Feng Shui Index provides 'tongue in cheek' option

Updated: 2013-02-07 00:54

By GAO CHANGXIN in Hong Kong

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Prediction is as hard as it gets. Most people, however competent they are in the present, have little clue when it comes to the future.

That explains why Pele, the king of soccer, has failed every time he predicted his game's World Cup champion and the world didn't end as the legend from Maya people said it would.

Where people fail in prediction, superstition comes in, such as when soccer fans turned to Paul the octopus to pick winners in the last World Cup.

Unlike sports, however, people are normally very serious when it comes to investing their money. But some people have started resorting to unconventional sources of investment advice, perhaps after being overwhelmed by the unpredictable capital market.

One of those markets is CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, which on Wednesday published its Feng Shui Index 2013, trying to predict the ups and downs of the Hang Seng Index based on the principles of feng shui, a Chinese practice that is widely believed to be a pseudo-science.

Feng shui is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi.

Foundation theories of feng shui include yin and yang, which works similar to a magnetic dipole, the Five Elements or Forces, which are metal, earth, fire, water, and wood and qi, a movable positive or negative life force.

CLSA admits the Feng Shui Index is offered "with our tongues firmly in our cheeks".

So there is little sympathy if investors are broken at the end of the year after making investment decisions based on the index.

Mariana Kou, a CLSA research analyst and self-proclaimed feng shui master, believes that this year, the "Water Snake" year, will see the Hang Seng Index perform better than last year.

"We see a resource-led slow burn run-up for the HSI from the second quarter. As it builds, risk flicks 'on', resulting in the second half being more volatile, but there are opportunities," Kou told a news conference in Hong Kong.

The first-half rally will come to a sudden end in August, which seems to be "double trouble", she added. That's because the crucial Fire element dies away in the month, Earth falls, Metal overshoots and Water puts a dampener on prospects. Kou said for the rest of the year, the HSI has the look of a cat on a nine-life death bounce.

In all, there are signs that this year will be more stable, because all five elements are present, unlike last year where fire was missing. Also, this year sees a once every nine years "home return" of the Flying Star energies.

The most auspicious dates are Feb 28, May 14, Jun 26, Aug 13, Oct 16 and Jan 7, though the report did not say what exactly to do on those dates investment-wise.

Sector wise, anything associated with Metal is favorable, including brokerages and financials, said Emily Lam, another CLSA feng shui master. Water industries, including gaming and logistics, also seem attractive, Lam added.

In terms of zodiac signs, roosters, cows and dogs are set to be this year's "grinners", whereas pigs, tigers, sheep and snakes may need "all the pluck they can muster".