Women lead cautious consumer interest in ‘ethical’ investing
18 October 2018; Independent financial advice site BoringMoney.co.uk shares new insight into the British public’s sentiment around the ethical investing trend in the inaugural Boring Money Ethical Investing Report.
According to data from Boringmoney.co.uk:
- General awareness is low - 36% of the public have heard of ethical investing
- Only 2% of people are aware of ESG (Environmental Social Governance) investing, which refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a company or business
- Women are more interested in ethical investing than men – 32% say it is very or extremely important to them compared to 14% of men
- Uptake mirrors the research - data from today’s robo advisers offering ethical portfolios confirms a substantially higher proportion of women choose the ethical choice than the standard options
When analysing the verbatims of over 1,000 consumers, Boring Money found that their open-ended responses indicated a general belief that ethical investing is about blacklisting and negative screening companies, rather than positive screening.
Holly Mackay, CEO of Boring Money, comments “The idea of avoiding certain sectors makes many people uncomfortable, as it is nuanced and rarely as simple as one thing being ‘good’ and another being ‘bad’. We do not like the idea of having someone else’s moral code shoved down our throats”.
Arms and weapons, tobacco and gambling were consistently called out as sectors to avoid. Over 60% of current investors expressed a desire to avoid these. Other sectors were more controversial.
However, if the idea is turned around and people are introduced to the idea of using their money to support positive change (rather than to withhold it from ‘bad’ sectors), this is a universally more popular approach. Healthcare, green energy and sustainable agriculture are the three biggest areas where people would like their money to be put to positive use.
In general, the idea of ethical or impact investing is more appealing to both female investors and female savers. 61% of women agreed with the statement that they would want their money to be used for positive impact.
Ms Mackay said of this finding, “It is striking that women consistently report finding the concept of impact investing more appealing than men. Across the board, those who don’t find the concept appealing generally report a concern about supposed poor returns – there are still assumptions that putting your money to good use inevitably involves poorer returns. If the industry can tackle these concerns, and take more time to evidence the impact that investors’ money is actually having, we note a significant interest in impact investing which could introduce a new type of customer to the investment markets.”
To find out more about the Boring Money Ethical Investing Report visit
Notes to Editors:
The Boring Money Annual Conference is now in its third year. Held at London’s South Bank on Wednesday September 26th, the event focuses on communication and how the investment industry can engage its customers better. With particular focus on the issues of risk, trust, data and value, the Boring Money Annual Conference combines talks, interviews, and panel debates with market leaders (from both within and outside of the industry) to highlight the best practices, opportunities and change within the sector.
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Cara Whitehouse, Boring Money
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About Boring Money:
www.boringmoney.co.uk is an independent research and content business which provides information, tips and Best Buys to consumers. The business conducts regular research with industry providers and consumers and looks at the developing DIY investment market from both the customer and provider perspective. Boring Money holds test accounts with over 25 providers and also holds regular focus groups and interviews with consumers to ensure regular input and feedback from the user perspective.
Founder Holly Mackay has worked in the investment industry for 19 years and is supported by a team of 10 researchers, analysts and marketing execs. www.boringmoney.co.uk is not regulated to give personal financial advice, nor is it regulated by the industry watchdog.