Schroders Global Investor Study 2020: UK millennials are more likely to stand by their personal beliefs than their global counterparts

UK millennials[1] are less likely to compromise their personal beliefs in order to benefit from potentially higher returns compared to their global counterparts, Schroders Global Investor Study 2020* has found.

This study of more than 23,000 people who invest from 32 locations globally revealed that in the UK, only 20% of millennials, who are often perceived to be more sustainability conscious, would compromise their personal beliefs if the returns were high enough. Globally however, 25% would be willing to be flexible with their values.

According to the UK results of the Global Investor Study, some 50% of Brits aged 71+, 23% of baby-boomers and 22% of those classed as Generation X would trade their personal beliefs for higher returns. 

In the UK almost a third (24%) of those who class themselves as having ‘expert/advanced’ investment knowledge are substantially more likely to trade their personal beliefs for better investment returns. compared with 18% of ‘beginner/rudimentary’ investors.

Reassuringly though, a total of 78% of Brits would not invest against their personal beliefs, and for those who would, the average return on their investment would need to be 21% to adequately offset any guilt.

In the last two years, the sustainable investing trend in the UK has increased, with 48% of people now frequently investing in sustainable investment funds compared with 34% in 2018, sending a positive market signal that sustainable investing is entering the mainstream.

Doug Abbott, Head of UK Intermediary, Schroders, said:

“It is clear that a significant majority of UK investors expect their investments to align to their personal beliefs and continue to express interest in sustainable investing. We expect to see continued growth in allocations to sustainable investment products.

 “We also recognise the vital need for clear and consistent communication, with 92% of UK survey respondents requiring more information to reassure them of the sustainability of their investments.”

Overall, 40% of UK investors did state that investing sustainably was likely to lead to higher returns. Some 51% said they were attracted to investing sustainably due to its wider environmental impact.

Globally, expert or advanced investors are the most likely to think sustainable investments have the most potential to offer higher returns (44%) and the least likely to think investing this way will ultimately disappoint (9%).

Opinion was split among investors globally in terms of how asset managers should address challenges that arise from the fossil fuel industry. Just over a third (36%) said managers should withdraw investment from companies in these industries to limit their ability to grow. However, over a quarter (27%) said managers should remain invested to drive change.

Furthermore, investors said that the top three ‘behaviours’ companies should be most focused on were their social responsibility, attention to environmental issues and the treatment of their staff.

To find out more about Schroders Global Investor Study 2020 and read the full report, please click here.

 *In April 2020, Schroders commissioned an independent online survey of over 23,000 people who invest from 32 locations around the globe. This spanned countries across Europe, Asia, the Americas and more. This research defines people 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.

[1] People aged 18-37