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Your fortune is written in the stars

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 16 min read
Your fortune is written in the stars
SINGAPORE (Feb 19): Will it be a lucky year for you? When is a good time to invest? Should you even be investing at all? This year, The Edge Malaysia talked to three feng shui practitioners — Good Feng Shui Holdings chief researcher and consultant Kenny
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SINGAPORE (Feb 19): Will it be a lucky year for you? When is a good time to invest? Should you even be investing at all? This year, The Edge Malaysia talked to three feng shui practitioners — Good Feng Shui Holdings chief researcher and consultant Kenny Hoo, EasternArt Revive geomancy specialist Rikard Chan and feng shui consultant Jane Hor — to see what the Year of the Earth Dog has in store for you. We asked them the same questions and compiled their answers in this virtual roundtable.

The Edge Malaysia: When is a good time to invest?

Hoo: 2018 will be an Earth Dog year, so there will be quite a number of good opportunities for wealth creation. We are entering an era that will see a transformation of the new world order. Last year marked the beginning of a new world order, with a lot of changes in the political, financial and economic landscapes. In 2018, we will be seeing a transformation of the new world order. Last year, China announced that it had made an island by combining a few small islands in the South China Sea. This signals a shift in world power from the West to China.

But it will no longer be a zero-sum game, as in the past 200 years, when one power is in the ascendant and the others are like slaves. Such as the US, which always wants to be the world leader while the others have to follow. In this era, people will deal with each other on terms of equality: I win, you win, they win.

The No 9 auspicious star will land in China this year, so it will lead the world, especially Asia-Pacific, in terms of the economy. You will see a lot of positive developments this year, so it is a good time to invest.

Chan: Investors should take note of the first (Feb 16 to March 16) and seventh month (Aug 11 to Sept 9) of the Lunar Calendar. This is known as the month of Guan Fei. In Chinese, “Guan” means government officer while “Fei” means wrongdoing. As the words imply, these are months when people will tend to get caught by these officers if they were to speculate or conduct illegal activities.

In the context of investment, investors should avoid speculating or blindly following market trends during these two months (the first and seventh) as they could lose a great deal of money, maybe all of it. However, these are also the months that investors could earn more than usual if they conduct all the necessary due diligence before moving into the market.

Hor: The beginning of the Earth Dog year will not be a very good time to invest, but things will get better in March until the middle of April because that is the “earth” period. Based on the bazi for this year, there is too much wood and fire, so we need to balance this with earth and water. After that, we will enter the summer period, when things will get worse. It will seem like a lot of people are investing, but the performance is not that promising. Things will start to pick up slightly after August. So, if you want to invest, consider doing so in April, July, October and next January because these are the “earth” months. Also, this year, women will have more luck than men (in terms of investment) because most of the good stars are flying into the female palace.

What assets should one buy?

Hoo: Countries south of China, which include Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, will benefit from its good fortunes. Malaysia will be affected in a positive way, either directly or indirectly, owing to new developments such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In Malaysia, industries that are related to the water element, meaning industries that keep moving around, will do well such as logistics, tourism-related businesses, supply chain companies with products aimed at tourists and transport-related organisations. This also includes any infrastructure-related companies, such as those involved in building roads, railways and airports, and water-related companies such as those producing drinks and involved in air travel. E-commerce companies will do very well alongside the logistics and warehousing companies.

The bazi combination this year has a very strong wood element, so wood-related companies, such as palm oil, and rubber-related companies should do well from the beginning of the year, especially around springtime — February, March and April. For instance, we just received good news that China is willing to buy Malaysia’s palm oil with no ceiling at all in terms of volume. Glove companies (which are related to the rubber industry) will also do well. Not to mention the timber, furniture, accounting and publishing industries.

However, the wood-related industries will be affected by weather conditions. In 2018, the weather will be up and down and this will actually affect the production of wood-related industries. So, these industries will do well in the first quarter and initial part of the second quarter. They may have some challenges after that and only start doing well again in November, December and early next year.

Metal-related industries, such as banking, finance and gold, are also going to do well. We expect gold prices to shoot up. The security industry — be it physical or cyber — will also do well. There will be more scams so security services, such as companies that provide anti-virus software, will do well. Other metal-related industries, as well as anything linked to talking, singing and the law, will see a lot of new opportunities.

Chan: I can comment on this from a sector point of view, whether is it investing in equities or bonds. In the Earth Dog year, sectors and occupations that contain the element of fire are expected to do well. This is because Fire and Earth are a good match. When earth meets fire, it opens all kinds of doors to change.

The sectors that are expected to do well — such as semiconductors and tourism — contain fire elements. Fire-related occupations include salesmen, marketers, artists, critics, psychologists, speakers, chefs, mathematicians, policemen and those in the military.

Hor: As you need to invest in something earth-­related this year, I would suggest property. But you must consider which areas to buy in. The 20 years from 2004 to 2023 are governed by the No 8 star. The Chinese believe that everything goes in cycles of 20 years. That means some places will be popular and then fade out after a while and another place will be popular.

You should be looking at places in the north and south. For instance, places to the north of Kuala Lumpur such as Rawang, or places to the south such as Kajang and Semenyih. The places that are considered booming from a feng shui point of view are the southeast and northwest, but these are considered very expensive already. So, if you are looking to buy assets for the long run, the places I suggested are considered the “golden egg” places.

What assets should one avoid?

Hoo: The challenging elements are fire and earth. Fire-related industries, such as oil and gas, telecommunications and anything linked to lights and electricity, will have a lot of challenges. However, these industries will do well in the first 10 months of 2018, from January to October. That is why we see fuel prices increasing. A lot of people seem to think that petrol prices will rise to US$70 to US$90 a barrel, but that could be a little far-fetched. I think prices will go up in these few months until early July, but may soften again in October.

I also predict that the 14th Malaysian general election may drag until the second quarter, towards June. I foresee that the stock market will be active. But come June, you will start to see some uncertainty and things will remain challenging until October. After that, things should be better. Now is a good time to invest in some good-quality fire-related companies, based on performance.

Chan: Investors should avoid investing in sectors that contain the earth or water elements.

Water is deemed incompatible with earth. These sectors include F&B, fishery, chemical, petroleum, alcohol, pharmaceutical, shipping and publishing. Occupations with water elements include dramatists, journalists, doctors, debaters, public servants, detectives, record companies, clerks and farmers.

Meanwhile, sectors that contain the elements of earth include property, civil engineering, mining and agriculture. And earth-related professions include lawyers, consultants, secretaries, antique dealers, employment agencies and gardeners.

Hor: Commodities. For instance, gold. I am not saying you should avoid it outright. I am just saying it will not perform. The stock market will be up and down, so it is hard to say. But if you ask me, avoid anything related to timber and fire, which includes technology counters. E-commerce companies should do well, but that does not mean you can consider all tech companies.

Should one buy property this year?

Hoo: Anything to do with property or real estate is related to the earth element. From early this year until October, it will be a buyer’s market, which means there will be a lot of rebates and discounts on offer. But from October, property-related industries should start to revive. Interest rates may increase in August or September, so it may be a bit unfavourable for purchasers as they will need to pay more.

After the Malaysian general election, the government may come up with some policies to help revive the real estate industry. So, we can expect the property market to improve after October. We advise buyers to look around for jewels. Buy before October. A lot of people are hesitating on whether to buy property right now, but it is actually a good time to do so. Don’t wait until the market direction is clearer. By that time, there will be less choice and you will have to compete with others. By then, the good properties would have been taken.

Chan: The property sector may not do too well this year and prices could fall further. This is a Double Earth or a blind year. It is not so good because of the combination of two of the same element. So, the property sector, which contains the earth element, should not perform as well. It may not be so good for investors, but buyers may be able to purchase cheaper houses.

Hor: If you were born in the year of the Snake, you can consider it, but you have to judge based on your monthly instalments. Don’t ­overcommit because next year, 2019, won’t be a good year for Snakes. So, you can buy this year, but don’t overburden yourself. Others who can consider purchasing property are Rabbits, Goats and Horses. This will be a year of change for the Dragons because they are clashing with the yearly Deity (the Dog). Normally, in the year of clashing, you need to purchase something to realise the changes. So, they are forced to do some kind of investment. Otherwise, they can lose money in other ways.

Which is the luckiest zodiac for this year?

Hoo: The Pig, Snake, Ox and Goat. Those born during these years will have a lot of noble stars or good supporters, especially in terms of money luck. The Pig and Ox will enjoy a good career or prosperous business. The Snake will also have a very smooth year, especially in terms of their love live, career and health. And the Goats will have a lot of noble stars flying in.

Chan: The Snake and Horse are the luckiest as both of these zodiac animals contain the element of fire. Also, those with the Snake zodiac should seize the opportunity to travel during Chinese New Year as this will help improve their luck.

Hor: The luckiest zodiac for the year is the Snake, followed by the Rabbit and the Pig. The Snake has so many auspicious stars flying into its palace such as the Imperial star and the Dragon Grace star. These are two noble stars and it means that the Snake will have guiding angels this year, someone giving them opportunities. And they will also have the Red Phoenix Blossom Flower star, which is a very good relationship star. So this year, Snakes will be very attractive and more people will want to deal with them. It also depends on the month you were born in. Things will be better for those born in the autumn and winter months than in the spring and summer months.

Which is the unluckiest zodiac?

Hoo: This year will be challenging for the Dragon, Dog, Rat and Monkey. Those born in these years will have to be a bit cautious. Don’t make any major decisions, especially in the months of April and October. The Monkey and Tiger will be obliged to move around more this year, so they are encouraged to travel more so that they can meet a noble person or supporter who can give them some good ideas to take them to a better place.

Chan: These include the Pig and Rat, which contain the water element. Also, the Dragon, Dog, Ox and Goat, all of which contain the earth element. The Monkey and Rooster, which contain the metal element, are also unlucky, although they are better than the zodiacs with the water and earth elements.

Hor: The Dragon, followed by the Dog. Dogs are prone to stomach problems and this year it will be even worse, so they have to take care of their health. This is also the year when Dogs will think too much, which is good for those working in the creative industries such as strategic thinkers or creative directors. But the downside of thinking too much is that they will make themselves confused.

As I said before, the Dragon is clashing with the yearly deity, so it will see a lot of changes. There are a few inauspicious stars in the Dragon’s palace and one of the stars indicates major depletion, which means money going out. A positive way to manage this is to plan big events that require a lot of money — such as a wedding, having a baby or buying a house — this year. But for those who do not want to do any of that, keep an eye on your personal belongings in case something happens. As you need to either spend or lose money, I would advise you to purchase some luxury items, even if you don’t want them, to take care of the “losing money” problem.

Which particular zodiac sign should start a business this year?

Hoo: Of course it must be those who have stronger money luck such as the Snake, Pig, Ox and Goat. The Horse will have some challenges here and there, but throughout the whole year, they will still be okay. Others have to be a bit more conservative. For example, the Dragon and Dog must be extra careful and not simply change jobs or investment strategies.

Chan: In metaphysics, it says: “Everyone can be an entrepreneur” — as long as they have the spirit and knowledge.

Hor: From a wealth and career point of view, the luckiest zodiacs are the Snake, Goat, Rabbit and Horse. The Snake has a lot of auspicious stars this year, a lot of good guiding angels, so this year, a lot of things will go your way. Rabbits have a good Blossom Flower star coming in, which means it will be easy for them to meet people this year. The problem with Rabbits is they start things very enthusiastically and then lose interest in the middle of the journey. So, if you are going to start something, please go all the way. You have a lot of guiding angels surrounding you this year, so don’t miss out on the chance.

Is it going to be a particularly volatile year? How can one mitigate misfortune?

Hoo: 2018 will have a lot of uncertainties, especially in the months of April, June and October. However, uncertainties or challenges can create opportunities. Some may sell high during these months, keep the profit and wait until the challenging months so they can buy low. This year, the lucky colour is pinkish brown. (If you want to know what that looks like, Google the “heart wood” colour.) That is because the wood element is simply too strong this year and it triggers the fire element. We need to absorb this and the pinkish brown colour balances the fire and earth elements. The earth element is a bit weak, the fire element is a bit strong, so we need something to be the mediator. You can buy accessories in this colour. You can also use this colour in your house to activate your space, for example in the southeast centre or southwest area of your house. This can further activate the positive qi for wealth creation, to trigger noble stars and further enhance your health.

Chan: Yes. The global economy is expected to slow down and the upcoming Malaysian general election is a tough call. However, one can take certain steps to improve his or her luck. For instance, you can place a round-shaped lantern (preferably made of angpows) at the south of your living room, study or storeroom. You can also place a piece of wood-carved artwork at the north of your living room, study or storeroom. Just doing these two things could help improve your speculative and wealth luck.

You can also place Chinese traditional decorative knots at the southwest of your living room, study or storeroom. This is to avoid broken wealth, financial losses and failures.

To further improve your wealth luck, you can sit somewhere outside facing the north from midnight to 1am on Chinese New Year. Also, during Chinese New Year, you can eat guava to improve your wealth luck, red grapes to improve speculative luck and cupcakes for health. If it helps, you can continue doing so throughout the year. If it doesn’t help, stop after three months.

Hor: It will be volatile, just not on the surface. The five years from 2016 to 2020 are known as the “metal water” years. These years are good for people who are born in spring and summer. But in the middle of the five years, you have one rest year, and 2018 is the rest year. It is the only year in the five years that is good for people born in autumn and winter. This year is a transition period and during such periods, it would seem like everything is back to normal. But it is actually just a transition and things are still volatile, only that it is not so obvious. The changes will be there, but it will be more subtle.

This article first appeared in Personal Wealth, a pullout of The Edge Malaysia

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