Eye-opening new research from impact investing platform Swell Investing reveals that nearly 4 in 5 (78 percent) millennials who have some type of investment are currently investing in socially responsible options—companies that are creating positive change in the world and have strong environmental and workforce policies—or plan to in the future.
While intention around investing in socially responsible and impact investing options is high among younger investors, many have not yet taken action. More than half (54 percent) of millennial investors say they aren’t currently investing in socially responsible and impact investment options but plan to in the future.
The firm’s new Money Meets Morals Study, conducted online by Harris Poll, found that nearly half (49 percent) of millennials who have investments aren’t able to name the top three companies in their investment portfolios. Millennial investors were also more likely than Gen X (aged 37-52) investors to be skeptical of socially responsible and impact investments with 27 percent saying that they were concerned that their money isn’t really backing positive companies when investing, compared to only 18 percent of Gen X investors.
Launched in May of 2017, Swell is an impact investing platform providing an opportunity for nearly anyone to invest in companies that are poised to drive returns by providing innovative solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.
“We find that younger generations have a strong desire to use their dollars to improve the world as well as gain a financial return when it comes to investing,” said Dave Fanger, CEO of Swell Investing, in a news release. “For some, transparency is a barrier. This is a generation that is deeply curious. They’re highly interested in socially responsible and impact investing, but education around the companies they are invested in is key.”
Many investors are in need of more education around socially responsible and impact investments. Nearly two in five (19 percent) millennial investors say they don’t understand these types of investments, while investors of all age groups (34 percent) expressed concerns that returns from socially responsible and impact investments aren’t as high when compared with other investments. This concern comes despite extensive research finding that companies with positive policies around their workforce and the environment tend to deliver higher returns to investors when compared to the broad market, such as an index like the Russell 3000.
To address misconceptions around impact investing, Swell Investing recently launched a Guide to Impact Investing, which answers questions around what impact investing is, how it can drive returns and how impact investing differs from other types of socially responsible investments.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Swell Investing from October 9-11, 2017 among 2,207 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among them 436 Millennials aged 18-36, among whom 235 have investments. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.