The decade of 2020s will be hugely significant in investing, as we witness the greatest wealth transfer in the Western world. In the U.S., the baby boomers, which own about 60% of wealth, will mostly be moving into their 70s, and therefore passing their assets to the next generation, or the Millennial generation.
At the same time, we are confronted by the goal to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by end of the decade. The 17 SDGs are an ambitious agenda set by the United Nations (UN), which include eradication of poverty and attainment of gender equality. To achieve the SDGs, the UN estimates that an additional $2.5 trillion per year will be required. We already see next generation investors stepping into impact investing, looking not only at financial returns but also social and environmental returns, to plug this gap.
With the next generation controlling more and more wealth, 2020s could well be the decade for impact investing to go mainstream. In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Karam Hinduja, a next generation impact investor, shares his predictions on impact investing for the decade. At 29 years old, he is a member of the fourth generation of the Hinduja family, listed on Forbes as the third richest in India.
“In face of the many challenging issues confronting the world, we are seeing a disconnect between intention and action. I believe that it is time for business to take a step up, and at the same time, our generation wants to find meaning and purpose in the work we do,” says Hinduja. Looking ahead to 2020, he feels that it is the perfect time to create a new normal. “
2020 is significant because it is a new decade. 2020 also refers to perfect vision. This sentiment will have a great effect on impact investing.”
Karam Hinduja has already started investing in businesses, such as Hungry, which provides jobs to chefs in the gig economy, Combate Americas, which empowers the Latino community in the U.S., and Karma, a media company targeting impact investors. Looking ahead to the 2020s, he expects his activities in impact investing to accelerate. Looking across the field, he predicts three key movements in 2020s which will bring impact investing to the mainstream:
1. The pressure from consumers
“Already, Millennials and Gen Z are inherently conscious about their consumption habits, where they buy from and what it all stands for,” says Hinduja. This trend is already leading to some companies, particularly in the consumer goods industry, to embrace initiatives such as Fair Trade, Ethical Fashion Initiative and Fashion Revolution. But he predicts that more companies will be affected: “Companies in the utilities and core services industries have traditionally been able to hide behind the stickiness they have with consumers, but they will also come under pressure to focus on social impact as consumers become more aware and have more choices.”