Why are Koreans losing faith in local stocks?

A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York,  in this October 2020 photo. Reuters-Yonhap

Kim Jang-woo, 35, recently lost interest in domestic stocks. He even disposed of almost every stock he had held a few months prior. Reflecting on his five years of investing experience, Kim believes that the Korean market is a difficult place for individual investors to make significant profits.

“Engaging in short-term investments seems like the only way to see profits. I tried to follow the ups and downs for some time, but it’s very tiring to do so. I am not trading cryptocurrency. I don’t think I have to endure this trend,” Kim said. “Those who prefer to invest for the long term, like me, can only struggle here. That’s why I am looking at stocks in the U.S.”

Kim said he only wants one crucial — yet difficult — thing: profits. And he has plenty of reasons to blame the Korean stock market for not being fruitful enough.

Over the past 10 years, the total returns from the domestic stock market, including dividends, have averaged just 5 percent annually, according to the Korean Corporate Governance Forum. This is almost half the returns achievable in the U.S., which stands at 13 percent, and Japan at 11 percent. Even Taiwan, which experiences similar risks to those of Korea — with them facing China and North Korea respectively, yielded higher returns at about 10 percent.

This means that if a person had invested $10,000 10 years ago, it would be worth $16,829 today. In contrast, the same investment in the U.S. stock market would have resulted in $33,946.

As a result, an increasing number of Koreans are dumping local stocks and grabbing overseas stocks instead.

This year, individual investors have sold 12.4 trillion won ($8.9 billion) on the benchmark KOSPI, and net purchased 8.5 trillion won in the 카지노사이트킹 U.S. stock market as of Friday. Their preferred choices were stocks related to AI and semiconductors, such as Nvidia.

Even in financial products related to the stock market, the trend was prominent.

As of April, an Individual Savings Account (ISA), a tax-advantaged account for financial products, the proportion of investments in overseas ETFs has surpassed that of domestic ETFs, for the first time since the account’s introduction. The figures stood at 19.7 percent, and 7.3 percent, respectively.

“No one would invest their money in the capital market under the current structure,” Mirae Asset Financial Group Executive Adviser Kim Gyung-rok said.

“If the deposit interest rate is 3 percent, people should be getting at least a 7 percent return. It’s not feasible for people to invest if the capital market yields a lower rate than banks. With stock prices plummeting every time there’s a missile conflict, people need compensation for the anxiety they feel.”

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