Nearly a quarter of investors say the value of their investments has fallen by over 50 per cent since the beginning of the year as share prices have tumbled on stock markets in mainland China, according to an online survey. Nearly 42,000 people had taken part in the survey by Thursday launched by the financial channel of the Chinese news website Sina.com. Some 23.8 per cent of people polled said that they “had suffered a loss of over 50 per cent and dare not to check their accounts again” since the beginning of this year, while over 27 per cent said their investments had fallen by up to half in the same period. Some 26.3 per cent of the people polled said this year’s gains have been wiped out since the stock market slump started on June 13. Over 10 per cent said they remained in profit, but with gains made over this year pared back to less than 50 per cent. Only 6.6 per cent of the people polled said that they had made a profit of 100 per cent or more on their investments since the beginning of the year. About 5 per cent of those taking part in the survey said they had sold off their shares before the market plunged, a decision that helped them make gains of 50 per cent or more on their investments in 2015. Mainland stock markets have been on a bull run, since surging to a seven-year high on June 12. Before the market slump, Chinese retail investors were considered among the most optimistic in the world, according to a survey conducted in February and March. The survey, carried out in 23 countries by the US investment company Franklin Templeton, showed that 94 per cent of Chinese investors polled said they were confident of meeting their investment goals this year and 71 per cent said the prospects for the country’s main A-share market were rosy. More than 90 million mainlanders trade stocks, according to the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corp.