Year of challenges and uncertainty

Year of challenges and uncertainty

The energies of the Year of the Fire Monkey started going bananas at 5.48pm on Feb 4, replacing the volatile exuberance of the Wood Goat.

Will the year be better? More importantly, are there wealth opportunities and will the Monkey's wild swinging bring about better developments?

Datuk Joey Yap, the founder, CEO and master trainer of the Mastery Academy of Chinese Metaphysics, says the Year of the Fire Monkey is one of challenges and uncertainty. The volatility from last year will continue and may even increase, which is good for trading activities.

The uncertainty in 2016 is necessary for long-term growth and to rectify the market. So stay invested.

"When we look at the Bazi chart for the Fire Monkey year, fire is in a competitive state of affairs. Wood and metal are in conflict while earth is relatively weak and water is strong for this year."

What does it all mean?

Yap says the prominent clash of elements for this year is "fire countering metal".

"In the top quadrant of the Fire Monkey chart, fire is too strong. There are three fire elements fighting over one metal element. Metal is also the wealth element for fire. So, there is heavy competition going on among industries in the fire sector," he says.

This is especially among sectors in the Yang Fire element, which include oil and gas, energy and telecommunications.

 "Thus, volatility in oil prices will continue. I see prices remaining in the lower spectrum until  the end of this year. By the second half of the year, the water element will emerge,  dissipating the fire element," says Yap.

 It is on this note too that Yap says that water is the most important element of the year.

 Another obvious conflict of elements for this year is "metal going after wood", of which both  are the resource and wealth elements for fire, respectively.

 Yap says the conflict between wood and metal indicates that fire-related sectors may face  issues in raising capital and cash flow.

 He adds that the conflict suggests challenges in determining how best to unlock or deploy the  US-dollar hedge or windfall gains from 2015.

 Meanwhile, yin fire in the chart is represented by technology and the electronics sector.

 "There is only one yin fire in the chart, which means there is no competition. So, we would  see interesting things happening in this sector such as new innovations and breakthrough.  People can create value out of thin air," he says.

 Another important point he notes is that water is in the chart, but in the ground. While not  obvious, its presence isn't insignificant too. Water signifies intelligence and strategy.

 "This means that there are people behind the scenes. There are unseen forces or other  people who are, in fact, making the plans," he says.

 "Nonetheless, water in the ground also shows that the currents are strong, and this could  mean another natural disaster related to water happening this year," says Yap.

 Who will prosper?

 Unlike most people who feel Malaysia is an underweight, Yap feels 2016 will see some  stability, while the improvement takes place in 2017.

 "Malaysia will do better this year. The second half will be better than the first half. People will  get used to the new norms, for example, the weak ringgit.

 "Malaysia needs to build more strength internally. It is not as bad as it seems, and we should  have more faith in our country. My advice is not to let the noise distract you," he says.

 The good directions for the year are south-east, south-west and east. The states that will  likely prosper this year are Sabah, Sarawak and Johor, whereas globally, the countries that  will thrive are the United States, China and Singapore.

 He adds that India and China will prosper this year based on their directions in the Qi Men  Dun Jia chart.

 Based on the chart, he sees the presence of the white tiger, which shows that China is in  control of its economy. The market may be falling now, but it will halt. "Everything is being  planned by the Chinese government to reposition the country," he says.

 Yap says China also has "grass", which means it is "selling ideas". In other words, it means  China is moving into the services sector.

 In the east, there is the "surging snake", which means a "trap" but not in a bad way. China  is attracting people to do business there because the yuan is cheaper now.

 While for the US, its economy will continue to thrive. However, it will have issues with policies  which will lead to changes in its financial stability.

 "There will be a shake-up in the middle of the year because of the fire and metal clash in the  Fire Monkey chart," he says.

 A word of caution though on the presence of the "black tortoise" sitting in the west, which is  a sign of a terrorist threat that could temper economic growth.

Furthermore, fire and metal clash, which always signifies fights and conflicts.

As the south-east is a good direction this year, there will be opportunities in emerging markets, especially with the presence of the wood element in this area, which represents growth.

Yap says that the US will have issues with policies, which will lead to changes in its financial stability.

"There will be a shake up in the middle of the year because of the fire and metal clash," he says.

On Europe, Yap sees it as sustaining.

"There is no harmony and no trust. I don't see it thriving until it gets its act together. There is no unification and trust," he says.

Which sectors will thrive?

Sector-wise, the plantation sector, which is represented by wood, will see a recovery, as there is the presence of wood, although neither strong nor weak.

Meanwhile, earth is the wealth element of wood. As earth is weak in 2016, do not expect wood-related companies to stage a huge rebound earnings wise.

The property sector is represented by the earth element. We know that the earth element is weak, thus indicating that there are opportunities but very selectively.

"People are too conservative to buy. They are cautious but they are still buying," says Yap.

The good news is that earth's wealth element, which is water, is strong, indicating strong earnings for earth-related companies. As the water element is in the ground, not all developers will do well. Only certain unique developers and those with branding will shine this year.

Meanwhile, the banking sector, which is represented by metal, will perform within expectations. This is because metal's wealth element, which is wood, is present in this year's chart.

Nonetheless, the excessive fire element will point to some regulation and policy challenges along the way.

On another note, Yap points out that there is a dragon in the Fire Monkey's day pillar. The dragon represents academic fields, thus, it is a good year to learn something new.

"For the employer, this is a good year. This is the year you get to hire good people at lower prices. People are the biggest asset in a company.

"For the employee, are you a linchpin? If you got retrenched, perhaps you need to ask yourself how valuable you were to your company," says Yap.

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