Chinese legend says that the Jade Emperor determined the order of animals in the zodiac by calling a race. The Rat and the Ox were in tight competition — until they arrived at a swift river. The Rat charmingly convinced the Ox to carry him across. But when they landed on the other side, the Rat leapt off the Ox and dashed across the finish line first.
Yet, while the Rat won the race all those years ago, after the events of last year, he’s now the first that many people are ready to see go.
Welcome to the Year of the Ox
From February 12, 2021 through January 31, 2022, the zodiac will be in the Year of the Ox. According to Derek Chan, President of Greater Hudson Financial, people are eager for this shift. “It’s time to clear the slate and bring in a new energy — the energy of the Ox,” he said. As the Ox proved in the Jade Emperor’s race, his energy is strong, hard-working and dependable.
The Inspiration of the Ox
Last year, the Year of the Rat, was tumultuous for many people — both financially and emotionally. In the Year of the Ox, it’s time to find balance again. Remember: the Ox achieves his goals through persistence and consistent effort—characteristics that can also lead to greater financial confidence. Under this influence, people can be inspired to refocus on long-term goals and take the slow-and-steady approach to reach them.
The Hard Work of Recalibrating
The past year brought a lot of hardship, especially for small business owners. As people move forward, the difficulties won’t simply disappear. “To me, the Ox is symbolic of the hard work we have to do this year to get ourselves back in a good place,” Chan says. “The challenges we continue to face economically will require determination and resilience. We have to work hard around adjusting. This is going to be a year to reconcile.”
The Ox Calls for (More) Savings
Chan is quick to note that many people already take inspiration from the Ox, especially when it comes to savings. China has one of the highest savings rates in the world; in 2018, Chinese nationals saved about 23 percent of the country’s GDP. (By comparison, other countries average only around seven percent.)1 Not surprisingly, the Chinese-American community is committed to save like the Ox, too. “The Ox is a reinforcement of the need to save for a rainy day. And if last year taught us anything, it’s that rainy days happen,” says Chan.
Start With Protection
In this way, the characteristics of the Ox are a great reminder of the importance of a protection-first mindset in a financial strategy. This means prioritizing asset protection first and foremost. You might start pursuing a protection-first approach by literally saving for a proverbial rainy day — experts recommend putting at least 20 percent of income into an emergency fund.2 More substantial steps would include helping protecting your income through disability insurance and your family through life insurance.
It’s a Good Time to Partner
The Ox’s characteristics of resilience, dependability and strength make for a good partner. As the energy of this year takes hold, it’s a great time to recommit to working with a financial professional. Chan explains, “Our job is to help people answer questions like, ‘What is happening in the world and how does it relate to my goals? How do I make adjustments?.’ We give people an impartial view to help them evaluate and realign to where they want to go.”
Chan encourages people to review and adjust their financial strategy for the changing environment — and take inspiration from the Ox’s persistence and determination to meet its goals. “We are approaching this year with much confidence and we feel the future is bright,” he adds. If you’re ready to bring the energy of the Ox to your financial planning, talk to a financial professional today.
Brought to you by The Guardian Network © 2021. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®, New York, NY.
2021-117026 Exp. 2/2023
1China’s High Savings: Drivers, Prospects, and Policies, IMF Working Paper, 2018
2 Personal savings statistics, Guardian Life.
Material discussed is meant for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon only when coordinated with individual professional advice.
- Infographic: How to Talk to Millennials About Life Insurance
- Consider Keeping Your Life Insurance When You Retire
- The Importance of Beneficiary Designations
- Financial Hacks for Millennials: The Great Wealth Transfer
- Building a Solid Financial Foundation
- Diversification, Patience, and Consistency
- Choosing a Business Structure
- Mental Health for the Next Gen: 4 Tips to Support Teens
- Preparing for the Expected
- Money Matters: Why it Pays to be Financially Responsible