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Global investors expect sustainable investments to outperform

To be young, wealthy and outside the U.S… means to dig sustainable investing.

A new UBS survey of 5,300 investors in 10 global markets shows that the majority of investors surveyed in China, Brazil and the UAE expect outperformance from sustainable investments. Not surprisingly, they are more likely to say they own sustainable investments than investors in the U.K. or the U.S., where just 27% and 19% of investors, respectively expect sustainable investments to outperform.

“Sustainable investments benefit the investor and bring positive influence on the society,” one Chinese investor in his mid-thirties told UBS. “They help optimize an investment portfolio.” Some other tidbits:

  • The abstainers: Nearly three-quarters of investors not yet making sustainable investments say it’s hard to know the impact of investments. A full 60% say they’ve never been offered a sustainable investment. (UBS included negatively screened and ESG investments as well as impact investing under the umbrella of sustainable investing).
  • The levers: Financial advisors, more so than family and friends, influenced nine in 10 sustainable investors to make their first bet.
  • The young and wealthy… Investors between 18 and 34 and those with more than $50 million in assets say more than half of their wealth in invested sustainably. Both groups are bullish on sustainable investment returns.

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