Investing in equality: The LGBTQ+ investor

We examine how a flexible investment approach can help LGBTQ+ investors achieve their goals

10 Jun 2020

In previous reports, the UBS Chief Investment Office (CIO) concluded that excluding people based on their sexual or gender orientation was bad for economic prosperity. This report explores how LGBTQ+ investors, who do not identify as heterosexual (including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), may need a different wealth strategy. We examine the legal and demographic considerations for LGBTQ+ investors, then outline a flexible investment approach that can help them to achieve their financial goals.

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Investing for LGBTQ+ persons

In many countries a person’s sexual and gender orientation influences how other individuals, firms, and the state treat them. This research piece discusses how LGBTQ+ individuals in some parts of the world are regarded differently than heterosexuals in the eyes of the law. These legal differences, alongside certain important demographic trends, must be considered in financial planning.

LGBTQ+ exclusion can hurt economies

UBS CIO has previously found that LGBTQ+ individuals can face exclusion if people, companies, or countries make decisions or form opinions about them based on irrational ideas, not facts.

We concluded that excluding LGBTQ+ individuals has negative economic consequences. For example, LGBTQ+ persons may be discouraged from discussing their gender or sexual orientation at work. Hiding or lying about an aspect of one's life on the job can create stress and lower productivity, ultimately leading to below-trend growth for the economy as a whole. Countries that exclude LGBTQ+ individuals may prevent global companies from moving talented LGBTQ+ employees to locations where they are most useful, reducing labor market flexibility and potential economic growth.

Investing for LGBTQ+ persons

This report explores how LGBTQ+ investors may need a different wealth strategy.


Explore the LGBTQ+ archive

The Title VII ruling and the economy

On 15 June 2020 the US Supreme Court ruled that US firms were not allowed to fire workers if they did not like the gender of their employee's partner. Paul Donovan highlights three economic benefits from this.

Does anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice do more damage than we think?


In this Chief Economist's Comment, Paul Donovan explains why the problem of prejudice is bigger than we might think. This is particularly true for prejudice against non-heterosexual people (LGBTQ+).

The commercial case for LGBTQ+ inclusion

This paper examines how business policies towards LGBTQ+ persons can affect corporate performance.

Pride and prejudice, and economists

This report examines the economics of LGBTQ+ equality. Prejudice takes place when a person, a firm, or society makes a choice using irrational ideas. Data on LGBTQ+ employees is limited, because a significant minority of LGBTQ+ employees do not identify as such at work. However, there is clear evidence that non-heterosexual men are paid less (estimates put the figure at around 9%).


Watch the latest LGBTQ+ video series

Economics is not the main argument against prejudice

Economics is not the main argument against prejudice. But it is an argument against prejudice, and it is likely to become more powerful over the next ten years. Any form of prejudice stops the right person being in the right job at the right time. That hurts the efficiency of an economy, and the profit of a company. This will become more important as the fourth industrial revolution increases the value of workers.

Sexuality prejudice is widespread. Over a third of countries make it a crime to be LGBTQ+. In 60% of countries, people can be fired from work because of the gender of the person they are dating. It is not surprising that at least half the LGBTQ+ population chose to hide their sexuality at work, therefore. But people who hide their sexuality at work will still be victims of prejudice. The stress of disguising who you are affects how well you do at work.

Women in Economics

Women in Economics is an expansion of our ongoing Nobel Perspectives program, with the aim to focus on economists who are in the middle of their careers, but have already made a major impact in their fields.

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