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Islamic Finance Moves Further into Mainstream

Religion can act as an impediment. Mainly for Muslims looking to maximize investment opportunities and returns. The crux of the problem resides with constraints attached to their religious beliefs which limits their overall basket of investment opportunities. For example, Shariah is the Islamic law that includes guidelines that impact financial decisions for Muslims. These include the prohibition of earning interest from fixed-income investments like bonds, which are a common component of an investment portfolio.

According to Jesse Reitberger, co-founder of Canadian Islamic Wealth, Muslims have to abide by a certain set of halal, or ‘permissible’ rules when it comes to investing. “The biggest challenge that Muslims face when it comes to investing, is investing in something that aligns with their religious values,” explained Reitberger. “The reason for that is, within Islam, we are not allowed to take on interest as a means of earning money.” Furthermore, Muslims cannot earn profit on alcohol, gambling, tobacco, adult entertainment, cannabis and weapons. 

Reitberger has been in the finance industry since 2013 shortly before converting to Islam in 2014. One prominent struggle he faced when he converted to Islam was recruiting new community members to become clients. When Reitberger was doing this, he faced objections from his client base due to the fear of involvement with interest-bearing investments.  

Ultimately, the tandem of trying to keep clients happy while keeping the company afloat came as an impediment, which is why Reitberger teamed up with Sheraz Ali to start Canadian Islamic Wealth.

Canadian Islamic Wealth is a wealth management firm specializing in Halal investing. Offering comprehensive wealth management solutions that align with the Muslim faith to help clients achieve their life goals in accordance with their personal values.

In the end, they didn’t want to choose between the client or the firm. Coming from experience with real estate and being the co-founder of ed tech research company – Stock Sharks , Ali said working with clients in the Muslim community who are trying to refrain from earning money through interest is arduous. “I’ve dealt with a lot of financial advisors my whole life, and Canadian Islamic Wealth is definitely a rare and unique opportunity for Muslims in getting that extra research and information in regards to these equities,” Ali said. 

Ali is quick to reinforce to those who are interested in investing with Canadian Islamic Wealth that the team is actually looking at the social and environmental aspect of investing, which also brings in non-Muslim clients.

For individuals looking to invest, Reitberger quipped that the best advice he can give is to contact Canadian Islamic Wealth directly. However, for those who are looking to invest themselves, they follow a simple process to on-board a client in order to make sure the relationship is strong and they understand why they are investing.

“The first step, before anything else, is we make sure it’s Halal.” Ali said. “If we cannot make sure it’s Halal, we cannot move on to anything else.”

The second step is to look into asset protection of the most valuable assets. Beyond that, they look into why the client wants to start investing and what they are trying to achieve which could be for their kids education, pilgrimage to Mecca, retirement and donating to the mosque or charity which are some of Islam’s pillars.

‘Whatever the case may be, if the client knows why they are investing, the likelihood of them sticking to their plan and strategy is higher if the markets become volatile.’ Reitberger said.

The next step is looking into the clients’ financial situation. This includes notices of assessment, investment statements and how the client’s current portfolio is doing. After that, they’ll make a plan, offer their advice, and finally the Canadian Islamic Wealth team will offer their review. 

‘Our clients’ lives are constantly changing. With changes comes financial implications. That’s why we constantly review and monitor our clients situations so we can offer relevant advice“ Reitberger says.

The future for Canadian Islamic Wealth involves breaking into the American market along with making muslim home owners dreams come true with the introduction of Islamic Mortgages in Canada.

To get started with Canadian Islamic wealth, go to their website now and sign up for a free consultation.

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