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IFAs might be underestimating appetite for investments that balance growth and positive environmental impact

  • By Neil Martin
  • News

Almost half of British adults want their IFA to recommend products that balance growth and positive impact on the environment, compared with less than a quarter who seek growth regardless of how the money is invested.

This includes 51% of those aged 55 and over, rather more than millennials aged 18-24 (39%). What’s more, women are more likely than men to prioritise this balanced approach (55% v 42%).

Thus, financial advisers should not underestimate appetite for investment products that balance returns with positive impact on the environment, says new online research released today by Impax Environmental Markets, together with YouGov.

Those from potentially affluent backgrounds (ABC1) are also more likely to express a desire for their IFA to recommend a balanced approach (54%), and women are more likely to favour this than men (55% v 45% of males).

Meg Brown, a managing director at Impax, said: “The results of this survey clearly show us that interest in ‘impact’ isn’t the sole preserve of millennials. All age groups want investments that can offer both growth and positive impact. This isn’t a flash in the pan trend, it’s a seismic shift in the behavioural landscape.

“Any adviser who thinks impact isn’t of interest to their clients risks being left behind. Conversely, those who grasp the opportunity to discuss not only financial goals and risk

appetites, but also the impact that clients wish to make on the world, can steer clients through what is still a pretty difficult landscape to navigate, proving once again the value that they offer their clients.”

In recent years a number of commentators have accused some financial firms of ‘green washing’, suggesting that funds offer a ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ or ‘impact’ offering when they don’t.  The Investment Association launched a consultation earlier this year to improve definitions and offer labels that would make it easier for investors to understand what products in this space offer. The EU is expected to launch a ‘green’ labelling system for investment funds in 2019.

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