Ethical considerations less important than returns and fees

Australian millennials care more about fees and long-term returns than ethical considerations, according to a Calastone report.

The report found only 37% of millennials surveyed found investment in ethical funds, causes and products to be important – this was the least-important factor for them when choosing an investment fund.

This was compared to 60% who had long-term returns as the most important factor, followed by fees and expenses at 59%, and fund/firm/institution reputation at 58%.

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Source: Calastone

However, Australians were not alone in their priorities as respondents in the UK, US, France, Germany and Hong Kong felt the same when it came to ethical considerations.

The report said this was a surprise outcome given the fact that the generation was generally labelled as being behaviourally led by their support for social, ethical, and governance issues.

Calastone said another surprising outcome was that millennials preferred to speak with an expert in person prior to allocating capital, as well as prioritising online and app capabilities, “highlighting the need for asset managers to provide omnichannel services”.

Calastone managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Ross Fox, said: “This study shows a generation of investors who are clearly outcomes focused and demand greater transparency, accountability and engagement than comparatively wealthier generations before them.

“Managers who can tailor product offerings, diversify direct engagement channels, demonstrate their value and maintain transparent investor communication will be the winners in attracting and retaining capital from this maturing millennial market.”

While 71% of Australian millennials were saving, only 10% were invested in funds with 76% planning to invest in the future. However, of the ones that already invested in a fund, they had an average investment value of $63,850 which was higher than the global average of $44,500.




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