Seeking Psychics: Consumers Look to Outside Help for Financial Advice

"Instead, they are helping them make decisions about perhaps what they should be considering when it comes to changes in their career or changes in their economic situation. They are really helping to relieve anxiety," she said.

While not all psychics said business is booming at the rate the economy has been sinking, New York psychic Farusha said people now ask fewer questions about their romantic life and more about their financial prospects.

She said people come to her because "they want a different insight into what is happening in their lives. They want hope. They want to avoid certain pitfalls."

One of her clients, New York City resident Lori Lupo, is worried about losing her job because her company has been downsizing. Lupo headed to Farusha for advice.

"I lost half my retirement portfolio," Lupo said. "I wanted to retire in three to five years, and now it looks like I am not going to."

"What if I lose my job? What if they force me into retirement? What am I going to do then? What kind of job can I get to continue the lifestyle I am used to?"

Lupo said Farusha has been helping her figure out the answers to her questions.

"She helps me by giving my life direction. She helps by making me feel more confident," said Lupo, who added Farusha is almost like "a life coach."

Companies Turn to Psychics

Now companies, too, are looking for a little extra intervention in the form of psychics.

Laura Day, who prefers to be called an "intuitive" rather than a psychic, said high-end businesses are seeking her aid.

She said she advises up to five corporate clients at a time, and the service doesn't come cheaply. Day charges $10,000 monthly for her services and claimed her intuitiveness has served her well in her own financial life.

"I took all my money out of the stock market -- and at the time, the person who does my trades for me thought I was being ridiculous, crazy and oh so female," said Day, who pulled her funds out of the market March 22, 2007.

She also said she advised her clients to do so, and she said all of them listened.

Critics Cry Fowl

But critics contend that looking to the stars for answers to your financial future can simply be a waste of money in this most frugal of times.

"By going to a psychic, very often what you are doing is putting a Band-Aid over this feeling of panic," said clinical psychologist Bonnie Jacobson.

Jacobson said that relying too much on soothsayers can be destructive.

"It's never in your best interest to think someone other than you ultimately had the important answers for your own life. It's always dangerous," she said.

Day, the intuitive, agreed.

"I think people should be very wary of [a] psychic off the street -- especially in times of crisis," she said. "You want to trust standard issue techniques. You want to be very careful, you don't want to fall prey.

"Unless someone is tried and true, you should take what anyone says with a grain of salt," Day said. "Don't give up your own judgment."

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