Saturday, March 31, 2007

Take responsibility for your own actions

Regular readers may recall the various entries on GT shares from 2005 to 2006 – ‘Spoiled by the mother’, ‘Hidden Treasure’, and the ‘Do not chase after the horse’ live case studies as the Yi prognostication unfolded. The shares price of GT sky rocketed this week and count as one of the KLSE counters that achieved a new twelve months high – in fact it could be a six years high for GT shares. (Refer to ‘Signs of hope (2)’)

In case you are interested, the GT share price has increased 18 (eighteen) fold from its record low set in 2005. That is what a ‘Super Bull Run’ is all about, if readers do not yet understand the term used since the beginning of 2007.

Readers, especially those from Malaysia, may be surprised. But no friends and kin actually listened to my past hints. They had their mouths wide open and expect to be fed. They had bought various shares based on market tips and rumors with their new found wealth but they have forgotten about GT.

Like others, GT share prices fluctuate in line with market conditions – its share price has gone up in good times and has fallen in bad ones - clearly spelt out this time for those intellectuals who pretend to be thick and look for scapegoats or excuses if they missed the boat or become a stale bull through their own decisions or dithering. If they never bought back any GT shares at lower prices than those sold, why lament now?

In a Bull Run, anything can happen. A wrong decision: to buy or not to buy any shares; to sell shares too early; to hold onto the shares longer than necessary; can cost a lot of money with the benefit of hindsight. It can run into thousands, tens or hundreds of thousands or even millions of ringgit.

Grow up; take responsibility for your own actions. Move on; do not linger in the past, if you happen to miss the boat. No one can ever win all the money sloshing around in a bull market. There will be many opportunities and rounds for trade unless you choose to be a dormant investor. It all depends on your luck and the requisite homework.

A case in point and if it makes those who missed the boat any happier - I have just heard that a tycoon lost 50 million ringgit on his investment in GT shares bought ten years ago at much higher prices and sold most of the shares before this price surge, probably on the ill advice of his stockbroker, kin and friends – those so called ‘ShenXian’! That can be considered greed, fear, and sheer bad luck all rolled into one. Have pity on him even if he can afford the loss. Fifty million is a lot of money to lose on just one share investment. Many Malaysians probably cannot make that kind of money in a lifetime.

It looks like the tycoon chose to believe the so called ‘ShenXian’ rather than the Yi and Daoist immortals. If only he had listened carefully to my Daoist friend who told him about what the Yi and the Xian had indicated years ago and cheerfully waited. But how many people in the world can believe or truly follow the Yi and Tao?

It is high time for friends and kin to take responsibility for their own actions. They have only forgone the opportunity to make more money. They have more than sufficient capital gains made from the GT shares last year. The spoon feeding has stopped. My annual hexagram for 2006 was Hexagram 42 Yi / Increase. It is not the same this year. Therefore, no more mothering for way overgrown kids, it is time for them to stand on their own two feet and to make their own investment decisions.

If readers cannot change with the times, hold on to your investments and ride the expected heavy fluctuations - major ups and downs - in a bull run.

The KLSE is an active market for traders since early 2007, one has indicated just as much, especially for someone like me who has minimal start up capital although it is comparatively more than the RM 20,000 seed capital in 1993. It can be hectic and heart rendering if wrong calls are made and one does not need any more blame thrown in my direction. I need to concentrate to make a fortune and can no longer find the time to plead, argue, and nurture seemingly mature professional accountants to enable them to make much money from the right timing of rises and falls of my stock picks and the stock market. What with decisions which involve hundreds of thousands or millions of ringgit which had to be made within seconds, minutes, or hours – for example similar to those witnessed on February 27 and March 5.

Ah, it really feels good to escape from the playful clutches of fry and shrimps who hang onto the coat-tails for so many years. Within the puddle of water, they can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee! Yes, indeed it was lucky that this dragon has managed to leap out of the puddle and hovers above the field. Hope other fallen dragons can do the same.

Perhaps, another good week like last week for the KLSE will allow the dragon to fly a bit higher. If the Yi and heaven are by any chance listening, a little tailwind is required to double the prices of my investments. Meanwhile keep a look out for more counters reaching new twelve months high this coming week.

If you do not have the dexterity and a strong heart for the expected upheavals in a Bull Run (a battlefield of sorts), it is better that you remain as an impassive investor in the KLSE rather than trade. Any shares will eventually go up in a bull run, it just a matter of timing, foresight and the magnitude.

So far only my late father before he died was the only one who can keep pace with me during the KLSE bull runs of 1993 and 1996. He listened carefully to every word I said and also knows how to trade. We planned strategies almost every night on what to do for the next trading day. He was one of my favorite confidants whenever the Yi speaks of omens and heaven secrets. He read Classical Chinese in school.
When I was in London in the 1970s, he used to call from KL to ask for Yi oracles on investment in properties. He had relied on the oracles and my interpretations each time he invested or divested real properties in Malaysia and Singapore. He made much money from such trades which spanned more than two decades before he passed away in 2002. I missed him dearly even after my three years of mourning. Tomorrow is the time of year – Qing Ming which happens to fall on April 5 - where we will visit his grave.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A tale of three Chinese professors

With time on my hands last night, one ventured to take a look at three articles of interest by Chinese professors at the Center for Zhouyi and Ancient Chinese Philosophy, China. Being professors of ancient Chinese philosophy it goes without saying that they are learned and know their subject matter well. Here is a brief comment on each article.

The article (code 351) by Professor Jin Shengyang of Sichuan University, Chengdu, depicts a meticulous scholarly approach to the subject on Yi diagrams. While he did much research and probably put in his best efforts to write the article, he could have made it a tad simpler and easier for earnest Yi students and scholars alike to follow. One lost interest trying to figure out who each named local personalities were. Perhaps in his eagerness to present his research, the professor forgot about what is indicated in the Great Treatise: What is easy, is easy to know; what is simple, is easy to follow. He who is easy to know attains fealty. He who is easy to follow attains works.

Professor Huang Qing-xuan of Taiwan Normal University is quite a character and has a novel approach to the understanding of Tao in his article (code 335) on “One Yin and one Yang is called Dao”. He had used sources from the Great Treatise and quotes from less well known Neo Confucians to support his own understanding of Tao. He paraphrased this line: That which lets now the dark, now the light appear is tao into “One Yin and one Yang is called Tao.” While he noted that both Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi insisted Yin Yang represents Qi not Tao, according to him, they had said that “one Yin and one Yang represent the Dao”. Then the professor quoted other and later Neo Confucians who claimed that Taiji is called Tao, while under the same breath, he mentioned that Zhou Dunyi had indicated that Wuji produces Taiji, to support his theory. Surely we cannot just rely on lesser known Neo Confucians to come to a clearer understanding of Tao? Perhaps if Professor Huang had delved into Daoist texts like the Tao Te Ching, Neiyeh, Secrets of the Golden Flower, Lu’s Hundred Characters and Buddhist scriptures like the Dhammapada, the Shurangama, and the Diamond Sutra, he could have come to a different conclusion. Or did he confuse the Center (Taiji) with Tao?

My Daoist friend when asked today said, “Tao is so vast that anyone can infer anything to it.”

Professor Tang Yi-jie of Shandong and Beijing Universities seems to have attended the same school as mine. If you read his article (code 330) on ‘Yi is what the Dao of heaven and that of human’, it is quite apparent we quote almost the same sources (Confucian books, Chinese Classics and Buddhist scriptures) and cardinal virtues (including the hidden virtue) to support our understanding of the Yi, heaven and Tao. If you read the article, it is also quite obvious that Professor Tang articulates his in-depth knowledge of the Yi, the classics and books better than me and with much more clarity, especially on the unity of heaven and human. Overall, a well presented article, one may say.

While reading the well written article, Western Daoists should take note of this comment of Professor Tang: “Zhuangzi was shaded by the heaven but did not know human.” Understand his reasons for saying that before devout Zhuangzi followers get upset. If you wish to dream like a butterfly, no one can ever stop you. Not the eastern Daoists (and heavenly immortals), the Confucians nor the Buddhists.

One hopes that the three professors would not be offended by my constructive criticism, if any. Perhaps they may or may not listen to what this sincere student of the Yi and Tao has to say. Allan who?!

The three articles can be sourced at

Monday, March 26, 2007

When the Yi speaks

Yi aficionados down the ages have always found the Book of Changes profound not only because of its images and wisdoms; they also stand in awe of Yi’s accurate prognostications, when the Yi happens to speak. If ancient sage kings and rulers can rely on the prognostications to help decide on important matters of state, only the ignorant and the arrogant would seek to denigrate the profundity of the Yi and its workings.

Ignorance arises from the lack of divination experiences and arrogance comes from self belief that their knowledge about the Yi is far superior to ancient sages and the wise. Just like what Confucius had indicated in the Analects, only the stupidest (the ignorant) and the wisest (the arrogant) cannot change, since they no longer have a need to learn. Yet the sage King Wen and his son, King Wu still had to learn from Jiang Taigong and the ancients.

Little wonder why the Yi tends to speak to those who are sincere and earnest. What is the point of speaking to the insincere and the frivolous? They usually do not listen nor act on Yi’s guidance. Therefore, according to the Doctrine of the Mean, only Yi diviners with the most entire sincerity can foreknow omens, and secrets of Heaven. After all, heaven is on the side of the good.

If you count among those who can foreknow omens and secrets of heaven (which includes Daoist devotees and disciples in the East) from the Yi (and/or divinities), do not be carried away with how you disseminate the privileged information.

Not all are entitled to listen in on omens and Heaven’s secrets before they unfold. You have to discern who is entitled if you need to share it with someone. If you have to pass on the message to others, reveal only relevant information, while the rest should remain as secrets, even if friends and kin pester you for more. Without circumspection, you could be ridiculed by skeptics or at times warned by Heaven.

For example, while drafting the entry on ‘Confirmation of 2007 Yi chart’ an unexpected thunderstorm brewed. Thunderbolts approach nearer to my house each passing moment as one wrote about the intention of the Daoist heavenly immortal to send his senior disciples overseas and the reasons why. When the thunderclap was at its loudest, one decided to change the exact locations (from places to compass directions) and omit the works his disciples will have to perform in each destination. Only then did the thunder and lightning move away and just as quickly subsided as the storm began. When a good friend wanted to know more upon reading the entry – nothing was divulged.

If Yi aficionados think one is deluded or merely superstitious, think of Guan Lo’s experience with the Daoist deities during the Three Kingdoms era who specifically warned him not to reveal too much about the workings of Heaven.

Without real teachers, Yi diviners have to learn to be circumspect even if we intend to share our experiences with fellows of the Way. To take notice of warnings from nature, heaven and Tao is a method to deepen our self studies of the Yi and the Way. There is no real need to believe me, just look into what the ancients and the wise indicated:

Looking upward, we contemplate with its help the signs in the heavens; looking down, we examine the lines of earth. Thus we come to know the circumstances of the dark and the light.

Since in this way man comes to resemble heaven and earth, he is not in conflict with them. His wisdom embraces all things, and his Tao brings order into the whole world; therefore he does not err. He is active everywhere but he does not let himself be carried away. He rejoices in heaven and has knowledge of fate; therefore he is free of care. He is content with his circumstances and genuine in his kindness, therefore he can practice love (Ren).
[4. 2&3 Da Zhuan – W/B]

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Signs of hope (2)

In the earlier entry on March 11 one had indicated to investors of Malaysian shares to watch out for higher liquidity in the KLSE which will invariably increase the prices of shares. Confidence in the KLSE was generated with last week’s policy announcements by the Government and the Prime Minister to provide various incentives among others to real property investors (the abolition of Real Property Gains Tax), foreign investors (faster approvals, no quotas in some types of investments) and further easing of controls on the Ringgit. The good news was made public at the investment conference for 1,000 fund managers (mostly foreign) specially invited for the event.

No, one was not privy to a sneak preview. Neither did the earlier indication of higher liquidity come from reliable sources. It came directly from the annual Yi chart for 2007 read together with past events and the awareness of time compression in a bull market.

Since March 11, one received feedback about how the market will perform over the past fortnight – some people predicted that the KLSE will rise one week and fall in the next, while others say it was time to sell and get out of the market. Many stale bulls did exactly that, selling into rebounds either cutting losses or make do with smaller profits.

More and more of these so-called ‘ShenXian’ will come out of the closets as the KLSE recovers further lost ground (what with the huge losses incurred in the plunges on Feb 27 and on Mar 5) and eventually climbs higher than its all time high reached way back in 1993. Some have even predicted the timing of general elections, as if they have read the thoughts of our Prime Minister. So please be careful and be wary of such predictions. You may miss the boat or lose your shirt listening to these human ‘ShenXian’.

The prices of shares one bought back from Mar 6 onwards, with a rebound of 30 to 40%, have climbed back up to the levels last seen on Mar 1. The momentum and high liquidity of last week, if carried forward, can probably send some counters in the KLSE to new twelve months highs this coming week. Second board counters have also shown signs of activity, in case Malaysian investors have not noticed. Therefore the expected rally can be really broad based.

Based on the Yi chart, the stock market will continue the rebound and rally for some time. No, no hints will be given on when this new rally will end, until it is time to do so.

Go out and create your own luck. Without plenty of luck generated, you may not get to keep any of the capital gains from the stock market, even if you have followed my lead to make much money like in 2006, unless you are somehow destined to become a millionaire or a multimillionaire from shares trading - which reverts to fate.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Doing what is right

Many scholars and students of Tao tend to think that dual cultivation extends to what is good and what is evil without tempering their intellectual knowledge with what the three great sages – Laozi, Confucius and Buddha – actually said. Just because good and evil exist since time immemorial does not mean it is human nature to cultivate both. It is nonsensical. Yet Daoist scholars and students often do not have the lucidity to overcome their misunderstanding or misperception of what is considered dual cultivation and/or cultivation. Perhaps their reflections on ancient thoughts do not go deep enough.

I take two passages from the Doctrine of the Mean (Zhong Yong) to elucidate why humans need to cultivate good instead of evil since the West do not readily accept the various warnings given by Daoist heavenly immortals on the subject of demons (Mo) - the opposite of Tao:

There is a way to the attainment of sincerity in one’s self; - if a man do not understand what is good, he will not attain sincerity in himself.

Sincerity is the way of Heaven. The attainment of sincerity is the way of man. He who possesses sincerity, is he who, without an effort, hits what is right, and apprehends, without the exercise of thought; - he is the sage who naturally and easily embodies the right way. He who attains to sincerity, is he who chooses what is good, and firmly holds it fast.

The current political situation in the US provides a valid example of the contrasts in both paragraphs. The executive branch never really reflected on what is good and therefore the insincerity shown in so many occasions and events since 2003. While the current Congress understands what sincerity really is and is merely doing what is just and right. This allows truth to prevail and prevents more transgressions through checks and balances as the legislative branch for the people of US.

If you happen to be reading, Mr. US President, just go with the flow. While the timing on Yi prognostications given to Professor Sam Crane has been out – was it because Sam like Richard Wilhelm is not yet ready for readings on timing, one does not really know – each oracle has unfolded or is unfolding for the whole world to witness. Using key words taken from this blog like sincerity; unfolding, good and bad months; in your recent speeches and the minor operation done to your head just before the end of last Chinese New Year (probably an ingenious attempt to avoid ‘Bloody tears flow’) cannot possibly deflect the Yi prognostications.

The horse and wagon is already coming apart. It may be too late. It is high time to change your Yi advisers, if any. Changing someone’s fate is the most difficult thing to do, especially if the advisers had previously ignored the various accurate Yi oracles given to Sam and reinterpreted in this blog since 2005. In case, you do not quite understand it, Mr. President, the Yi talks about fate, not luck or Fengshui. But one still wishes you at this late hour, Good Luck! All the best!

If people especially rulers still do not understand why humans need to cultivate good to overcome evil as advocated by all major religions, what more can one say? Some people may deem such cultivation as religious or philosophical; and to conveniently do away with it, will be of their own choosing. How many in the world can really realize the cause and effect of their own right or wrong actions?

If readers think that what one wrote in this entry is only meant for the Confucians, they need to look deeper into the Tao Te Ching (Laozi) and the Dhammapada (Buddha).

It is said that Fengshui may bluff you for ten to eight years, however if lucky, Allan would be able to hoodwink readers only for a few minutes! Next!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Confirmation of the 2007 Yi chart

Every time after one prepared the annual Yi chart for shares investment in the KLSE, one cheerfully waits for events to unfold – shares prices rise during good months and fall during bad months. It is inevitable. (Think Changes.) This has happened year in year out over several years. But this year 2007 could be different. One has received an indirect confirmation from a powerful divinity, no less, that my annual chart is accurate.

The divinity, a Quanzhen heavenly immortal that can see 3,000 years into the future and look back 3,000 years into the past, will be sending some of his senior disciples overseas during what I deemed two bad months in 2007 for shares investments.

The disciples will be going up North during x month for a pilgrimage and going to the West in y month. Knowing that these particular two months will present major obstacles for shares investors and that his disciples invest in the KLSE, probably the divinity is moving them out of harm’s way. They would probably be told at a later date to dispose of their shares investments before going away for each long trip. The Yi also provides similar warnings whenever such danger arises.

From experience, there is no point in indicating the bad months too early – friends and kin may do the wrong thing that is dispose of shares too early or not buy any and miss out on rallies just because they are aware of and afraid of impending plunges. They seldom understand that plunges usually follow rallies. (Think cycles.) In the past, some had resorted to blame Allan for not making any money during the rallies. Therefore it is difficult to remain blameless.

To remain tightlipped would have been the best. But if one does not share experiences and insights in this blog, Yi aficionados and Daoist students may not get to know the true magic of the Yi and Tao. The truths of what the ancients say on timing and the ability to transcend time and space may remain as myths to many such students – especially those in the West.

Of course compared to divinities, the ancient sages and the wise, my Yi knowledge and insights are very much limited. Therefore readers will have to take my comments on the Yi, Daoist immortals, and Tao with a pinch of salt from time to time. And investigate when one provides references such as these:

The Changes are what have enabled the holy sages to reach all depths and to grasp the seeds of all things. Only through what is deep can one penetrate all wills on earth. Only through the seeds can one complete all affairs on earth. Only through the divine can one hurry without haste and reach the goal without walking.
[X. 5&6 – Da Zhuan W/B]

Without going outside his door, one understands (all that takes place) under the sky; without looking out from his window, one sees the Tao of Heaven.
[TTC 47.1 Legge]

For fellow travelers who are able to transcend time and space – enjoy the to and fro of Tao and Heaven. Just do not love it so much that you forget the return!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Did Confucius study the Yi?

I recalled reading Joel Biroco lamenting more than a year ago that the current stock of Yi scholars in the West holds to different thoughts as compared to the ancients. And that he was overwhelmed by their beliefs and arguments that there was no evidence that Confucius actually read or knew about the Book of Changes. At the time, one thought these Western scholars were preposterous, but was too lazy to do research or write to ask Steve Marshall on what they had said or had proven. Today, my thoughts about these Yi scholars still have not changed, they really think they know much about the ancients and the Yi, but do they really?

There is a wealth of information that supports the historical fact that Confucius had read the Yi – his comments in the Ten Wings and his love of the Yi as written by Sima Qian in the Records of the Historian. Renowned Neo Confucian scholars relied much on the explanations of Confucius and Mencius to understand the Yi. Earnest and sincere Western scholars like James Legge and Richard Wilhelm and their mentors never doubted that fact, yet this current crop of Yi scholars like to think otherwise.

While going through the analects today for some research, one found this passage:

The Master said,
‘The people of the south have a saying – ‘A man without constancy cannot be either a wizard or a doctor.’ Good!

‘Inconstant in his virtue, he will be visited with disgrace.’

The Master said,
‘This arises simply from not attending to the prognostication.’

[8. 22 Legge]

The second paragraph – is taken word for word from line 3 of Hexagram 32 Heng / Duration – and as translated by Legge. Zhu Xi gave his usual explanations on Confucius’ thoughts; however he could not quite make out what Confucius meant in the last paragraph. Neither did many Confucian scholars down the ages and Legge.

Obviously Confucius is right. Without duration or constancy, how can one be a good Court diviner (Wu – was translated as wizard or doctor by Legge)? Confucius used the third line of Heng to support the southern people’s saying. And he added that the lack of duration in virtue or character came from not following the prognostication or in simpler terms – Yi’s guidance. How true for a Court diviner (Wu) who has to be good at divinations!

Perhaps the pronouncement in the third line of Heng serves as an apt warning for the current crop of Yi scholars, whether they are in the East or in the West, who chose to disbelieve the ancients and the extant historical records.

Once again I shake my head and sigh. What a waste of talent and the decades in reading ‘dead’ books. If only these scholars diligently practice their divinations like the not so learned (for example, Allan) and get the Yi to speak, then perhaps they may come to better understand Confucius’s various valuable contributions to Yi studies based on his earnest and sincere practice with the Book of Changes.

If learned scholars like Zhu Xi and other renowned Neo Confucians could not understand what Confucius meant, do you really think that an unlearned fellow like me with limited studies can understand the great sage?

You are either joking or it must have been that I have a good teacher, the Yi. And the requisite divination practice.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Way of a sage

This chapter taken from the Tao Te Ching can be quoted as an appreciation of all good and kind teachers on earth:

Sincere words are not fine, fine words are not sincere.

Those who are skilled (in the Tao) do not dispute (about it); the disputatious are not skilled in it.

Those who know (the Tao) are not extensively learned; the extensively learned do not know it.

The sage does not accumulate (for himself). The more that he expends for others, the more does he possess of his own; the more that he gives to others, the more does he have himself.

The Way of Heaven is to benefit, not to harm. The Way of the Sage is to do his duty, not to strive with anyone.

[TTC 81, James Legge.]

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Confucian and/or Daoist magic (2)

The above list of the four Confucian books and five Chinese Classics complete the ingredients for some Confucian and/or Daoist magic.

Back in late 1995, one was appointed to coordinate the listing of a medium sized real property development cum construction group. Though the group had planned their public listing for a year or so, nothing much was done because of infighting between the various heads of departments. With the aim to heal the rift and unify the fractious relationships between these professionals, one pasted the list of books and classics in the middle franked by the two separate lists of the four cardinal virtues of Confucians and Daoists on the back wall of my office. Since most of the general managers and directors were of Chinese descent, perhaps they understood the message when they walked into my room for one to one discussions. Those who were educated in English and who liked to know more about the virtues were explained to when asked.

There was magic in the air when all the departmental heads agreed to work as a team and things got moving fast, in early 1996. With good staff motivation and potential benefits, team spirit was at an all time high. As the deadline neared for filing of the listing documents, we worked first 12 hours days, gradually moving up to an 18 hours workday including weekends. The beauty of it was few complained about the pressures of the workload.

The senior management including me and the merchant bankers worked almost 72 hours in the three days leading to the filing deadline. Of course everyone was exhausted by then. There was a rush to the Securities Commission that last day for filing. If we had missed the filing deadline that very day, we have to rush and file again with a further six months of audited accounts, which meant more work and deadlines.

Our chaps and the merchant banker reached the SC office by 8.30 pm because of heavy traffic. After I had parked the car by the road curb and walked over to them it was almost 9 pm. Just when I reached where they were standing, they gave out a sigh of relief and started giggling. They had been making frantic calls at the basement car park intercom hooked up to the SC office for almost half hour and a SC officer had picked up the phone and agreed to accept the application papers, the moment one stepped in.

Ha, the merchant banker exclaimed – "Wow that is magic!"

While Confucius had stated clearly in the Analects that he merely compiled the five classics for posterity, a number of Western scholars/authors somehow labeled them as Confucian. Just like James Legge, one often refers to these classics as Chinese since the texts and events existed before Confucius. The rest is up to those Daoist and Yi students in the West who have not read them because the classics were deemed Confucian. Perhaps these students do not realize what wisdoms they have missed by ignoring some of these classics.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Signs of hope

One has been doing some more homework today. Drawing up the annual chart for 2007 – the last one was done in 2004 – lazy me. There had been many repeats over the years therefore one could also make some money relying on the older yet still accurate charts. Since 2007 is expected to be a super bull year, and if one wants to be a flying dragon in the heavens, it could be time well spent. Now one can plan for overseas trips months in advance by referring to this time chart which depicts (to me) when the KLSE will rise and when shares prices will plunge in 2007. (Like the unfolding of the 2006 events, one will keep the annual chart for my own consumption.)

Similar to the Bull Run in 1993, the volatility of price movements are compressed over a short time period – therefore the run up and rebounds of shares prices will be faster, and plunges heavier. There will be plenty of opportunities for traders and investors. No more a long gestation period (say three to five years) for your shares investment to move up. Just do not lose your shirt or your temper.

In the past, one had mentioned to friends and kin, that probably only those who cannot physically speak (dumb) would not make money in a bull run since they cannot call or instruct their stockbrokers to buy or sell. (Joke) But it no longer holds true with the advent of the internet and stockbrokers’ savvy – almost anyone can transact shares through the internet linked up with the stock broking houses. Therefore it feels good to know that everyone has an equal chance to make money from the KLSE in 2007.

If some Malaysian readers think that the taxi drivers, housewives, the massage parlor or nightclub girls do not know how to make money in a bull run, think again. They can be more savvy and street smart than the current crop of investors and punters. They know how to cut and run – for survival purposes – and buy if shares prices are low for quick rebounds and profits. They used to form the backbone of retailers back in 1993. And they are slowly but surely returning to the stock market.

Once these retailers are in, the big foreign funds will also come to trade in the KLSE. The huge US and European funds have been patiently waiting for this to happen. The Taiwanese funds which liked to invest in the second board counters have yet to make their move. One wonders when the new Chinese funds will come in. The Japanese funds have been rather quiet. Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch have hardly mentioned anything about the KLSE.

However with the recent big pull back of shares prices (30% to 50% off their recent year highs) and the KLCI (retracing about 15 %) before the rebound in the latter half of last week, there is real hope that there will be more buying next week from new or ‘diehard’ retailers and foreign fund managers.

One had bought back a selection of stocks – those that the Yi indicated had more potential than prices reached before the recent global markets plunge. The unfolding of ‘The wall falls back to the moat’ phenomenon has already occurred when one bought those shares back last week.

In a short compressed time, their prices had doubled from the price at the time of my Yi consultations. The plunge just as quickly brought the ‘castles in the air’ back to earth or to the moat, falling 50 % reaching the same price or lower as those recorded in my Yi consultations log book.

With this elaboration, perhaps readers will understand more about this warning line: ‘The wall falls back to the moat’ in their Yi studies or if they obtain the line in future divinations.

Together with various other signs – some from nature – it looks like the rebound started middle of last week will spill over to this coming week. If the expected rebound comes with higher liquidity or bigger volumes, selective stocks’ prices may yet fly again.

Good Luck!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Dragon appearing in the field!

This photo of a younger and smarter looking Allan was taken before the advent of the Flying dragon in the heavens in 1993. Since he was planning to walk out on a good paying job, he had his picture taken to be included in applications for better ones. He is seen wearing one of his favorite YSL ties. Little did he know that he was on his way to make his first million without being gainfully employed?

If Chinese readers mistake the photo to be that of the famous Hong Kong film star cum singer, George Lam, it is alright. My pre teen kids in the 1990s could not believe their eyes when they saw ‘daddy’ acting in films and singing in concerts then. My daughter Choy Cin quipped just the other day that I was on TV when she saw George Lam sang in a Chinese New Year HK concert.

Since it is time for the hidden dragon to act, it leaps out of the puddle and hovers above the field!

Perhaps in 2007, this real dragon would once again soar up to heaven. And about time too!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A turn of luck

The Chinese believe that luck (Wun) ranks second to a person’s fate. Since they know that fate is nigh impossible to change they try the next best thing that is to improve their luck. If they failed to improve their fortune then they look towards Fengshui for help. In their attempts to change luck, many tend to believe in things that border onto superstition.

For example, many Chinese believe in lucky numbers say – 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 and unlucky numbers – 4 & 6. These numbers vary from dialect to dialect which really depend on their tonal sounds. Some Cantonese will say that the number 6 sounds more like ‘rolled over’ (by a motor vehicle) or burned while Fujianese may say the number sounds like ‘luck’. Whatever their dialects most Chinese would agree that the number 4 sounds like ‘death’; and they avoid the number like a plague. But most would love the number 8 since it sounds like ‘Fai’ (prosperous). If you think only the Chinese believe in such things, the West is also known to avoid the number 13 and especially Fridays that happen to fall on the thirteenth day of a month.

If only such beliefs hold true, then everyone on earth will know how to change their luck for the better. However just like fate, one believes that we can change our luck if we diligently work at it.

We tend to believe that people who became rich were just lucky – they did it at the right time and were in the right place, many would say. However, unless they were born with a silver spoon which falls under the realm of fate, the rich have to toil for their riches too – in case readers think otherwise. They sometimes create their own turn of luck going forward and become successful in life.

Obviously a small fry like me cannot dream of becoming as rich as the tycoons in town. That would involve changing fate not just luck. But anyone can keep working at both fate and luck.

I invested in a double storey shop in 1996 because it was affordable and in a good location – the town center of Port Dickson, a popular beach resort. The building was completed a year after the Asian Financial Crisis struck. No tenant wanted it unless they got it for a bargain. Meanwhile the interest rate on the loan almost doubled because banks were badly hit by bad loans and at the time, cash was king. While other owners eagerly let out their entire shops at throw away monthly rentals of RM2, 000 or less, I stuck to my asking price of RM3, 000. The monthly installment for the loan had increased by a third to RM 4, 000 because of the higher interest rates. Life was tough to keep up with the installments, especially after a 50% pay cut and increased household expenditure.

However, once the other shops were fully tenanted, prospective tenants like McDonalds, Bakers Cottage, Telecoms and a couple of financial institutions seemed interested in renting my shop. The ground floor of the shop was finally let out to a financial institution for RM 2, 800 and the 1st floor to a law firm for RM 700 grossing RM3, 500 a month – which almost doubled the prevailing tenancy market rate.

Meanwhile the economy turned for the better and interest rates came down quickly. With a huge sigh of relief, the loan installment went back down to RM 3, 000 a month.

The financial institution had to move out three years ago because it was being merged with its parent. It was paying a revised rental of RM3, 150 before it vacated. The new tenant who immediately took over the ground floor premises from the financial institution has since been paying a negotiated rental of RM 3,500 a month. The law firm has vacated the 1st floor for some time now and one is still looking for a tenant who can pay RM 1,000 a month.

The loan will be fully repaid in a few years time – hopefully with the rent. A bank had approached me with a view to buy the shop because of its excellent road frontage and ample car parks. But since the market for commercial properties had just started to move up, one will wait for the right time to sell.

It is fortunate that one learned how to value realty while auditing a medium sized real estate agency in London in the 1970s. The agency partners had taught me how to. If one could sell it to the bank once commercial properties peak, it would provide a good retirement fund for me.

Therefore if we want a turn of luck for the better, we have to work hard at it. And that would invariably include the right timing.

Rental figures are provided to emphasize the point of how to turn our luck. It also provides an example of a good investment for those planning for their retirement. When a loan is fully repaid, pensioners will get to use the entire rentals from the commercial property, net of tax and outgoings. It will also provide steady income for our wives and kids if we are no longer around. Yes, one pays income tax on the declared rental income – so no worries with providing the figures!

Monday, March 05, 2007

It is a massacre out there

The bulls are getting slaughtered left, right and center in the Asian share markets today. The low liners and the speculative stocks that skyrocketed last week and earlier in the KLSE fell heavily – some by more than 30% from last Friday’s close. Their prices had dropped lower than levels reached during the global markets plunge last Tuesday. The KLSE index led the falls in the South East Asian stock markets.

One just watched the carnage from the sidelines in the peace and quiet of my office. Sipping coffee followed by some Chinese tea after that. My four favorite pages of 17 live stock quotes each on the computer monitor were all dressed up red. Blood red! So was the page on volume leaders. With an overwhelming majority of shares counters quoted in the KLSE falling like ten pins, how can the bears not win this battle?

In a quiet moment, one had spared a thought for some friends. After seeing the year highs, they had refused to sell their shares at lower prices along with me. At least one had warned them, over the phone, not to buy any after the rebound on Wednesday and for the week, since one expected heavy falls this week. If they chose not to listen, what can one do? When a stockbroker assistant asked why I was selling so many shares in such a short spate of time, my answer was, “I am easily startled”. (No, I was not born in the year of the Rabbit!) She had never listened to a word I said about the KLSE over the years, so why bother.

Have a thought for the latecomers (retailers and punters) who bought stocks at sky high prices and who are left holding the ‘hot sweet potatoes’. Trading in shares is a game of musical chairs with a twist – in case readers do not understand what it involves – the last player(s) holding the ‘hot sweet potatoes’ loses, not win. If punters have followed the ‘blind’ and bought more when shares rebounded last week thinking that the technical charts still look good or had followed Dr. Chuah, the Yijing scholar from Penang, who predicted the worst is over for the year, they could be in for further surprises around the corner.

Bull Runs do not follow trends or charts. It is all about liquidity and confidence. That is why one often tells friends, that shares float up on hot air. If confidence fizzles out, markets plunge.

It was rather fortunate that one had read the thoughts of ancients who taught the Chinese how to trade. Their trading strategies more than two millennia ago still work today. One also put Leon Richardson’s strategies in shares investment into good practice. Mr. Richardson had shared his wisdoms in the Asia Magazine back in the 1980’s before he retired. To buy low and sell high, traders can make a profit. It is that simple. But Malaysians have a tendency to buy shares at high prices in the hopes of selling higher.

Since some friends have asked, this is what one will do. Wait. One will wait until no one wants to buy those shares I had sold earlier. Those who bought the shares last week have already lost much. Therefore, it is just and fair to buyback shares especially from a seller who had bought them from me – even though they remain faceless – one keeps meticulous records of which stockbroker sold to me or bought my shares. (To answer questions before they are raised.)

Markets do not ‘die’ where trade exists. Those who lost everything in their haste to make much more money will. The Malaysian Chinese like to joke about ‘chopping off their fingers’ every time they lose bundles of money. There had been many such occasions since the early 1980’s. But their itchy fingers magically grow back very fast if there is money to be made in the KLSE. Old fools seldom learn. New fools are born every day. But this old fool could be a bit luckier in 2007.

One wonders how Dr. Chuah will face his irate followers or readers who bought shares in the KLSE on his advice after the plunge on Tuesday or this morning, if any. Do Yi students see the difficulties in remaining blameless?

It is advisable not to be a ShenXian in tumultuous times like these!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Just as I was saying ...

Interesting bits of news from the Sunday Star, 4 March 2007:

“The worst is over for the stock market, according to a prominent Yijing scholar from Penang.
Dr. Chuah Chong Cheng, who has studied Yijing for the past 30 years, said the recent plunge of the Asian and European markets was the worst that could happen to the stock market this year. Dr. Chuah had predicted last week’s market plunge.
‘Malaysians should be prepared for very hot weather and haze. Towards the end of the year there will be another flood.’ ‘I am expecting a tsunami to hit our shores either at the end of the year or the beginning of 2008,’ he said, adding that the tsunami would hit before the general elections.”

One wonders how this Yijing scholar knew all these. The Yi never tells me this much – the worst is over for the stock market this year, predicting the weather, another flooding, and a tsunami which will happen before the expected general elections. The Yi only told me about thunder storms and earthquakes, last year. How many more thunder storms and earthquakes will strike, how would I know?

For a bit of fame and fortune, Yi aficionados, who include scholars and masters, have occasionally made false claims and wild predictions of future events. Probably these fortune-telling Yi scholars hope to strike the mother lode if one of their major predictions ever comes true. (Think of Pat Robertson’s conversations with God ‘who’ purportedly made the predictions about the good fortune of the Republican Party and President Bush in 2006. Everyone else was supposed to face bad luck and hard times last year. His wild predictions – contrary to what the Yi told Sam Crane about Bush’s bad luck in 2006 - had all turned out to be wrong.)

Well, just as I was saying in the previous entry about the improper use of hybrid fortune telling methods to determine time in Yi prognostications. Dr. Chuah seems to be using those methods to provide his bold predictions. Only time will tell if his various predictions will come true or not.

No, Yi, one is not envious – you have already spoken on my fortune for 2007 – since you know that I am innocent, please do not hit me on the head, again! One is just sharing thoughts here with Yi fellows and travelers of the Way.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Building castles in the air

Human nature has never changed since time immemorial. In the mad rush to make more money, traders overtrade. First it will be greed, then fears and panics if markets turned against them. Those who throw caution to the wind in a fast rising market will certainly have cause to regret for their reckless actions. Denials will come much later. If traders have taken to heart that overtrading forms the main cause for worldwide bankruptcies, perhaps they will be more cautious.

Many investors and traders have been building ever bigger ‘castles in the air’ before the worldwide stock markets plunged on Tuesday 27 February 2007, when the Shanghai Composite Index fell 8.8% triggering heavy falls across Asia followed later in the day (because of the time difference) by Europe and the US. If investors have forgotten or unwilling to take profits for fear of losing out on further gains then they could rue this emotion called greed. Greed quickly turns into fear and panic when markets turned against investors. The herd mentality (part of human nature too) takes over and the mad rush to exit markets turns into a stampede as witnessed last Tuesday.

When market prices run up too high for months on end or in a short few days like in the KLSE, it is not wrong to lock in profits. Investors can then hold cash and bargain hunt when shares prices plunge. Just like the waxing and waning of the moon, markets rise and fall, it is all part of change. And predicting change is the specialty of none other than the Yijing. (The Book of Changes)

Unless you are guided by the Zhouyi and/or the ShenXian, you may not know the timing of share market(s) plunges or rises. Therefore one had warned Malaysian investors on Saturday 24 February 2007 to be careful and to invest in shares with fundamentals even giving an example of the volatility of speculative counters. With the past week’s turmoil, shares with fundamentals did not fall as much as the speculative stocks. No one seemed to have taken those hints. One has been taking profits since the 21st of February and has cleared the bulk of my shareholdings on rebounds on the 28th and the following day.

According to the yearly Yi charts and frankly speaking, I had expected the big plunge to happen next week even though it sometimes occurs during this time of the year. (Akin to the ‘Selling in May and go away’ phenomenon discussed last year.) Yes, one is also aware that few Yi aficionados really have an ear to this. A number of them prefer to learn or put their faith in popular hybrid systems used by fortune tellers and Fengshui masters, to determine the timing of Yi changes. Or they prefer to follow chartists and shares analysts (these professionals rely on historical information to determine future patterns) rather than the Yi. Can these fortune telling systems and charts accurately predict the rise and falls of share markets? Over the past three decades, one has not seen any. Even Mr. Marc Faber known as ‘Mr. Gloom and Doom’ who manages a hedge fund in Hong Kong had given better predictions of falling Asian markets.

On Tuesday, one had explained to my son, Kong Chian (his given Chinese name means ‘Bright Future’) and showed him the Yi yearly charts why the KLSE had plunged. I had also told him about the story that I rued the day back in 1994 when one did not listen to the Yi but listened instead to a message from a Daoist heavenly immortal (Xian) passed on by a colleague. The Yi had told me to sell all the shares by the 18th of February that year. However the message from the immortal said the share market was still good till mid March. The KLSE plunged by end February 1994 and all the paper profits worth millions disappeared in the ensuing correction. Months later one found out that the temple medium based in Muar, Johor had been corrupted. It was already too late. That is why one chose to follow the Yi instead of ShenXian (Daoist deities and immortals) from then on.

On the same day, one joked with my daughter, Choy Cin (her given Chinese name means ‘Colourful Angel or Immortal’) that half the wall of a new house that I planned to buy with the profits has fallen down. After an explanation, she still thought that her father did not have enough money. She suggested in the quiet that I can use her savings in the bank to buy a house! If readers do not understand the crux of the joke, perhaps some may understand this:

The wall falls back to the moat. Use no army now. Make your commands known within your own town. Perseverance brings humiliation.

Castles in the air can quickly turn into shattered dreams if we do not realize profits or if our beloved theories fail to hold water.

The determination of time factors are incorporated in hexagrams and explained in the ten wings, yet theorists hold fort and try to convince Yi students that hybrid or derivative methods work better. Well, if it looks fine in theory or in their minds to build ever bigger castles in the air, bully for them. Fallacies always lead to that.

As professional Yi diviners, we should put money where the mouth is. Only when something works well after extended divination practice, can we propagate the proven method. Students using such methods cannot go far wrong since they have been extensively tested over time.

What good is a belief if faith is all that we have? People can keep to their beliefs; I will follow the Yi, the ancients and the wise. The scope of the Yi is infinite. If aficionados want to limit their own knowledge and study hybrid/derivative systems to beef up their Yi studies, it is fine. However it would not be proper conduct to mislead Yi fellows with such theories. If you truly believe that these theories work with Yi divinations, prove it.

Some readers could have by mistake assumed that my writing about the Yi and the cultivation of the cardinal virtues has something to do with religious studies. The cultivation of virtues is related to the proper conduct of a Junzi and the Yi transcends religion. If they fail to understand this, time and time again, perhaps they should stop their tinkering with the Yi. While these aficionados hinder their own Yi studies, earnest Yi students and I will continue on this path:

Bearing with the uncultured in gentleness, fording the river with resolution, not neglecting what is distant, not regarding one’s companions: Thus one may manage to walk in the middle.

'In times of prosperity it is important above all to possess enough greatness of soul to bear with imperfect people. For in the hands of a great master no material is unproductive; he can find use for everything. But this generosity is by no means laxity or weakness. It is during times of prosperity especially that we must always be ready to risk even dangerous undertakings, such as the crossing of a river, if they are necessary. So too we must not neglect what is distant but must attend scrupulously to everything. Factionalism and the dominance of cliques are especially to be avoided. Instead each man should do his duty.' [W/B]

Another good line for your studies and discernment is this:

No plain not followed by a slope. No going not followed by a return. He who remains persevering in danger is without blame. Do not complain about this truth; enjoy the good fortune you still possess.

The final line about the timing of recent events in the share markets and on the web before ‘the wall falls back into the moat’ is this:

The sovereign I gives his daughter in marriage. This brings blessings and supreme good fortune.

What further blessings and good fortune can shares investors ask for? In their mad rush to chase their ever growing dreams, many deferred realizing profits. Much blood has been shed in the world markets the past week and further losses can be expected. The giving and receiving of ‘hoongpow’ period will end this Sunday, the 4th of March, the fifteenth and last day of Chinese New Year. There will be no more red packets for anyone, therefore expect further falls in the KLSE next week what with the heavy delivery of scrip.

If investors in the KLSE are still highly leveraged, reduce it by selling shares. It has become one big battlefield out there. Any overtraded investor can be ‘killed’. Stay alive to fight another day. You could quickly run out of money if you decide to top up (never ending) margin calls in a falling market. This is the best one can suggest, since no one spotted the recent indications given by the Yi, my various hints and several warnings. Some of the Yi indications include these two lines:

The first line in Fu means: Return from a short distance. No need for remorse. Great good fortune.

The second line in Fu means: Quiet return. Good fortune.

If we achieved great good fortune by investing in shares, followed by blessings and supreme good fortune which later dwindled to good fortune and we still do not want to return by realizing profits, then there will be occasion for regrets if not humiliation when the wall or ‘your castle in the air’ falls back into the moat.

Yours truly has made a quiet return and received good fortune. One has left the battle field to others and now lives in peace. And cheerfully waits for the right timing to go into battle, once again. By doing this, perhaps one lives in the essence of the Yi and the Way to master one’s fate.

Therefore with the help of the Yi if one can foresee the future, where are the restrictions of time and space? Is this not the profundity of the Yi?