As the Year of the Rabbit (or Rabbit Year) approaches, Biz Daily interviewed several feng shui professionals for their opinions on what the upcoming Lunar New Year might herald for businesses in general.
There are slight variations in how feng shui is defined by those who subscribe to it. But generally, it is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics that seeks to use the laws of both astronomy and geogra- phy to help one improve life by receiving what feng shui practitioners believe to be positive ‘qi’, or life energy.
“Chinese metaphysicians believe that the law of exchange of the five elements governs everything in the universe. These elements are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth,” Clarice Georgia Victo- ria Chan, a Singapore-based feng shui master at CGVC Living Inspirations, said in an interview with Biz Daily. “The five elements can move in a productive cycle, or destruc- tive.”
Chan said that according to the law of metaphysics, it is preferable if the year is in a productive cycle with all the five elements, as this is believed to promote growth and stability. “However, this is not the case in some of the years,” she added.
Chan said each of the five elements has two polarities ‒ ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’. Yin is associated with feminine attributes, while Yang is associated with masculinity. She added that one can tell from the name of the year which polarity it is associated with, such as the 2010 Yang Metal Tiger Year, which was considered “masculine” and the upcoming 2011 Yin Metal Rabbit Year, which is seen as “femi- nine”.
The year 2010 was a Yang year carrying four of the five elements ‒ Fire, Wood, Earth and Metal ‒ and it was a productive period for many countries, according to Chan. However, she said its dominant elements Metal and Wood also conflicted with each other. “There- fore, you could see that people and businesses were more aggres- sive. Nations were more aggressive (towards) each other and even disasters were more devastating. It is not to say that Yang years are not productive, but it can be a rough ride,” she said, noting that Singapore still managed to experience a “flamboyant” economic period last year.
“In contrast, Yin years are known to move in a more gradual manner,” Chan said. “Chinese New Year falls on February 3, but the year of the Yin Metal Rabbit will only begin on 4 February 2011 at 12:33 am.”
According to Chan, the elements that dominate the Rabbit Year are Metal and Wood. “But do bear in mind that just like the year 2008, this year (2011) has only two of the five elements and they are in a destructive cycle. Since Metal is the destroyer of Wood, metaphysi- cally, this is classified as an inauspicious year,” she warned.
“Singapore will continue to have a good year, but the expectations of the people will have to be moderated. If they continue to run their businesses or invest like the way they have been in 2010, they are likely to be disappointed,” she added.
For 2011, Chan expects industries representing the Wood element ‒ such as textile, fashion, magazines, books and florists ‒ to experi- ence a slower time.
‘Metal’ industries such as automobiles and banking are expected to experience a fluctuating year. However, ‘Fine Metal’ industries repre- senting the ‘Yin Metal’ ‒ such as fine jewellery, watches and cutleries ‒ are likely to do well, according to Chan.
Master Lim Eng Cheong, CEO of Chang Consultancy, said ‘Earth’ industries, such as property and construction, should sustain good results in 2011.
Regarding Singapore’s private residential property sector, Lim said the influx of foreigners continues to tighten housing supply, “so prices should still increase, though at a slower rate in 2011.”
‘Fire’ industries, such as energy, oil and gas, and electronic products, are already doing well and will do even better in this year’s third quarter, he said.
He also expects ‘Water’ industries, such as tourism, shipping and logistics, to do well this year.
Like Chan however, Lim predicts a tough time for ‘Wood’ industries this year. “Wood-related industries, such as paper, forestry and furniture, will face tougher competition and perhaps government intervention in the year ahead,” he said.
In contrast, Master Lynn Yap of 3P Fengshui Consultancy Pte Ltd has a positive outlook for ‘Wood’ industries this year, as well as for the ‘Fire’ and ‘Water’ businesses.
Yap also holds a different view from Lim about ‘Earth’ industries this year. “There is going to be negative news for those in the ‘Earth’ industries – prices of properties will fall, however not (by) much as there is still a lot of liquidity floating around,” she said.
She also predicts “average” performance for ‘Metal’ industries this year with the occurrence of further mergers and acquisitions, citing
examples such as banking, goldsmith shops, and heavy machinery companies.
Sherwin Ng, a consultant at Mastery Academy of Chinese Metaphysics, said the ‘Fire’, ‘Water’ and ‘Wood’ industries will perform well this year. ‘Wood’ industries “will find a new angle to market them- selves,” he said.
However, Ng expects perfor- mance of the ‘Earth’ and ‘Metal’ industries to be “unsta- ble” this year.
“The summer months May, June and July will be the best months (to invest),” Chan said. “October could be positive, but that depends greatly on how the market performs in August and September.”
Lim does not consider any month to be the ‘best’ for investment from an economic perspective as it depends on market conditions. But from a feng shui standpoint, he said the middle of 2011 “or slightly before that” should be a good time to invest as the market might be picking up.
3P’s Yap said the first six months of 2011 would be “good”, while the latter six months would be “inauspicious”, adding that this year is a “Xin Mao” or “Golden Rabbit” year. “The combination of “Xin and Mao” will make the Rabbit Year a year of natural disasters, legal matters and environmental issues,” she said. “Money is not trapped this year, hence (there is) more liquidity.”
CGVC’s Chan said major war and violence might be in store for 2011. She pointed to her online research that showed the last Yin
Metal Rabbit year in 1951 fell in the midst of the Korean War and was marked by infamous assassinations.
She declined to comment on which economies worldwide would perform well or poorly in 2011.
While Chang Consultancy’s Lim expects China’s economy to remain “very strong” this year, he cautioned that if the
Korean shelling incident happens again, it may cause a setback in China, without elaborating further.
Lim said that unlike last year, which was mainly characterised by open confrontations such as price wars between businesses, this year will likely see more “hidden” competition such as industrial espionage.
He also expects 2011 to be a “wet” year with more floods. When asked if more rains might actually be a good thing following last year’s severe droughts in several parts of the world, Lim said any resulting positive effects would still be minor this year.
Mastery Academy’s Ng said 2011 will be an emotionally-driven and volatile year, characterised by scandals, betrayals, and an increase in copyright issues and imitation products. However, he expects niche markets to gain worldwide interest during the year.
CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets (CLSA), a leading independent brokerage and investment group, recently announced some highlights from the 17th CLSA Feng Shui Index (‘CLSA FSI’) for 2011.
According to the CLSA FSI, the market will be off to a slow start this February, as the Rabbit is believed to be reluctant to emerge from its hole out of fear the Tiger (2010 was the Year of the Tiger) still lingers.
The index calls for investors’ patience in March as good and bad developments are expected during the month. As the Rabbit finds its feet, wealth will come from Western economies in April, which will prove a great month for those with stamina, CLSA said.
While CLSA expects one of the year’s four most auspicious dates to fall in May (May 14), it foresees a tumble in the stock market in June, which should provide a great buying opportunity for savvy investors.
CLSA expects a sharp improvement in market performance in July and August.
While the CLSA FSI predicts a sharp decline in stock markets in September, October is expected to see a sustained market rally with money flowing abundantly through to the end of November.
For December however, CLSA expects markets to decline, before bouncing back to close the year on a high in January 2012.
Besides May 14, CLSA said August 4, November 15, and January 16 would be the other most auspicious dates in the Rabbit Year. It considers June 16, June 22, September 23 and December 15 to be the least auspicious for the year.
Overall, the Rabbit Year will provide a great opportunity for investors to reap the rewards of astute investing, CLSA said in a statement. However, it also warned that “those who chase two rabbits will not catch one.”
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be a substitute or supplement for business reports that affect decision making or investment. The feng shui professionals’ views featured in this article are also entirely expressed in their own capacities as practitioners.