Shifting perspectives

Wealthy investors are reassessing their priorities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, preparing to give something back -- while also indulging themselves more.

As the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations accelerates and as more economies open up, 90% of wealthy investors agree that the pandemic has made them want to align their investments with their values, a survey by UBS Global Wealth Management (UBS GWM) found.

“Investors are motivated to play their part in making the world a better, more sustainable place. The heightened interest in charitable giving and desire to obtain sustainable investing advice from younger generations is a sign, too, that this mindset may be here to stay,” said Iqbal Khan, co-president of UBS GWM.

UBS surveyed 3,800 investors over 25 years old with at least $1m in investable assets during May 2021. The global sample was split across 15 markets: Argentina, Brazil, mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK and the US.

Almost 60% of investors, led by Asia, are more interested in sustainable investing than they were before the pandemic. Seven in 10 investors want to make more of a difference in the world, and 40% said they want to be part of something “bigger than themselves”.

The survey found that women and younger investors were most affected by the pandemic. Women were more likely than men, for example, to reassess their priorities, with 84% saying that they have reassessed their goals amid the pandemic, compared with 76% of men. As investors begin to put the pandemic behind them, 51% of women plan to increase charitable giving compared with 42% of men.

And by a huge margin, younger investors apparently value making a difference in the world than older generations, (79% compared with 51% of investors over 50 years old).

“The pandemic has prompted many investors to re-evaluate what matters most to them and now have a renewed desire to contribute more to benefit society,” said Tom Naratil, co-president of UBS GWM and president UBS Americas, in a statement.

Certainly, the pandemic seems to have prompted wealthy investors to take stock, with 79% of survey respondents feeling that it has made them reassess what is most important.

Spending more

However, their time in the wilderness has not led to entirely altruistic resolutions.

Many investors intend to make up for lost time, again especially those in Asia. Nearly six in 10 investors want to indulge in the things they missed while in isolation, with travel and entertainment topping the list of planned expenditures.

Now, half of investors plan to spend even more than they did before the pandemic.EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint