The Rise of Investment Values: Schwab’s Survey of Modern Wealth Reveals Values ​​Are Driving Americans’ Spending, Saving and Investing Decisions More Than Ever

WESTLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say their personal values ​​guide their life decisions more today than they did two years ago, and almost an equal number (69%) say supporting causes that most important to them is a primary consideration when it comes to their financial decisions, according to Schwab’s sixth annual Modern Wealth Survey, an examination of how Americans think about saving, spending, to investment and wealth.

When asked what personal values ​​are their main motivations, Americans prioritize doing what is best for others, including the environment and the greater good as well as their family and friends, then saving money. more and reduce unnecessary expenses. These values ​​determine how Americans spend and invest their money and also impact how they view employment.

“It’s a longer-term trend, but especially after the events of the past two years, Americans are thinking a lot about how their spending, saving and investing aligns with their personal circumstances and preferences, including the issues and causes that matter most to them,” mentioned Jonathan Craig, Managing Director, Head of Investor Services and Marketing at Charles Schwab. “Financial services institutions should help people invest based on their passions, preferences and beliefs, while recognizing that these will differ from individual to individual.”

Values-Based Spending and Investing

More than eight in 10 Americans (82%) agree that their personal values ​​play an important role in how they manage their finances, adding to the long list of factors Americans consider when making purchases. Personal values ​​rank third on this list, just after price and product features, with nearly eight in 10 Americans (79%) saying they try to use their buying power to support brands. that correspond to their beliefs.

Looking ahead, seven in 10 Americans say they are likely to make lifestyle changes in the next 12 months to have a more positive impact on the world. More than half say they plan to buy local (58%), reduce their use of plastic bags (55%) and resell or donate clothes (54%).

Americans also prioritize their values ​​when investing, according to the Schwab survey. Nearly three-quarters of US investors (73%) agree that their values ​​guide their investment choices, and most (69%) say they invest in companies that align with their personal values. When looking at the factors that influence investment decisions, a company’s reputation (91%) and corporate values ​​(81%) are almost as important as more traditional factors like a company’s performance. company (96%) and its share price (93%). As personal beliefs and interests become more important, many investors (84%) also want to have a more personalized investment portfolio.

While values-based decision-making is growing in popularity across all generations, it’s even more pronounced among young Americans, especially Gen Z:


Generation Z


Generation X


My personal values ​​guide how I make life decisions more today than two years ago






I am likely to change my lifestyle next year to have a positive impact on the world






My personal values ​​guide my investment choices






I invest in companies that match my personal values






Prioritize workplace values

This values-centric mindset extends to how Americans view employment. Nearly nine in 10 American workers say it’s important to them to feel fulfilled in their work (89%) and to have co-workers who respect their personal values ​​(85%). More than eight in 10 (84%) say their values ​​guide the way they manage their careers and nearly two-thirds (63%) say they chose their current employer based on their values.

Fully 59% of respondents say they would accept a lower salary to work for a company that better represents their personal values ​​or interests. Additionally, nearly half of American workers (43%) want to change employers in the next 12 months, with Gen Z even more likely to change employers (65%).

Wealth in 2022

As Americans reflect on what money means to them personally, Schwab’s survey shows that “freedom” (42%) tops the list, followed by “flexibility” (23%) and opportunities” (18%).

Americans have also raised the bar on what it takes to be “rich” and feel “financially well off” in 2022:




(before the pandemic)



Average net worth it takes to be “rich”

$2.4 million

$2.3 million

$2.6 million

$1.9 million

$2.2 million

Average net worth it takes to be “financially comfortable”

$1.4 million

$1.1 million




“Investment and planning tools that help people customize the way they invest have never been more accessible,” said Rob Williams, CFP®, managing director of financial planning and wealth management at Charles Schwab. “In a recent survey of Schwab clients, nearly a quarter say they already align their investments with values ​​and causes they care about, while an additional 20% say they are interested in making the switch. With this growing trend, we are helping more customers meet their ever-changing needs every day. »

About the Modern Wealth Survey

The online survey was conducted by Logica Research from February 8, 2022 through February 27, 2022 among a national sample of 1,000 Americans between the ages of 21 and 75. Quotas were set to balance the national sample on key demographic variables. Detailed results can be found here.

About the Schwab Retail Customer Sentiment Survey

This data is collected quarterly by Schwab via an online survey of customers with retail assets of at least $2,000. There is oversampling to achieve adequate sample sizes for subgroup analysis, and then applying a weighting scheme to create a total respondent population representative of Schwab’s customer base. The Q1 study was conducted at the start of the quarter: January 5-16, 2022. Detailed results are available here.

About Charles Schwab

At Charles Schwab, we believe in the power of investment to help people create a better future. We are accustomed to challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit the investors, advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.

More information is available at follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn.


The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with 33.6 million active brokerage accounts, 2.2 million corporate pension plan members, 1.6 million of bank accounts and approximately $7.86 trillion in client assets as of March 31, 2022. Through its operating subsidiaries, the Company provides a full range of wealth management, securities brokerage, banking , asset management, custody and financial advice to individual investors and independent investment advisers. Its brokerage subsidiaries, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., TD Ameritrade, Inc. and TD Ameritrade Clearing, Inc. (members SIPC, and their affiliates offer a full range of investment products and services, including a wide selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; pension plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to paid independent investment advisers; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent paid investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. Its main banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank, SSB (Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender), provides banking and lending services and products. More information is available at

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