A new sustainable investing study conducted by Mackenzie Investments to mark Earth Day has revealed that the global pandemic has contributed to an increased interest in sustainable investing among Canadians.
A majority of respondents (55 per cent) indicated that, as a result of COVID, they are now more likely to consider how their investing decisions can make a positive impact on society. Further, 69 per cent reported that they feel it is increasingly important to invest in a sustainable manner.
The study also identified the top issues Canadians who currently hold sustainable investments will be supporting moving forward. These include:
- climate change/environment (66 per cent);
- human rights (50 per cent); and
- gender diversity/equality (41 per cent).
Of the almost one-third of Canadian investors who currently invest sustainably, 69 per cent plan to increase their holdings within two years. Moreover, one-third of investors who don’t currently hold any sustainable funds plan on adding them to their portfolios within the next few years.
“It’s encouraging that sustainable investing is gaining significant traction among Canadians,” said Fate Saghir, SVP & Head of Sustainable Investing, Mackenzie Investments. “Though it shouldn’t come as a big surprise – Canadians tend to be very aware of the world around them and the impact we have on our society.”
“For those unsure how to get started, it’s important to share your personal priorities with your advisor, understand the investment objectives of the funds you’re investing in and ensure that you research the top holdings in your funds and portfolios. That way, you can align your investments with your values and your financial future,” she added.
Barriers to Increased Adoption
The study found that one of the barriers to increased sustainable investing adoption among Canadians is the view (40 per cent) that it will lead to lower returns.
Ms. Saghir noted that this concern is unfounded and referenced a recent Morningstar study which found that the majority of sustainable funds (64 of 87) that were ranked and rated by Morningstar outperformed their category peers on a risk-adjusted basis after fees for the 2020 calendar year.
Mackenzie’s approach to sustainable investing provides Canadians with the opportunity to invest with impact through funds that are designed to generate long-term competitive returns while supporting positive ESG outcomes. The firm aims to build sustainability into its culture, corporate practices, and every investment decision it makes and has signaled the importance of sustainability by identifying it as a key strategic priority for the overall business.