Korean Boy, 12, Convinces Mom to Let Him Trade Stocks, Makes Over $13,000 in Gains

A 12-year-old boy named Kwon Joon has become known as South Korea’s new retail trading star after earning impressive returns of 43% from his investments. 

The young retail investor, the term for an investor who doesn’t trade professionally, started buying stocks last year and soon turned it into his hobby, reports Reuters.

Joon, who has made it a daily routine to watch the business news, says he now dreams of becoming the next Warren Buffett. 

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He officially got his start last April after convincing his mother to open a retail trading account for him with his savings of 25 million won ($22,598) he got selling toy cars at age seven as seed money. At the time, the benchmark KOSPI index, or the performance of all common stock traded on the Korea Exchange, was just recovering from a major dip. With a general return rate of 43%, Joon claims to have made a profit of over $13,400 so far.

“I really talked my parents into it, because I believed an expert who was saying (on TV) that this is a once-in-a-decade opportunity,” Joon was quoted as saying.

 

Joon said he aims to maximize his returns by holding his investment for the long-term instead of participating in short-term focused day trading.

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Due to last year’s school shutdowns, Joon had time to study the market and choose which equity to purchase. 

Among the companies he invested in include messenger app operator Kakao Corp., memory chip manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co., and carmaker Hyundai Motor.

Kwon, who values investing in blue chip shares, or corporate stocks that are nationally known to be reliable, is among the many rookie investors in South Korea igniting the retail trade scene in the country.

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Over two-thirds of the total value traded in the country’s shares are made by teenagers or even younger. It was a significant increase from 2019 when the figure was less than 50% for the young demographic.

Joon’s early success has convinced him and his mother Lee Eun-joo that learning about business has become more important than a college education.

“I wonder, in this day and age, whether a college degree would be all that important,” Lee noted. “Because we live in a different world now, it could be better to become an ‘only-one’ kind of person.”

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Joon agrees: “Rather than going to good schools like the Seoul National University, I’d rather become a big investor. I also hope to do a lot of charity work.”

Feature Image via The Star

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