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More Koreans inclined to invest in stocks in wake of COVID-19: survey

Foreign currency dealers are seen working at a dealing room of Hana Bank in its headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Foreign currency dealers are seen working at a dealing room of Hana Bank in its headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)
More South Koreans are becoming inclined to stock investing as they seek to take advantage of a turnaround from the COVID-19 financial market crisis, a survey showed Sunday.

Of 1,000 respondents aged between 19 and 59, 67.8 percent said they were interested in investing via stocks, according to a survey conducted in February by Seoul-based market research firm Macromill Embrain Trend Monitor. Among them, 52.7 percent said they had begun to take an interest in stock investing since January 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak surfaced on a global scale.

The younger respondents were, the more likely they were attached to stock investing, results also showed. Of those aged younger than 30, 70.8 percent showed interest in stock trading, showing a contrast from those aged 50 or older, 59.6 percent of whom responded they were interested.

The finding implies that Korean income earners considered the COVID-19 crisis an opportunity for stock investing, setting the stage for the increased involvement of day traders, locally dubbed “ant warriors,” Macromill Embrain said.

Of all respondents, 56 percent said they were holding listed stocks as of February, and 37.5 percent of them had spent less than 5 million won ($4,420) respectively for stock investing in the past year.

In the meantime, the survey result also showed that those who feel insecure at work were more likely to be investing in stocks, as opposed to those who feel stable. Macromill Embrain noted that those suffering job insecurity tended to look for a breakthrough in hopes of a bull market.

Also, 4 in 5 respondents regard themselves as having a “low level of education” in the field of personal finance, while 55.1 percent of respondents believed their stock investing would yield better returns by reading books or watching lectures.

By Son Ji-hyoung (