Responsible investing is not a priority for a majority of Ultra High Net Worth investors, according to a wealth level study conducted by Spectrem Group.
There is less interest in these types of investments than there was five years ago, the study finds. On a scale of 100, with 0 equaling less interest and 100 signifying more interest, UHNW respondents ranked 44.25.
Generally speaking, using their wealth to help others is a concern of less than one-fourth (24 percent) of Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million (not including primary residence). It is more a priority for Mass Affluent investors (30 percent) and Millionaire investors (28 percent).
According to Spectrem research, the comparative lack of interest in socially responsible investing among the ultra wealthy is a result of a tight focus on financial objectives (76 percent), while almost half (46 percent) said that corporate claims of social responsibility are nothing more than public relations efforts.
Just over four-in-ten UHNW investors believe that corporations should do all they can to generate a profit and let individuals use their investment returns to enact social change if they wish. Thirty-eight percent of UHNW respondents said they have never given the issue much thought.
Younger UHNW investors, though, are more engaged with socially responsible investing than their older counterparts. More than one-third (35 percent) of UHNW investors under the age of 45 rank social responsibility as a primary investment selection factor, compared to just 19 percent of UHNW investors overall. The younger investors express more interest in these types of investments than they did five years ago, and were the only age group to break 50 on the 0-100 scale.
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.