The Next Wave of Socially Responsible Investors Has Arrived

The Swell Team
September 27, 2018
5 min read
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Swell Investing’s 2018 “Money Meets Morals” study finds that the vast majority of Gen Z investors aged 18-24 (84%) are either already invested in socially responsible or impact investments or plan to invest in the future. The study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Swell Investing and gathered insights from more than 2,000 US adults aged 18 and up, among whom over 1,400 have investments.

The vast majority of Gen Z and Millennial investors are currently invested in socially responsible or impact investments or plan to invest in the future
Socially Responsible Investing Interest Graph
More than half of Gen Z investors plan to invest in socially responsible or impact investments in the future
Investment Intentions Graph

“The next generation of investors grew up with a smartphone in hand and instant access to news and information. Events that happen thousands of miles away can be seen immediately in the palm of their hands, and they’ve never known anything different. This access developed in them a sense of responsibility and empathy that carries over to their financial lives.”
–Dave Fanger, CEO and Founder, Swell Investing

Younger generations voting with their dollars

For a majority of Gen Zers and Millennials, politics, environmental concerns and a sense of responsibility appear to drive their interest.

For nearly two in three Gen Zers and Millennials, the current political environment influences their interest in socially responsible investments
Political Investing Graph

The majority of Gen Zers and Millennials think that when someone builds wealth, they have a responsibility to make sure their investment choices support positive social and environmental outcomes.

Nearly three in four of all Gen Zers (72%) think that decisions made around investing can have a meaningful impact on climate change and the release of greenhouse gases
Investing by Environmental Concerns - Graph
For Gen Zer and Millennial investors, wealth building brings feelings of responsibility for supporting positive social and environmental outcomes.
Investment Responsibility Graph

Gen Z investors put impact in their portfolios

Nearly one in three of Gen Z investors (31%) said they would be willing to allocate 50% or more of their investment portfolio to socially responsible or impact investments, and one in four Millennial investors (25%) would do the same. This is compared to only 18% of Gen X investors and 11% of Boomer investors who said the same.

Nearly one in three Gen Z investors would allocate 50% or more to socially responsible investments
Portfolio Ratio Graph

Survey Method: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Swell Investing from September 6-10, 2018 among 2,026 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,413 have investments. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact [email protected].

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