HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Money matters

Snap Shots

Modern Medicine

Heart to Heart with Hillary

A Slice of Thai History

Personal Directions

The Message in The Moon

Money matters:  Will exchange traded funds drive gold past $500 per ounce this year?

“The world’s gold stock is now equal to only 2.2% of the value of the world’s major financial markets compared to nearly 100% in 1980”

Graham Macdonald
MBMG International Ltd.

The price of gold has rallied by nearly 40% during the past year as a result of the weakness of the American dollar and its impact on global monetary policy. The dollar decline encouraged a process of competitive monetary re-flation, as other countries reduced interest rates to lessen upward pressure on their currencies. Such monetary stimulus has traditionally had a positive impact on the price of commodities, including gold.

Furthermore, there is a major institutional change about to occur in the gold market which could further enhance the investor appeal of the metal. The World Gold Council is now working with a variety of stock exchanges to introduce a new exchange traded fund which will own gold. The first country to introduce this ETF was Australia in April last year. After launch in the U.S., the council will introduce it to the London market, Euronext (Paris, Brussels), Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore this year.

As the SEC prospectus explains, the new product is comparable to an exchange-traded fund. The goal of the World Gold Council in launching this product is to create a vehicle which will make it easier for investment institutions, such as pension funds, to participate in the gold market. It will be as simple for institutions to purchase shares in the Equity Gold Trust as other listed companies. The operating cost of the trust will also be only 24 basis points per annum compared to an average of 48 basis points for other ETF products.

In the past, there was no simple way for institutions to participate in the gold market. The cost of buying the metal directly could have been as high as 3-5% per annum because of the fees for insurance, shipping, and storage.

Institutions could participate in the gold market by buying the equities of mining companies but they had to assume company risks. In some cases, gold mining companies were a poor way to play changes in the gold price because they had sold forward their production and thus did not benefit from price rallies.

In 1999, the Ashanti gold mining company nearly went bankrupt after a gold price rally because of its hedging position. It massively short the market.

The new exchange traded fund has the potential to significantly broaden the market for gold among institutional investors. Based on the demand figures for the Australian ETF, the introduction of the gold equity trust in New York should generate demand for at least 200-300 tonnes. When the product is available on a global basis, demand could easily rise to at least 500-1000 tonnes per annum.

If the gold ETFs can generate demand equal to 500-1000 tonnes per annum, they will encourage the recent gold price rally to go further, especially as gold now seems to have broken out of its trading relationship to the Euro.

At the present time, global gold production is only about 2,500 tonnes and most of it is consumed by the jewellery industry. Central banks have been selling 300-500 tonnes per annum while mining companies used to sell forward nearly as much. During the past two years the mining companies have reduced their forward sales while central banks have remained steady gradual sellers. The addition of 500-1000 tonnes of institutional demand for gold would be a transforming event which would encourage prices to rally further.

The imbalance between the size of the gold market and other financial markets also illustrates why gold could now be more attractive. The total value of the gold mining industry on world stock exchanges is about $60 billion while the total value of all the gold in the world is about $1.7 trillion. As most of this gold is held in the form of jewellery, the only truly liquid gold is central bank holdings worth $360 billion and new mining output of about $30 billion per annum.

When the price of gold was fixed at $35 per ounce thirty-five years ago, the world’s gold stock was worth only about $95 billion. When the price of gold shot up to $800 per ounce in 1980, it was worth about $2.8 trillion. In 1980, the total value of gold stock market capitalization was only $2 trillion while global bond markets were much smaller. In 2003, global stock market capitalization is close to $40 trillion while global bond market capitalization is about $35 billion. As a result, the world’s gold stock is now equal to only 2.2% of the value of the world’s major financial markets compared to nearly 100% in 1980.

The introduction of the ETFs for gold will give the metal a chance to be more competitive with traditional financial assets by vastly simplifying the process of ownership as well as reducing the cost. The new instrument could also help to improve the tax status of gold.

It remains to be seen whether central banks will be tempted to use the new gold ETFs to diversify their foreign exchange reserves. At present, the continental European central banks (France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland) have large holdings of gold bullion. The Asian central banks, by contrast, have only token gold holdings despite the fact they now account for over two thirds of global foreign exchange reserves. Japan has over $500 billion of reserves. China has $350 billion. Hong Kong and Taiwan have over $100 billion. Singapore has close to $100 billion. Korea has $80 billion. If the Asian countries decided to invest only 10% of their reserves in the new gold product, they could have a dramatic impact on both the gold price and the status of gold as a monetary asset, as well as on the global political situation.

At present, the Asian central banks have been accumulating a large volume of dollar securities in order to protect their exchange rates against the U.S. dollar. As they are losing money on these dollar securities compared to other alternatives, they could at some point decide to diversify their portfolios and simply let the dollar decline. In fact, the U.S. government is calling upon China to let its currency appreciate. China will not want its currency to float in the near term because of concern about the impact of WTO entry on the economy and employment stability. But once China has made the adjustment to WTO, it could let its currency float and diversify its reserves into gold.

The Bush administration is now committed to a foreign policy which could increase defence spending by $75-100 billion at a time when the federal deficit is approaching $500 billion and the current account deficit is expanding towards $600 billion. If Asian central banks stopped supporting the dollar, there could be a shock to the U.S. bond market which might jeopardize popular support for the President’s foreign policy.

In the 1960s, the French were opposed to the benefits which the dollars reserve currency status gave to America’s economy and foreign policy. They quit NATO and converted their dollars into gold. Their selling of the dollar was one of the background factors which led to the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system in 1971. Asian central banks could produce a major challenge for the Bush foreign policy if they decided to convert their dollars into gold through the new market for ETFs.

The bottom line is that at a time when equities and bonds are looking increasingly unattractive, some exposure to gold is starting to look like a better idea.

The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For more information please contact Graham Macdonald on [email protected]

Snap Shots: What to shoot in the Wat

by Harry Flashman

Thailand is a photographer’s paradise. None of those cold grey days here. The ambient light levels are strong, shadows are strong and images are also strong if you use light and shadow to your advantage. The ideal venue to use all these aspects is in your local Wat (temple). You can certainly describe it with words, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

As you are aware, Thailand has thousands of Wats. Unfortunately the sheer number of them can blind you to the fact that they have a unique quality. Wats are not commonplace “back home” and so a definitive “Wat” photograph will have a wonderful impact.

So here is how to take that great Wat shot - only it isn’t one shot. It is impossible to show a Wat with one snap. It requires a series. One of the reasons for this is the fact that a Wat is a microcosm of Thai society. People eat there, live there, learn there and go there after they die. So really you are trying to show not only the grandeur of the architecture, but the fact that the Wat has its own life going on within its boundaries.

Here is how I would approach the subject, and remember we are looking for production quality shots here. The preparation is to go there the day before your shooting day to see how the sun shines on the buildings. To get the textures and colours you need the sun striking the walls at an angle. Full shade or full sun is not the way. It’s back to using light and shadow to show form. You will have to note what are the best times of day to record the various architectural details. Also be prepared to use a close up shot or two to highlight some of the small details. By the way, always remember that a Wat is a place of religious worship and significance, so do take your shoes off and be respectful.

Wats are inhabited by much more than the saffron robed monks. There are teachers, nuns, novitiates, school children, street vendors and tourists. A very mixed bag. Try to take shots to show just why these people are there in the Wat and its compound. This is where a “long lens” (135 mm upwards) can be a help. You can get the image you want without having to intrude into the person’s personal space. However, remember that if there is any doubt as to whether your subject would really want that photo taken - then ask permission first. It is my experience that the vast majority of people will happily respond positively to your request. Even when there is no common language, a smile and a wave of the camera in their direction and an “OK?” is generally all that is necessary.

Taking pictures inside a Wat is not as easy as the exterior shots. The light levels are very low and there is often the feeling that you are intruding in someone else’s religious practices. Taking a flash photograph really is an intrusion in my view. This is where the tripod is great. Set the camera up on the tripod, compose the shot, set it on Time Exposure and quietly get that shot of a lifetime. You will probably need around 5-10 seconds at f5.6, but that is just a guide and you should experiment. If you set the camera on Auto mode and turn off the flash you will get better results.

By now you should have taken almost one complete roll of film on your local Wat. Verticals, horizontals, close-ups and wide-angle shots. Do not be afraid to shoot film. It is the only way to improve and the only way to get great shots. Film is the cheapest thing in photography, always remember that. Just avoid taking the ‘same’ shot four times - one vertical and one horizontal for each subject, but that is all.

Modern Medicine: Live to be 100

by Dr. Iain Corness, Consultant

With the advent of our daughter Arisa, I had to promise my young wife I would live to be 100. This I readily pledged, saying on oath, that I would live to be 100, or die in the attempt! All eminently achievable. (Beat that for a classic get-out!)

However, longevity has been increasing in most countries (even Thailand despite the Songkran road toll!), but for those of you who are looking for eternal youth, I discovered the ingredients of the longevity potion for a gentleman called Gustav of the House Merinita. Gustav is currently only 40, but you may wish to chart his progress. I now present the potion, which you will have to alter as required to suit your position.

Glands from a magical skunk (to reflect the Magus’ foul odor)

Water from the well of Haindorf (the village of Gustav’s birth)

Ashes from the hearth of his childhood hut (reflecting his affinity with Ignem)

Eggshells from a hen laid on May Day (symbolizing birth and sympathetic to his faerie blood)

Footprints of a Sylph in the faerie forest of Bohemerwald (hearkens to a tale in Gustav’s youth)

Snow that hasn’t touched the ground collected under Capricorn (his constellation of birth)

Nails from his father’s coffin

Plus the final magic ingredient - a snake found in a graveyard (signifying his ‘demon-tainted’ flaw).

So there you go. I am so sure of this potion that I am looking for investors with large bank accounts and small intellect to form 50 percent joint ventures with me on this one.

However, there are some factors that will assist you as far as longevity is concerned, none of which will have you raiding the neighbour’s chook pen on May Day.

First off, you are what you eat. If you eat a diet rich in fats, you will be a fat person. Simple. So the answer is to eat a balanced diet, and that doesn’t require a set of kitchen scales either. The easy way is to eat salads one day a week, a European diet two days a week, a Thai diet three days a week and anything you want on Sundays. Try to avoid the well known fatty foods like chips (other than on Sunday). You should also eat when you feel hungry, not when the clock dictates. Your blood sugar levels depend on what and when you eat, not on “three square meals a day” (anyway your plates are round).

Plan for at least one AFD (Alcohol Free Day) per week, and on the other days try to drink sensibly. Getting legless six nights a week is not recommended, but one beer or a glass of wine is. (Moderate drinkers live longer than teetotalers).

Never smoke cigarettes. If you are a smoker, give up today. Right now! In two years your lungs will be clean and in ten years your chances of problems will be about the same as a life-long non-smoker. But give up today.

Get enough sleep. For adults, seven to eight hours a day seems best according to the longevity studies. Rip Van Winkle was a myth, so there’s nothing to be gained by lying in.

Get some exercise every day. Build it into your lifestyle. Walk to the shop. Walk to where you get lunch. Take the dog for a run. As the sportswear manufacturer says, “Just do it!”

Take 100 mgm of aspirin every day. Faithfully.

Think positive. Do all the above and believe in yourself. I’ll have a drink for you when you reach your century!

Heart to Heart with Hillary

Dear Hillary,
I notice that you have become more and more critical of the accuracy of letters sent in of late when I’m sure that the readers are looking for a response to the content. How petty! Tully, for example, has “less than excellent punctuation, syntax and spelling.” Well, I’m sure I’m not the first to point out that the accuracy of your written English is far from perfect. You make punctuation mistakes on a regular basis, particularly by using commas when semi-colons or full stops are required. You’ve even apostrophized ‘its’ when it is intended to be a possessive pronoun. Your use of ‘however’ in reply to Roger’s letter in today’s column was the sort of mistake I get from my Grade 6 ESL students. And don’t start slagging me off for being an under-paid English teacher because I’m not. What do they say about people in glass houses? Or should that be ebony towers?
Prof Red
Dear Prof Red,
I would certainly not even think of “slagging” you off, as you so nicely put it. After all, as you have written, you are not an under-paid English teacher (by the way, Petal, you don’t need a hyphen between under and paid), so I presume you are then an overpaid one. Who employs you? Several of the readers would like to teach there too. I notice that you have sprung to the defense of Tully. It was he who wrote, “My message was impeccable in it’s (sic) syntax, parallel structure, punctuation, spelling, etc., which evidenced a solid degree of tertuary (sic) education.” Unfortunately, it was none of those things, as even he acknowledged a week later, writing, “In reviewing the message I found a few typos that I would like to correct on the off-chance it finds it way into print. They are as follows;
1.) first letter in Pseudonym should be lower case.
2.) In aiming for the “i” in “tertiary” I missed and hit the “u” instead.
3.) In typing the word “transgression” I came up one “s” short.
4.) Eliminate unnecessary comma after “name” in the phrase “and the use of my name in what appears to be”.
I believe that should be an adequate response to your content. Please correct me if I am wrong, Ajarn.
Dear Hillary,
Your chocs and bubbly have now been transferred to a submersible tuk-tuk (Seagoon i/c). This is a precautionary measure to avoid young ladies with sweet teeth, floating around on lilos (eg. Ying, sister same Nit). You should now be prepared to slip into your rubber suit and scuba kit to recover your water-cooled goodies. Seagoon has a red bath mat on board to make you feel at home. I hope this finds you all excited.
Dear Mistersingha,
You are sadly mistaken, young boy. Hillary does certainly not don scuba gear, snorkels or anything similar to attempt to recover sunken treasure, especially when you are the one who has placed the X on the treasure map. At best the bubbly bottles would be empty. You have reneged too often, Mistersingha.
Dear Hillary,
We are often in Thailand and I would like to think that we are generous kinds of people, but one thing that does completely confuse me is the subject of tipping - when and how much? I have got smart recently and look down at the bottom of the menu to see if “service” charges are mentioned, but then if the establishment charges a “service” fee, should you tip as well? What do you do? I am led to believe that the wages are not high for some of the people in bars and restaurants and they share the tips, but I do not want to throw money away either? What’s your tip about tipping?
Confusion reigns supreme
Confusion reigns supreme,
Don’t be confused, Petal, help from Hillary is at hand. Here are the tips on how to pick your way through the terrors of tipping. There are two situations here - Service Charge or no Service Charge. If the establishment adds on 10 percent (the usual amount), then as far as Hillary is concerned - that’s the tip. You have just paid an extra 10 percent of the bill to cover ‘service’ (whether you got it or otherwise). There are some places that no doubt pocket the Service Charge, but that’s not anything of our or your doing, nor can we change it. That is something between the employees and the owners to work out. However, if Hillary feels that the waiter or service provider has gone well beyond that which could be expected, then I reward with a little extra something for that person, irrespective. You know the sort of things I like - a little fawning, grovelling and lots of compliments. In an establishment that has no standard add-on Service Charge, then it really is up to you. Small change left over or up to 10 percent is quite normal. The Thai people are grateful for anything you leave them. It all adds up by the end of the day. A small tip - in most bars, if you leave a tip from the change, this goes into the communal tip box, but if you wish to tip your service person (and not the whole bar), then give the tip directly to her or him.

A Slice of Thai History: Escape from Bangkok 1945

Part Three: To Bangkok

by Duncan steam

The Allied airmen spent the next two-and-a-half days on the river slowly making their way to Bangkok. “We would pull into a riverside village at night for some food always a rice concoction. The thatched and bamboo houses were all built up on stilts above the water - this type of housing was quite common all along the river. We had a couple of scares with approaching Japanese but otherwise the trip was without any significant incidents.”

The boat pulled into Bangkok in the early afternoon of Sunday 3 June where it “tied up at a small jetty and within minutes we were the centre of extreme curiosity to the local habitants. It was fairly obvious to them that we were Caucasians and for awhile our worries were rekindled that the Japanese would learn of our presence.”

However, after waiting in the boat for a couple of hours they were transferred to an old bus and driven through the main streets of Bangkok, wearing Chinese-style conical hats as their only form of disguise. “The bus had no glass in the windows but did have some sort of bamboo mats hanging down which kept us hidden from view. The mats kept blowing open due to the wind allowing us every now and then to see the crowded streets and many groups of Japanese soldiers mingling among the civilians.”

The downed fliers were taken to Thai police headquarters where some of them received first aid and, as evening fell, they were allowed outside to wash themselves in a large pool of water. “There was no electricity for lights due to our planes having bombed the city a few days earlier, destroying the power stations and some of the port facilities, so we found out later.”

After a night’s rest, William Pugh woke up to find that the number of his comrades had diminished by five. During the night, two American OSS officers, Major Dick Greenlee and Captain Howard Palmer, operating clandestinely in Bangkok, had come to their quarters and quietly awoken the American contingent, telling them they would arrange their escape from Thailand. They also took out two of the airmen, the commander of the flight, Captain Harry Smith and Cyril Copley, the longest-serving member of the downed force. “It was crucial the Japanese did not find out that we had been about to drop three O.S.S. Agents into Siam,” wrote Pugh.

The four who were left were told that if they were interrogated by the Japanese, they would simply claim to have been on a meteorological flight. The four British airmen remained under police guard for a few more days before they were transferred by car to the prisoner-of-war camp, which had at one time been a girls’ private boarding school. “The camp was divided by a strong wire fence with three-quarters of the area and buildings given over to the civilian internees with the remaining quarter housing P.O.W.s.”

On Friday 8 June the new prisoners had a visit from the secretary to the camp commandant. “She spoke excellent English and was the liaison between the English-speaking civilian internees and the Siamese military. She informed us that the Japanese army headquarters in Bangkok were putting heavy pressure on the Siamese authorities to allow them to interrogate us.”

Only Raymond Woods of the four remaining airmen was handed over for interrogation to the Japanese authorities. Even then, the Thais insisted on remaining present during the questioning. The chief investigating officer for the Japanese had been educated in Chicago, spoke excellent English and didn’t believe that the flight had been for purely meteorological purposes. Nevertheless, Woods was able to convince the Japanese that only four of the crew had survived, and this “was later more or less confirmed when two American O.S.S. officers and one S.A.S. [British Special Air Service] Major visited us briefly after our return to the P.O.W. camp from hospital.”

Personal Directions:  Often we think ourselves into old age

by Christina Dodd

Recently I have been reading – or re-reading – a book by Dr Maxwell Maltz on the Magic Power of Self Image Psychology and I thought I might share some thoughts and insights of the author with you. This is valuable reading for anyone but more so for those who are approaching “retirement” and indeed for those of you who have already had it done to them! A while ago one of my articles touched on “goals in retirement” and this adds a little more flavour to the pudding! It is very likely that you have a good grasp of what Maltz says, but it doesn’t hurt to refresh our ideas with other people’s viewpoints. Hope you find it interesting.

“When you ‘retire’, you retire from your true self-image. You destroy a self-image that has taken a lifetime to build; you put yourself in a concentration camp, making an underprivileged inmate of yourself. Faster than George Washington cutting down the cherry tree, you slash your self-image to ribbons. You surround yourself with barbed wire, make yourself the victim of brutal jailers, snuff out your life force in a gas chamber. No secret police come in the middle of the night and enforce this indignity upon you: you do it to yourself.

You’re as young as you feel

You’re 65 now so you’ve arrived at middle age, you’re still in the prime of life; new horizons lie before you and the future is yours.

“What!” you say. “Maybe you didn’t hear me right. I said I was 65, not 35!”

I heard you. You’re 65 and you think you’re old, and lots of people think you’re old, but you’re not. I’m in the same boat as you, and I’m young. I wake up in the morning and I see the sun shining. The sky is blue in my world and the birds sing and people live. I eat a hearty breakfast and I don’t gulp it down absently. I eat it and enjoy it and a planned, constructive, life-filled day.

You, too, can be young and I don’t care what your chronological age is. There are people who are old at 21, because their self-image is dried up. And there are people who are still young in spirit at 80.

Don’t live by the book! Write your own book of life!

Often we think ourselves into old age. Expecting to grow old at a certain age, we prepare ourselves for negative goal images. Tapering off on both physical and mental activities, we lose both the flexibility of our joints and the life force of our minds and spirits. With this type of attitude, one naturally becomes old.

But today a person of 65 is middle-aged. Advances in medicine are increasing life expectancy and diseases which are dread killers today will be curable tomorrow. So if you’re 65 enjoy your middle age. Take part in life and feel young, no matter what your age. Give to life and it will give back to you and you’ll feel that life is good. Naturally there are limits but if you keep your mind fertile and your body fit and useful you’ll feel young all your life!

More living:
A prescription
for you

I’d like to repeat my prescription for people of retirement age, who suffer from the disease of apathy and lethargy; Take lots and lots of MORE LIFE!

The whole business of living is to remember is that every day is a composite lifetime for the person who is happy. A day must have a beginning, a middle and an end, and the whole must be harmonious.

Those who are happy look forward each day with faith and hope to realizing the goals that they set for themselves. Each day there must be goals related to life and the society in which we live – no matter how simple, they are fundamental. The goals may be something as simple as riding a bicycle through a park or getting some overdue letters out of the way. Don’t laugh at these goals, for whoever has them, if they have their hearts in what they are doing, the activities are important! For example, to someone the bike might be a symbol of living, enjoying movement and emotionally going somewhere, rather than standing still with the possibility of falling down.

It is in doing nothing, in being bored, that people die inside.

Retirement from life is criminal because it is self-inflicted. You become a traitor to yourself when you walk away from your daily goals, denying the life force that God has given you. Age is no excuse at all. When you retire from life you walk away from reality and self-respect, write off your self-image and voluntarily isolate yourself in an inner concentration camp. You put your soul in jail.

Some of you probably think that money represents the solution, but experiments on the problem of living longer have indicated otherwise. Researchers have found that what makes retired people happy are preparation, vitality, interest in the contemporary world, work of any nature, and an ability to take pleasure in others.

Life is Your

Wine is not good until it is aged; it mellows with the passing of the years. It can be like this for human beings. Young people may be able to race effortlessly around tennis courts and pick up on the latest technology a lot faster, they may live a life of discos and more fun-filled days. But they often lack understanding which comes only through the experience of many years of living. They make tragic mistakes, products of their inexperience. And they often lack compassion and wisdom.

If you’re older, you’ve had many successes and failures – and you will recognize the points I have raised in the preceding paragraph. It must be this way – no life is perfect. Don’t dwell on the failures; picture your proud moments. See yourself at your best and admire your self-image! If you do, you will never shrink from life; it will hold no terrors for you. You will live fully all your life, living each day the best you know how, going to sleep peacefully when the day is done, dreaming pleasant dreams.

You will live fully after 65 and if you can live – with goals, with friends, without self-pity, without resentment, without regret, you will love life. And living life this way you will never retire from it – as long as you live!”

If you would like to contact me about Personal Life Planning or indeed any of our personal or business skills programs, then please email me at [email protected]

Until next time, have an invigorating week!

The Massage In The Moon: Sun in Sagittarius/Moon in Virgo

The sophisticate

by Anchalee Kaewmanee

Much more reserved and down to earth than fellow Sagittarians, this combination is cautious and prefers to think things out before making a move. There is nothing flip or carefree about these individuals. That inner Virgo nature ensures an ingrained sense of obligation and dependability. Many people born into this sign have had to assume a lot of responsibility early in life which may account for their shrewd and realistic outlook.

There is a sly, subtle charm that exudes from this Sun-Moon combination. Extremely perceptive, these natives can almost always spot deceit and their ability to detect weakness in others is truly uncanny. This acute awareness is a great asset for it allows them to know - not guess - when it is wise to take great risks or take advantage of situations that will benefit them. This keen perception also alerts them when it’s time to lay low and avoid trouble. Blessed with sound judgment based on careful thinking, and the wisdom to know when to make tough choices, ensures them success in most endeavors.

All Sagittarians are loveable and enchanting, but often their straightforward honesty and lack of diplomacy can make them blurt out the most unflattering truths. Combined with Virgo’s keen intelligence, these natives are eloquent, and their sense of good timing rarely offends. They have a way with words and make excellent salespersons, but their true gift is leadership. Winston Churchill is a good example of a highly evolved Sagittarius-Virgo.

Fiercely independent and rebellious, their restless spirits often prevent them from heeding advice from others. They can be hard-headed and stubborn, but in fact, actually prefer to live and work within a conventional framework.

Though this combo is just as passionate as their fellow Sagittarians, the Virgo Moon affects the inner nature enough to quell some of the more rash aspects of the Sagittarius personality. Not quite so brave, these natives are more reticent and less likely to rush headlong into danger. They like to look before they leap. Whenever the Sag-Virgo feels he or she cannot meet the demands of their masterful and aggressive self-image, vague feelings of inferiority or depression often appear. They must remember that even if they are not as courageous as they feel they ought to be, they have so many wonderful talents which can compensate.

Virtue is one of Virgo’s most outstanding characteristics and Sagittarians value honesty above all else. Therefore all individuals in this combo set very high standards for themselves. They are perfectionists and are never content with second best. These people are very hard on themselves when they cannot come up to their own standards.

Failure of any kind can make them nervous and irritable and they will often take their frustrations out on those around them. The Sag-Virgo eloquence can turn to bitter sarcasm and stinging cruelty in a flash of anger. When this happens they should step back and take stock of all their victories and achievements, for there will be many of which they can be proud.

This combination has an excellent mind and amazing powers of analysis. The Sagittarius Sun provides the ability to grasp the abstract and the Virgo Moon ensures the knack of being able to bring those lofty ideas down to a realistic level. This is a powerful and versatile amalgamation.

In romance, our Sag-Virgo natives are consistent, giving and make stable mates. Not quite as passionate as fellow Sagittarians, this combo looks for dependability and good sense in a partner. These individuals are not likely to enjoy a long list of torrid affairs and marry late in life. Once a good match has been found they are faithful and loyal. They do have to be careful about being too critical and guard against constant nagging. Their impossibly high standards need to be tempered with patience if they are to achieve a harmonious domestic life. Most make rather good parents but need to allow their children a little room for self-expression and refrain from being to strict.