The app Shape helps potential investors find investment opportunities that align with their own personal ethics and values.
Picking the right investment opportunity can be a minefield. Beyond determining return on investment possibilities, clarifying whether a company has engaged in any practices that an investor finds objectionable can be tough. As this 2014 article from the Sydney Morning Herald points out, even high-polluting companies may be ranked among the world’s most ethical, depending on the criteria. Greenwashing can also, at times, mask a company’s less-preferable actions.
So how do you find out if a potential investment property is environmentally unfriendly, has ties to the weapons industry or is violating people’s rights? The app Shape is looking to help and bring some transparency to the entire process.
Launched in the UK in late 2016 by an investment banker and computer scientist, the free-to-download app allows users to search for companies according to filters or themes that are in line with their own personal values. Users can look for companies that promote gender equality and LGBT rights, are active in environmental protection, help refugees and more. Potential investors can also use the app to investigate whether a company is linked to the tobacco, nuclear, alcohol or weapons industries.
The Shape team scours information about a company themselves, gleaning data from internal as well as media reports and plugging this in to the Shape database. The app is predominantly targeted at new investors and comes with a host of handy features to help newbies learn the ropes. Via Shape investors can learn about diversification, get an overview of their portfolio performance and learn more about different stocks and sectors.
Shape is currently only available for iOS. Download it here.