‘Nongshim Investment’ of COVID-19 period is hope of common people

Young-ok Park

Young-ok Park

Since 30 December 2019, The Asia N has introduced a column by Young-ok Park, CEO of Smart Inc. and Korea’s leading stock investor, to readers for 34 times.

Young-ok Park, who is also a board member of the Asia Journalists Association, says that stock investment is not a ‘speculation’ intended for making a fortune, but an investment that raises company with the heart of a farmer who sows seeds, fertilizes them with an appreciation to sunlight, water and air. This is why Park is known as a ‘stock farmer’ in the industry of Korean securities.

The first episode of the ‘Young-ok Park’s Stock Story” series by The Asian N, was titled as “Only the Large Shareholders are owners? All investors are owners!”

“If we invest in blue-chip companies with a farmer’s heart and a long-term perspective, we will never fail,” he said.

“Although it is difficult due to pandemic situation caused by COVID-19, it is still a good time to select companies and invest in them to save the company as well as enrich the family economy.”

 

By Young-ok Park
CEO of Smart Inc

SEOUL: “Many people ask me. If you own that much assets, wouldn’t it be better to sell a large portion and cash it in. Even if you sell half of it and put it in the bank, your grandchildren can live without worrying about earning money. Isn’t it much safer to do so than to invest all of assets in a risky stock market?”

There are times when such thoughts come across my mind. When the company that I had invested in seems to have a bright future and I request to be a stockholder, but when they do not respond, when the major stockholder runs a company solely for his own profit, or when an irrational law happens, I feel like selling all of my stocks, stack up cash and live a comfortable life.

Sometimes, I want to abandon my title as a ‘full-time investor’ and live as a ‘part-time investor’ who spends only a fraction of his assets.

People know me as a person who made great money from stock investments, and so do I. But strictly speaking, I did not invest in stocks. I invested in a company and thanks to it, I became rich. Therefore, investing in a company is both a duty and a great reward for me. Of course, I feel good when I make a profit and I feel sick when I lose money. Profit, however, is never the only reason for stock investment.

Investing in companies, contributing to economic development and sharing corporate performance is the reason why I invest and why I encourage people to invest.

I was worried all the time while I was writing this article. There were rarely any good stories and it was mainly about irrational aspects of the stock market. I pointed out the unfavorable environment of the stock market to individual investors. I talked about tyranny of major stockholders, and the frustration of individual investors who had no way of keep checking them.

“As expected, the stock market was no place for an individual investor like me. As I have heard, the stock market is hell for individual investors.”

I am worried there might be some people who make such conclusions. If there is anyone like that, I hope that you remember that I invest almost all of my assets in companies. I would like to emphasize the fact that although there are many irrational and extraordinary events happening in the stock market, companies are still attractive investment destinations.

I hope that people will not only live as employees of companies. We hope to be the owners of the company with the capital we received for providing labor to the company. We hope that money that drives us to work will allow us to enjoy economic affluence. This is the way to become rich in capitalist society. As long as we are living in a capitalist society, economic hope can only be found in capital.

The stock market, which is an economic hope for ordinary people, can be changed to become fairer and more rational just by improving a few systems. The stock market must change in order to make more people study, communicate, accompany and invest rationally. Conversely, if the stock market changes to a rational way, investors’ investment methods will also change. What does a rational and fair stock market look like? Imagine now if you have never imagined.

Are you nervous that something might happen to a company after you have invested? Anxiety mostly comes from the absence of communication. Is there really no way for us to communicate with managers? Is it impossible for a person with administration ability to manage a company and share performance through dividends like other stockholders?

Is it so difficult to vote while watching the debate in front of the computer if the shareholders’ meeting becomes a venue for active debate and the situation is not favorable? I think it is very possible. We are living in a democratic country. Voters’ public opinion can put pressure on lawmakers, politicians. How many politicians will meet with individual investors other than during the election period? How many politicians do you think would actively reflect their opinions and engage in legislative activities?

Young-ok Park

Young-ok Park

But if public opinion comes into the picture, they will eventually meet individual investors. In such way, we can develop a system that allows the capital market to move rationally.

It is not about asking for unreasonable profits. We are not Snow Whites in Andersen’s fairy tale. Even if you wait for a man with a white horse while sleeping on rights, he will never come. Our environment as investors will not change, either.

Since 2010, I have published four books – “Stocks, invest it like a farmer”, “Dear, you are the owner of the company”, “Stocks, looking at the world with eyes of an investor” and “Make money work”. I have also written various columns and I have given lectures and interviews.

I wanted more people to invest diligently and boldly like farmers, and I still want them to invest in such a way. I wanted more people to live with companies, and I still do. Each person can pour water into their own fields, but if they make reservoirs and waterways together, it will be much easier to farm and more can be harvested.

Previously, I want to spread my experience to friends in Southeast Asia and other Asian countries who are interested in investing in stocks. If they know the advantages and disadvantages of Korean stock investment, I firmly believe that the disadvantages can contribute to prosperity of their own countries by taking advantage without stepping on the disadvantages as much as possible.

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