Fengshui 2014 : Only Fools and Horses Work

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s HORSES and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

After last year’s CLSA Fengshui mishap, we find ourselves gravitating to their outlook for 2014 as usual, being creatures of innate curiosity like moths are drawn to flame.

All that comes to mind when I think of horses, particularly wooden ones are the Trojan horse, rocking horses and Only Fools and Horses, a comedy sitcom I was partial to when I was younger because of its recurring quick get rich underlying theme and the comedy that ensues from all the disastrous consequences.

That only fools and horses work cannot be an adage more than falsehood or even an insult, in fact, to us hardworking folks here in Singapore. Yet, I am not sure if many readers would not like the idea, that we could profit without work.

And so CLSA, here we come again.


It looks like Hang Seng is headed up, as usual, and as sure as inflation exists. Any doubts, anyone ?

Sectors to benefit :
Wood – agriculture, fashion, forestry, furniture, garments, packaging, plantations, printing, retail, soft commodities
Fire – accounting, advertising, energy, fast food, foundries, internet, oil & gas, petrochem, power, technology, telecom, utilities
Water – advertising, aviation, beverages, breweries, logistics, hotels, lotteries, marketing, shipping

Sectors that will not be so hot :
Metal – autos, banks, broking, currencies, finance, engineering, insurance, machinery, robotics, steel, telecoms, utilities
Earth – agriculture, building materials, property, construction, soft commodities, pharma, soft commodities, cosmetics

Strange repetition of some sectors which are the dicey ones, such as telecoms which can be seen as metal and yet fire because they are somewhere in between. Thus I shall build my biases along those lines as I note the peak to come in July.

3 out of the last 5 Horse years have had equities end higher BUT the latest Horse year (Water Horse) back in 2002 saw a post dot com low in the Dow. And years of the Wooden Horse are associated with warfare. The battle of Dien Bien Phu, which ended with the defeat of France by the Vietnamese, happened in 1954 and 1894 saw the start of the first Sino-Japanese war.

A useful fact, however, gleaned from the CLSA report is that the pattern of annual stars in this Wooden Horse year is exactly as it was back in 1969, the year of the Earth Rooster.

1969 Random Events

  • Race riots in Singapore and Malaysia
  • Apollo 11 lands on the moon
  • Woodstock
  • Border clashes between Russia and China
  • The Aids virus reaches USA
  • Vietnam war
  • First ATM is installed in USA

Horses are one of the most useful animals in the history of mankind, as beasts of burden to war machinery and for transport till the automobile was invented. As creatures, they are wild and unpredictable besides being capable of great speed (75 km/hr and faster than some cars on our roads).

What stands out for me is that Horses are used to produce the ANTIVENOM for Snake bites ! And the year of the Snake left us with a big bite as markets slid with uncertainty abound. Shall the Horse be the antidote for market ills ?

I cannot see a miracle anytime soon short of brainwashing investors that the waters are safe because they are not, at this moment.

And an unusual coincidence I note is that our contributors and I are on the same note, at last, on the possibility of a major equity market correction ahead.

Whilst it would not hurt to keep positions flat and not expect an immediate galloping start, I realise the importance of monitoring this Horse year with care and am in the midst of recruiting a friendly fengshui master to do a weekly column (fingers crossed). Given the CLSA track record which, to their credit, they did qualify themselves against, I deem it safer to get our own expert opinion.

Happy Neigh Year !