Money and insurance

Press play on prosperity: Here’s what investment experts and a feng shui master advise for 2023

FWD Head of Investments Mitch Lumabi, Security Bank Chief Economist Dan Roces, and Feng Shui Master Maritess Allen talk about money and investments in the Year of the Rabbit.

FWD Life Philippines

The Year of the Water Rabbit officially began on January 23, 2023 and will end on February 10, 2024. Is it going to be a prosperous year for you? FWD Life Insurance tackled this as part of its Savvy Talks virtual series featuring international Feng Shui Master Maritess Allen, and investment experts Dan Roces, Security Bank Chief Economist, and Mitch Lumabi, FWD Life Insurance’s Head of Investments.

Press play on prosperity by investing

Today is the best time to assess your financial wellbeing. From an investment point of view, this year is like any other and that you need to start saving and making money if you haven’t done so, according to Mitch Lumabi. “Regardless of the year, regardless of your animal sign, you need to protect yourself. You can start with these three basic steps: know your objectives, assess yourself, and talk to experts.”

Lumabi said the first step is to determine what your goals are. Is your end goal retirement? Is it to buy a house? Or to put your children through college? Second is to assess your risk appetite—are you the type of investor that’s willing to take a huge amount of risk in exchange for a higher return or do you prefer a steady, stable fund? And third, talk to financial experts and consultants to ask about a variety of investment products available, like investment-linked insurance products.

“Try to understand the features and the benefits of each product. Let the experts explain them to you one by one. Ask questions on the financial and economic outlook for the year, but always keep in mind that it is hard to time the market. We don't know what will happen next month, next year or next decade, but what's important is that you start acting on your financial goals.”

Lumabi emphasized that you need to know what you need and what level of risk you are willing to take. FWD’s investment-linked solutions offer products such as Manifest, Set for Life and All Set Higher which investments are managed by fund managers for customers who have different levels of risk appetites. An FWD financial advisor is the best person to help you navigate these investments and answer questions you might have.

She reminded everyone that one way to mitigate risks is to view your investment long term. “Investment has to be long-term. Looking at the historical performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange Index, pre-pandemic if you invested for 10 years, it gave investors 156% return on their investment; post-pandemic 2021, 68%. PSE right now at 7,000 level is earning around 13% to 14% from the end of December 2022. But we have to be cautious on the possible headwinds.”

Positive signs

Dan Roces said China may be the driver of a “new era of fragmented globalization” this year. “As projected by MUG—a view that we share—there could be some semi-protectionist stance that emanates from realizations in the pandemic and the post-pandemic environment, with a focus on security and resilience rather than speed and cost, as China shifts to a more consumption-driven stance to prop up its economy.”

In the Philippines, the last quarter of 2022 showed the economy to be poised for growth. “We saw unemployment rate trend below pre-pandemic rate, which should lead to increased consumer spending in 2023.”

The Purchasing  Managers Index (PMI), an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors, is still in expansion. “What that means is that there’s a positive outlook on the business conditions. Purchasing managers are seeing increased production in economic activity. The GDP was strong in the fourth quarter of 2022.”

Car sales, which are used to assess the big-ticket consumption of consumers, were up as well, indicating “consumers are confident of the financial conditions because they’re not afraid to take out loans.”

Revenge travel and revenge spending last year was underestimated, according to Roces. Sectors such as hospitality and transportation grew as tourism activity increased. The very good news is that the US dollar-peso exchange will not be as volatile as we saw last year when it reached P58+ to $1. “We are projecting a decent growth for 2023,” he said. “6.3% is our initial baseline projection, right within the government target of 6% to 7%.”

Prosperity according to your astrological sign

Feng shui master Maritess Allen said, “Feng shui is not magic, it’s not superstition. It’s a science.” Whether or not you believe in this ancient practice based on Taoism, being in harmony with the people around you and with nature is always a good thing.  

Here are Allen’s forecasts for each of the Chinese astrological sign in the Year of the Water Rabbit:

Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020)

You’re blessed with the future prosperity star and this year is the time to invest because opportunities are overflowing for your financial wellbeing and luck is on your side for work and money. You should also be thrifty and avoid lending money. Your health may be compromised, so avoid late nights and too many commitments. Be mindful to feed your mind with positive thoughts.

Lucky months: January, April, May, June, August, October


Ox (1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021)

Expect some big wins and successes. You have a chance for wealth creation being a workaholic. There’s fabulous luck in finances. Activate your allies and friends for networking. Your health may be challenged and can be bad. Incorporate health practices into your routine.

Lucky months: March, April, May, July, September


Tiger (1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022)

The robbery star no. 7 results in possible accidents, losses, violence, and betrayal but can be countered with the anti-robbery charm. Lending or borrowing money is not a good idea. Good fortune is still achievable. Avoid late-night escapades and over commitment. Do yoga, meditation and be mindful to feed your mind with positive thoughts.

Lucky months: March, April, May, July, September


Rabbit (1938,1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023)

Money luck is present but there’s difficulty in collection. Robbery and loss are high, thus invest only in a secure way. Health issues could bother you, so be careful. Potential health challenges can turn into serious threats—invest in your annual physical checkup.

Lucky months: February, April, July, August, September, November


Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)

Dragons will be challenged with misunderstandings, affecting personal and professional relationships. Wealth opportunity and network expansion are possible. Use social media to sell your products and be cautious with new business ventures. There’s possible emotional and mental breakdown. Work hard on achieving work-life balance and eat healthy.

Lucky months: March, August, September, October, December


Snake (1941,1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)

The misunderstanding star no. 3 may bring agony, challenges, legal issues, arguments and heartaches. But the three lucky stars can bring good fortune. Just maintain a peaceful environment. Align yourself with prospects that could bring you wealth and additional income. Joint ventures or collaborations can serve you well.

Lucky months: March, August, September, October, December


Horse (1942, 1954, 1966, 1978,1990, 2002, 2014)

Profits in business, career and personal life are present so be driven to achieve more. Horses are blessed with both lucky and unlucky stars on both sides of the chart. Activate your networking luck with your allies and friends for fruitful partnerships. This year is better for wealth accumulation and financial wellbeing compared to last year. Your body will feel lethargic; slow down and avoid burnout.

Lucky months: January, April, May, June, September, October


Sheep 2023 (1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015)

This year will bring triumph, gains, unexpected winnings and a great new start. Do not get distracted by delays in generating funds. Avoid uncomfortable partnership in new projects. Display symbols of wealth luck such as water fountains. You will be very busy and expect new opportunities in both your personal and professional life. Being active is very good for you but do not overdo it at the expense of your health.

Lucky months: January, March, June, July, August, October, December


Monkey (1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016)

There will be conquest, much deserved happiness, new beginnings and a reset. Do not sell yourself short, be creative and work on your networking skills. Be with influential people and gain their support and confidence. You are clever, charming and a great influencer. Lethargic feeling will continue this year. Be ready with renewed energy, do yoga, meditation, exercise, eat healthy and live each day as if it was your last.

Lucky months: January, March, June, July, August, October, December


Rooster (1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017)

Heavenly star no. 6 brings windfall and unexpected good fortune. However, due to being a conflict year for Roosters, this could bring major challenges. Restore balance in your life and focus on expanding your assets and portfolio. Be careful with new partnerships and projects. Do not be too trusting. Health issues could be frequent; counter them by living healthy and avoiding stress at work.

Lucky months: February, March, April, June, August, November, December


Dog (1946,1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018)

Misfortune star no. 5 could bring misfortune, accidents, illnesses, problems and danger. Financial gains are high, but take it easy on spending or investing. Do not feel despair during negative moments. Celebrate the positive things in your life. Continue to be strong, independent and reliable. Medical concerns may worry you. Think positive and avoid becoming depressed and losing faith.

Lucky months: January, February, March, May, July, October, November, December


Boar (1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019)

Misfortune star no. 5 could mean turbulent times ahead. Practice patience at all costs, lie low and stay calm. There are gainful opportunities such as profits from investments. Expect some bonuses and commissions. Extra funds are due from delayed collections. Your health is a mix of highs and lows. Look after your skin issues. Itchiness may be irritating and can give you sleepless nights.

Lucky months: January, February, March, May, July, October, November, December


We can make the Year of the Rabbit a prosperous one by working hard, saving money and investing. Set an appointment with an FWD financial advisor to help you achieve this goal!