Millennials Are Coming and They Want Sustainable Investments

Oct 26, 2016 11:55 AM ET

Originally posted on Bloomberg

"Everyone is always so curious about millennials,” says Audrey Choi, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing. “Especially in this space.”

So when her firm surveyed 800 individual investors about sustainable investing in a late-2014 poll, it included a sample of 200 millennials—a cohort of young people now aged about 20 to 34. One of the things that emerged, Choi says, is that millennials really are different from other generations. They’re almost three times more likely to choose a job because of sustainability considerations. “They want to work in a place they feel is going to have a positive impact on the world,” she says. They’re also twice as likely to make product purchases based on sustainability criteria.

Choi says the study found that about 84 percent of millennials were interested in sustainable investing. “Really significantly, they’re also twice as likely to invest in a stock or a fund if sustainability is part of the value-creation thesis,” Choi, 49, says in an interview at Morgan Stanley’s New York headquarters. That’s only going to become more prevalent over time, she adds. “If you look at the trends of transfer of wealth to women and millennials, it’s very striking.”

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