The new valuables

Investors' purpose now: putting capital behind experiences, relationships, and helping others.

A century after the Spanish flu and World War I led to the “Roaring Twenties,” many pundits are forecasting a similar post-COVID environment. While that could happen eventually, our latest Investor Watch research shows that—for now—investors are focused on something deeper: a search for meaning, a sense of purpose and a desire to contribute more to the world around them.

Goals have changed


COVID-19 made me reassess what's most important.

Investors’ new purpose


I want to make more of a difference.

Investors left with mixed feelings


I feel more appreciative of what I have.


I feel guilty for being more fortunate than many other people.

Investors prioritize experiences over possessions


I believe life experiences are more important than material things.


I expect to increase spend on travel.

Strong interest in values-based investing


I want to align my investments with my values.

Sustainable investing comes to the fore


I am more interested in sustainable investing as a result of COVID-19.

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About the survey: For this edition of UBS Investor Watch, we surveyed 3,800 investors with at least $1 million in investable assets. The global sample was split across 15 markets: Argentina, Brazil, mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK and the US. The research was conducted in May 2021. Findings were compared to a study conducted in May of 2020 among more than 3,750 investors with similar asset levels and age groups.

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