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JAN 2, 2024

Mixed opinions on crypto as investment instruments revealed in Korean surveys

by CoinNess Global

When Samsung Securities surveyed its high-net-worth clients about which investment assets they believed would be most effective for wealth growth in the future, only a small fraction, 1.9%, pointed to virtual assets, as reported by South Korean news outlet Newsis. The majority favored domestic and foreign stocks, which garnered a significant 45.4% of the vote. Following this, domestic and foreign bonds were chosen by 18.1% of respondents, and real assets like real estate and gold were also considered favorable, with 16.8% backing these options.  

Investment preferences of high-net-worth clients

The survey conducted by Samsung Securities involved a select group of 368 participants, each with assets totaling KRW 3 billion ($2.3 million) or more. It focused on their perspectives regarding this year’s stock market trends and their individual investment strategies. This specific demographic provided insights into the investment preferences and outlooks of high-net-worth individuals.
In the survey, when these individuals were queried about the methods they’ve used to accumulate their wealth, the most prevalent answer was investment in financial instruments such as stocks and funds, with 35.9% indicating this as their primary method. Business income was the second most common source of wealth, cited by 29.9% of participants. Wage income was also a significant contributor, mentioned by 19.6%. Additionally, gifts and inheritance played a role, accounting for 7.1% of wealth growth. Meanwhile, real estate investments were the least common, with only 6.5% of the respondents identifying it as a key wealth growth strategy.
Regarding the optimal timing for stock purchases this year, a notable portion of the investors expressed a preference for the beginning of the year, with many pinpointing the first quarter as the ideal time, as indicated by 51.6% of respondents. This preference was followed by the second quarter, favored by 27.7%, the third quarter at 13.6% and the fourth quarter being least favored with only 7.1%.
In terms of promising industries for investment, over half of the respondents, 50.6%, identified artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductors as the most prospective sectors. These technologies are viewed as pivotal in shaping the future of the tech industry. Following AI and semiconductors, rechargeable batteries, which were the top-performing segment in the previous year, garnered notable interest, with 16.7% of respondents favoring them.
The survey identified key figures likely to impact the stock market this year: former U.S. President Trump (30.4%), U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Powell (15.8%), U.S. President Biden (7.1%) and Saudi Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman (3.3%). Business leaders like Tesla’s Elon Musk (6.0%), OpenAI’s Sam Altman (5.4%) and Novo Nordisk’s Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen (2.4%) were also mentioned for their influence.
When asked about the most important issue of the financial market for the new year, 51.1% pointed to “interest rate cuts in major economies” as their top concern. Following this, 15.2% highlighted the outcome of the U.S. presidential election as a significant issue. Additionally, the advancement of new industries such as AI and robotics was flagged as an important topic by 10.3% of those surveyed.

Stock market experts’ crypto optimism

In contrast, a 2024 stock market outlook survey by local media outlet Money Today, which polled 225 stock market experts, showed a more optimistic stance towards investing in cryptocurrencies this year. When questioned about their willingness to invest in crypto assets like Bitcoin, 20% responded very affirmatively, and an additional 34.2% expressed a similar interest, totaling over half of the respondents showing readiness to invest in cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, 18.7% were unsure, and 27.1% had negative views, including 16.4% saying “no” and 10.7% opting for “strongly no”.
In the newspaper survey, when specifically asked about bitcoin’s future value, 24.9%, the largest group of respondents for this question, predicted that bitcoin’s price would reach or exceed KRW 70 million, the highest estimate provided in the survey’s options. Meanwhile, 17.8% of the experts estimated that the price would range between KRW 60 million and 70 million.
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