- Individual investors are expressing increased interest in environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, investments.
- ESG assets held by individual investors increased by 50% from 2018 to 2020.
- Evaluating those potential investments is key. Here's where to get started.
A member of a rescue team walks a flooded street in Laplace, Louisiana, after Hurricane Ida made landfall on Aug. 30, 2021.Marco Bello | Reuters
From Hurricane Ida to California wildfires, experts are pointing to signs of climate change.
Research shows individual investors are taking notice.
A recent survey conducted by professional services company Accenture found that 59% of investors who are working with financial advisors have asked them about ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) or socially responsible investments.
Moreover, 84% of investors who made those inquiries planned to put their money in those kinds of investments in the next year.
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Most U.S. investing that takes ESG into account is done by institutional investors, such as pensions, insurance funds and educational institutions. But individual investing in ESG-type investments is growing, according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, or US SIF, a non-profit company that tracks the sustainable and impact sector.
ESG assets held by individual investors increased by 50% from 2018 to 2020, to $4.6 trillion from $3 trillion.
"Climate, for most people, is something they more easily see a link to in the investment process," said Lisa Woll, CEO at US SIF.
Other issues — particularly increased interest in racial justice — are also drawing more interest from investors, she said.