Stock market boom causes stampede as newbies hope to make a killing

With the stock market booming, retail investors are flocking to open trading accounts, many without any previous experience of investment.

Mai The Le (R), 30, fills out an application form to open a new securities trading account at VNDIRECT Securities Company on Pasteur Street in HCMC's District 1. "Securities have become the most profitable asset class, and I also want to try to invest in stocks," he said.
Nhu Quynh, 23, owner of a food store in District 10, also came to the office to open an account. Having just booked profits in Bitcoin after the cryptocurrency surged in recent weeks before correcting, Quynh said she wants to switch to stocks but only large caps. "The stock market has been rising, so it is safer to hold shares of famous domestic companies than Bitcoin."
At 10 a.m. the office had more than 20 people waiting to open accounts. Most had furnished their information in advance and only came to the office to complete the procedures. Most of them, complete rookies in the stock market, had to spend at least 15 minutes learning how to check prices, place orders and deposit money.In the first two weeks of the year VNDIRECT added 7,295 new accounts.
At the head office of brokerage SSI Securities Corporation, some 80 people open accounts every day. Bui Thi Chau, head of customer service, said 70 percent of them are first-time investors and do not have any knowledge or investment experience. The VN-Index will continue gaining in 2021 without the turbulence seen last year, several securities firms predict. The VN-Index rallied 0.57 percent to 1,194.2 points Friday.
Customers at a KB Securities Vietnam office in HCMC's District 1. Phan Hoang Son, director of the company's Saigon branch, expected the rush to last until the end of the first quarter, when the market corrects sharply or the newbies suffer a loss. First-time investors are pouring cash into and driving the market. The number of retail investors entering hit a record 60,000 in December, which took the number for full-year 2020 to 392,000, twice as many as in 2019.

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