That header is not meant to deceive. Bull & Moon is literally an app that creates stock and investment advice based on your astrological sign. Astrology, the thing we all believe in as much as we make fun of it. Bull & Moon takes what’s your sign to an entirely new level. So much of our lives is driven by random decisions based on the faux science of astrology, so why not investment decisions?
Bull & Moon comes to us from MSCHF, the company behind M-Journal and the recently viral Jesus Shoes so you know that something is up. The app is not a direct joke app, but it’s certainly straddling the line of subversiveness with a foot in the pool of sarcasm.
While MSCHF claims that it has created a legit proprietary financial astrology algorithm that recommends an optimal portfolio of six stocks customized to your astrological sign as well as compatibility with thousands of companies, there is a feeling that this is just the evolution of the Buzzfeed-type quiz. There is even a six-page whitepaper with a case study that doesn’t appear to be wholly tongue-in-cheek. This is the furthest MSCHF has gone for its subversion of the norm.
“Specifically, we posit that the same astrological influences that determine the predilections and compatibility of individuals should apply to companies, which are, after all, composed of people and legally considered person-like entities with their own discrete ‘birth’ dates and behavioral patterns,” reads the abstract summary in the whitepaper. “Our research attempts to generalize the relationships and patterns observable between different astrological signs to a holistic picture of investment compatibility, and therefore the likelihood of financial return, between individual investors and a set of publicly traded stocks.”
MSCHF Head of Commerce Daniel Greenberg informed me, with equal amounts bemusement and delight, that users are already making investments based solely on advice from the app. While investments can’t be made through the app directly, it’s only a quick thumb swipe to your Robinhood app. It should be noted that the case study revealed that over the duration of Q3 2019, a portfolio utilizing Bull & Moon’s astrology investment predictions returned 7.47% versus a market baseline of 1.7% in the same quarter.
There is no long term case study, as the app is just launching, so who knows what kind of investing volatility will occur during a super blood moon, or Mercury retrograde. What sign results in more profitable investments? Are fiscally conservative Pluto in Virgos screwed here? What if my current Tarot reading contradicts the financial advice of Bull & Moon? I’m just kidding, astrology isn’t real.
Bull & Moon, algorithm or not, should not be considered anything more than an app for entertainment delivering serious side-eye to every other app out there for investment advice. The stock market cannot be tamed by astrology, it’s a playground for the rich. There isn’t much us regular serfs can gain by messing about in it in the time frame of the existence of any app. Long term investments would not be affected by short term trading based on astrological sign. And that’s about all I know about the stock market, and astrology.