Is There A Difference Between Direct Wealth (正财) & Indirect Wealth (偏财)?


Posted On Last updated May 15, 2020 | Published on Oct 25, 2017

Hey everyone! I realize that most new visitors to my website are Googling about love and wealth, which is not exactly a surprise. I’ll try to write more on these topics and bring everyone good content that everybody is interested in. Wealth and love are not the topics that immediately come to mind whenever I think about what to blog. Not because it’s one of the most commonly asked questions using a BaZi consultation, but also because I’ve set very clear plans for myself with regards to these two aspects of my life and I know how it shows up on a BaZi chart.

I guess a lot of people out there are still hoping to get some guidance on from a metaphysics perspective. I’m going to talk a bit more in-depth about wealth today, and the difference between Direct Wealth (正财) & Indirect Wealth (偏财), and hopefully give everyone a clearer idea of what can be derived from someone’s chart in terms of wealth.

Before I move on, I just wish to remind everyone again that metaphysics is not a shortcut to life’s problems and it’s not a magical method that can help you become rich with a snap of a finger. I cannot emphasize this enough. You should be wary of any practitioner out there says that they can help you achieve that with a reading or with feng shui items. Do not fall into that kind of mental trap that is only going to sabotage you in the long run. Practitioners show you the map, but you chart your own course and set sail regardless of whether it is a calm or turbulent sea ahead of you.

Now, let’s get on with the main topic of this post:

Is There A Difference Between Direct Wealth (正财) & Indirect Wealth (偏财)?

The short answer is yes. Direct Wealth and Indirect Wealth, strictly speaking, should not be regarded as the same thing, and the differences in their manifestations in real life will show up mostly in the person’s character and disposition, their attitude towards money and their way of acquiring money. It even has an impact on a man’s attitude towards marriage as well and I’ve given a case study on this on my post on BaZi compatibility.

People with Direct Wealth as their anchor element/’god’ are known to prefer structure and have a stable source of income and they cling on tighter to their money. As for the people with Indirect Wealth, they don’t usually cling on to money as tightly as those under the influence of Direct Wealth. The inflow and outflow of cash tends to be much higher and it is due to their outgoing and friendly disposition and some of the most generous people I’ve met in my life have an Indirect Wealth chart structure. People with Indirect Wealth are also known to be very warm and friendly, and do enjoy forming new bonds. This is the reason why modern books on BaZi associate business people with Indirect Wealth in their charts is because the way they are makes them really good business people due to the relationships they build and pleasant personality. They know when and how to let go and give out money so that they can earn even more back, and such an attitude towards money is often seen as a requirement for business success because of the risks and trust involved.

It’s not that people with Direct Wealth aren’t suitable for business, but their way of doing things will probably be very different and they have a different style of conducting business. It’s more appropriate to assess the effects of Direct and Indirect Wealth based on one’s attitude towards money instead of blindly associating it a particular career path. Choosing a suitable role for one’s career is possible using BaZi, but assessing this just by looking at the wealth element is not enough. I’ll write a post on choosing careers using metaphysics soon as that’s another really popular topic.

All these being said, please remember not to assess someone’s personality and character just because you see a very strong Direct or Indirect Wealth appearing in his or her BaZi chart. Yes, it is a sign and symbol in the chart and it does give some indication of what someone can be like, but there is a lot more depth in a BaZi chart that you can imagine. For example, if you add in the Indirect Officer ‘god’ into the chart, it changes the meaning of the wealth elements completely.

Is Having The Wealth Element In Your BaZi Chart Always A Good Thing?

No, it’s definitely not always a good thing. When we talk about BaZi analysis, it’s always about balance and looking at the elemental flow within the chart.

Although we associate money and wealth with comfort and the good things in life, however, this logic is not to be applied when breaking down a chart. I wrote a post on finding out whether you will be wealthy using BaZi previously which you can check out. When we assess the wealth element in one’s chart, it’s always about assessing their capabilities and resourcefulness. I mentioned this theory in a post on what the wealth sector is, and argued that the more appropriate way to see wealth is to view it as a resource we are drawing from. Every single thing is nature is feeding off something else: animals, plant, and even bacteria and viruses and only the strongest survive and thrive. This is the laws of nature that will never change. Similarly, as human beings, the money we earn comes from someone else’s savings because they need something that you have, and only the strongest and smartest get to draw this resource, in the form of cash, from others. But please remember, that in order to draw resources from somewhere else, you need to be a strong individual first, meaning your capabilities must be there.

I always emphasize in my BaZi consultations that certain conditions need to be met for the positive side of a certain ‘god’ to manifest. This ties in to what I said above, which is why you’ll often hear that your Daymaster must be a strong one before the wealth element can be welcomed in your chart. Because the opportunities to make money are always there, but not everyone has the capability to tap into such opportunities. On top of that, the wealth element itself must be strong as well to make it a true high quality chart, symbolizing a true source of wealth the is sustainable. The chances of having both a strong Daymaster and wealth element in your chart is very low especially after we take into account the combinations and clashes that can influence this, so most people will have to supplement the weaker element and flaws in their chart with their Elemental Phases. I guess this is reflective of what is happening in society where a much smaller proportion of people are truly wealthy.

Some of you may already know that BaZi has 10 ‘Gods’ which is basically the 10 Heavenly Stems, and there is a formula to determine which Heavenly Stem manifests as which ‘god’. Every ‘god’ has a positive and negative side, although some ‘gods’ such as Hurting Officer (伤官), Indirect Resource (偏印 or 枭神), Rob Wealth (劫财) and Indirect Officer (七殺 or 偏官) are generally associated with the negative in the Chinese classics, but that is not to say that these ‘gods’ don’t have a positive side – they do.

Direct Wealth and Indirect Wealth are generally considered positive ‘gods’, along with other ‘gods’ like Direct Officer (正官), Eating God (食神) and Direct Resource (正印). They keyword here is “generally”. It’s usually a really good thing if one can meet all the positive ‘gods’ in their chart, because it does not trigger off any taboo combinations or clashes, but even so, certain conditions must still be met and we’ll have to look at the Branches and Elemental Phases to have an overall assessment.

How To Assess The Effects Of Direct Wealth And Indirect Wealth In Your BaZi Chart

BaZi analysis is never a straight line, and I realized a lot of people who study it on their own tend to jump to conclusions too fast and they barely skim the surface when they try to analyze a chart – perhaps being too eager to unlock this ability within them that has a huge novelty value for many people. The wealth element can end up being the 忌神 or destructive element for someone, and in such situations, the chart-holder, in most situations, ends up getting into trouble due to money or they have a life which requires a relentless and tireless pursuit for wealth. For people with a charts with the wealth element being a 喜神 or beneficial element, money goes to them and acquiring wealth does not feel taxing nor stressful, and on top of that, they still have the time to enjoy life.

Things do get a bit more complicated when we bring in the 5 Heavenly Stem Combinations 甲己,庚乙,丙辛,丁壬,戊癸 because we have to consider and assess the elemental output of these combinations and how it changes the role of the wealth element in one’s chart. Again, certain conditions need to be met for these conditions to have a true effect – just having them appear in a chart doesn’t usually mean much. This is another reason why we should not regard Direct and Indirect Wealth as the same, even though both refer to wealth in general.

From the conversations I’ve had with my clients and friends, success is always about the initial number you bring home at first, but once you hit a certain ceiling, the initial euphoria of a high income will start to numb out, and the pursuit of wealth will soon be about how effort and time you spend slogging to acquire hold on to that income. For example, perhaps for someone around my age, the initial aim is to reach 5-figure monthly salary, but once you reach that level, it’ll be about how much time you have for yourself while you maintain or raise that level of income. I have friends who envy people in prestigious industries like law, banking and medicine, but we would be over simplifying things and missing the point of living to conclude that everyone in that industry has a better life than those who aren’t. Trust me, they don’t.

One thing I want everybody to know is that, at least in the eyes of metaphysics, the number is your bank account or how much you’re bringing home is not indicative of a good life. Yes, I do agree it makes things easier, but the another question (and it’s a tough question) to ask is what have you done to think you deserve that kind of wealth. I know it’s never comfortable to have someone question why you deserve something, but trust me when I say it’s one of the questions I started asking myself when I interpreted learning BaZi and interpreting my own chart.

What Happens When I Don’t Have The Direct Or Indirect Wealth In My BaZi Chart At All

I get this question a lot. Not having the wealth element in your chart does not mean that you are doomed to be poor. At the end of the day, what matters most is still your overall chart structure and the elemental phases (运) that you go through. If it is a high quality chart, wealth will still come naturally, albeit from a different route because a high quality chart basically indicates a talented and capable person.

For people with high quality charts with no wealth elements, it may manifest as as different focus in life or a different definition of success. Perhaps its title, reputation, power, or just being the best in their field. Wealth will still go to them no matter what. In contrast, those with high quality charts with the wealth element will tend to see money as the sole aim, and it doesn’t matter how they acquire it. Wealth and nobility are two very different things in an ancient context, although these days, when you have wealth, it’s easier to fall into the nobility category as well.

It’s rather hard to simplify someone’s character and disposition because this was never something that was meant to be simplified. BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu does give some hints of natural inclinations, but let’s never forget that one’s environment and nurture have a huge role to play as well. I do have to say though, that those with high quality charts and whose chart structures hinge around the wealth element do tend to earn a lot more because that’s where their focus is after all, so people under chart structures like 偏财格 or 食伤生财格 tend to accumulate wealth a lot faster, although it doesn’t often come with title and status. Yes, they can be Managing Directors of their own companies, but traditionally that’s not really what we mean by title and status. The 贵 in 富贵 more accurately refers to how much power and influence one has in society and it’s often related to government positions or positions of power.

I Think Have A Bad Chart And I’m Struggling With Money. What Can I Do?

I’ve lost count of the number of times people have reached out to me via my website to ask me how they can get richer. Be sure to check out one of my “must-read” articles on what’s the difference between a good BaZi chart and a bad one and you’ll know my thoughts on this. I don’t have a magical solution to this other than to work hard, having a passion and basically just doing something about your situation.

I know it sounds very cliché, but I really do feel that having a passion, knowing what you want and working on something greater than yourself will definitely eventually lead you somewhere both materially and emotionally, and the conversations I’ve had with my clients does prove this point very clearly. Again, and I always stress this, metaphysics is not and will never be a shortcut to life’s problems.

Stop using the word “luck” or “wealth luck” because it is never going to come to you without you doing anything. Even buying a lottery ticket requires you to get off your sofa and have enough cash to stack the odds on your side. At the end of the day, it still boils down to your ability and attitude, and perhaps even karma as shown by my client who struck the lottery many years ago. I know some people, especially those with good natal chart, do get a head start in life but the stories of rag-to-riches story of successful people serve to remind us that we can’t keep blaming our background or where we started from and I’ve met a lot of successful people who feel this way too.

I know the majority of the people who stumble upon my website are probably trying to interpret their own charts, so I hope this post gives you an idea of what to do and what not to, how complex BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu analysis are and why some people simply just deserve toe be wealthy. My only wish is that everyone doesn’t end up wasting their precious time mentally torturing themselves and wondering if they will ever be wealthy.

Analyzing your chart inside out isn’t going to make that happen. What can happen with a chart analysis though, is a very honest description of your capabilities, resourcefulness, attitude and whether the environment is conducive for you to develop, take risks and start acquiring more resources for yourself.


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Written by Sean Chan

Sean Chan is Asia's leading Chinese metaphysics consultant specializing in BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, and Feng Shui. A thought leader in the field, Sean's been featured on Channel NewsAsia, Rice Media, 联合早报, The New York Times Style Magazine and other local media. He blogs regularly about various topics surrounding Chinese metaphysics and aims to educate the public about the field.

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  1. Yee

    Hi Sean, seems like both indirect and indirect wealth have a very opposite characteristics. I have 100% indirect wealth and 88% of direct wealth, what does this means?

    • Sean Chan

      I don’t understand what 100% IW and 88% DW means although I think I know where you got that from. Those polygon-circle graphs are completely pointless and useless. It’s a ridiculous practice just so you know… BaZi analysis is not done that way.

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