Survey finds advisors aren’t doing enough for clients interested in RI

By Maddie Johnson | October 30, 2019 | Last updated on October 30, 2019
2 min read

Many advisors are falling short when it comes to educating clients about responsible investing (RI) options, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).

The 2019 RIA Investor Opinion Survey once again found that the vast majority of investors (79%) want their financial services providers to inform them of RI options, but only 23% said their advisor had asked if they were interested in RI.

And, while investor interest in RI has grown significantly — to 72% in 2019, up from 60% in 2018 — only 26% of respondents said they currently own responsible investments.

“[Investors] want their financial advisors and institutions to inform them about investments that are aligned with their values, but so far those conversations are happening infrequently,” the RIA said in its report. “It isn’t surprising, then, to see that RI ownership among individual investors is relatively low.”

Young investors leading the charge

The RIA found that women and young investors were more likely to be interested in RI, including a “staggering” 81% of investors aged 18-34. Young investors were also more likely to own RI investments (36%, compared to 15% of respondents 55 and older).

University graduates and respondents with children were both more interested in and knowledgeable of RI than those without a university degree and those without children. 

People who were most interested in and knowledgeable of RI were also the most likely to be asked about RI by their advisors. For instance, the survey found that 34% of people aged 18-34 had been asked by their advisor about RI, compared to just 14% of respondents aged 55 and up.

Reducing plastic in portfolios

The survey also highlighted a topic that has garnered recent media attention: the waste generated by single-use plastics. 

An overwhelming majority of respondents (89%) said they were either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the environmental and financial implications of single-use plastic waste, and 82% said they believe it’s important for companies in their investment portfolios to reduce plastic waste.

Three quarters of respondents said they would like to invest in solutions to reduce plastic waste, and 70% said they believe companies that reduce plastic waste from their products and packaging will be better long-term investments. 

The 2019 RIA Investor Opinion Survey is based on findings from an online Ipsos poll of 1,004 individual investors in Canada conducted from Sept. 16-20, 2019. Read the full report.

Maddie Johnson headshot

Maddie Johnson

Maddie is a freelance writer and editor who has been reporting for since 2019.