Chinese families feel the heat from a bullish market

Chinese families feel the heat from a bullish market
It may be running red hot, but China's bullish stock market is also fanning the flames of family disputes.

It may be running red hot, but China's bullish stock market is also fanning the flames of family disputes.

While the soaring market has boosted family wealth, it has also caused divisions among members-creating domestic dramas and even conflicts as husbands, wives, parents and children argue, quarrel or fight over their investments.

Tian Yuanqiong, a 40-year-old investor in Chongqing, said she and her husband disagreed with each other so much over choosing stocks and trading strategies, that they decided to split their money and trade shares in separate accounts.

"I bought a stock at 3 yuan per share. When the price climbed to 9 yuan, my husband asked me to sell it, but I didn't want to because it hadn't reached the level I expected," Tian said.

But her husband was later proved right, as the price dived and Tian never recovered her losses.

Following this, the couple decided not to consult each other when making investment decisions, and now they compete with each other.

"It's much better, because it helps us to diversify the risks by not putting all our eggs in one basket," Tian said.

But not all family stories are as rational as this.

Media reports cite husbands quitting their jobs to trade stocks and college graduates refusing to find work, deciding instead to play the market in the hope of becoming rich overnight.

A newspaper in Anhui province reported that a woman checked up on her husband's stock account, as she suspected he was hiding money from her.

Despite repeated warnings by experts of excess valuations and the risk of a bubble, Chinese families' enthusiasm for stock trading is increasing.

According to the People's Bank of China, residents' savings fell by 441.3 billion yuan (S$95.98 billion) last month, following a drop of 1.05 trillion yuan in April.

Analysts said this was caused partly by capital moving into the country's red-hot stock market.

According to the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, nearly 5 million new investors entered the market in April.

A survey by the Bank of Communications found that the proportion of well-off families owning stocks rose from 67 per cent in March to 75 per cent in May.

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