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Wall Street

Mental effects with gambling themes are proven audience pleasers; but Wall Street and its hub of chance and speculation, the stock market, has been largely ignored by mentalists. Even if you do not play the market you are affected by its performance and its effect upon the economy. Deals, mergers, insider trading, and Wall Street sharks are news and of interest to us all.
Surely someone has asked you at one time or another why you aren't rich if you can look into the future and predict things, such as the stock market results. The following prediction effect allows you to capitalize (pun intended) on this theme, and it offers a rich opportunity for audience participation, patter possibilities, and entertainment value.
EFFECT: You display a number of stock certificates for several different fictitious companies and for varying amounts of shares in those companies. These are placed face up in two piles. A participant is asked to choose either one of the two top certificates. This is repeated until he has chosen five, and he places these into a portfolio.
A second volunteer is to blindly buy some stock; so he turns the two stacks face down and makes a choice of one of the top certificates. You have him to continue in this way until he also has five, which he inserts into his portfolio.
You ask each of the participants to open their portfolios, separate the certificates by companies, and to total the number of shares in each company.
You announce that you have attempted to forecast this recent flurry of market activity as you unroll a long strip of paper ("ticker tape") which reveals the names of the companies and the total number of shares in each that are held by participant number one. You unfurl another strip to show a prediction of the second volunteer's purchases.




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