2017 RIA Investor Opinion Survey

A report from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA) shows that the vast majority of Canadian investors are interested in responsible investments (RI) that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and they would be more likely to choose responsible investments if their financial advisor suggested suitable RI options for them.

The report, sponsored by OceanRock Investments Inc., found that while 77% of investors are interested in RI, a staggering 73% know very little or nothing about it. These results highlight the “RI awareness gap” – a significant gap between investor interest vs knowledge about RI.

“A strong majority of investors told us that they are more likely to choose responsible investments if their advisor suggests suitable options or if their financial institution, credit union or online brokerage informed them about responsible investments,” said Deb Abbey, CEO of the RIA.

Investors also said they would be more likely to choose responsible investments if they were more confident in their performance.

“These findings show that investors need more information from their advisors about responsible investments, and that right now they are largely unaware that they perform just as well if not better than traditional Investments,” said Abbey. She added that this awareness gap presents an opportunity for client-facing financial professionals to improve their clients’ understanding of responsible investment.

The research also found that:

  • 82% of investors would like to dedicate a portion of their portfolio to RI.
  • 52% would like more than half of their portfolio allocated to RI.
  • 85% of Millennials aged 18-35, 80% of Generation X (36-54) and 69% of Baby Boomers (55+) are interested in RI.
  • 77% agree that companies with good ESG practices are better long-term investments.

The RIA research is based on an online survey of 1,084 Canadian investors conducted by Insights West from March 21 to March 30, 2017. Investors were defined as individuals who currently own investments such as mutual funds, exchange traded funds, stocks, bonds, or other securities.

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