Millennials and Gen Xers are less likely to define socially responsible investing as not investing in companies or investments that manufacture or promote pornography, tobacco, gambling, or alcohol.
Affluent Millennials and Gen Xers under 40 are more likely than previous generations to define socially responsible investing in association with antiwar and animal rights attitudes, according to a new survey conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
Just over one-third of this age group surveyed (34 percent) define socially responsible investing as not investing in companies that manufacture or promote military weapons or services, compared with 30 percent of affluent respondents overall.
Almost four-in-ten (39 percent) would take care not to invest in companies or investments that use animals in testing their products. This is of less concern to their older cohorts. Similarly, 29 percent define socially responsible investing as not investing in companies that use animals in their end products. In comparison, 18 percent of affluent respondents have a similar attitude.
Millennials and Gen Xers under 40 are more likely than previous generations to prioritize using their wealth to help others (32 percent vs. 28 percent overall). In terms of socially responsible investing, they define it most as investing in environmentally friendly companies or investments (85 percent). Six-in-ten define it as investing in companies that support a specific social cause such as charitable giving or fair trade/fair wage as well as not investing in companies that manufacture products in countries with poor human rights records.
This age group is less likely to define socially responsible investing as not investing in so-called “sin stocks,” including companies or investments that manufacture or promote pornography, tobacco, gambling, or alcohol.
Socially responsible investing encompasses an estimated $3.07 trillion out of $25.2 trillion in the U.S. investment marketplace, according to US SIF, the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. These types of investments encourage corporations to improve their practices on environmental, social and governance issues.
Affluent Millennials and Gen Xers under 40 consider themselves savvy and perhaps skeptical shoppers and investors. For example, studies have shown they are more willing to eschew brand loyalty for a good deal. Thus, of those in this age group who express a lack of interest in socially responsible investing, nearly eight-in-ten (78 percent) state that their investment objectives are purely financial, while three-fourths feel that most companies claiming social responsibilty in their corporate behavior do so for public relations purposes.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.