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Health Care Is Impact Investors' Top Cause: Survey

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The millennial generation has oft been cited as leading the trend of impact investing.

For that reason, American Century Investments sought to learn more about millennials’ opinions on impact investing – which it defines as “investing in companies, organizations and funds that have a beneficial impact on society, while also providing a financial return to investors.”

American Century Investments conducted an online survey with 1,028 adults to better understand millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers’ investment habits and their interest in impact investing.

According to that survey, millennials are significantly more likely to be familiar with the concept of impact investing. The survey reports that 29% of the millennials surveyed said they were familiar with the concept, compared with 19% of Gen Xers and 14% of baby boomers.

Impact investments also appeal to more millennials, half (51%) compared with two in five (37%) Gen Xers and one in three (32%) baby boomers.

When considering their investments, more millennials said they believe an investment’s impact on society is important. According to the survey, 54% of the millennials surveyed believe this, compared with 37% of Gen Xers and 34% of baby boomers.

The survey finds that the causes that matter most across all age groups involve health care.

According to the survey, one in three millennials (31%) said health care, including disease prevention and cures, is the cause that matters most to them if they were to make an impact investment.

American Century also has a deep-seated interest and history in impact investing.

Part of American Century’s impact mission supports research dedicated to eliminating life-threatening diseases, such as cancer.

American Century’s late founder James Stowers, Jr. and his wife, Virginia, transferred their equity ownership stake in American Century to the endowment supporting the Stowers Institute, which has resulted in more than 40% of the global asset management firm’s annual dividends being directed toward medical research.

Since 2000, nearly $1.3 billion in dividends have been distributed to the Institute. 

American Century defines millennials as those age 18 to 35; Gen Xers as those age 36 to 51; and baby boomers those age 52 to 70.

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