Does "Socially Responsible Investing" Mean Anything to You?


The unusual aspect of socially responsible investing is that while some people swear by it as a way to improve the world and make some money doing so, other investors don’t even know it is a consideration.

Spectrem’s newest Perspective, titled “Investor Perceptions of Socially Responsible and Impact Investing”, studies socially responsible investing and looks at investors who do it and investors who don’t do it. Reasons for both behaviors are wide-ranging, from investors who want to make things better for their children to investors who just want to concentrate on growing their portfolio.

But for a topic that can spark an argument, familiarity with the topic is not universal.

Investors were asked to rate their familiarity with the terms related to impact investing on a scale from “0”, indicating no familiarity, to “100”, indicating great familiarity. Overall, the familiarity with “socially responsible investing’’ was at 46.75, which is obviously below the midpoint. Familiarity with “impact investing” was much lower, at 28.94.

In general, the younger the investor, the more familiarity he has with socially responsible investing. Among investors under the age of 36, familiarity with “socially responsible investing” was at 47.42, and familiarity with “Impact investing” was at 35.76.

There was also a trend shown that the wealthier the investor, the more familiarity he has with socially responsible investing. Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million reported familiarity with “socially responsible investing” at 55.11, well above the average, while Mass Affluent investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million were at 42.24.

Familiarity with “impact investing’’ was much lower but followed the same trend. Males reported a greater familiarity with socially responsible investing than females, rating their familiarity at 49.27 to 42.37 for women. Familiarity with impact investing was at 31.22 for males to just 25.02 for females.


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