A Tesla Model 3 at the Seoul Motor Show in 2019. Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images
South Korean retail investors have amassed large stakes in Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA). Throughout the pandemic, their combined assets have more than 100-fold increased to more than $15 billion.
Retail South Korean investors continue to increase their stake in Tesla, hoping to multiply their savings. Bloomberg reported about the Park Sunghyun family, who sold their house in Seoul, moved into a rented apartment, and invested their $230,000 family savings in Tesla stock. They dreamed of buying a bigger house, but the money they made from selling their house was not enough as prices rose significantly and their purchasing power was drastically reduced due to COVID-19 and the situation in the country.
The Sunghyun family is just one example of many. Bloomberg reports that throughout the pandemic, individual South Koreans have invested in Tesla shares, increasing their total assets more than 100-fold to over $15 billion. This makes them the key shareholders of the manufacturer. Tesla shares have huge appeal as, despite the price drop in 2022, they are still up 1900% over the past three years. Elon Musk is exactly what attracts many South Korean shareholders to Tesla.
“With this man, I thought we could go all-in,” says Sunghyun. She bought the shares at an average price of $668 a share, well below the current $905 (as of this writing). “He's doing things that nobody was thinking of before,” she says.
As of August 17, individual Koreans owned about 1.6% of the company's shares, according to Bloomberg News calculations. The data also show that this is more than their combined investments in Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft, and Nvidia.
South Koreans in their 20s and 30s are also active investors in Tesla. Young Koreans are increasingly worried about repeating the financial hardships of their grandparents. The poverty rate of older Koreans is the highest among the 38 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“I fell into a panic that I might never be able to buy a house,” says Son Gilhun, a 27-year-old forklift driver. “Instead of giving up, I decided to follow my older colleagues in buying stocks.” He bet on Tesla and amassed a stock portfolio of about $100,000 during the pandemic. With a monthly salary of $2,000 and a modest lifestyle, he was able to use half of it to buy shares. Gilhun cut his Korean holdings and increased his stake in the automaker in June as shares fell below $700.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.