In general, women are more likely to invest in companies that make a clear statement regarding the social responsibility of the firm. However, high income women have unique opinions regarding the social responsibility of their investments and companies who tout socially responsible investments.
Spectrem’s e-zine High Income Women Investors examines investment strategies, attitudes and concerns of single women with an income of $200,000 or more and married women with a household income of $400,000 or more. The study compares their answers to questions about investments against the opinions of all other affluent investors.
Only 15 percent of high income women say they give no thought to the social responsibility of investments, compared to 40 percent of all other affluent investors. However, what they think about socially responsible investing is unique to that demographic.
Almost half of high income women (46 percent) do take social responsibility of investments into consideration when they make decisions related to their portfolio. That is much more than the 34 percent of all other affluent investors who do so.
However, 46 percent of high income women also think corporations should do all they can to generate a profit and let individuals use their investment returns for providing social change or investing directly in socially responsible organizations. The study does not say those two groups are mutually exclusive.
Only 27 percent of all other affluent investors agree that corporations should only be concerned with generating a profit.
The problem with socially responsible investing is knowing the invested funds are indeed going to organizations that provide assistance to groups that need it. A significantly high percentage of high income women - 77 percent – think most companies promoting “social responsibility” in their corporate behavior are doing so only for public relations without any real commitment to social concerns. Only 44 percent of all other affluent investors have that jaded point of view.
A Millionaire Corner survey of affluent investors with a net worth of $100,000 or more found that only 65 percent of investors knew what socially responsible investing meant. Of those that did know the meaning, 85 percent considered companies that are environmentally friendly are included, while 60 percent said investing in companies not involved in the production of tobacco is an example of socially responsible investing.
Similarly, 70 percent said socially responsible investing meant staying away from companies that manufacture products in countries where human rights are violated.