Friday, October 16, 2009

Friends in the Herald

Two ex-coworkers were featured in the Korea Herald for their investing skills.

With no prior experience in investing, William McRoberts went into a securities company office about seven years ago and started a profitable hobby.

The securities company he invested with had a branch located on the same floor as the hagwon where he was teaching, so one day the Canada native went in and bought 200,000 won worth of stock in a Korean conglomerate.

That didn't buy a huge amount of shares, but by the time he chose to sell them, he got 540,000 won back. This has since become a trend for McRoberts, who is now a high school teacher in Gyeonggi Province who estimates that he's doubled his money since he started investing here.

McRoberts typically invests in common stock, as opposed to preferred stock, which carries priority in the payment of dividends, but doesn't see nearly as much change in value.


Daniel Costello, originally from Canada, first came to Korea in 1996 and started investing in mutual funds more than 10 years ago.

"Investing started because I had extra money and it became part of my monthly routine," he said. While it began to help him pay his debts, "When you get into the habit of paying off your debts you have this money left over."

Costello enjoys investing in mutual funds from Korea because "your income is totally your own and you don't have to declare anything until you become a resident (of your home country) again," he said.

In addition, he calls Korea "one of the better countries" with regards to taxes: While his home country taxes 35 percent on income, Korea's taxes are at 5-10 percent.

Nice work. I wonder if they are in the lending mood.

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