Today is the first day of Chinese New Year and it’s the Year of the Pig, the last animal in the Chinese 12-year astrological cycle. So what does 2019 hold for us all in terms of our money?
Like most forecasts, the expert views from the feng shui masters vary from the terrible to the wonderful. Of course it could all go horribly wrong but then disaster often brings welcome change in the long term. According to Kevin Foong at AsiaOne, the Year of The Pig will be the year of endings, transitions and revelations. Mr Foong also makes other porcine predictions which could affect our investments, such as:
1. President Donald Trump faces a challenging year managing his own administration and seeing off the Democrats. He will have only minor success boosting the economy unless he can unite the parties while US interest rates are likely to go up twice in 2019.
[My interpretation: Buy US shares cautiously. However, it seems now as if US interest rates will actually drop in the year ahead which would benefit companies and their share prices.]
2. The Chinese economy could slow due to the trade war with the US. But President Xi’s chart looks as if he will remain focused on domestic consumption and economic growth for the year should keep up at 5.3%.
[My interpretation: Hold steady any investments in China.]
3. The Earth element shows signs of weakening so property developers and real estate-related businesses may struggle. But potentially lower prices will benefit those looking to buy homes.
[My interpretation: It’s a buyer’s market for property.]
4. Oil prices will remain steady in the first half of 2019 but after that could be volatile due to the US expanding its capacity.
[My interpretation: Lock into a fixed tariff before the winter, use a comparison site such as uSwitch* or MoneySuperMarket* to find the cheapest.]
5. It’s an auspicious time for technology. A strengthening fire element will benefit the electronics, media, food, and service industries. Mr Foong highly recommends upgrading your current systems.
[My interpretation: Time to buy a new home computer.]
6. The Metal element experiences a clash, so commodities, gold, stock markets and other major financial markets will be troubled but not enough for a recession.
[My interpretation: Start a regular savings plan into shares which means you buy more when prices are low and less when they are high, a winning strategy, see our beginner’s guides to investment for more help. Alternatively try to invest larger sums on the dips.]
Whether any of this will come to pass is anyone’s guess! It all seems relatively sensible advice to me. With Brexit looming, my horoscope is to hold tight, put off any large purchases and make sure you have plenty of ready cash for emergencies. And, if you’re eating noodles, don’t cut them – it will shorten your life. Kung hei fat choy!