Women are significantly more likely than men to invest in socially responsible financial products, according to a survey of 1,150 investors conducted by Millionaire Corner in February.
Roughly 43 percent of women say they are “very likely” or “likely” to make socially responsible investments, compared to roughly 27 percent of the men, according to our survey results, which indicate that women are more eager to participate in a growing trend to steer assets towards investments designed to make the world a better place.
Investment in socially responsible financial products topped $3 trillion at the start of 2010, a nearly five-fold increase from 1995, according to the US SIF, a professional association to advance socially responsible investing.
Socially responsible investment opportunities include exchange-traded funds, community development banks, hedge funds, private equity funds and social venture capital and mutual funds. Socially responsible mutual funds invest according to stated political, social, religious or ethical guidelines, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA. These objectives can be found in the fund prospectus and can range from banning companies that produce weapons, cigarettes or alcohol to investing in companies that have strong track record in human rights or workplace diversity, or work to end hunger and poverty.
“The whole idea of socially responsible investing is that you can grow your money by choosing investments that reflect your values and ideals,” according to the Financial Highway. “If you pride yourself in the values that you hold, choosing your investments based on those values can be a way for you to support worthy companies and causes while earning money.”
According to FINRA, “Many socially responsible funds also take an activist role in the companies where they invest by representing their shareholders' ethical concerns at meetings with company management.”
The appeal of socially responsible investments appears to wane as wealth increases. Less than 30 percent of millionaires say they are “likely” or “very likely” to make socially responsible investments, according to our February survey. Investors with less than $100,000 to invest express a much high interest in socially responsible investments. More than 44 percent say they are interested in the products.
Socially responsible investing has the greatest following among investors age 40 and younger. Almost half say they are “likely” or “very likely” to invest in socially responsible financial products. By the time investors reach their 60s, only one-fourth of them are likely to consider a socially responsible investment, according to our research.