July 8 (UPI) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has not rattled too many socially responsible investors into being conservative with their money, a new survey showed Wednesday.
The poll by Gallup and Wells Fargo shows that sustainable investments, or transactions motivated by both financial and utilitarian or social interests, did not decline too steeply in the weeks that followed the start of the health crisis.
Before the pandemic, 52 percent of all investors expressed interest in sustainable investments. In the middle of May, several weeks into the crisis, that figure had fallen by only 6 percent.
"Sustainable investing, also known as socially responsible or social impact investing, refers to investing in companies or funds that are aligned with one's social or political values," Gallup noted.
"Even though the market has partially recovered, its sharp decline earlier this year could conceivably have weakened investors' interest in sustainable investing, forcing them to focus more on their investments' risk level and potential for growth than on societal goals. That does not seem to have happened.
"Investors showed nearly as much interest in May in the concept of sustainable investing as they did in February, when the market was soaring."
Democrats (67 percent), women (52 percent) and employed Americans (52 percent) are most likely to have an interest in sustainable investing, the survey showed. The corresponding figures were 23 percent for Republicans, 39 percent for men and 35 percent for retirees.
Researchers said the next survey on sustainable investing may show additional strength, due to ongoing racial and equality movements.
"It's possible that the greater national focus on racial injustice since May has further increased investors' general interest in socially responsible investing, as well as their specific interest in funds focused on racial justice."
Gallup polled nearly 1,100 investors for the survey, which has a margin of error of 5 points.