WISEX celebrates 4th anniversary
4/21/2014 4:37:25 PM
First Halal, US fixed-income mutual fund celebrates 4th anniversary
Shariah-compliant Azzad Wise Capital Fund lets American Muslims “invest with faith”
FALLS CHURCH, Va., April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Azzad Wise Capital Fund (NASDAQ: WISEX), America's first Halal, socially responsible fixed-income mutual fund turned four years old this month. Falls Church, Virginia-based Azzad Asset Management launched the interest-free fund in 2010.
“It wasn’t easy to do," said Bashar Qasem, Azzad President and CEO, on starting the fund. “But we were determined to create a fixed-income solution for our clients who wanted to observe the tenets of their faith.” Qasem added, “Today, the Azzad Wise Capital Fund has a following among retail investors and financial advisors alike. They also appreciate the Fund’s exposure to emerging markets and an alternative asset class like Sukuk.”
Over its four-year history, the Azzad Wise Capital Fund has proven to be an important diversification and income-generating tool for investors who observe the Islamic prohibition on the giving and taking of usury, or interest. Although it does not deal with debt instruments created from interest-based lending, the Azzad Wise Capital Fund shares in the gains from its ventures, which include Islamic bank deposits and Sukuk.
Qasem started Azzad Asset Management in 1997 after discovering a lack of financial solutions and investment options that aligned with his Muslim faith. Traveling the globe to learn from scholars in Islamic law and earning credentials to teach and consult on compliance with Islamic finance, he returned to the US and became licensed to work in the investment industry. In 2000, Qasem and his colleagues oversaw the launch of Azzad’s Shariah-compliant stock fund, the Azzad Ethical Fund (NASDAQ: ADJEX). The firm grew its financial planning and wealth management lines of business for the next decade, ultimately creating the Azzad Wise Capital Fund to diversify client accounts.
Islamic bank deposits
The Azzad Wise Capital Fund invests in Islamic banks as part of its socially responsible investing mandate. Acting as an agent, Islamic banks bundle profit- and loss-sharing account holder assets together and channel capital into community development projects like Halal microfinance and infrastructure projects. Account holders make a return by investing in real economic projects globally.
See: Making Fixed Income Socially Responsible (YouTube)
The Azzad Wise Capital Fund also invests in US-dollar denominated investment grade Sukuk. Sometimes referred to as “Islamic bonds,” Sukuk are financial instruments issued to obtain an up-front payment in exchange for an income stream generated from tangible assets or services, often through leasing. According to Thomson Reuters, the value of global aggregate Sukuk for the period between January 1996 and September 2013 stood at more than $488 billion. A major distinction between conventional bonds and Sukuk is that the latter are linked to an asset, allowing investors to be equity stakeholders.
See: A Sukuk Primer (Azzad Asset Management White Paper Series)
See also: Azzad analysis featured in 2014 Thomson Reuters Sukuk Report (PRNewswire)
Azzad Asset Management, investment advisor to the Azzad Funds and sponsor of the Azzad Ethical Wrap Program, is committed to providing investment services designed to help people enjoy optimum performance without compromising their values. Azzad is a member of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions. The firm, based outside Washington, DC, is a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Please consider a Fund's objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before you invest. The prospectus contains this and other important information. For a hard copy, please call 1-888-350-3369. Read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money. The Azzad Funds are self-distributed. Azzad Asset Management serves as investment advisor.
Contact: Investment Communications Director, Joshua Brockwell, 703-207-7005, ext. 109, firstname.lastname@example.org; Chief Compliance Officer, Manal Fouz, 703-207-7005, ext. 115, email@example.com.
Opinions expressed are those of the author or fund manager, are subject to change, are not guaranteed and should not be considered recommendations to buy or sell any security and should not be considered investment advice.
Fund holdings and sector allocations are subject to change and are not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Click here for Azzad Ethical Fund current top 10 holdings. Click here for the Azzad Wise Capital Fund current top 10 holdings.
Past performance does not guarantee future results.
The Azzad Ethical Fund is non-diversified and may invest a larger percentage of its assets in fewer companies exposing it to more volatility and/or market risk than diversified funds. The Fund may not achieve its objective and/or could lose money on your investment in the Fund. Stock markets and investments in individual stocks can decline significantly in response to issuer, market, economic, political, regulatory, geographical, and other conditions. Investments in mid-cap companies can be more volatile than investments in larger companies. Investments in growth companies can be more sensitive to the company’s earnings and more volatile than the stock market in general. Because the portfolio may invest substantial amount of its asset in issuers located in a single country or in a limited number of countries, it may be more volatile that a portfolio that is more geographically diversified. See the prospectus for more details about risks.
Investments in smaller and medium sized companies involve additional risks such as limited liquidity and greater volatility. Investments in debt securities typically decrease in value when interest rates rise. This risk is usually greater for longer-term debt securities. Investments in lower rated and non-rated securities present a great risk of loss to principal and interest than higher rated securities.
The Azzad Wise Capital Fund is non-diversified with a high concentration of securities in the financial sector which can expose the Fund to more volatility and/or market risk than diversified funds. The Fund may not achieve its objective and/or could lose money on your investment in the Fund. The Fund mainly invests in securities issues by foreign entities which expose the Fund to country specific risks such as market, economic, political, regulatory, geographical, and other risks. The Fund intends to invest in certain instruments that may be illiquid. As a result, if the Fund receives large amount of redemptions, the Fund may be forced to sell such illiquid investments at a significant loss to be able to meet such redemption requests. See the prospectus for more details about risks.