CARES Act Update
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CARES Act Update
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Monem Salam: Thank you, everyone, for joining on this presentation today. And we’re gonna be updating you not only about the CARES Act... as you know, back, earlier this year, because of the pandemic, Congress had actually passed an act to be able to loosen some of the requirements on IRSs, 401(k)s, those type of things. So, Owaiz has graciously volunteered to be able to volunteer his expertise in this area as well as investing in general. And then, after that point, I’ll go ahead and talk a little bit about the Amana Funds. So, with that, I’m gonna turn it over to Owaiz who will go over the CARES Act, and then I’ll come back on a little bit later. Owaiz, it’s all yours.
Owaiz Dadabhoy: Thank you, Monem. Again, salaam Alaikum to everyone. Peace and blessings be upon you. With anything I said today, with anything that Monem says, like he said, we gave you the disclosure on performance and what not. We also want to let you know to check with your tax person. You know, what we say here today is kind of like a 101 class. It’s not the higher-level class. If you’re interested in something here, or if it piques your interest in something, please check with your tax person and see if you qualify for what we’re talking about. So, the first thing about the CARES Act, which is the COVID... basically the COVID recovery act, to help people during this time. You know, a lot of people were going paycheck to paycheck and they had difficulties and so the government had to do something do be able to have people have enough money to pay for rent and what not. So, some of these rules came about for that. So, the tax deadline was moved to make things easier. And I haven’t seen it moved in my lifetime... for three months. From April 15th to July 15, which means that.... What does that mean? If gives you more time to file but it also allows you to still put money in for 2019 for qualified accounts. And a qualified account is something that gives you a tax benefit. For example, an individual retirement account, IRA, Roth or traditional, you can still put in 2019 contributions, and if you have an education savings account, which you’re allowed to put in $2 thousand per year, as long as you don’t exceed the income limit. If you have not done that already, and you’re gonna make a first-time contribution, do it for 2019 since that will give you an opportunity to put in $2,000 more for the rest of this year. And if you have a heath savings account, which is a triple tax advantaged account, which anyone with a high deductible health insurance plan must look into. So, you’ll be able to put in money for 2019, which will give you the ability to put in more money in 2020, should you find the need to do that. So, there was some new rules that came out with the CARES Act, and the most recent one in IRS release notice 2020-50, which made it easier to take care of point number one, which is new type of distribution. You’re typically allowed to make a loan from your 401(k) up to $50,000 if you have at least that much in your 401(k). Now, it’s frowned upon to take out money from your 401(k), whether it’s a loan or withdrawal, because you’re going to need that money in retirement. We’ll talk about that a little bit later. But for some people, they are going to need to make the withdrawal. They don’t have enough money to live on. This is a very traumatic time in the American experience, of course. So, the rule is that you can take out the loan and instead of 50,000, if you have enough money in your account, you can actually take up to 100,000 in a loan and I’ll give you the reasons that will allow you to do this in a second, with that new IRS ruling, You can also make a withdrawal without tax penalties, even if you’re not 59 and a half. So that’s a first there, to be able to take out 100,000 from your 401(k). But again, you have to qualify for this, so that’s what we’re gonna get into next. So, before I tell you about the reasons why you might want to do that, I’ll just say again... that you don’t want to take this money out unless you must take this money out. So, you know, existing 401(k) loans as well, if you’ve already taken out a loan in the past. You’ve been making payments to it. You can defer the payments until 2021, so check with your 401(k) provider on that. And then, this withdrawal allowance of up to 100,000 and the loan allowance moving from 50,000 to 100,000, your 401(k) plan must allow that. So, they have to adopt that within their plans before you can actually make it work. So, who can this apply to? The reasons that are allowed where you can make a withdrawal without tax penalty is if you’re diagnosed with COVID, with a CDC-approved test. That’s either yourself, your spouse, or a dependent. If you’ve experienced adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, layoff, a job loss, or reduced hours. Number three, closing or reduced hours at your own business, right? So, if you own a restaurant and had to reduce the number of hours or you own some kind of other company and you had to close it down completely for a while, you can make this withdrawal. Number 4, having your pay or self-employment income reduced and number five, if you went for a job interview and they gave you the job and then they rescinded it or delayed the start date. So, they actually expanded the number of ways that you can go after this withdrawal up to $100,000. So, you will not be penalized on it, but you’ll still be taxed on it. And the tax can be spread across three years instead of all at once. So, for example, last year, if you made a withdrawal of $50,000, you’d be penalized 10% if you’re not 59 and a half or older and you would have to include that $50,000 in your income. So, if you made $100,000, your income is now going to show as $150,000. So, it might take you up to the next tax bracket. In this case, if you pulled out $50,000, it would be spread across three years and the good news is, if you do pay it back, you can not have to pay that tax. You can recover that, as well. That is something to look into. Again, if I’ve piqued your interest in this and you must make a withdrawal, please check with your tax person. What I would also suggest is to go to the IRS’s Coronavirus Tax Relief page at IRS.gov for more information. Number 2 required minimum distributions for folks that are having to take those out... this happens when you’re 70 and a half. So, once you reach that age, the IRS, the government wants you to pull out a certain amount of money from your 401(k), your IRA account, etc., your SEP, your Simple, and the reason is that if you never take out the money and you end up being 100 years old, they will not be able to tax you along the way. So, they want you to start pulling out money so they can start taxing you, cause it’s a taxable withdrawal. This year, in 2020, you do not need to take that RMD. And if you have already taken it out, you can put it back. If you have your account with us, and you want to put back the required minimum distribution, contact us and we’ll show you how to do that. But, in general, what you have to do is do it before 60 days have gone by and you’re basically gonna write on the memo section of the check that it’s a 60-day rollover. So, you’re basically putting the money back in, so it’s a rule that was given just in case somebody had already filed. So, these are some very complicated rules. If you, for example, you know, already took out the RMD and you want to put it back in, so you took out $4,200 because that’s what you’re required to do, and you want to put back the money but if you already paid the taxes on it, you will not be able to get the taxes back. But next year when you run your taxes again at July 15, or for the year that you withdrew it, you will be able to show that you paid more tax than what you had to. So, you’ll recoup that at that time. So, definitely check with your tax person on this one as well. Give us a call if you have questions. So, with that, I want to take you to the next page, which is saving for the long-term. Alright, saving for the long-term. And what is the reason why we need to talk about this today? The reason why people are interested is because people have had issues over the last few months. So, if you recall, you know, within the first two weeks, some of the Mosques, churches, synagogues, temples, were already having financial difficulty. I know one that had to lay off somebody. Individuals were not able to make rent, were not able to buy food. You had these huge lines in food pantries throughout the country. Why is that, right? It’s a lack of... Either they have difficulty and their income is not high enough where they can save money... that’s definitely a possibility. Or people are just not planning. So, we definitely want to plan. There’s 42 million Americans on regular retirement social security, getting social security right now. 42 million people out of the 350 or 380 million Americans. That’s a large number of people and the average social security check these days is $1,503 dollars. $1,503 in most parts of this country is not going to allow you to, you know, pay for more than rent. So, you might be lucky enough to have rent at $1,500 a month, but what else do you have? Here in southern California, rent is routinely $1,700 to $2,100 for a single bedroom apartment. So, something to keep in mind is that if we don’t save for the long term, we can face the same difficulties in retirement that we may have faced during COVID, where we didn’t have an income. So, if you face difficulty now, imagine what’s gonna happen for thirty years of retirement. Right now, it’s a small, you know, inconvenience, hopefully, for us, maybe a month or three months of reduced or no income. But, imagine now, going into retirement and not having enough for thirty years of retirement. So, we must take this into consideration and save for the future. So, how do we do that? If you’re a 25-year-old: good news. You don’t have to put in that much money; you can get to $1.2 million, with these assumptions here that you’re putting in $5,500 a year at a 7% rate of return. You’d end up with this: $1.2 million. But if you waited just ten years. Which means you did not put in $55,000 between age 25 and 35, so you didn’t put in $55,000 during that time. You put in money from age 35 to 65, you end up with $559,000. That’s an expensive mistake. And part of the reason people make this mistake is they don’t realize that they should be saving at an earlier time than they may think that they need to and they don’t realize that saving regularly is going to help them. I remember, I spoke to somebody at a... a young lady who was a professional at one of the conferences a few years ago, one of the large conferences in America run by Muslims. And she told me, “You know, I opened up my account four years ago and I have not put in my IRA account contributions since then and every year I think I’m gonna do it and then I forget to do it.” So, I want to take a moment here to talk about signing up for automatic contributions, right? If it’s a retirement at your work, your automatically going to have that opportunity, but if you have an IRA account, instead of waiting to put in $6,000 per year, set up something where it’s automatic, coming into your account here at Saturna every single month, and that will allow you to, you know, average your contributions. So, for example, if you’re putting in $500 a month into your IRA account at Saturna, your Roth or your traditional, when the dip occurred in the first quarter of this year, you would have been buying more shares with your $500 than you would have been in December of last year, when the market was a little bit higher. So, this is called dollar cost averaging, and putting in money on a regular basis. If you waited til you’re 45 years of age, you’re gonna end up with $238,000. You know, the good thing about having a million dollars is, let’s say you consistently receive 7% return average for the rest of your life. If you pull out 7% of a million dollars, you have $70,000 in addition to your $1,500 average social security check. Some people receive $500... some people will receive more than $1,500. But now you can see how you can pull out $70,000 a year if you have a million dollars and your retirement account should remain about the same because you’re receiving a return on average that’s 7%. And I’m not saying that this is what you’re going to get. You may experience a greater return, or a lower return based on your diversification, what you’re invested in, but you can see, generally, what I’m talking about here. So, the other thing here is that if you are older... let’s say you’re not 25 anymore. You didn’t put in money, now you’re 35, you’re 45 or you’re 55, generally speaking what happens is you end up having a higher income when you’re older. So, instead of just putting in $5,500 you’re putting in $10,000 or the 401(k) limit which is $19,000 per year. So, there’s some very good news there. Let’s talk about one other thing real quickly, and then I’ll move into a couple other points. So, if you are a person that has a family, you would want to full planning for your entire family. So, just like you save for your retirement account through your 401(k) or your IRA, if I ask people in the community or anywhere, “Where’s the single largest amount of money you have?” Almost always, they’ll say their 401(k). So, let’s use the same rules that we have applied there, which is ongoing, automatic contributions, outside of the 401(k). So, what you should identify is, what are my goals? Number 1. So, it should be retirement, because hopefully everyone will get there and you cannot rely on social security income and most people don’t have pensions paid by their company. Number 2 is if you have children, an education savings account. An education savings account, or even a minor account, if you don’t qualify for an education savings account, or both, if you want to put in more money. And here is the reason. So, my daughter is about to go to a University of California school in the fall. She just got admitted. And if I would have had looked at this 18 years ago when she was born and said, it’s going to cost us $7,000 a year for four years of a UC system, that was gonna cost $28,000. If I put that $28,000 and don’t invest it, what’s going to end up happening? When she turns 18, she wants to go to the school, guess how much the cost is now? It’s $13,000 per year, which means it’s $52,000 for four years. So instead of $28,000 it’s $50 something thousand per year. So, this talks about the reason to start saving early and identify that need. So, if I were to save that $28,000 and just kept it in a checking account without interest, because I don’t wanna earn interest, by the time my daughter goes to this UC school, I don’t have enough money because now inflation has wreaked havoc with the education system. Same thing, you know, the Toyota Camry has probably been around for 18 years as well. It probably cost something like 12 or $13,000 at that time. Now it might cost $25,000. A home might have cost $250,000 and in California, New York, Virginia, Florida or somewhere, now might be worth $1 million. In different parts of the country it might have been $50,000 now it’s $200,000. So, if you’re looking to accomplish a goal, you have to beat inflation, otherwise you’re actually shooting yourself in the foot by not having an increase in the amount that you’re saving on a regular basis. Another good thing to do is to get online access through Saturna and the reason you wanna do this is you can have all of your accounts that you’ve now figured out... I need an ESA. I need a health savings account. As I mentioned, the health savings account is a triple tax benefit account. So, online access will allow you to not only see all of your accounts in real time, it will also allow you to do see or make transfers from your checking account into your investment if there’s a big dip in the market. And Monem is gonna talk about you may have opened up your statement at the end of Q1, March 31st, and you know, looked at it and said, “Wow, I’ve experienced a loss here.” But we’re gonna talk about how things have turned and that’s the nature of the market. So, he’s gonna talk a little bit about that. Let me circle back for a second to give you a little but more information here. During COVID time when the paycheck protection program came out, more than half of businesses in America... Get this, more than half the businesses in America... I mean it was a monumental undertaking, sought money from this paycheck protection program. That’s how many businesses really had the need. And some people who didn’t have the need, they just wanted to go and get that money, but still the fact that that many businesses had to do it is unbelievable. If you did not receive your stimulus check because you have not filed your taxes, you can go to the IRS non-filer portal on their website and you can claim your stimulus check. So, I just had that extra piece there for you. And then, one other piece before we move forward is... businesses on 401(k). So, for example, if you own your own business and you don’t have a 401(k). You’re wondering how you get this started now. You can talk to us about that because there are some new rules that came in that allow you to have a tax credit of up to $250 per employee that is a non-highly compensated employee at your work. As long as you have less than 100 employees. You start up this 401(k), you’re gonna get this tax credit. If you have more than 100, it complicates a little bit. , if you set up automatic enrollment for your own 401(k) for your business, you will double that tax credit to $500 and this tax credit is for three years. So, it would be this year, next year, and the next after that, up to $5,000. Do not leave this money on the table. We currently manage something around 200 401(k)s in the United States... clinics and mosques and schools and non-profits, and you name it. Many different kinds of companies. This is an unbelievable opportunity. One other note on taxes. You know, 94% of people currently... 94% of people have the standardized deduction. They made it easier. So, you don’t have to itemize. You don’t have to list your, you know, what do you call it? Charitable deductions. You don’t have to list your property tax payment. You don’t have to list your interest if you’re paying a Wells Fargo mortgage or hopefully a Shariah compliant mortgage. You don’t have to list that because they have such a high standard deduction, it’s not needed. But for the 6% of you, you are taking itemized deductions. So, for the 94% that are not having to claim anything and you’re not really receiving any tax credits or deductions anymore on your charitable deductions, there is a new rule where you can get a $300 tax deduction on charity this year. So, they’ve included that. That might amount to another $100 in your taxes. Let’s move on to the next page. I’m almost done with my portion here. What we’d like for you to do is go to our website to learn a little bit more. We want you to diversify during this time because you know, we’ve come off the lows of the market in Q1 and we had people telling us, “It seems I don’t have the stomach for this market. I thought I did, but you know, during these downturns it just hurts too much. I want to now make a switch from stock funds into something else.” That’s probably not the best time to do it, because you’re going to take a paper loss into a real loss. So, now that the market has come back somewhat. It’s not fully recovered but it’s come back somewhat, this is the time for you to look at diversifying your portfolio and allocate your money in different places. We have three different funds which are stock funds: Amana Income Fund, Amana Growth Fund... one started in 1986 and 94, and in 2009, Developing World Fund, and then we introduced the Participation Fund, which Monem will talk about. This is how you can diversify out of stocks and put a portion into sukuk, which has a very different structure and a different risk profile. So, if you want to go to the try it out button, it’s right there. You can see it on the main page of amanafunds.com. You can take a short quiz. It takes a few minutes. And it’ll give you a response that says this is what we suggest. And you can take the quiz a couple of times if you want to, to see if you want to change your answers if you answered it too quickly, and then you can come up with your own profile and then talk to us. Call us if you have questions. Another thing, right on that page there, you can see where it says “Sukuk Risk Sharing” That is a video right on the front of the website. It’s just three or four minutes long. It tells you about what the Participation Fund is, this non-stock fund. So, we wanted to mention that. There’s the Amana Fund Selector... that’s what it’s called when you click on the “Try It Out” button.
Monem Salam: Thank you, Owaiz, for that presentation on the CARES Act. Again, a lot of benefits for those who are able to take them. Sometimes, Owaiz, we do get this question that... I don’t really need it, but should I take advantage of taking money out of my IRA or 401(k) and... the idea obviously is the answer is, “No.” If you don’t need it, it’s better for you to be able to grow that money tax deferred, rather than just taking it out for something that you might be able to take out of your cash flow. So, that is something that people should keep in mind. So, what I’d like to do now is talk a little bit about our Islamic investing guidelines. And then get a little bit more into the funds themselves. Our guidelines, you know, so the Amana Funds, as many of you know as I’m looking at the names, a lot of you, Inshallah, have been longtime shareholders. You know, the Income Fund was launched in 1986 and around 2000 or so, we kind of came up with the most recent set of guidelines and those were approved by the Fiqh Council of North America, their investment committee. And now, we currently use Amanie Advisors to be able to do our quarterly update on whether or not our Funds are Shariah compliant. So, these are the guidelines that they’ve come up with. Our quarterly certification, you can actually find this on our website, under the tab for Halal Investing and we update it on a quarterly basis, from Amanie, letting you know that we are in our Portfolio, we do own all Shariah compliant stocks. So, what does that really mean? What is Shariah compliant really mean? So, there’s basically three criteria that we use. The first two are up here, and the third one was added later. The first one is basically a business sector screen or an industry screen... so what we’re trying to do here is avoid those companies that have their primary revenues or those companies that are completely involved in those that are against the Shariah. Because Riba, is something that’s against Shariah, we don’t buy banking or insurance. Because alcohol Is against Sharia, we don’t buy companies that deal with alcohol. No gambling. No pork products. Insurance is another one. So those are the types of companies we try to avoid altogether. But all the companies that are in the market are actually gonna have some type of exposure to some, maybe, form of something haram. So that’s why the scholars came up with another screen and that was more of a financial screen to be able to limit a company’s exposure to anything else and these financial screens, basically, are made up of three things, Number one is the total debt to market cap of a company... has to be less than 33%. And that basically means that you don’t want to have a company that’s financing all of their operations through debt or more than 33% through debt, but also that a lot of their company money is being used toward interest payments and those type of things. The second is 45% accounts receivables to total assets. With this screen, basically... you don’t want to own a company that’s basically purely in cash, because if you do that, then you’re never gonna be able to buy for a premium or a discount because that would be considered riba. And the last one is that one all of the business screens, sector screens, that we screen out, there are gonna be companies that have some type of a haram revenue associated with them. It might be as simple as them keeping money in their bank account that’s earning them some interest and that could be considered revenue. Or there might be some ancillary revenues that they get. For example, an airline that sells alcohol on their planes... right? Very small amount of revenue but it is there to be able to do. When we look at the social screens, the social screens can be very similar to the business screens that we talked about, but also how the company is dealing with safety issues if they’re a manufacturer, how they deal with unions and workers and those type of things. And so that’s one of the criteria that’s used. And the last one is on governance. The governance part of it actually speaks to diversity on the board, independence of the board, what is the compensation structure of their highly compensated employees? All of these things we consider when we’re looking at stocks to be able to purchase and all of them are ranked and then we use a similar criteria to be able to do that. Now, when it comes to the Islamic investing screens, and I’ll end this slide with that one, and that is there’s a brochure or a pamphlet or a white paper on our website called Evaluating Islamic Standards. I highly recommend reading it, and the reason is it kind of delves a little bit more into these guidelines but now only that, it actually really, you might hear that there’s some mutual fund companies using the S&P Shariah guidelines, other use the MSCI Islamic guidelines, or they use AAOFI guidelines. And so, this kinda breaks down and gives you a history of not only where these guidelines came from but also how do you evaluate what is better versus another or should we actually say that one is better than another? Or are all of them exactly the same. So, I highly recommend you take a look at that. It is available on our website for you to be able to download. The other thing that I wanted to mention in regard to that, is I mentioned to you the quarterly certification is on our website under the Halal Investing tab and also very shortly we’re going to be putting up also publishing purification numbers for our shareholders as well. And so that’ll be eventually probably hopefully by August will be available on our website for you to be able to look at for your purification. I want to talk a little bit about the returns of our funds. You know, as this return that you see if as of March the 31st and that is because that’s the latest quarterly number that was released. After June 30th, you’re gonna see the most updated numbers. And you’re gonna see a very, very drastic difference between what the March 31st numbers have shown versus what the June 30th numbers are gonna show. And the reason is because as we had probably the worst quarter from January to March 31st of 2020, we’ve had actually one of the best quarters in the past 80 years from April 1st up until now, which we’re not done with the quarter, but if the quarter ended yesterday, we probably would have had the best quarter we’ve had in 80 years of the market being in existence. So, it’s basically been an extreme 30% down and directly from there there’s been a rebound quite rapidly from there. And what that really tells us or tells you as an investor is that, you know, at the point in time at the end of March, when everything looked the bleakest that it was, right? Most, probably, most people were probably telling you, “Oh the end of the world is coming. You should go into cash. This is gonna take a long time to recover.” What we realize is, through the use of fiscal policy from Congress, monetary policy from the Fed, the market was able to recover because things weren’t looking as bleak as they were initially. Really, what would have been the best strategy? The best strategy would have been you sold in February and bought back at the end of March, but who knows, exactly? Nobody has a crystal ball. Nobody is gonna be able to do that. So, the second-best strategy would have been to just hold on. Don’t do anything at all. As long as you know that you’re allocated properly, based on your risk tolerance, your time horizon, then the best strategy, the second best strategy would have been to hold on to whatever you have and although it would have been more volatile and you probably would have had some stomach crunching returns, you would have been back to, you know, pretty much where you were before. You know, what happens in the future, nobody knows. Just because these numbers are there negative or positive, whatever it is in the past, doesn’t mean that’s gonna happen in the future. However, one of the things you wanna keep in mind is that how do you measure it? You measure it based on historical performance, even though that might not be able to give you something in the future. So, that was the one thing I wanted to mention. And then, I showed you the Income and Growth Fund. Here we have the Developing World and the Participation Fund, two of our newer funds, right? The Developing World was started in 2009; the Participation Fund back in 2015. The Developing World Fund, if you can look at it relative to the emerging markets, it’s actually done really well in the 1-Year numbers. And again, that speaks to the idea and you find this throughout our Funds, is that we really try to manage money on the downside, right? What that means is that we really try to make sure that you don’t lose as much on the downside. It doesn’t always happen, but we’re looking for companies that can weather the storm well. How do we do that? By buying companies that are solid in their balance sheets. Buying companies that have very strong and solid management. And we avoid those industries that are probably going to be affected the most in any kind of a market downturn, right? And so, you know, usually banks and insurance companies are the ones that are very highly sensitive to market downturns. We don’t buy those. And then the Participation Fund, as Owaiz had mentioned earlier. This is our non-equity exposure to market. What this basically, for a very simplistic area, and I know there is on our website you can find a very short video to explain a little bit more and also the prospectus does a very good job doing that as well. But the Participation Fund is actually investing in halal income certificates. And because it is investing in those certificates, it’s not going to be as volatile as the [equity] market is itself. When the [equity] markets were down as you noticed, down quite a bit in the first quarter, the Participation Fund actually held its own, and it was actually up about 0.7%. So, the idea here is that over time, this is your hedge, if you want to call it, against the [equity] market. So, if you want to have your portfolio be very conservative, you would want to increase your exposure to the Participation Fund. And as you get more aggressive, then you wanna buy more into the Income Fund, which is more aggressive, the Developing World, which is more that.
Owaiz Dadabhoy: Monem, we’re happy to have a conversation with folks about this if there are more detailed questions because you know, it’s hard to explain in a presentation. But I have two questions related to this page here, that I’ll go ahead and pose to you. One says, “Returns on the Participation Fund have been pretty poor. Is there any reason to think that may change in the future?” And then number 2, “Returns on the Developing World Fund also have been poor in relation to Growth and Income. Under what circumstances will the Developing World Fund perform better than those two Funds?”
Monem Salam: Okay, so... let me take the first one, on the Participation Fund. So, the Participation Fund, you have to look at it... it depends on what you define by “pretty poor”. Again, this is not a fund you want to compare to the Growth Fund or the Income Fund, or the Developing World Fund for that matter, because it’s not an equity fund. And so, this is one of those that you’re buying into for capital preservation and current income. It’s designed to be as stable as possible. And what environment would this fund do really well? Well last year was a good example. When the Fed is lowering interest rates, right? Usually, typically in a typical interest rate environment, income funds, bond funds, Participation Fund, will actually end up doing much better. And so, last year if you looked at the returns on the Participation Fund, they were closer to about 7% or so. But that’s more of an exception, right? If you look at the yield on the fund, it’s roughly around 3% or so and that’s really what we’re looking for from the actual fund itself. So, that was the Participation Fund. On the Developing World Fund, that’s a good question. A lot of people talk about this. Now, if you look at the overall emerging markets, in the first decade of this century, the developing world, the emerging markets themselves, did really well. And then they pretty much had the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. There was a sharp rebound in the emerging markets, but then they’ve pretty much been flat over the rest of the period of time. And there’s a lot of different reasons for that. You know, the strong dollar is one of them. You know, 0% interest rates in most of the developed world is another one. So, there’s a lot of factors that were going into it but what I would tell you is that in the market, there’s always what’s called a reversion to the mean. And the mean is usually roughly between 8 and 9%. And so, if you had a decade, let’s call it a lost decade, where emerging markets didn’t do anything at all, then most likely, the more chances are, that you’re gonna have a positive future, so that the average comes back down into the mean of whatever that was. So, what I would tell you is that yes, it hasn’t done as well as the Growth Fund or the Income Fund, but the Developing World Fund is something that you want to have exposure to because when the emerging markets actually go up, they actually have usually a very powerful rally when that actually happens. So, some exposure... if you’re asking how much, I think the best thing for you to do would be to look at our Amana Selector. Put in your risk tolerance levels and that’ll give you an amount that you should have exposure to the Developing World Fund. I think there’s another question that came up typed in. And the question is, “AMANX used to do slightly better than AMAGX but the tide has really gone in favor of AMAGX. The dividends notwithstanding in the last five years. Just look at the ROIs. What has happened?” Well... this is talking about the overall market and let me tell you, and that is that if you look at the S&P 500 return, right? What are commonly known as FAANG stocks, right? Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google. You can add Microsoft in there as well, and maybe add another: Amazon. They have, over the past five years, really begun to dominate the S&P 500. And their value continues to increase. Okay? So, if you strip those out... if you strip those out of the actual S&P, the S&P hasn’t done as well as you might think. And I don’t have the exact numbers, you can probably look that up later on, if you wanted to do that. What I’m trying to basically tell you is that the outsized returns that have happened in the S&P 500 and also in relation to that in the Growth Fund has primarily been because of technology index and more importantly than that, more than technology, actually the five companies that I mentioned. Now there’s always been a battle between growth versus value. The Income fund is more of a value... it’s a dividend-income fund. The Growth Fund is basically capital growth, right? So, this has always been... when growth does well, when value does well, growth does poorly, and so you’re gonna get these cycles of outperformance and underperformance depending on what is favored during that time. Again, this speaks to not knowing exactly when that’s gonna happen, right? So, what do you wanna do? You wanna have a properly allocated portfolio. And how do you do that? How much do you wanna have in the Growth or Income Fund? Rather than looking at return alone, what you wanna do is look at your own time horizon, your risk tolerance, and you can do that based on the Amana Selector that we have, or... if you like, you can call one of us as well and we’d be happy to walk you through the Selector. So, basically, the idea for the Amana Selector was we got a lot of calls from people saying, “You know what? Which Fund should I buy?” Or “How much percentage should I have in each of the funds?” We have four Funds that are Islamic. And so what we did was we came up with this Amana Selector, and what you do, basically, is you answer a list of questions, and this list of questions are looking at your risk tolerance, your time horizon, and basically using those tools, we’re coming up with an asset allocation in between the four funds. So, obviously, for example, if you answered very, very conservatively, then you’re gonna have more weighting in the Participation Fund than in the Growth or Developing World. But if you answer more aggressively, then you’re gonna have more allocation to Growth and Developing World than in the Participation Fund. It’s a great tool. I highly recommend everybody go on there to see where their asset allocation is. And Owaiz if you wanna add anything.
Owaiz Dadabhoy: Yeah. The only other thing that I’ll add is that the most commonly asked questions we receive is, “I’ve been investing fifteen years in the Amana Funds. How do I do that at my employer?” And if you do have Amana Funds at your employer, then you can come to our AmanaFunds.com website, go to this Amana Funds Selector and use this allocation within your 401(k) as well, if they allow a brokerage option. About half the companies in America that offer 401(k)s offer a brokerage option. At Saturna, if you are one of the folks that has the 401(k) through us, you know, it’s 200 organizations and companies that have it through us. If they ask us to add the brokerage account, it’s basically just a few minutes and a signature and we can add them. So, it’s the same thing with your employer. So, what you can do is you can ask your employer and your 401(k) department, your HR, that, “I wanna be able to invest according to my faith principles.” Because I know some people that have stopped investing altogether because it doesn’t fit their faith guidelines and so, they will try to do that for you. So, if you do have this opportunity, go ahead and invest there and you can come back to the Amana Funds Selector and use that in your 401(k) as well. Hope that answers your question a little bit more. And we hope you enjoyed it and you got something out of it. Do send us your feedback. Maybe you can tell us something we can do better in terms of our presentation or anything else. Or if you wanna see something in the future, you might be the one that gives us a great example. Thank you very much.
Monem Salam: Thank you, everyone.
TOP TEN HOLDINGS
As of June 30, 2020
Amana Income Fund
|Top 10 Holdings||Portfolio Weight|
|McCormick & Co||4.22%|
|Illinois Tool Works||4.12%|
|Taiwan Semiconductor ADS||3.79%|
Amana Growth Fund
|Top 10 Holdings||Portfolio Weight|
|Church & Dwight||4.13%|
|Estée Lauder, Class A||3.85%|
Amana Developing World Fund
|Top 10 Holdings||Portfolio Weight|
|Tencent Holdings ADR||6.65%|
|Taiwan Semiconductor ADS||3.44%|
|Kansas City Southern Industries||2.80%|
|ASM Pacific Technology Limited||2.74%|
Amana Participation Fund
|Top 10 Holdings||Portfolio Weight|
|Perusahaan Penerbit SBSN||4.83%|
|SOQ Sukuk A||4.76%|
|Perusahaan Penerbit SBSN||4.68%|
|TNB Global Ventures Cap||4.30%|
|Equate Sukuk Spc||4.11%|
Income, Growth, Developing World, and Participation Funds: The value of the shares of each of the Funds rises and falls as the value of the securities in which the Funds invest go up and down. The Amana Mutual Funds limit the securities they purchase to those consistent with Islamic principles. This limits opportunities and may affect performance. Each of the Funds may invest in securities that are not traded in the United States. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers may involve risks in addition to those normally associated with investments in the securities of US issuers. These risks include currency and market fluctuations, and political or social instability. The risks of foreign investing are generally magnified in the smaller and more volatile securities markets of the developing world.
Growth Fund: The smaller and less seasoned companies that may be in the Growth Fund have a greater risk of price volatility.
Participation Fund: While the Participation Fund does not invest in conventional bonds, risks similar to those of conventional nondiversified fixed-income funds apply. These include: diversification and concentration risk, liquidity risk, interest rate risk, credit risk, and high-yield risk. The Participation Fund also includes risks specific to investments in Islamic fixed-income instruments. The structural complexity of sukuk, along with the weak infrastructure of the sukuk market, increases risk. Compared to rights of conventional bondholders, holders of sukuk may have limited ability to pursue legal recourse to enforce the terms of the sukuk or to restructure the sukuk in order to seek recovery of principal. Sukuk are also subject to the risk that some Islamic scholars may deem certain sukuk as not meeting Islamic investment principles subsequent to the sukuk being issued
The S&P 500 is an index comprised of 500 widely held common stocks considered to be representative of the US stock market in general. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index, produced by Morgan Stanley Capital International, measures equity market performance in over 20 emerging market countries. The FTSE Sukuk Index measures the performance of global Islamic fixed income securities, also known as sukuk.
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We do not provide tax, accounting, or legal advice to our clients, and all investors are advised to consult with their tax, accounting, or legal advisers regarding any potential investment. Investors should not assume that investments in the securities and/or sectors described were or will be profitable. This podcast is prepared based on information Saturna Capital deems reliable; however, Saturna Capital does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information. Investors should consult with a financial adviser prior to making an investment decision. The views and information discussed in this commentary are at a specific point in time, are subject to change, and may not reflect the views of the firm as a whole.
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