Innovation That Matters

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Investment app targets ethical investing

Financial Services

UK-based startup wants to simplify stock research and make it easier for ordinary people to invest ethically

More and more people are becoming concerned about the ethical implications of investing. They are looking to invest in companies and sectors with high ethical standards. Yet for novices who want to manage their own trades, it can be time consuming to investigate companies standards. Recently launched startup Shape hopes to make it easier for people to invest ethically. The company has developed an iOS app which provides easy-to-follow information on what to look for when choosing stocks. The app assumes very little or no prior trading knowledge and can be easily integrated with popular brokerages, such as Fidelity and eTrade.

The Shape app makes it easy for novices to begin trading by breaking down concepts into small chunks in an easy to use format. The app emphasises ethical investing by allowing users to easily screen out sectors such as weapons and tobacco. It allows users to browse for investment by theme, such as companies that are carbon neutral or that help refugees. Shape also provides research information, such as analyst price targets, volatility guidance, and information on each company’s ethical credentials. The app allows members of the Shape community to add information to company profile pages, to help keep the information up to date.

Shape was founded out of a concern that stock research tends to be unnecessarily complex. This can be a barrier for ordinary people who want to invest ethically. We have seen companies in other areas launch similar ethical initiatives, such as a browser extension that reveals manufacturers ethics and an app that alerts consumers to brands with low ethical scores. Will apps like Shape lead to a growth in ethical investing?




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