How to invest in the KOSPI Composite Index

Thinking about investing in one of Asia’s largest stock markets? This will help.
By: Harry Atkins
Harry Atkins
Harry joined us in 2019, drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue… read more.
Updated: May 25, 2021
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The KOSPI Composite Index could be a great investment opportunity for you. On this page, we’ll detail all the different ways to gain exposure to it, along with the pros and cons of each method. That way you’ll be well equipped to make informed decisions about how and where to put your money.

Where can I buy into the KOSPI Composite Index?

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What is the KOSPI Composite?

The KOSPI Composite Index is the index of all common stocks in the Stock Market Division of the Korea Exchange. The exchange is based in South Korea, and some of the top stocks in the KOSPI Composite Index by market capitalisation are electronics giant Samsung, automaker Hyundai Motor, financial leader Shinhan Bank, and utility company Korea Electric Power.

Is it a good investment?

It definitely can be, but ultimately this depends on your investment strategy. The KOSPI Composite Index consists of about 800 stocks, so it’s a highly diversified grouping of stocks – far more so than top benchmark indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or FTSE 100. There are some powerful names in the index as well, with a collection of household names among the high-value companies tracked by the index.

Just remember that all market indexes risk all kinds of trouble when a bear market occurs. So do your research first and make sure the market is looking bullish.

How do I invest in the KOSPI Composite?

When investing in the KOSPI Composite Index, follow these three steps:

  1. Choose an investment type
  2. Use our top tips to succeed
  3. Choose a platform to invest with

1. Choose investment type

There are numerous options available to you. To find the best strategy for your own personal investing goals, consider factors such as the relative size of transaction fees for each approach, as well as the level of customer service that you want when investing. Here are some of the most popular ways to do so:

ETFs

An ETF (exchange-traded fund) is an investment fund that can be traded on a stock exchange during regular stock market hours, in a similar way to individual stocks. ETFs usually include a bunch of different assets at once, such as a collection of bonds or commodities, or all the stocks that make up an index such as the KOSPI Composite Index. A KOSPI Composite Index ETF gives you access to a highly diversified batch of 800 stocks, without entailing large transaction or management fees.

If there’s a downside to a KOSPI Composite Index using an ETF, it’s that you’re holding both the best and worst performers within a group of about 800 different stocks, so your gains could become a bit diluted compared to if you can buy a smaller group of big winners. More aggressive investors might thus choose the next investment method on our list instead.

Individual stocks

If you want to focus on the top-performing stocks in the KOSPI Composite Index rather than being wedded to the entire index, you can buy each of the index’s hundreds of individual stocks in separate trades instead. This allows you to evaluate each stock as you go, then whittle down your holdings until you own only the top-performing KOSPI Composite Index stocks. 

Of course there’s an obvious and major problem with this strategy: If you make about 800 individual trades to buy all of those individual stocks, then at least a few hundred more to pare down to a smaller number of leaders, you’ll rack up significant costs and also eat up a lot of your time. This strategy is generally better suited to blue-chip indices that track a smaller number of stocks.

Mutual funds

A mutual fund is an investment fund run by a professional money manager, bought through either a broker or the company that administers the fund. That money manager pools money from thousands of different investors, then invests all of that money into different assets to generate profits for everyone invested in the fund. A KOSPI Composite Index mutual fund (also known as an index fund) allows you to invest in all of the index’s stocks at once, which lowers your risk level since you’re holding a large, diversified batch of stocks. 

KOSPI funds can only be bought at the end of the stock market’s trading day, meaning you wont be Abel to start KOSPI trading during the regular stock trading hours. Also, KOSPI funds charge higher fees than ETFs do. So if you’re going to use a mutual fund, it makes more sense to hold your investment long term. If you want to have a diversified investment that you can trace in the short term, it’s better to go with an ETF.

2. Use our top tips to be a successful investor

Before you start, make sure you read and follow these investment tips:

  • Do your research. If you’re considering an investment in the KOSPI Composite Index, take the time to consider all the pros and cons of your potential investment. Build a smart investment plan, and get to know the key information about the KOSPI Composite Index such as its past performance, so you can improve your chances of success. The more prepared you are, the better able you’ll be to keep emotions such as fear and greed in check, so they don’t cloud your judgment when the market gets choppy.
  • Set a budget. The budget you set should account for your personal level of risk tolerance, as well as how much money you can afford to lose. If you let your losses pile up, you could hurt your confidence and also make it difficult to preserve the investment capital you’ll need for future trades. Never invest more than you can afford to lose, and it’s a good idea to make use of stop-losses if using a brokerage platform.
  • Select the right platform. One investor might choose a platform based entirely on the size of its transaction fees, while another might focus a lot more on the quantity and quality of investment advice they can get. Figure out your specific investment goals before you start your search, so you’ll know what you’re looking for ahead of time. 
  • Grow your investments gradually. As a beginner investor, you can start by investing a smaller amount of money. You can always ramp up the size of your investments as you gain experience and grow your capital. That gradual progression will help prevent big losses as you gain your footing, then allow you to maximise your gains later on.
  • Think long-term. To succeed long-term, you need to keep your eye on your investment goals. You can buy KOSPI Composite Index and hold it, aiming for bigger gains as the market rises, or you can make short-term trades in order to keep making progress to your desired result. With both of these strategies, analyse the market to ensure it’s looking bullish before you start investing, as in bear market conditions indices usually drop considerably.

3. Choose a platform to invest with

The nextx thing you need to decide is what kind of investment platform you want to use. Here are some of the best options:

  • Brokers & KOSPI trading platforms. Online brokers offer many different online tools at a low price. Online brokers don’t usually offer in-depth investment advice, though. If you’re looking for more personalised investing advice to guide your decisions, you might want to consider a different route.
  • Robo advisors. Robots & Robo advisors are algorithm-powered trading platforms which execute trades automatically. Although a robo advisors’ actual trade execution process is automated, some robo advisors will allow you to discuss your investment strategy beforehand with a human being. Combine that guidance with relatively low KOSPI trading fees and you have a viable option for many different types of investors. Still, robo advisors are a more hands-off approach than what you get with a dedicated financial advisor.
  • Financial advisors. Financial advisors offer the most investment advice to investors. They’ll go over your financial goals with you in great detail, and help you meet those goals. It’s no surprise then that financial advisors charge a premium for their services. That premium can sometimes be worth the price given the high level of customer service they provide, but this is only really the case if you’re considering a complex investment strategy. As index investing isn’t very complicated, choosing a financial advisor probably isn’t worth the expense in this specific case.
  • Banks. Using a KOSPI Composite Index investing method through your bank gives you the convenience of having all of your financial instruments in one place, such as your checking and savings accounts, in addition to your investments. The problem is that banks usually charge high fees, without providing the level of service that top financial advisors offer. So other than the convenience factor, banks don’t stand above other investment strategies in any other way but come at a much inflated cost.
1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
user-score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.

What should I do now? 

Ready to invest? Log into your chosen platform’s website, pick the investment asset you like most as a way to buy into the KOSPI Composite Index, and buy. After that, track your investment so you can be prepared to pivot if the market turns south.

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Harry Atkins
Financial Writer
Harry joined us in 2019, drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue chip companies, Harry’s considerable experience in the… read more.