Legend told that the rat is the first among all zodiac animals in the Chinese calendar.
According to a Chinese folklore, the twelve animals, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, roaster, dog and pig were competing to be the Jade Emperor’s guard. The Emperor determined the line up based on the order in which the animals arrived at his palace.
While on the way to the Emperor’s palace, the rat convinced the ox to give it a ride. As soon as they arrived at the finish line, the rat jumped and landed ahead of the ox. Thus it became the first of all zodiac animals, and the ox became second.
Being the first among all the zodiac animals, the rat was seen as a sign of intelligence, success, and fortune.
2020 year of the metal rat
Based on the Chinese astrology, there are five elements in the Chinese zodiac – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The year 2020 is the year of the metal rat, which is cold and potentially destructive.
Recently, Live Trading News interviewed a Chinese Astrologer named Shayne who predicted water and fire-related disasters due to the absence of fire element.
“The pessimistic energy of water, which is also the symbolic emotion related to fear has begun. Hence, the world economy has been greatly affected by the trade war talks between the US and China, which generated a lot of fear and uncertainty for global investors,” Shayne said.
Due to the unpredictable market trends, Shayne advises to always take what the market gives.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s most famous geomancy consultant, So Man Fung said that those who are born in the year of the rat will be able to accumulate some wealth this year, especially if the person is an entrepreneur.
New year, new financial approach
The fact that the year 2020 is also the year of the rat, it fits just right to mark the beginning of the 12-year zodiac animal cycle. Having said that, it’s a good time for us to have a fresh approach in the finances aspect.
Here are ways how you can start a fresh approach in your finances.
1. Invest using your angpow money
One of the things that people are most excited about during the Chinese New Year is receiving more angpow. Most of us are too savvy to spend our angpow money all at once. Let’s have a more financially sound year, and make good use of our angpow.
There are various options for investment platforms in Malaysia, one of them is to invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). It’s a long term investment, the trusts are formed by companies that purchase and manage real estate using funds pooled from shareholders. It allows you to invest in all types of properties, such as commercial, retail, residential and industrial properties.
The next option is the unit trust funds, which is a form of collective investment. Investors pool their funds to be invested in a portfolio of securities or other assets. The pooled funds will then be invested in a portfolio including cash, bonds, and deposits, shares, properties, and commodities.
The third option is the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which pool investors’ money to buy stocks or bonds. This is also a collective investment scheme that allows you to invest in diversified underlying assets, and gain returns through dividends and capital appreciation.
If you find it’s too overwhelming to understand investing techniques and strategies, then you should consider investing through a robo advisor. Some of the robo advisor platforms in Malaysia are including MYTHEO and Stashaway. The platform will generate your investment portfolio by using algorithms, all you need to do is to complete a questionnaire that will gauge your risk tolerance and investment time horizon.
2. Start a side hustle
Have you ever feeling tired of being caught up in the rat race? You reached the point where pursuing wealth and power is not that significant anymore, but pursuing a passion is.
The moment when you realized that you are not living your best life, and how you wish to quit from the rat race, you should start by earning some extra income.
There are several reasons why people decided to start side hustles. Whether to pursue a new career path which they are more passionate about, to create a supplement to their income, or even just to test the waters before starting their own business.
Either one, you can always start by narrowing down your skills, focus on the things that you are good at and passionate about. Conduct your own research to figure out a base rate earning for each of your skills and the cost of initial investment required.
3. Make changes in your spending habits
You may have heard or used phrases like “new year, new me” or “starting over” almost every year. But the problem with this mentality is that people tend to forget to reflect on themselves first.
People need to start figuring out the unconscious habits that they possess before creating new resolutions for the year. Take time to step back and reflect, some of these unconscious habits may have been eroding your bank account all this while.
Start by setting a few challenges to yourself within a specific time frame, such as pack your lunch every day, or take public transport. Monitor your monthly subscriptions, such as Netflix, gym membership and others. Ask yourself, do you even use them? Do you get any value from these subscriptions?
Or else, try to look for a more cost-effective solution.