Wahed, the first halal robo advisor in the United States, announces it is expanding its operations globally.
The platform, which was previously available only to US and UK communities, now provides access to Islamic value-based investing to residents of over 130 countries including key markets across Nigeria, India, Pakistan and the MENA region.
Wahed looks to change how the Muslim community participates in global financial markets by making investing accessible and ethically compliant for the 1.8 billion Muslims globally. For many Muslims, investing in line with their faith is more complex due to the exclusion of companies that obtain the bulk of their profits from interest, lending, gambling, hedging in silver or gold, insurance, pork, alcohol, tobacco, firearms and other activities deemed harmful or impermissible in Islam.
The platform, which was launched in the US in 2017 and expanded into UK markets in 2018, has found that 84% of its users are new to or only somewhat familiar with investing. The launch has been highly anticipated globally with over 40,000 interested users already on the waitlist for the international platform. Once signed-up, users can securely create an investment account within minutes with the help of facial recognition technology. Wahed will automatically suggest a portfolio for each user based on their risk profile, taking into account liquidity needs, investment goals and other criteria. The portfolio models are overseen by Wahed’s portfolio management professionals. Users can begin investing with as little as $100 while paying a fraction of traditional advisory fees. By utilizing fractional share trading, Wahed ensures that investors always have a diversified portfolio, regardless of their account size, thereby making investing efficient for investors from all walks of life.
Current portfolio allocation options include investments into:
- Global stocks (Wahed S&P Shariah Fund for US clients)
- Emerging market stocks (Wahed S&P Dividend Growth Fund for US clients)
- Sukuk (Islamic bonds)
- Commodities (Gold)
Junaid Wahedna, CEO and founder of Wahed Invest said:
“Our mission from day one has been to give access to ethical and efficient returns to the underserved investor. We are very proud to say that today, no matter where geographically an ethical investor is located, or what income demographic they fall under, they will have access to an investment portfolio that is free from usury, or any unethical constituent.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for Wahed. Since launching in the US and UK, our international waitlist just keeps on growing and we’re extremely pleased to finally on-board users from all over the world providing a much-needed solution. Our new international mobile app allows users to open their account in minutes, invest in low-cost diversified portfolios, and monitor their performance anytime and anywhere.”
In the trailing 12 months, the S&P 500® Shariah Index (which includes all Shariah-compliant constituents of the S&P 500) outperformed the S&P 500 Index by a fifth (16.3% vs 13.5%). *
In order to ensure all returns are halal, Wahed has a full-time Ethical Review Board, which undertakes a rigorous screening process and produces annual purification reports. As a result, Muslim and non-Muslim investors alike can now be completely confident that their portfolios are ethically sound. Wahed has also successfully received associate membership with the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (“AAOIFI”), a not-for-profit organization that regulates and standardizes accounting, auditing and governance practices for the Islamic finance industry in line with international standards that comply with Islamic rules.