Generations X and Y take the lead among investors who want to “make money and make a difference.” Learn more about the growing trend.
Young millionaires are at the forefront of a growing trend toward socially responsible investments, a strategy that allows investors to make a profit while making a difference, according to a first quarter 2012 report from Millionaire Corner.
Half of Millionaires age 44 and younger say societal implications are an important investment selection factor, according to our latest quarterly study on the attitudes and behaviors of affluent investors. (Millionaires are defined as having a net worth of $1 million to $5 million, not including primary residence.)
Young Millionaires are more likely than their older peers to make socially responsible investments. About 40 percent of baby boomers and 30 percent of investors age 65 and older identify social responsibility to be a key investment criterion - data that indicate members of Generations X and Y are the most likely participants in an increasingly popular trend.
Investment in socially responsible products has increased nearly five-fold since 1995, according to data provided by US SIF – the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing –an industry association .
Socially responsible investments can include a range of products, from community development banks to socially responsible mutual funds that invest according to stated political, social, religious or ethical guidelines. Socially responsible mutual funds may ban companies that manufacture weapons, cigarettes or alcohol, while investing in companies that are committed to workplace diversity or ending hunger or poverty.
Socially responsible mutual funds may also take an activist role by raising ethical concerns at shareholder meetings, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA.
Younger investors are also more likely to select environmentally responsible investments, a special subgroup of the socially responsible investment category. More than 40 percent of investors age 40 and younger said they were “likely” or “very likely” to invest in environmentally responsible investments – a preference shared by 26 percent of investors age 60 and older, according to a monthly survey of 1,150 investors conducted by Millionaire Corner in February.
Environmentally responsible investment generally refers to investing in companies adhering to an environmental code of ethics or to mutual funds investing in such companies. Environmentally responsible companies work to recycle, reduce waste and safely dispose of waste. They may also strive to conserve energy, mitigate environmental damage and make sustainable use of natural resources.
The Center for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies – or CERES – maintains a growing list of companies that endorse environmentally responsible principles. The roster features many name brand companies, including Bank of America Corp., Ford Motor Co., and Walt Disney Co.