Saturday, December 27, 2008

Few can alter Yi prognostications

A fellow blogger and Yi aficionado in a recent reply to a reader indicated his surprise that the rich owners had been unable to turn around Transmile Group, a former KLCI component company. I had planned to write something about this matter which relates to his previous two accurate Yi divinations on the investment, my interpretations of the prognostications, and the results arising there from. Instead of writing a long comment at his blog, I will share some thoughts here with fellow Yi students.

It pays to remember what the Yi taught us, and learn how to discern between the good and the bad hexagrams. Perchance we may also learn the true meaning of the Chinese adage that ‘Man cannot win heaven’.

In early 2007, Transmile Group, which provides air cargo freight services, and a component company of the KLCI, was a high flyer.

Its shares soared manifold reaching a record high of RM 15.20 per share after its founder and CEO had sold a block of shares to the richest Malaysian, Tan Sri Robert Kuok who operates from Hong Kong and who has vast business interests in China.

Together with POS Malaysia as another major shareholder, it seems that Transmile got everything in its favor, with profits increasing each year. However its stock price tumbled more than 50 %, when it was found that the accounts contained substantial fictitious assets.

After a huge write-off and with the exit of the CEO, new management set about to turn around the company in the second half of 2007. After the Transmile shares had plunged 80% from its record high, the Yi aficionado bought some at around RM 3.36 with the hope that the company could be turned around. Later he decided to ask the Yi about the stock and posted the prognostication - Hexagram 18 Gu / Work on what has been spoiled.

When he seemed not to understand the implications of the Yi prognostication, I hinted that Transmile could fall to RM 2.20 or lower and told him why.

When Transmile’s shares fell to that level, I requested him to ask the Yi again since he intended to hold on to the investment. This time the Yi replied with a far more severe forewarning; in the form of Hexagram 29 Kan / The Abysmal.

Instead of commenting at his blog, I wrote an entry on February 19, 2008 on how to interpret the prognostication. With a suggestion that he or other investors like him who obtained such a prognostication to cut their losses.

While the company has not been suspended or de-listed as suggested, its share price did dive to a year low of RM 0.48 which equated to four limit downs from RM 2.20. (Pity those who had bought the shares at the peak of RM 15.20 and hanging on in the hopes of a full recovery.)

This shows that whenever the Yi speaks, students have to ponder and listen to what the Book of Changes has to say. And learn how to interpret the prognostications.

It would help if we are experienced enough to discern which are the good and the bad hexagrams for investments.

Only then we may have a chance to alter an ominous omen. But few including those who have charismatic lives can really do that. No matter how rich or ingenious they are.

If not how can Yi students and aficionados ever learn to master fate?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

TTC Chapter One

Sima Qian, the Grand Historian of the Han Dynasty, recorded down the existence of Laozi and the Tao Te Ching comprising of eighty one chapters. He also wrote in the historical records circa 100 B.C. to inform future generations that the Daoists during his time or earlier were known as followers of the HuangLao (Huangdi and Laozi) tradition.

In the Secret of the Golden Flower, Lu Yen better known as Lu Dongbin – one of the famous eight immortals – indicated that the first ancient to reveal the secret of the Circulation of the Light was Guan Yinshi the accredited student of Laozi and the one whom the Great Sage wrote the TTC for.

Yet modern scholars or so called Daoists with unsubstantiated claims cast aspersions that Laozi never existed or that the TTC was penned by various authors over the years.

If sincere Daoist students or cultivators of Tao really study and research this authenticated ancient Classic (Ching/Jing), they can find many gems only a real adept of inner alchemy would know about or have written. Also because the Tao Te Ching was and still is so profound, the Chinese and many Daoist sects down the ages respectfully referred to it as a real classic.

If we put our minds to the TTC, we can probably see why Chapter One started that way (pun intended).

In case, some readers missed it, imagine what happened about 2,500 years ago when Guan Yinshi (a student) first met and asked Laozi (a sage) to tell him about Tao.

The Great Sage wrote this down in Chapter One and my simple translation follows:

The tao that can be told is not the eternal tao,

The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

Nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth;

Named is the mother of myriad things.

Without desire observe the mysterious,

With desire contemplate the manifestations.

These two things are similar,

Only differing names for the profound.

Obscure and profound; (there will be) numerous mysterious gates.

All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

‘Where angels fear to tread’

If you are feeling blue like most stock investors this year, perhaps you can find some solace with the ‘gods’, legends, and market gurus who have also been badly hurt by the financial tsunami. In a way, we can also learn something from their laments:

Headlines: ‘God of Stocks’ tells of pain

Lee Shau-kee, even after an impressive surge in the stock market yesterday, wants everyone to forget he is known as the “God of Stocks,” admitting that followers have lost money after listening to his advice.

‘One time, I received letters from investors who followed my opinions. One of them said he lost much money in stocks and asked me to compensate him for losses.’

‘That person said he was so pathetic that he borrowed money from relatives to buy stocks and had to repay them. He asked if I could lend him money.’

After an investor asked Lee about his stock picks for next year, he refused to respond.

Earlier though, the veteran investor said “bliss will come out of the depth of misfortune” for the stock market next year and he hopes it will recover soon.

[ – Alfred Liu, Tuesday, Dec 9 2008]

Hope is eternal even for gods, much more so for mortals like us.

I still remember his two major wrong calls straddling 2007 and 2008. In May last year, he predicted the China stock market would collapse, instead it doubled. By the first half of 2008, like many other market gurus, he called a bottom and predicted that the Hang Seng index will hit 28,000 points by August. The Hang Seng went south all the way to 10,676 points by Oct 27, before it rebounded. It closed at 15,577 points on Dec 10 2008.

Mr. Lee, a HK property tycoon, has good intentions, put money where his mouth is, and a philanthropist.

Like many other veteran investors, perhaps he was blindsided by the severity of the ongoing financial tsunami.

Hear what this US legend has to say:

“The thing I didn’t do, from Day One, was properly assess the severity of the liquidity crisis. Every decision to buy anything has been wrong.” – Bill Miller, manager, Value Trust
[The Wall Street Journal/Markets Dec 10 2008]

Under Mr. Miller’s leadership, his Value Fund had been the best US performer for almost two decades. The legendary Mr. Miller called market bottoms since March this year and averaged all the way down on his picks in the US finance sector, some of which went to zero or near that. His fund lost 58% since January 2008 and currently ranked the worst performer of the US Value Funds. Apparently, some angry clients have recently called for his head.

In case, you still do not believe the ancient advice for the able to go into hiding when Heaven and Earth close, listen to what this fund manager or market guru indicated:

“There’s no place to hide,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer, North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.
“It’s clear that the economy is really soft for the next few months at least. The news will continue to be bad and everyone knows that.”
[Reuters Dec 7 2008]

With hindsight most can see clearer.

Those with prescient would have lain hidden well before the financial tsunami hit, and should count themselves lucky for not listening to the various ‘ShenXian’, legends, market gurus, and analysts who kept on calling bottoms. The rest is left to hope and fate.

Amid the deluge of gloomy news, it can be heartening to read some good news reported by CNN online a few weeks ago. That of a senior US citizen who had experienced the Great Depression and who has all his money held in cash, Certificates of Deposits, US Treasuries and bonds. He had worked as a dispatch clerk for a securities broker before the Market Crash of 1929 and ever since then has never believed in anything good about stocks. Lucky fellow!

After reading this entry, perhaps kin, good friends and regular readers can understand why since January 2007, I have discarded the baggage of giving stock tips, creating luck for others, and instead concentrated on helping readers cum stock investors to minimize their losses, after advising them to create their own luck.

In Bull Runs, almost every stock investor can make gains. Anyone can become a ‘ShenXian’ by giving good stock tips.

When it comes to Bear Markets, even the best of the best or those guided by the real ShenXian have lost fortunes. Unfortunately for most investors, 2008 turned out to be one of the greatest Bear Markets, the world has ever seen.

If you have been badly burnt in your investments, plod on. Play computer games (or the recently invented Wii) to pass time. (Thai tycoons who had lost their fortunes during the Asian Financial Crisis did that.)

Life is precious. Hope is eternal.

One day, you can recover your losses from the markets. Just do not ask me when; since it can be next year, or ten years from now. How would I know? I am just a mortal like you and not a ShenXian.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Assist the gods?

According to the ancients, the most entire sincere can foreknow. Happy and unlucky omens can be seen in the milfoil (yarrow stalks) and tortoise. Therefore the individual possess of the most complete sincerity is like a spirit (shen).

Happy and unlucky omens using the milfoil have been documented and passed down to posterity in the Zuozhuan. If Yi aficionados care to read and understand each of those ancient stories on yarrow stalks divination, they could gain a deeper insight on foreknowledge and the interpretation of oracles, because the Book of Changes actually spoke on each event.

When someone can divine with the milfoil and obtain happy or unlucky omens, that individual is said to possess of the most complete sincerity and is like a spirit. Perhaps the moniker of ‘Shen Suan’ or ‘Divine like a spirit’ was coined by later generations of Chinese because of this.

In Chapter Nine of the Great Treatise, after teaching how to obtain an oracle by using the milfoil or yarrow stalks, the wise wrote these:

It reveals Tao and renders nature and action divine. Therefore with its help we can meet everything in the right way, and with its help can even assist the gods themselves.

This section refers again to the Book of Changes in general. Its theme is that the book reveals the meaning of events in the universe and thereby imparts a divine mystery to the nature and action of the man who puts his trust in it, so that he is enabled to meet every event in the right way and even to aid the gods in governing the world. [W/B]

But first and foremost, Yi aficionados need to cultivate to become an earnest and sincere student. It can be a very lengthy process, for sincerity is a way of Heaven. And when the Yi speaks, you would know that the effort is very worth it.

Years later, you may realize that you can divine like a spirit (Shen Suan). However you may not be able to progress further reaching a dead end, so to speak.

That would be the time when you have to seek advice from the gods (include Daoist deities, heavenly immortals and Buddhas), if you have an affinity with them!

The Master said: Whoever knows the Tao of the changes and transformations, knows the action of the gods.