The proportion of South Korean office workers taking a keen interest in stock investment has surged in recent months as retail investors began a buying boom, betting on gains from market volatility, a survey showed Tuesday.
According to job portals Job Korea and Albamon, half of the 593 wage-earning respondents said they invested in stocks. The figure was 22.8 percentage points higher than two years ago, when the same survey was conducted.
The survey also showed that 76.7 percent were investing in stocks, real estate, savings and other financial products.
“The so-called ‘Donghak Ant’ movement seems to have drawn the young employees’ attention toward investment,” said a Job Korea official.
The Donghak Ants are an army of small retail investors who have jumped into stock markets since March, when the market was hit hard by the pandemic. Stock ownership by individual investors in Korea has been insignificant, as it has long been led by institutional and foreign investors.
Among 30-somethings, 82.3 percent said they were making some type of investments while 81.4 percent of those in their 40s were doing so. The figure came to around 70 percent for 20-something employees.
Savings and stock investment were two of the most popular investment options, in which 73.2 percent and 50.1 percent of all respondents had invested respectively. They were followed by funds with 23.1 percent and real estate with 7.5 percent. In a 2018 survey, those who invested in stocks accounted for a mere 27.3 percent of all respondents.
The latest survey also showed that employees have started investing in stocks at earlier stages in their careers.
“In 2018, only 16 percent of respondents in their 20s said they were investing in stocks, but the figure jumped to 56.1 percent -- the highest increase rate among investment options,” said the official.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org