In these uncertain times, Tee Lin Say talks to Feng Shui experts Joey Yap and Geraldine Goh for their take on investing in the Year of the OX.
Founder and Master trainer of the Mastery Academy of Chinese Metaphysics
Celebrity feng shui master Joey Yap isn’t just celebrated for his ability to enthrall a crowd of audience with his hillarious feng shui tips and analyze a person’s Destiny Code.
The predictions made by Yap in the year of the Rat have been rather accurate.
Readers who had heeded the forecasts made by Yap in the BizWeek issue of Feb 9, 2008 would have thrived.
Yap correctly predicted that the second half of the year would be worst off, and one should be holding cash come end 2008. He also predicted that oil prices would start their downtrend after the second half.
Hence, what does the master has to say about the Year of the Ox?
Unfortunately, it isn’t good, as the world’s financial problems are far from over. Why, it’s merely serving starters. Yap is quick to say that it’s not doom and gloom as opportunities abound.
“(The year) 2009 will see the year of the Earth Ox in an earth cycle. As it is earth, what we see is stagnation, and the image is one of a pile of mud,” says Yap.
He foresees dirt emerging, or rather, past mistakes coming to haunt. This is the year to address problems created in the past.
Yap sees volatility in markets, dissatisfaction with how things are done, and retrenchment without reason.
“It will be a daunting year. We haven’t really reached the peak of the problems yet. We are probably one third through this difficult cycle. We haven’t tasted the main dish, and will most likely experience it during the second half of the year. Desert will probably be nearer towards the year-end,” he sums up.
Nonetheless, Yap says not to fret as this is a nescessary cleansing for better times to come.
“It will get worse, but it won’t be bad for everyone. It’s not good for things which have metal elements – financials being the main theme. Metal is seen to be covered by earth, with a lot of dirt piling on it. Therefore, the financial industry won’t prosper this year.”
Yap foresees the first half of 2009 as being “all right”, while the second half will see deterioration.
He says countries will be fortunate if they don’t enter a recession.
“(The year) 2009 is pictured by people pushing other people out. Most likely the people being pushed out are those in existing power. It is good as things need to change for the positive to happen,” says Yap.
On this note, he adds that the financial tsunami needs to happen. The year 2008 up to 2010 will be the rebuilding years, before wealthy times appear.
How do investors armour themselves in such dire times?
Yap says it’s all about preserving what we already have.
“I would say that the best thing to invest in is yourself. Most people have the victim mentality. I want to say this: You are not the victim. That is nonsense. Everyone has the same two hands and two legs and the same 24 hours. Instead of saying you are worst off because the economy is languishing, why don’t you think how you can value add instead,” says Yap.
Hence, under such circumstances, Yap says to do one’s job better, and not to blame other people.
For investments, Yap advocates going long term.
“Look three to four years ahead. In times like these, you cannot make quick gains. My advice is to hold on to cash.
“As a buyer, I would suggest you make your investments and acquisitions in the second half of the year, while as a seller, do it in the first half.
“People need to remain optimistic about what they can do. They need to look out for opportunities. Wait for the market to take its huge fall, then it will be time to go shopping,” he says.
Yap cautions that there will be a little spring appearing in mid-2009, which is in actual fact, a false image.
“People will think this spring marks the start of a rally, but no. Things will in fact go down after that. My advice is for investors to ride on the wave of this little spring when it happens. Use this opportunity to sell,” says Yap.
For those feeling very negative, Yap says it won’t be such a bad year.
“You need times like these to expand your empire. Things were getting so expensive, and if you had been preserving cash, now you would have the money to buy and expand. You can’t wish your problems away, but underneath all these lie opportunities. Last time, things were so expensive, but it’s now so cheap. You can make your killing now,” he says.
Sectors that are seen able to preserve cash are the wood-related sectors such as academic related, printing, self-help, teaching. The health industry will also do well. As plantation is wood related, crude palm oil may see a chance of going up again.
It won’t be great for oil, however. Oil is of the fire element. Earth dampens fire. So Yap says its difficult for crude oil to appreciate. Construction prices will also go down.
Currencies, which are defined by the water element is seen to be contaminated by dirty earth.
He says that Asian countries will do better than other parts of the world. Malaysia is also better insulated than other countries.
“(The year) 2010 will be good. It will mark the start of the rejuvenation process. It is like the big sweep. We shouldn’t be that negative because we know at the end of the tunnel it is going to be good,” says Yap.
Meanwhile, as the ox is in the earth cycle, Yap sees earth related problems such as landslides and earthquakes happening.
(Yap will be giving a feng shui and astrology seminar entitled “Thriving in Challenging Times” on Jan 17. Please call 03-2284 8080 for details.)
Dr Geraldine Goh
Founder of the Institute of Tao Studies, Malaysia
Dr Geraldine Goh feels that the Year of the Ox is not necessarily negative at all, and she sees a chance of revival in the second half of the year.
Nonetheless, in a year that is streaked by challenges and provocation, Goh advises investors to do things within their means.
“Having the holding power is extremely important this year,” she says.
For the year, the image she conjures is one where water is lacking and the metal store is closed. In investment terms, metal is represented by the financial services sector.
For things to happen smoothly, there is a need for flowing water into the economy. Water is represented by activity.
Hence, for the year to prosper and pick itself out of the present financial woes, there is a need for recurring transactions, spending and consumption to balance out the water shortage.
“The government’s policy is geared towards spending, and that is the right thing to do. The US government’s lowering of interest rates and pumping money into the system are all positive measures which encourage the flow of water,” she says.
Goh says that once the water element is balanced out, other elements will start functioning smoothly. To thrive in 2009, one needs to have a lot of activities going on.
For instance, the education, motivational and speaking industries are under the wood element, which she says will do well.
Goh says if water nurtures wood, then the store of money will be opened. She sees sectors in the earth and fire elements continuing to do well, as these are necessities.
The food and beverage industry is lumped under fire, while the property sector is earth.
“People will still buy houses and still need to eat,” she says.
She says the outlook for crude oil and crude palm oil are uncertain, as they have a combination of earth, fire and metal elements.
“As long as there is water, a lot of the problems will be solved,” she says.
Meanwhile, in the first half of the year, Goh sees people in authority coming out to contribute in a constructive manner.
People in high positions need to be humble this year, and come down to “earth” if they want to seek better solutions or solve the problem.
There is no place for an inflated ego in the Year of the Ox.
“Policies by people in power will be meant to rectify the current unsound situation. When these policies first come out, people will feel disturbed, shaken and threatened, but the policy will be good to right past wrongs,” she says.
Goh feels that the second half will start flourishing.
“To make money, there will surely be risks. But if you have foresight and you have the money, then make your investments in the first half. You will likely make more money than others.
“Individually, it is up to you what you want to buy. I think it is a good time to invest in areas which traditionally appreciates in the long run. I would still buy property and stock-wise bank shares,” she says.
On the global outlook, Goh says Asia for now is stronger than the Western nations, but it is the Western side that holds more potential. She sees the West leading the eventual recovery in the world.
In terms of investment luck, the horse, dragon, monkey, tiger and dog will be better off. This is especially apparent for the horse and dog, which will have better luck in money making and windfall opportunities.
The dragon and tiger’s luck are in terms of career advancements and promotions. For instance, their hard work or research will see a breakthrough, where the fruit of the hard work is reaped.
(The Institute of Tao Studies is located next to the Taman Desa Hospital. Please call 03-7983 0388 for details.)