In Focus: Intergenerational Wealth  

How generational investment aspirations have shifted

  • To understand how Covid-19 has shaped younger people's investment plans
  • To be able to explain the risks and opportunities of investing sustainably
  • To be able to ascertain the priorities of younger investors

“Based on the increased traffic around London, more people than ever seem to be using cars instead of public transport. And the sale of used cars nationwide is at the highest level in several years.”

There is, however, light at the end of this particular tunnel.

He adds: “Fortunately, investors are more engaged than ever. I can see investing sustainably becoming the norm during the 2020s. And investing responsibly is something that sounds right to everyone.”

The growing appetite for sustainable and responsible investment strategies can be attributed to a greater concern for social impact and awareness attributes in general.

According to Tim Morris: “There appears to be a shift from wanting to work for companies with the biggest salaries to those that have the interests of staff, social and environmental issues at the heart of what they do.”

Equality of wealth

However, while it might have focused more people’s attention on the environment, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated concerns over the equality of intergenerational wealth.

This is another facet that advisers will need to consider when conducting intergenerational wealth planning.

Kate Rogers, head of sustainability and co-head of charities at Cazenove Capital, comments: “Sadly, Covid-19 also has amplified existing inequalities - by wealth, gender and race; with the resulting political and social movements showing the appetite for change.”

“Many people are demanding we use this pause to re-evaluate and ‘build back better’.”

Lily Morris, sustainability manager at Scottish Widows, agrees there has been a growth in the appetite for sustainable and responsible investment products, which she says is "part of the shift in priorities many of us have experienced as a result of the pandemic".

She explains: "We have made previously unimaginable changes to our lives in the past 18 months, so suddenly the systemic changes required to reach 'net zero' seem less impossible than they did before.

"At the same time, many of us changed our consumer behaviour, rewarding companies operating responsibly and spending more on locally or sustainably-produced items."

With all this having come after 18 months of campaigning by Greta Thunberg and her Fridays for Future movement, it’s not a surprise that this increased awareness of sustainability issues has found itself reflected in investment decisions.

According to Rogers, this rising social consciousness has been “powerfully combined” with an increasing urgency to tackle the climate and ecological crisis.  

She says: “Many investors are now asking how they can be part of the solution - investing in businesses that can accelerate the transition to a sustainable and fairer economic system, and avoiding harm.”