|Participating in business research competition, R.I.C.H members are analyzing enterprises.|
Meeting our friends, we are likely to hear many familiar expressions. They probably all have one thing in common. Perhaps, you can figure out what that is. “Did you get a scholarship?” “I will study hard to get a scholarship at our school.” “How much do you earn per hour at your part-time job?” What they all have in common is the topic of money. We are always involved deeply with it. Tuition fees have skyrocketed and the cost of living has soared. To supplement living expenses, most students tried to be awarded scholarships or look for part-time jobs. But, as the numbers of students who can get scholarships are limited, most are looking for part-time jobs. The minimum pay per hour is now 4580 won. This is hardly enough to eke out a living as a university student. In 2011, many students looked to half the price of their tuition and many university students applied for national scholarships. According to the Korea Student Aid Foundation, 1,035,000 students, which amount to 77.3% of all the students at university applied for this.
University students regularly worry about money problems. Most students deposit money in banks and use check cards. Reflecting this social trend, books dealing with various investment techniques have also been consistently released. There are also many postings on various blogs for people unfamiliar with investing in stocks. Bloggers have posted about how to invest in the stock market and have given many know-how tips for beginners. Most in their 20’s often encounter information about stocks on TV news programs and bulletin boards. Still, the stock market is a strange thing for students to understand and participate in.
One student, Kim Hyun-ji, mentioned that “The stock market is too complex for me. It seems like a field for specialists. I could not find people who have taken part in stock investing. I have no one to supply me with information about it. Because of these problems, I have not been interested in investing.”
Another university student, Kim Seo-young said “To invest in the stock market, I am required to have enough money to do so. I heard that at least 500,000 won is needed to invest in stocks, but we do not have a sufficient residual fund that can be used to continually invest. Also, I listened to various stories that have ended in failure. Investing in stocks can potentially leave you with no money and I am fearful of losing all of my money.”
In fact, university students who have tried investing in stocks have somewhat increased compared to the past. Financial businesses have held mock investment competitions and the number of these events have increased every year. About 3000 students participated in each event. We can also find some students often looking at the stock index by using their smart phones on the campus.
The students who invest in stocks with small money are inclined to invest in a promising affiliate of conglomerates or stable small businesses rather than risky companies. Lee Tae-seok, one student majoring in accounting at Dongguk University said “I studied the stock market at a club in high school so I started investing in it. I invested 600,000 won at a local bank and I earned approximately 12% in profits. The strength of investing is that there is no need to pay taxes from earnings and there is a possibility of higher rate of earnings.”
Park So-young, a student at Seoul National University, began making money after she invested in the stock market and noted that it is more profitable than depositing money in a bank’s savings account. She collected information by reading articles about the economy on the internet. She said “In internet news, experts usually mention promising items, so I selected one of the affiliates which were predicted to have a bright future. Because the stock market is potentially dangerous, we should not believe that we will earn an extravagant amount of money through investing in the stock market. We should regard investing as an experiment.”
Currently there is a financial investment club called R.I.C.H at Dongguk University. By discussing current issues and analyzing prospects of businesses, they share stock information. They study about the targets of each business and anticipate stock prospects. They focus on not just creating many profits but ‘analyzing businesses’ for preparing to invest in stocks. Jun Shin-yong, a member of the club, said, “There is a difference between investment and speculation. Speculation aims at just making money, but investing has the precondition about analyzing business from a long time perspective.”
Cho Jung Hoon, a private banker at Daewoo Securities, suggests investment tips for beginners, which is to be able to identify cultural trends. University students are more sensitive to understanding current trends than more experienced and older investors. When being concerned with stocks, we have to recognize that we live in a rapidly changing society. Lots of experience is important too. He added that the stock market is closely connected with our lives so there is a lot that we can learn through studying about business. Through it, we would have insights into what industry is growing up or declining and we could understand our society much better.
Park Su-jeong firstname.lastname@example.org
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