The Advisor Institute: Coach's Corner
What a difference a pandemic makes

Practical messages intended to help you elevate the success of your practice.

The views expressed in these posts are those of the authors and are current only through the date stated. These views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions, and Eaton Vance disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views may not be relied upon as investment advice and, because investment decisions for Eaton Vance are based on many factors, may not be relied upon as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any Eaton Vance fund. The discussion herein is general in nature and is provided for informational purposes only. There is no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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      By David GordonDirector, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

      A survey released late last year revealed some unexpected findings about the appeal of "impact investing" (also called responsible, sustainable and ESG investing) before and after the global pandemic shut down economies around the world. For millennials (ages 18-35), the appeal of impact investing went from 72% in 2019 to 60% in 2020, while the appeal remained unchanged for Gen Xers (ages 36 to 51) at 64% and baby boomers (ages 52 to 70) at 46%.

      Why might 2019's most interested demographic feel differently just one year later? We could speculate on several possible contributing factors, such as the broad economic impact of the pandemic may have shifted millennials' focus away from investing generally and toward saving. However, for advisors, the specific reasons for the drop may be less important than this takeaway: Perceptions and priorities can change during times of uncertainty.

      Consider checking in with clients and prospective clients of all ages and generations and asking open-ended questions, such as:

      • How have your investment priorities changed in the past year?
      • What adjustments are you making to your life plans?
      • What keeps you up at night?

      Bottom line: As clients' perceptions and priorities shift, show them how their investments can evolve to better reflect their changing goals and values.