Three quarters of investors seek investments with impact

A worldwide survey conducted by Natixis Global Asset Management has revealed that around three in four, or 73 per cent, Singaporean investors consider investing in companies based on their social impact.

According to the research, based on the company's 2017 Individual Investor Survey,, 84 per cent of investors review their financial choices by their environmental, social and governance impact, while around 73 per cent stated that doing social good is important.

The results from the firm's research were higher for Singaporeans than those around the rest of the globe, with the worldwide average suggesting that 72 per cent of investors were swayed by good environmental records compared to 75 per cent in Singapore. However, the minute difference between the two suggests that it's not just Singaporean investors who are looking for investment opportunities that adhere to the green economy and sustainable infrastructure.

Commenting on the study, Madeline Ho, executive managing director and head of Wholesale Fund Distribution, Asia Pacific at Natixis Global Asset Management, said: "The findings suggest that while returns still matter to investors, social justice has also risen to become an influential aspect of modern consciousness."

Despite the positive view of impact investing suggested by the study's results, the Natixis survey also revealed that many investors are still more focused on the safety of their financial performance than on taking advantage of the right opportunities.

While 72 per cent of investors feel secure in the current financial and economic climate and 68 per cent are comfortable taking risks in order to get ahead with their investing, 83 per cent would still choose safety over performance.

Around 52 per cent of the survey's respondents indicated that this could be due to their concerns over market volatility, which means many of them are more likely to avoid potentially lucrative impact investments to prevent undermining their ability to reach their savings and retirement goals.

Commenting on this finding, David Goodsell, executive director of Natixis's Durable Portfolio Construction Research Centre, said in a statement: "Despite historically low volatility, investors still worry it will undermine their financial goals."

"After an eight-year bull market, investors still define risk as a loss of assets rather than missing out on opportunity," he added. "And despite very high hopes for returns, they say they want safety over investment performance. Investors clearly need a financial professional to help them reconcile these conflicts and achieve their goals."

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