In focus

Hong Kong’s Gen Xers care more about sustainability than millennials

Hong Kong’s Generation X (age 38 to 50) – appeared to be more motivated to invest sustainably than millennials, according to the findings of Schroders Global Investor Study (GIS), which measured the views of over 25,000 investors, including 500 investors from Hong Kong.

New research found 63% of Hong Kong Generation X investors always consider sustainability factors when selecting an investment product, compared with 49% of millennials, who are 18 to 37 years old. In addition, almost half (48%) of Hong Kong Baby Boomers (51 to 70 years old) said they always consider sustainability factors. The average for Hong Kong investors was 53%.

Can my investments make an impact?

Overall, slightly over half (52%) of Hong Kong investors believe that their investments can have a direct impact and significantly contribute to a more sustainable world.

By generations, Hong Kong Gen Xers again led the way. Over half (58%) of them believed their investments could have a direct impact, compared with 53% of millennials. It was 37% for Hong Kong Baby Boomers.

There was also significant demand for all investment funds to consider sustainability factors, commonly described as ESG – environmental, social and governance factors, not just those specifically designed as "sustainable investment funds".

Nearly two-thirds of Hong Kong Gen Xers (63%) agree all investment funds should consider sustainability factors, compared with 51% for millennials. Perhaps surprisingly, Baby Boomers (59%) wanted it more than millennials. The Hong Kong average was 56%.

The study also pointed to concern among Gen X about climate change. Almost two-thirds (63%) of Hong Kong Gen Xers feel that climate change is having, or will have, an impact on their investments. That’s more than millennials (50%) and Baby Boomers (43%). The Hong Kong average was 53%.

Why are Gen Xers bucking the trend?

The above trends on Hong Kong Gen Xers were consistent with our global findings.

Jessica Ground, Global Head of Stewardship at Schroders, said:  “It’s been impossible to miss the outcry about climate change from younger generations in the past year. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old campaigner, has led the charge on behalf of Generation Y, making headlines around the world for her protests.

“People might easily assume that it’s always the younger generations who are most concerned about investing sustainably. Our research challenges that assumption. Among investors, it is actually Generation X that now shows the most concern. Perhaps this is due to the publicity generated by Greta and others, with the parents of that generation taking note. Whatever the reason, there is a whole wave of people in their forties saving hard for their future and for their retirements. Fund managers who are investing on behalf of those investors should take note of their concerns and make sure their money is invested the way they want it to be.”

Visit to find out more about the Schroders Global Investor Study 2019.


*In April 2019, Schroders commissioned Research Plus to conduct an independent online survey of 25,743 investors around the globe. This research defines “investors” as those who will be investing at least €10,000 (or the equivalent) in the next 12 months and who have made changes to their investments within the last 10 years.

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