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In many cases, the biggest impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have been accelerations of existing societal trends rather than shifts in completely new directions. The surge in online shopping, for example, has added to a trend towards ecommerce that pre-dated the pandemic; so too the growth in moves to more flexible styles of working. A third example is the increased focus on investment with an environmental, social and governance (ESG) tilt – and that looks set to continue.

Flows into ESG funds were increasing rapidly well before Covid-19 came along – in the UK alone, the sector was attracting £124m of new investment a week last year according to data from Morningstar. And in a post-pandemic world, we can expect such figures to rise even higher.

For one thing, Covid-19 has prompted people to think about the way they live their lives and to question what is most important to them. But also, the pandemic has once again underlined how it is possible for investors to do well by doing good. For example, when stock markets plunged during March as investors began to appreciate the severity and scale of the Covid-19 pandemics, companies with good ESG ratings provided some protection: such stocks outperformed in 94% of cases.

In this context, research from Dianomi suggests there is a great deal of appetite amongst investors to read about stocks and to find out more about the broader ESG phenomenon.

There are some very obvious areas of interest. For instance, Dianomi’s data shows a massive increase in recent months in the consumption of online financial content offering coverage of healthcare and biotechnology. These sectors figure prominently in many ESG portfolios and are attracting huge interest in the context of their frontline role in the battle against Covid-19. In some months during the spring and summer, the number of investors consuming coverage of healthcare and biotech increased significantly, Dianomi’s data shows.

More broadly, however, Dianomi’s analysis also suggests investors are focusing determinedly on the way all companies behave for good or for bad. The most widely read ESG article online last month was MarketWatch’s coverage of S&P’s updated ESG scores for leading businesses, Twitter, Walmart, Equifax and others dropped by S&P from its ESG index, while Costco is newly included. Elsewhere, Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards 2020, focusing on the impact investments that have generated the greatest societal benefits alongside a financial return, was also widely consumed.

Other top-ranking articles underline the point. Investors are anxious that the businesses in which they invest do not lose sight of the importance of sustainability during these challenging times. As Reuters reported, Goldman Sachs has launched a council of traders, sales staff and others to share expertise on sustainable finance and investing, to meet demand from clients. Business Insider pointed out how consumer-facing businesses are now recognising that “sustainability sells”.

Clearly, investors are determined to examine their consciences in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic – to seek out opportunities to embrace social responsibility, both in an investment context, but also in the choices they make as consumers. Many are looking to build portfolios of stocks with high ESG ratings, or to identify funds that do the job for them, delivering strong returns from investments with which they feel ethically and morally comfortable.

For generators of online financial content – both in the media and the investment industry itself – supporting investors as they pursue these goals will be ever more important. Having decided they do not wish to return to business as usual, investors will be looking for practical advice on how to remain on track with their financial planning objectives while simultaneously embracing ESG styles and concepts.

Half of Investors Say Their Portfolios Took A 10-20% Hit and Believe It Will Take 12 Months to 2.5 Years to Regain Losses

New York, NY – June 16, 2020 – New research from Dianomi, the premium native advertising platform for the world’s best-known financial publishers and brands, reveals that a majority of approximately 8,300 investors surveyed expect to see a sustained stock market recovery — a U-shaped recovery rather than a more dramatic V-shaped resurgence –and anticipate a gradual return to growth in the wake of COVID-19. In addition, almost two-thirds of investors (64%) believe the bounce backs have come too quickly and 69% think there is more hardship on the horizon.

In addition, in a companion poll, Dianomi found that 51% of investors have lost between 10%-20% of their portfolios over the COVID-19 crisis and about half — 48% —  believe it will take 12 months to 2.5 years to regain portfolio losses.

“The only thing certain in this marketplace is that both private and institutional investors are uncertain about the future,” said Rupert Hodson, CEO and Co-Founder of Dianomi. “They’re demonstrating an appetite for financial news and seeking out information from established brands for reassurance and strategies for future proof investments.”

In the Dianomi survey, private and professional investors in the US and UK weighed in on their current sentiments and future outlook and strategies for navigating the financial markets in the COVID-19 climate. Key findings include:

  • US investors are significantly gloomier than their peers in the UK, and that private investors are noticeably more downbeat than the institutional investors.
  • Almost half (43%) of US private investors are risk-averse versus 23% who are seeking more aggressive investment opportunities. The reverse is true with professional investors, with 27% of professional investors citing aversion to risk and 39% seeking risk.
  • Amongst private investors in the US, only 22% regard equities as offering good value, while 37% of professional investors are now on the look-out for valuation opportunities.
  • Only 22% and 25% of UK and US investors respectively say they are more likely to seek out professional financial advice amid the current market volatility.


A total of 8,279 private and professional investors in the US and UK participated in Dianomi’s online survey conducted through its proprietary research arm, MarketViews concluding in May 2020. Its companion poll, also conducted via MarketViews, queried 850 private and professional investors May 28 to June 4, 2020 online.

About Dianomi

Dianomi is the native ad platform for the financial services, technology and corporate sectors, providing advertisers with access to a global audience of 200 million online consumers. Through our native display and video units, brands can target consumers contextually with content and product marketing messages on over 350 premium business and finance publishers. Advertisers and publishers trust Dianomi for our brand safety, transparent pricing and insights. Our emphasis on high-quality audiences combined with contextually relevant content helps partners achieve higher ROI than other native ad platforms. For more information, go to http://www.dianomi.com.