Sustainable investment strategies are still considered a niche by most financial advisors, but there are signs that they are becoming more comfortable with the idea.
According to our annual socially responsible investment survey, 96% of advisors say they are either familiar or very familiar with socially responsible investing. That’s up a fraction from previous years, when less than 90% said the same thing. Almost seven in 10 (67%) said they either offer (50%) or plan to offer (17%) sustainable investing solutions to their clients. Only 10% said they had no plans to do so.
And of those who don’t offer the strategies, it is clear what is holding them back: a perception that performance would suffer. Seven in 10 (70%) advisors who don’t offer the strategies said they would if a case could be made that performance would not suffer because of it.
More strikingly, close to 50% of advisors say their clients have expressed concern or interest in their portfolio companies’ impact on the environment or society, regardless of the advisors’ position on SRI investing.
Our survey was fielded just as the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to be felt, and given the only slightly improved numbers from previous years in favor of SRI, it remains to be seen if the current health crisis pushes more advisors to increase their use of the investing strategies.