The Daily Brief
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Younger Generations Have Different ESG Priorities

A recent survey suggests that advisors should pay close attention to the values of their clients when making ESG recommendations.

For advisors in the midst of a wealth transfer, it’s worth the effort to ensure the recipients of wealth are invested in the opportunities they see as most valuable, a new survey by TD Ameritrade indicates. Forty-five percent of investors overall consider socially responsible investing important, but generations differ on what factors they prioritize.

Younger investors, for example, cited positive environmental impacts and philanthropic goals to be more fulfilling than boomers, according to the survey results. Just 15 percent of boomers ranked the environment as the value most important to them, compared to 24 percent of millennials. Only 3 percent of boomers ranked philanthropy as the most important environmental, social and governance factor, compared to 7 percent of millennials.

On the other hand, 18 percent of boomers ranked human rights as most important, while 13 percent ranked religious beliefs and 14 percent ranked diversity. Meanwhile, 13 percent of millennials said human rights were top priority; just 7 percent said religious beliefs, and 9 percent cited diversity.

There’s also a difference in values given an investor’s gender. Across generations, women found human rights to be a more compelling ESG investment than men, with 21 percent of women and 16 percent of men ranking the value as top priority. There was an even bigger gap when looking at ESG investments supporting gender equality, with 7 percent of women ranking it top priority, compared to just 2 percent of men. For their part, men tended to favor diversity, with 15 percent of male respondents ranking it most important, compared to 9 percent of women.

TD Ameritrade recently launched several ESG portfolios on its automated investing platform. 

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