Society

Go on, be a tiger

What does the Year of the Tiger hold for Obama and Buffett?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright: feline kids celebrate the Lunar New Year

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Year of the Tiger is likely to be a bumpy year. After all, the tiger symbolises power, but also short temper.

The Year of the Tiger begins on February 14 but investors hoping for a smoother ride after last year’s tumultuous events will have to wait a little longer. Many feng shui masters believe the stockmarket will be highly volatile this year. Weather is also going to be erratic. Feng shui master Kerby Kuek, says a devastating earthquake in the West is indicated. Road accidents are likely to increase dramatically everywhere.

For those who are looking for investment ideas: buy gold. The Year of the Tiger is set to match up with the ruling elements of metal. And even if you don’t trust feng shui (see And Finally, page 17), countries like China and India have already expressed plans to diversify more of their reserves into gold and other non-dollar holdings.

Meanwhile, the element of “water” will be missing in this Tiger year. So related sectors like shipping and logistics could face choppy waters (again) in 2010.

So what does the Year of the Tiger hold for the rest of us? For those born in the Year of the Tiger itself (such as 1950, 1962, 1974, or any year 12 years before or after), plan for a rough year ahead. That’s because being born under the same sign as the cycle year is (in this case) highly inauspicious. So feng shui masters suggest Tiger people lay low and avoid making any big changes this year.

Meanwhile, the stars may be aligned in the new year for those born in the Years of the Horse (1942, 1952, 1966), and Ox (1949, 1961, 1973). These astrological symbols are very much aligned with the presiding god. So ‘Horses’ like Warren Buffett have another top year ahead. ‘Ox’ people like Barack Obama should try their luck at casinos, says the Southern Metropolis Daily, because a lucky star looms over their finances.

But individuals who are born in the Years of the Snake (1953, 1965, 1977) or Monkey (1956, 1968, 1980) could be in for a hard time. That’s because they are going to offend the Heavenly God, says Zhao Xianhui, a feng shui master who writes for Hong Kong Commercial Daily. She suggests that they go to the temple and donate blood at the beginning of the year to change their luck.

The Chinese are highly superstitious people. From ordinary folks to tycoons alike, they are willing to hand out serious money to seek out advice from feng shui masters on all kinds of daily issues, including architecture, interior design, personal relationships, business ventures and even illnesses.

But don’t get too carried away. Mark To, the head of research at brokerage Wing Fung Financial Group, knows investors who have applied feng shui principles to the market but he said it is difficult to quantify its impact. No great surprise that…


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