The author is a financial team reporter at the JoongAng Ilbo.
I vividly remember my first visit to a securities firm 12 years ago. I was so uninformed that I went to Daewoo Securities, not a sales office, to buy a Vietnam fund. They did not sell a Vietnam fund, so I bought a China fund. It is an obvious story. After a few months of brief gains, the fund’s value fell by 50 percent during the financial crisis over the following year, and I had to sell it off at a loss.
I invested in the Hong Kong H index ELS, the Kosdaq leveraged ETF and many others and had more minuses than pluses. I thought the irreversible losses were the price I had to pay to learn about the financial markets.
I am talking about my investment experience because I was surprised to read a story about President Moon Jae-in’s investment in NH-Amundi Victory Korea Fund on Aug. 26. When a bank employee asked if he had ever invested in stocks or funds, President Moon responded that he’s never done it. Never investing in stocks or funds is far from the financial life of average people.
As a financial reporter, I was disappointed by the president’s reply when asked about his knowledge on financial products. The employee said that he should check “very knowledgeable,” but President Moon said that he could not be very knowledgeable, and checked “knowledgeable.”
That’s only natural. Someone who has never invested in stocks and funds and only focused on savings cannot have much knowledge on finance. The employee should have discouraged the customer who is over age 65 and has never invested in funds from buying.
But it is good that the president is now investing in stocks. The president will understand how the stock and fund investors feel about market fluctuations. It could be a chance to feel how individual lives are affected by the Kospi and business performance. Rates of return will be more real than numbers in reports. Financial knowledge will be enhanced.
As of Sept. 10, the fund that the president had joined made return of 3.7 percent. It is on the plus side, but unfortunately it is not up to the benchmark index. The management report is sent quarterly, three-months is too long. I hope the president will check the return frequently.
JoongAng Ilbo, Sept. 11, Page 24