December 8, 2009

KOREA: Over half of adults invest in funds

. SEOUL, Korea / The Korea Herald / Business / December 8, 2009 By Jin Hyun-joo Nearly 55 percent of Korean adults invest in funds, compared with 11 percent in Japan, a study showed yesterday. Koreans between the ages of 35 and 44 were major fund investors, while most fund investors in Japan were in their 50s, according to the report released by Korea Investors Protection Foundation. The report is based on a survey conducted last December on 2,530 Koreans between the ages of 25 and 65, as well as one taken in July 2008 on 1,500 Japanese between the ages of 20 and 79, the group said. The report was titled "A comparison of fund investors in Korea and Japan." Korean fund investors spent an average of 16.2 million won ($13,873) on funds, or 13 percent of their total financial assets. The average fund investments by Japanese fund investors stood at 4.1 million won, which accounted for 37 percent of their financial assets. Korean fund investors held an average of 2.7 fund accounts, while their Japanese counterparts had 1.54. Both Korean and Japanese invested mainly in equity funds. While 62.6 percent of Korean fund investors invested in equity funds, the corresponding figure for Japanese investors was 69.5 percent. Nearly 54 percent of local fund investors subscribed to funds at banks, and 37.9 percent at securities firms. In Japan, 52.4 percent of fund investors used brokerages to subscribe to funds, while 48.1 percent turned to banks. The report said with the Korean population aging, an increasing number of senior citizens are expected to invest in funds like in Japan. Therefore, the report advised the government to focus on the protection of elderly investors. It also raised the need to diversify the sales channel of funds, from banks and securities.[rc] Jin Hyun-joo E-Mail: Copyright 2001 ~ 2009 Herald Media INC.