Do you look at the "Mona Lisa" as a head-and-shoulders formation? Do you see a Seurat painting as a point-and-figure chart? Others may regard you as a myopic bore, but you understand the real value of art. You know the secret of aesthetic trading!

Yes, using technical analysis, you can find market signals in your favorite masterpieces. Look at "The Last Supper" and calculate the angle of the bread to the tablecloth, and you'd know how to invest those 30 pieces of silver.

To keep our readers in the avant-garde of aesthetic trading,


presents the Magna Chartist. The Magna Chartist can analyze the market trends in any painting or sculpture good enough to be shown on public television. Give him your priceless masterpiece and he'll put a price on it.

Hi Magna, I'm the treasurer of my high school dance club. We made a fortune at our last recital. Stepdaddy bought all the tickets! So, like, how I do invest the money? I know that tech stocks are way kewl, but I could use another brain. Does my yearbook picture give you a clue? Salome

Dear Salome,

A good chart always has more heads than shoulders. You should make a killing, and I'd recommend computer stocks. You seem very interested in the latest models of laptops.

Dear Pawn of Destiny, Behold my portrait. As you can tell, I am a charismatic sociopath and aspiring megalomaniac. I wanted to be a stockbroker but I have a terrible speaking voice. (Being from Corsica, I sound like a French Tony Danza.) What career would you prophesize for me? Destiny

Dear Destiny,

You should either conquer Europe or become a daytrader. Of course, being a blood-steeped tyrant is the more respectable choice. You might be remembered as history's most aggressive liberal.

My Dear Mr. Chartist, Would you be so kind as to evaluate this painting? It is my particular favorite and has always inspired me in my life's work. Gratefully yours, Martha Stewart

Hey Toots,

This is a classic chart showing the annual stockholders' meeting for Berkshire Hathaway. There certainly is no resistance here. And what's an orgy without a buffet?

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You Bourgeois Buffoon, Are you capable of understanding my art, let alone finding some venal interpretation to it? Marcel Duchamp

Dear Marcel,

I'll do my best. I think that this is a skier doing the slalom. Unfortunately, as a market indication, it's a naked descent for sporting goods. El Nino has sabotaged the skiing industry and REITs in Aspen. If you can avoid starving until 2002, the Winter Olympics might revive the stocks' popularity, unless the games have to compete with

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Dear Chartist, Is there any hope for the transportation index? We began with such confidence and have descended to such depths. Is there any end to the horrors? Theodore Gericault

Dear Geri,

You should be giddy! Just look at the congestion on the bottom. It can't get worse. The transportation stocks are about to be rescued. If there ever were an appropriate time for

Kathy Lee's

singing, it's now.

My Beloved Child, As a longtime employee of Cecil B. de Mille, I have earned a fortune in residuals. I've used the money to create a biotech venture called Would this be a good time for the IPO? God

Dear God,

Thou asks a fundamental question, not a technical one. I can tell Thee, however, that most IPOs start off with a big bang but never live up to the hoopla. Perhaps Thou will be luckier.

Since no one else has been gullible enough to send masterpieces to the Magna Chartist, that ends today's column. Whether there is a next column depends on if and when he is extradited.

Eugene Finerman is a humorist, speechwriter and damn close to blasphemy. Therefore, TSC's lawyers would like to apologize to God, Theodore Gericault, Martha Stewart, Napoleon and, most of all, Gary B. Smith. On the other hand, Duchamp and Salome got what they deserve.