Financial Advisers Responsive to Impact Investing Demand – Survey
4 November 2015 at 10:29 am
A United States survey has found that two out of five financial advisors said they are already offering impact investing to their clients.
It also found that millennials, women, and college-educated investors are the top three groups driving the availability of impact investing choices.
Some 39 per cent of surveyed financial professionals say they are offering impact investment choices to clients and another 15 per cent plan to do so in the near future, according to ?the recent US SRI Conference Survey on the Views of Financial Professionals.
The survey is based on 508 responses to an online survey of financial professionals not usually identified as SRI practitioners. The survey was conducted between September and October 2015.
Nearly two thirds of survey financial advisors claim to be ?very aware? (35 per cent) or ?somewhat aware? (29 per cent) of impact investing. However, one out of five could not define ?impact investing? and there was little consensus among the rest on specific definitions, with more than a third (38 per cent) opting for ?all of the above? on what impact investing means.
One common definition of ?impact investing? is that it seeks to achieve environmental or social change while generating a return for an investor.
Over half (51 per cent) of surveyed financial advisors say ?impact investing likely will become a bigger focus for more financial advisors in the next five years.? An even greater percentage, ?73 per cent,? see impact investing becoming a ?much bigger? or ?somewhat bigger? part of their practice in the same time period.
When asked where the demand for impact investing will come from, survey respondents picked millennials, women, and college-educated investors as the top three groups driving demand.
“?The survey’?s findings show that the financial world is adjusting quickly to accommodate retail investor demand for impact investing,” First Affirmative Financial Network President, Steve Schueth, said.
“It is encouraging to see so many so-called ?mainstream? financial advisors embrace the notion that their clients can do well and do good at the same time.
“Only a few years ago investing for impact was the exclusive province of investment professionals who specialized in SRI? Sustainable, Responsible, Impact investing.
Schueth said the reason for this encouraging trend is clear.
“A new generation of millennials, women, and college-educated investors are demanding positively impactful investment strategies,” he said.
The survey also looked at the factors keeping financial advisers from getting involved in impact investing, and some 77 per cent said a lack of information or familiarity.