After the worst year for stocks since the financial crisis and fears of a fresh global banking crisis, investors are looking for ways to navigate choppy markets. Now a dusty old chart from the 1800s may give them the means to do just that, Charlotte Gifford reported for The Telegraph.
Photo Insert: The 150-year-old chart – which tells investors when to sell and when to buy – earned Benner national renown as an economic prophet.
In the late 19th century, an American farmer from Ohio, Samuel Benner, created a chart forecasting the rise and fall in the average price of hogs, corn and pig-iron.
Since then, it has been weirdly accurate at predicting ups and downs of global stock markets – seeming to foresee the Wall Street Crash, the Second World War, and the dot-com bubble.
The chart tells investors to sell in 2007, just before the financial crash. It also says that 2023 will be a year of “low prices” when investors should buy and hold – which, given last year's share price falls, complies with the logic of “selling high and buying low.”
The 150-year-old chart – which tells investors when to sell and when to buy – earned Benner national renown as an economic prophet.
Newspapers of the time reprinted his “surprisingly accurate” forecasts, which are still being referred to today by retail investors sharing the so-called Benner Cycle on social media.
His original cycle only went as far as 1891. It is thought another nineteenth-century forecaster, George Tritch, extended the cycle all the way up to 2059 and published the chart, annotating it with instructions on when to buy and sell stocks.
Benner wrote “Benner's Prophecies of Future Ups and Downs in Prices” after seeing his assets wiped out in the Panic of 1873. He identified an 11-year cycle in corn and hog prices, as well as a 27-year cycle in the price of pig iron.