Investors at a brokerage house's office in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Tuesday. A survey found that 70 percent of individual investors have lost money amid the poor performance of the mainland stock market. HUANG JIEXIAN / FOR CHINA DAILY
Two surveys on stock market investors have painted a uniform picture of frustration, anger, regret and, as one respondent noted, shame.
The results, of course, are hardly surprising given the poor performance of the mainland stock market in the past months, which culminated in the June 25 crash, when the index dived 5.3 percent, the biggest single-day fall in four years.
What's surprising though, analysts said, is the investors' guilty feelings for staying in the game for so long. Meanwhile, many investors have come to terms with their unwise strategies and accepted that they are to blame for the losses.
China Finance Online, a financial information portal, surveyed 9,282 individual investors. Almost 70 percent of them said that they lost more than 10 percent of their total investments in the stock market. Among this group, 40 percent said that more than half of their investments had evaporated.
The survey also found that more than 60 percent of the respondents said that they were feeling "extremely high pressure", and half of them said they felt "ashamed" to even admit that they were stock market investors.
"It's like telling people I'm a sucker," said Wang Lifeng, 32, who is a government employee.
Wang said that he felt better after reading about the survey results.
"I felt better because so many people are having similar unpleasant experiences," Wang said.
Wang opened his stock trading account late last year, after friends told him that it was the right time to buy low so that he could make money by selling "high" later. But the performance of the equity market clearly didn't meet his expectations. The "high" never materialized.
Indeed, investor confidence has dropped to a historical low, after quite a few individual investors saw more than half of their investments wiped out.
Another survey done by the China Securities Investor Protection Funds showed that investor confidence in the stock market fell to 45.1 in June, 17.24 points down month-on-month.
A level below 50 indicates that investors are pessimistic overall.
The total market capitalization of the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets reached 22.96 trillion yuan ($3.75 trillion) at the end of 2012, but it had shrunk by 1.68 trillion yuan by the end of June, after the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slumped almost 14 percent in the month, in its biggest retreat in four years.
Wang said that he bought shares in three companies, and that the stock prices of the three have decreased.
"If I can get my investment back, I'll never put money into the A-share market again," he said.