casual link that I can suggest.

In the end, I recall what John Nelson said at a lecture in N.Y. A fellow asked him why the

planets affected the Earth. He replied, I dont know. And when you go to the early gates, you ask

the grand high muckety-much. And he probably dont know either.

Question: Do you think that W.D. Gann used astrology to trade with and if so how

did he use it?

Answer: I think that Gann did use astrology. My teacher was Charles Jayne, a practicing

astrologer for 53 years. He worked with Ken Brown of Cleveland, who was associated with L.

Edward Johndro of California. Jayne said that Brown and Johndro were under contract to Gann

to conduct research. Johndro was way ahead of his time. In fact, we became frustrated with his

contemporaries, and kept most of his work to himself. He asked Brown to burn all of his work

when he died, which Ken did. He left no published work. But in Browns eulogy to Johndro, he

said that Johndro had developed a method of forecasting commodity prices based upon the

horoscopes of eclipses. He did not reveal the method.

I do not know how Gann used the planets. What he did say was not helpful. Most of

the translations of Ganns planetary work that I have seen have turned out to be basic

astrology. Gann said that a planet changing signs was important, but he did not say which

planets, signs, or markets. Thats why we need to do research, and this led me to develop

software for that purpose.

Question: Are there a lot of mutual funds on the street that secretly use astrology buy

wont tell the public?

Answer: I do not know if a lot of Wall Street houses utilize astrology. Some do. I sold my

software to them. Over the next decade, it will become more acceptable. I recall a fellow at

the Bank Credit Analyst who said that he found astrological work amongst the old notes of

Hamilton Bolton. When I was a junior analyst at ValueLine in New York, Mr. Arnold Bernhard

said that an employee had studied what they termed solar radiations, but with not usable

results. So there is interest.

The Street is remarkable in one respect. They care more about whether the methodology

is acceptable and logical than they do about the results. They prefer to use the same worn

out techniques over and over again rather than try something new. This is the reason that the

majority of the funds cannot even keep up with averages.

Question: How long does it take a person to fully understand and start to use astrology

in their trading?

Answer: This is a tough question. If one learns horoscope construction, the signs, the

aspects, and transits, he can be doing some good work in 6 months to a year. I lucked-out.

When I was a student in N.Y., all the old masters and hard-core fanatics were around. For

instance, Dr. Edgar Wagner received his certicate of astrology in the year 1911. To absorb all

that I learned in those days might take 5 years or more.

Question: What king of books or software done one need to trade with astrology?

Answer: There are not many good books on the subject. I suspect that we will see more in

the next few years. The difculty has been that the market folks do not know enough astro to be

effective, or the astrologers do not have enough experience with the markets. Matlocks old book,

Man and cosmos, is probably the best. Ray Merriman wrote a book about gold indicators that is

god. I have read almost all of them. The older authors were simply handicapped by the enormity

of the task. Without PCs, the number crunching is too formidable.

I wrote Planetary Stock Trading, which explains how I utilize rst-trade horoscopes to select

individual stocks. It also includes 1,000 charts which are otherwise very difcult to obtain unless

you are a member rm and are willing to phone the exchanges a couple times a week over 10 or

20 years. I am working on a book about overall market forecasting now.

We released the rst astro market software in 1988, the AstroAnalyst. Actually, I wrote

the basic algorithm that is the heart of the program in 1983. It is still a very useful program.

Unfortunately, the programmer did not want to develop it any further and I did. So, in 1989, I

began working with Alphee Lavoie at AIR Software on the Financial Trader series. It was rst

specically designed to sort through horoscopes set for the high and low days in any market

and tells the user what planetary effects are common to the turning points. We also added the

Bradley model, leaving it open-ended so that the user can alter the variables. This is known

as the Black Box. I also cooked up Bradley models for gold, bonds and currencies. Bersion

2 has Super Search which will nd days upon which multiple planetary events occur, like

nd all the days upon which Mercury is retrograde and the Sun is in Cancer, or Mars in

Leo. The Efficiency Tester will compute the Batting Average of a planetary event, i.e..

how many times a market rose or fell before and after an aspect, eclipse, etc. Their third

version is being moved into Windows now. An a junior version that only deals with rst-trade

charts is on the way, too.

I also use Bob Miners Dynamic Trader for all my Fann-Fibonacci projections. It save

enormous amounts of time.

Question: Can you explain and illustrate with perhaps a good chart an example of how

astrology works with a real example that has happened in the last 6 months?

Answer: Yes, I recently bought Micron, MU on the NYSE. It was brought to my attention by

a run that I did with the Financial Trader program. Jupiter went stationary direct on Uranus in

the rst trade horoscope of the stock. This a chart erected for the time and date that the stock

began trading. I had an eye on the technical picture: buy signals daily, weekly, and monthly. The

shares were bought at 23 3/4 and hit 33 a week later. Now I could nd may stocks that had the

same technical picture as Micron, such as Electronic Arts, ERTS on the NASDAQ. But ERTS

did not have as bullish a horoscope as that of MU.

Question: Have you got any forecast or predictions for stocks based on your astrology?

Answer: Next year will likely see the biggest drop that we have seen since 1990. First, years

ending in 7 tend to have a nasty correction. Fifty-ve percent of such years have closed on

the downside. Some, like 1987, have not closed lower, but did have a big correction. 1997 will

also be the year after an election, the weakest in the 4-year election cycle. The average percent

gain in such years has been in both the centennial and the election year cycles, so I was long

all year. In addition, Jupiter will pass into Aquarius, the weakest of all the signs in its 12-year

cycle. More than half of such transits have resulted in lower prices, well below the median. Late

in the 4th quarter, I shall review the technicals to see if they conrm the studies. Then I will

have to take the appropriate precautions.

I always ask myself what the fundamental causes might be. In 1997, I think that rising

commodity pries will force an interest rate to increase. With valuations already stretched to the

outer limits, a rate rise will make these inated prices look even higher. Neptune in the sign

of Capricorn has depressed prices since it entered that sign in the early 1980s. It usually has

this effect in earn signs. But it is leaving that sign next year. More importantly, Jupiter will be

conjunct Neptune at year end. This is an inationary combination. The last time this happened,

Nixon took us off the gold standard.

Technically, the commodities have made big bases and have broken 13-to-16 year

downtrend lines. I was pounding the table about this in the summer of 1995. Using contrary

opinion, all the straight Wall Streeters have been bearish. They remain bearish based upon

fundamental, a conrmation that prices will rise further. Looking at the smart money, I wrote in

my old newsletter that the Rockefellers were selling Rockefeller Center in the late 1980s, and

that this told us that they were bearish on real estate prices. Well, now they have bought it back.

In addition, the Treasury has announced the sale of ination-indexed bonds. At the same time,

they will alter their calculation of the CPI, which will effectively lower it by 0.2%. What does this

tell us? Already, between April of 1995 and April of 1996, there has been an excessive increase

in M2. This can only add fuel to the re.

But the price rises will not be as big as those of the 1970s. First, Neptune was in an

inationary re sign and there were 3 Jupiter-Neptune conjunctions. Now there will only be one,

and Neptune will not enter a re sign, but a least it will be out of an depressing earth sign. This

is an indication of a different fundamental environment. For instance, the gold price had been

held articially low prior to the 1970s, and it is not now. This time, there will be a snap-back

closer to the average price for most commodities. This will be important for equity portfolio

managers. Major shifts in industry group leaders usually take place during market corrections,

and if 1997 is a downer, leadership will swing away from the consumer and interest sensitive

stocks, and toward natural resource and capital goods shares. These will be the leaders after

1997. Technology will be get hit, but it will recover and also be leader. The technology boom

will likely run to 2003. The planets that rule networking and the ability to miniaturize remain in

good combination, so these will be leaders in that sector. PCs will become voice-activated. The

miniaturization methods being developed will open up the next big frontier, nanotechnology. This

is the science of making very small parts and, eventually, mechanisms.

I do not foresee a depression. There will be a recession, probably beginning in 1999 and

bottoming in 2000. There have been periods where the national debt has been enormous, but

the new energy sources were discovered. The resultant boon to business sent prots soaring. I

know that these 2 materials are not energy sources, but what do silicon and ber optics cost in

relationship to the benet to the economy? I see tough times out in 2003-2004.

Oil has a special interest to me here in the Middle East. I have been a bull on oil since the

summer of 1995. Nobody here believed me. In fact, the Arab countries started to cut back on

spending, right at the low in oil. I took this as conrmation on the low. When asked what I thought

the driver would be, my reply was politics and eventually military action. We live across the

Gulf from Iran. There people are Persians, not Arabs, and they have a militaristic and imperial

history. They consider the opposite side of the gulf to be theirs, and radio Tehran states this

on a daily basis. Iran has acquired 3 submarines and have seized 3 of Abu Dhabis islands.

These islands sit at the mouth of the Straits of Hormuz, through which 40% to 50% of the

worlds oil flows. The Iranians aim to control this vital waterway. I now that little of this

appears in the Western press, which, using contrary opinion, is a conrmation. The smart

money here is the Journal of Foreign Affairs, published by the Council of Foreign Relations.

There have been 5 mentions of Iran being the next hot spot. If they do not know what is

going on, then no one does.

Now let us use the planets for some timing. The eclipse series next year is related to

that of 1979 when the Shah fell from power. But the eclipse of the summer of 1999 is even

more potent, and I have already projected a war stretching from Iran to the Balkans, This is

what is holding the price of energy up.

Looking at the whole picture, it looks a lot like the Carter years. We will have a southern

president (who will not likely complete his term), rising commodity prices, and conflict

with Iran.

Question: Is it possible through astrology to know if a person is a natural for trading?

Answer: Yes, this is not difcult. It is the same as looking for musical or artistic ability. A

formation of planets represents interest in a subject. If such a formation does not exist, then

the person has no interest in trading. My chart shows little ability to play golf, and I simple do

not have a great desire to play the game.

This ability usually involves Venus, Jupiter, and the 2nd, 5th or 8th houses. The asteroid

Vesta is elated to paper securities. The late Frankie Joe was a master trader. He had Vesta trine

Jupiter with an orb of only 1 minute of arc. That is a very favorable and powerful combination.

Those who have Jupiter-Neptune aspects do very well during inationary periods, especially with

futures. They tend to be overly optimistic and tale large long positions. They do poorly during

deationary periods. Saturn-Neptune types do better in these times.

Question: Are there good times and bad times to trade based on astrology for an

individual?

Answer: Yes again. Once the natal or birth pattern that represents trading is located, stressful

or benecial effects can be detected. I have had some success by altering my trading strategy to

t the planetary effects that are operative at the time. Saturn usually requires a more conservative

strategy and closer stops. But there are times when one should simple cool it. I had very stressful

aspects last year, and my personal trading suffered. There are disturbances in my personal life

that distracted me from the market. Either do not let these maters buy you or stop trading. But his

is tough when one must make investment decisions on a daily basis.

 

Bill Meridian will be giving a 2-day seminar at the London Kensington Hilton on Feb. 15-16,

1997. Contact Andy Pancholi by phone or fax at 1737-845231 in the UK. Bill is a fund manager

in the Middle East. He recently completed Planetary Stock Trading, a book explaining the use of

the horoscope of the rst trade, complete with 1,000 charts of US stocks. Bill was a VP in Paine

Webbers technical analysis department during the 1980s bull market. He can be reached at

Cycles Research, 666 5th Ave., New York City, N.Y. 10103.