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06 Jul, Wednesday
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The Margin: Where is the market headed in 2022? Here’s what two professional mind readers say

Some say you need to be a mind reader to accurately predict which way the stock market is headed. So MarketWatch decided to ask actual mind readers — or mentalists, as they sometimes prefer to be called — to tell us what to expect in 2022. And as an added twist, we sought out a couple with financial backgrounds.

Meet Oz Pearlman and Alex Voz, two veterans of the entertainment world who also spent part of their previous work lives in finance-related jobs.

Pearlman worked in the financial industry from 2003 to 2005 as a project manager — he dealt more with computer servers than investments, but says he learned a lot about the financial industry overall during that time. He eventually embraced his true passion of magic and mind-reading, and rose to fame in 2015 when he placed third on “America’s Got Talent.” Pearlman now makes his living primarily doing corporate and private shows, and calls himself one of the busiest mentalists in the country. He has been very active on Zoom ZM, -2.68% since the pandemic, having performed more than 200 shows via the video-conferencing platform.

In Voz’s case, he started doing magic tricks as a child and never lost interest. He did briefly pursue a career about a decade ago as a financial advisor, but ultimately decided magic and mentalism were his calling. His specialty is corporate work: He prides himself not just on entertaining, but also working with companies as a sales consultant of sorts. Or as he says on his website, he can demonstrate how to use mentalism “to plant thoughts in the minds of prospective buyers.”

Both Pearlman and Voz caution they’re not currently financial professionals, so they’re not in the business of providing stock tips (in other words, they’re entertainers, so take what they say with a grain of salt). But Pearlman makes the point that his skills as a mentalist afford him a certain perspective on how the market moves because of his insights into human (and hence, investor) behavior. “I know the way people think,” he says.

Similarly, Voz says that, as a mentalist, he’s all about human psychology. “The market is just that,” he explains, pointing to his ability to detect patterns of greed and panic and then make investment decisions based off what he sees.

Of course, even financial professionals have their share of trouble making accurate market predictions. A recent Wall Street Journal story noted that about 85% of active U.S. stock funds were underperforming the S&P 500 in 2021, as of Nov. 30.

I’ll also say this much for Pearlman and Voz. Each of them read my mind — over the phone, no less. In both cases, they asked me to think of a particular stock and correctly surmised which one I had chosen. Voz was also able to identify a city I had in mind for a vacation, though perhaps my pick of Paris wasn’t all that unexpected.

Pearlman’s market predictions for 2022

Pearlman cautions that he never looks at stocks in the short term, and likes to refer to the financial adage that time in the market beats timing the market. That said, he agrees with some prognosticators that the market can’t maintain its bullish pace — “It can’t go up and up forever,” he says — especially at a time when the government may no longer prop up the economy with the same fervor as it has in recent years.

Among sectors, Pearlman likes what he calls “big tech” — think “companies that are now more powerful than countries,” he says. He’s also a fan of cryptocurrency, saying while it could see a “massive correction” in 2022, it will “whip right back” in late 2022 or 2023. “You’re going to see six figures for Bitcoin,” he says.

But again, Pearlman doesn’t expect a robust 2022 for the S&P 500 SPX, -0.41%, predicting it will end the year slightly downward at 4,650. The current market, he concludes, “is not connected to reality.”

Mentalist Alex Voz predicts a slight uptick for the market in 2022 and sees the S&P 500 ending the year at 4,925.
Courtesy Alex Voz

Voz’s market predictions for 2022

Voz warns of the potential for uncertainty in the market. “I believe everything is in a bubble, but when is the bubble going to pop?” he asks. At the same time, he remains somewhat hopeful and sees solid companies and sectors to consider.

Voz is high on electric vehicles, especially the manufacturer NIO NIO, -0.03%, which he thinks is poised for a comeback after a rough 2021. “Their cars are amazing,” he says, adding that he believes the stock could rise to $60 — or almost double where it sits currently. Voz also likes most anything connected to the metaverse — not just Facebook (er, Meta FB, -0.20% ) itself, but a range of technology-minded companies. His belief is that this will become an increasingly popular means for people to connect with each other, particularly while we still face the threat of the pandemic, to say nothing of the potential for future pandemics. “The best way for us to speak to each other and make it feel like it’s happening live is this metaverse,” he says.

Overall, Voz anticipates a slight uptick in the market in 2022, predicting the S&P 500 SPX, -0.41% will end the year at 4,925.

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