Go ape - The Forecast 2016 - Magazine | Monocle

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It’s time to celebrate: the dreaded Year of the Sheep is finally coming to a close and the Year of the Monkey is nearly upon us. In the Chinese zodiac, the sheep is considered a meek, doltish creature, so some superstitious Chinese women tend to hold off having babies until its more auspicious simian successor makes an appearance. (It should be noted, for what it’s worth, that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both born in the Year of the Sheep and neither would exactly qualify as a “dolt”.)

Monkeys are prized for being versatile, good-humoured, clever and innovative. And the Year of the Monkey traditionally favours those who are shrewd negotiators and aren’t afraid of taking bold action. “The only weakness of monkeys is that they always want to change the current situation; they’re impatient,” says Tan Khoon Yong, a Singaporean feng shui grand master. “Overall though, their merits outweigh their weaknesses.”

So what does 2016 have in store? The Year of the Monkey may not only bring a boom for Chinese maternity wards but also great opportunities in business and creative endeavours. Here are our predictions.

There may be no better time to take a risk on a new business venture or test unconventional ideas, even those that seem wild or impractical. Entrepreneurs must seize opportunities and be decisive – but also think long term. The monkey year brings luck to those who act quickly but don’t get carried away: short-term gains can be lost if business owners aren’t thinking ahead. By all means dream big but remain savvy.

The Year of the Monkey may prove to be a volatile and complex time for international relations. As such, if diplomats are going to make breakthroughs they will need to rely heavily on their negotiating and lobbying skills. Foreign secretaries must also keep their wits about them: monkeys are known pranksters so even if deals are reached they may not always be honoured.

Given the monkey’s curiosity, imagination and individualistic nature, this could be a bumper year for artists, architects and designers, particularly those willing to push boundaries and be at the forefront of new trends. Designers who excel at rapid change should see success (this may bode well for fast-fashion retail chains).

For luck and inspiration, look to the US and Europe. In the monkey year, the lucky directions will be east and west; the US is to the east of China and Europe is to the west. The sheep was certainly not friendly to the US and Europe (things got really baaad); the monkey should bring a change of fortune with more stable economic and political situations.

Business development:
Monkeys are adept at short-term projects but they lose focus when it comes to longer-lasting ventures. Companies thinking about expanding their airline services or breaking ground on major commercial developments may want to delay their decisions until a more auspicious year arrives.

Bette Davis, Louis Malle and Diana Ross: they were all born in the Year of the Monkey. (Yes, Macaulay Culkin too but he may be the outlier.) The extroverted monkey will bring good fortune (and perhaps a golden statuette) to entertainers who take career-defining creative risks in 2016. But please note: Planet of the Apes has been done to death already.

Monkeys don’t have great relationships because they get jealous easily and don’t like to share with others; when they are confronted with problems they tend to be evasive. As a result, people should take extra care of their relationships with colleagues in the coming year, and learn to share. Give credit where credit is due.

US politics:
Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton can update her business cards and reserve a moving truck. According to Chinese philosophy there must be balance between yin and yang in the universe. The monkey is considered a yang animal, which is a male symbol, so women are expected to have good fortune in the coming year. Unless Clinton faces Carly Fiorina in the US presidential election she should coast into the White House.

NOTES: born in the monkey year? commit these to memory…

Lucky colours: White, gold and blue
Unlucky colours: Red, black, grey and dark brown
Lucky numbers: 1, 7, 8
Unlucky numbers: 2, 5, 9
Lucky flower: Chrysanthemum
Best element: Earth

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