Koreans Save Money But Don't Invest Wisely

  • By Kim Shin-young, You So-yeon

    April 03, 2021 08:09

    Most people in Korea save money, but not many have sensible investment strategies, a study by Bank of Korea published Monday suggests.

    The BOK found that 97 percent of adults save up their money, but only 43.5 percent have set long-term financial goals and try to realize them. "Savings" here include stock investments and real estate purchases as well.

    Koreans lead the OECD in personal savings after Poland -- the OECD average is 66.1 percent -- but many are stumped when asked what they are saving money for.

    Six out of 10 have no long-term goals, compared to the OECD average of 45.3 percent.

    This may explain why many Koreans say they do not save money "for the future," suggesting they want to blow their savings any time on a whim. Koreans scored 60.1 points on average in terms of what the bank calls "financial attitude," barely above the 60-point fail mark.

    But overall understanding of finance has improved slightly compared to the same study two years ago. Koreans scored an average of 66.8 points on questions about basic financial terms like interest rates, simple and compound interest and asset allocation, up 4.6 points from two years ago and higher than the OECD average of 62 points.

    Elderly people are naturally less knowledgeable than the average with 62.4 points, while women (67 points) do slightly better than men (66.6 points). 

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