According to the Korea Financial Investment Association, the number of stock trading activity accounts reached an all-time high of about 3033 million. This is because the KOSPI index fell due to the spread of COVID 19, and people who were not interested in stocks tried to seize the opportunity to buy low-priced stocks. What was worse, loans on account balance which private investors borrow money is approaching ten trillion won.
Nevertheless, John Lee, CEO of Meritz Asset Management, who even has emphasized the importance of stock investment warns that "The stock is for preparing retirement, and it is dangerous to invest in the short term to make money." He argues that stock investment should be made in the long run with surplus fund. The reason he asserts is that people should never invest in debt as it has to be paid back in a short period of time, it is difficult to create a magic effect of compound interest.
John Lee, a former fund manager, ran the asset management company in 1991 first in the world, and the Korea Fund which he managed was a huge success with a cumulative return of 1,600 percent by buying undervalued Korean stocks and investing long-term. Like this, his investment philosophy is finding great companies, to retention stocks of those companies in long term.
Since taking the CEO of Meritz Asset Management, he has been making efforts to change Korea's investment culture. He says that “I hope many people are interested in economy, understanding capitalism and I hope investment is going to be an everyday life.” He met 40 thousand people while lecturing to change misconception of finance and is informing to people to break away from financial illiteracy by opening YouTube which have 130,000 subscribers. His book The Habit of Being Rich published in January this year surpassed the 16th edition in five months.
Lots of economic YouTubers interviewed Johnnie, who suggested changing lifestyle. "Don't look rich, be rich," he always says. He asserted that only paychecks can never make people rich, and he recommend them to save money for extravagance and collect stocks consistently.
In particular, he insists on changing the negative perception of stocks and tells people to invest instead of speculating in stocks. He says “Study to find a good company. Have a business partner’s mind.” In addition, he reiterates that stock prices raise naturally in a capitalist society under the premise those are excellent companies, so do not need to check stock prices every day. He suggests to invest in the long term. He expressed regret that Koreans have mostly real estate and passive in stocks.
He never stops trying to spread a new perspective on stocks through coherent speaking, even after going through various interviews already. Pointing out Korea's lack of preparation for retirement due to spending on private education for child, he says buying U.S. stocks will help them study English more. ”Korea is in the midst of a revolution. If achieve it well, will go to an advanced country or can become like Japan. It is time to take this opportunity to the right investment culture.” He said in edaily news interview.