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This being the first White Collar in the Year of the Snake, I would like to say Kung Hei Fat Choi to all readers. I wish you all a rich and prosperous year.
Today is the third day of the Lunar New Year and, according to Chinese tradition, this is a day that people will easily get into quarrels. As such, it is better not to visit relatives or to have any gatherings.
I won't write about controversial news items today, but instead concentrate on fung shui.
White Collar had a chat with fung shui master Wong Man-chiu to obtain some investment tips for the Year of the Snake.
The Year of the Snake, according to Wong, will continue to be a volatile year in both the macro economy and the stock and property markets.
From the fung shui point of view, this year belongs to the black snake, which is a mixture of "water and fire". As such, it has a moody character and we are going to see volatility in worldwide economies and the stock markets.
"The Year of the Snake is a mixture of both good and bad signals. Investors should prepare for a roller coaster year," Wong says.
People who are thinking in the short term may take advantage of such a volatile market, but those who eye long-term investments better be careful not to chase the stocks when they are trading high.
While we saw a strong debut for the Hang Seng Index in January, Wong says we will see some consolidation this month and next, before the market bounces back in April and May.
"The second half of this year will have the same trend and is likely to go up and down all the time," he said.
The euro-zone debt crisis is far from over, while the United States still faces a slowdown. China, the world's second largest economy, is also seeing a slowdown.
In terms of property investment, Wong predicts property prices in Hong Kong will gradually fall this year, as the fung shui signals are not good for bricks and mortar.
So what is the best investment in the Year of the Snake? Gold, says Wong, will have an upward trend and people will buy the precious metal as a safe haven.
Besides investments, the fung shui master also offered some observations about family matters. While the Year of the Dragon just passed was a good year for marriage, the Year of the Snake is not such a good year. This may explain why some hotels and wedding venues have seen bookings drop this year.
The Year of the Snake is also not a good year for people to have babies, Wong says.
This means it may be a year for people to focus more on work. When you are in the office, it is better to choose the seat away from the centre and to choose yellow for your furniture and clothes.
The fung shui master says the colour yellow can bring you luck in the Year of the Snake. This is the same lucky colour as in previous years and Wong says it will remain the best choice in the next 10 years.
In the office, the middle of the room will be the area with the worst luck. To drive away the bad luck, Wong suggests growing some green plants. This is not just good for the fung shui - it will also improve the environment in the office.