Survey Finds 55% of U.S. Investors Not Familiar with Social Investment

More than half of American investors are clueless about the concept of “Social Investment,” a new study released by Newton Investment Management, a subsidiary of BNY Mellon Investment Management, revealed

The survey of more than 1,000 American investors age 18 or older with at least $40,000 in investible assets in late 2018 found that 55% of people are not familiar with social investing, which is a term referring to investments with economic, social, and environmental goals other than making money. These objectives may include addressing climate change, improving the inclusion of women on corporate boards, avoiding “sin” stocks.

While the majority of demographic variables are not reliable predictors of investor’s interest in social investment, the study showed that age and household savings are essential factors. Nearly two thirds (69%) of Millennials, which the study refers to adults 39 or younger, have shown interest in this kind of investment compared with only 21% of Baby Boomers, defined in the survey as Americans over 50.

Meanwhile, households with higher savings are interested in social investing. Around half (49%) of households with $500,000 to $1.5 million in savings have shown interest in this investment type compared with only 38% of households with less than $499,000 in savings.

Julian Lyne, the Chief Commercial Officer of Newton Investment Management said this research offers valuable and measurable insight on the attitudes of investors towards all types of socially responsible investments.

This study also highlights the significance of asset managers with expertise in this kind of investment which will help investors connect their investment outcomes with social interests. To do so, he stressed the need to have a tailored approach in educating and helping to improve investors’ engagement in social investment, Lyne added.

Oxford Risk created Newton Investment Management’s Social Investment research study while Research Now fielded it.