How You Slice It: The Basics of Household Finance
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How You Slice It: The Basics of Household Finance
Owaiz Dadabhoy: [introductory invocation] My name is Owaiz Dadabhoy. We sent you an invitation. You accepted. You’re here today. We thank you for being on and to respect your time, we’re starting on time. So, we’re going to start with a top ten list of ways to mess up your credit. That’s the slang way to say it. To hurt your credit. So, I’m going to start with number 10: ignoring your credit report. So, just, you know, ignoring it and not knowing what your number is is not going to save you, right? It’s like, not weighing yourself thinking that everything will be fine if you don’t know your weight. Or not getting a blood test and not knowing what may be lurking inside your system that you need to fix. Number 9: unemployment. So, going for unemployment, leading to missed payments. That’s an issue. But simply going on unemployment benefits does not mess up your credit or hurt your credit. In fact, that’s a misconception. People believe that if you go on unemployment or food stamps or some kind of other benefit that it will hurt your credit. It does not. It’s a good time to stop and think about the fact that we should have 3-6 months’ worth of emergency funds. Right? For your fixed costs. Your rent or financing of your home. Your car leases. Your utilities. Your food. Those things are fixed costs. Maybe you can sluff off some additional costs when you’re going through difficulty, but those costs are going to be there, so have enough for that in cash. Number 8: holding high credit card balances. So, the number to use for this, to not hurt your credit, is try for 30% or less utilization on any given credit card. And of course, you know, if you’re practicing the Islamic faith, then you want to pay off your credit cards at the end of each month or when the payment is due. We’re going to get into these things in detail even though it’s a short presentation. We’ll go into detail about some of this. Number 7: not having enough credit diversity. So, if you just have one credit card in your life and you don’t have any other type of financing, your credit number will not go to where you want it to go to. And we’ll talk about in the presentation why that’s harmful to your credit. And why that will actually cost you money in the long-term. Number 6: cosigning on credit applications. So, a friend comes to you... a distant cousin, and says, “Hey will you apply with me on this financing? I really need you to do that.” I make it a practice not to do that unless, for some reason, it was very close, right? Like, a sibling or a parent. And fortunately, my sibling and my parents don’t need that assistance, but they would be virtually the only ones that I would assist. Or, of course, my children. I would actually put that as number 1on my list. Number 5: transferring balances to a single card. So, we might think, you know, I have seven different cards here. I’m not using them or I’ve got a little bit of a balance on them. Let me consolidate them all. In terms of your credit, that might hurt you. In terms of other aspects, you might feel good about it. But there are ways to keep your credit cards open—some of them—you don’t have to have so many, and not hurt your credit. You don’t have to use the credit cards. Number 4: cancelling your zero balance credit cards altogether. If you have a score, a FICO score, above 800, you might be okay to cancel one or another, you know, every now and then. But if you start to cancel all of your credit cards at one time, that will lower your score. And we’ll talk about just how much it could lower your score. Number 3: applying for more credit and, you know, more credit than you actually can afford to have on your credit history. Right? So, within reason and normal course of life, it’s fine, but every department store that you go to... right? When you go to Home Depot and you’re making a $50 purchase and they say we’ll give you 10% off; apply for the credit card. Might not be a good idea. Wait until you buy $3,000 worth of appliances, then you can do it. And you go to Costco. You’ve already got a credit card there. If you go to some other clothing store, you always get a credit card. This is what you don’t want to do. Because every time you apply for credit, you’re going to have a small ding on your credit. So, if you’re doing it too often, it can hurt you. Number 2: not paying your bills on time. And we’re going to get into just how much this is going to hurt you and ways to avoid having this happen. Number 1... this is number 1 according to the website that I went to, is just one late payment. So, if you’re late more than 30 days on a particular payment, they are going to report you. In most cases, that credit card or other financing that you have, is going to report you. What you want to do is, as soon as you find out that you forgot to make the payment or it was in error or you didn’t get the mail, you need to call the credit card company or finance company, let them know, and ask them to have mercy on you and they typically will. So, that’s my top ten list. Now that we have a few more people that have joined, we’re going to go ahead and get into the actual presentation. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you, again, for joining us for this webinar today. I’m excited to present it today. My name is Owaiz Dadabhoy; I’m the Director of Islamic Investing at Saturna Capital. Been here with this company since 2008 and with me is Regional Manager Haitham Al-Sayed, who is traveling. He’s in Florida today. Away from the other coast where he lives in California. The reason we’re excited to present this is because we find that there’s a lot of questions about this, and they’re usually unanswered questions or, you know, education that people are not getting either in school or after school. It’s just hard to get this kind of information unless you go seek it yourself. So, we thought we would make this presentation for you today. You can send it to your children, your nephews and nieces and others that would really need this, especially when they’re first getting started. I’d like to make a quick announcement as well. We do have an Imams Generational Fund that we are cosponsoring with a couple of other entities. And it is called the Imams Generational Fund because we are offering up to $5,000 as a scholarship to the children of Imams. Take a look at that. Please spread the word on that. Let your local Imams know that their children could qualify for this based on their application and get the word out so that we can take care of these important people in our community. So, you know, if I talk about anything that specifically about returns or past performance, just keep in mind that it is not a guarantee of future returns of any kind. So, I’m not really going to talk too much about the Funds today. Haitham will touch on them in a little bit, near the end of the presentation. But, you know, credit that you have, your FICO score, is going to have an impact on how much you pay for your financing. Right? And this webinar is to really get you to consider budgeting. And, you know, put budgeting and your credit score together. That’s what we are looking to do. Have you been budgeting for success? Ask yourself that question. You may not have ever considered budgeting. Hopefully you’ll do that today, though. If you’re just fine and you know, you’re successful, you have enough cash flow, then try to teach your children some of what we’re going to talk to you about as well. Are your financial habits killing you? In some cases, they are. They are killing certain people. We talk to, you know, dozens of people every year, each one of us. Myself. Haitham. The rest of our team. And we find that some of them are just not able to make any kind of savings for themselves or for their children, for their future. It’s because they’re not finding the money within their checking account because they’re not budgeting. So, you’re not able to save or you don’t know the steps to do it. So, we’ll talk a little bit about how to do it. You might have a large retirement account but that’s because you’re really deliberate about it... actually, it’s deliberate for you. Right? You made one decision and the retirement account is doing its thing for you. But, why not do that for the children? For, you know, going on a vacation or hajj, for your health savings or for a home purchase, right? So, these are the things that we’re going to talk about: how we can actually accomplish our goals by figuring out where we can find some more money. And to give you a little bit more insight into what I mean by that, if you pay $200 a month for a bill. Let’s call it your cell phone bill. So, that’s $2,400 a year over 10 years, you will have put in $24,000. If you find some type of investment that gives you an 8% average return... average, right? Sometimes it’s higher, sometimes it’s lower. If you put in $200 a month into that for the same ten years that you have your cell phone, by the time that you would be done with those ten years of savings you would have $36,589, according to my calculation. Think about that. That’s just from your cell phone bill. Think about your internet bills and what not. Right? So, we are making those payments no matter what. Every single month. Let’s do the same thing. Let’s find out where we have some money within our budget to save, as well. So, when you’re budgeting for yourself, it’s going to help you plan for not only the month-to-month expenses but also the long-term expenses that you will have. Right? When you’re budgeting, you have to keep all of those things in mind and you’re going to prevent a crisis situation because you’re going to know every single month how much you have and how much you don’t have for certain expenses. So, you’ll take care of that by having a budget and not getting into a crisis situation. So, you know, if you lose your job or something, you already know that you’re going to have enough for your emergency funds because you’ve been putting enough money into that, as well. And, when you’re saving and you’re budgeting, you want to also keep in mind that you also want to save for, you know, or budget for, let’s say for the movies, right? Or if you’re going to go to the beach and have restaurant food along the way before and after. You want to budget for all of these things. You’re going to go to a theme park at some point during the year. Right? So, budget for that as well. Put all of this into consideration. Understand how much that you can spend and save and invest in each month and plan for major changes, as well. So, if you know that right now you have one child and you’re planning to have a second, start to plan for that now. And the reason why budgeting sometimes fails is we don’t prioritize our expenses. So, we give equal weight to every one of our expenses. Down here in Southern California there’s a local zakat organization that I’m a part of and sometimes it does flabbergast me that, you know, you’ll talk to somebody, and they’ll say, “I paid for my children’s clothing because they’re going to school, so I got them all new clothing. I paid for my car. I leased another car for my child. And now I don’t have anything for rent.” Right? Well, isn’t rent... if you prioritize that... isn’t that the number one thing that you should pay first? Because you have to have a place to live, right? And then, the second one is going to be food. So, make sure that you prioritize. That’s the idea there. And then if you don’t... if you’re not practical about your expenses and you’re only keeping those major things in there because you don’t want to think about the fact that you have somebody taking care of your lawn every month or your haircuts. Right? There’s four or five people in your family and you’re not thinking about your haircut in your budget? So, if you’re really trying to get into this where, you know, you’re budgeting for success, you’re going to have to consider all of those things... at least, initially, for the first few months until you really start to save some money for yourself and get your finances aligned properly. And then, we often, we don’t plan for anything unexpected because it’s unexpected, right? But think about things like your vehicle or if you own your home, you may have something come up in your home that you need to fix, like your water heater. You might need new tires for your car. If your car is five years old and you’ve never had your brakes done, you’re probably going to have to have your brakes down pretty soon. You’re going to have wheel alignment. You’re going to need to budget for all of those things. Some of the costs that we have in our life are going to be quarterly and annually, so which ones can you think of? An annual cost is property taxes. You might receive your homeowners’ insurance and you can break it into quarterly or monthly, but you might not be thinking about it now because you already paid it in January, so make sure you consider that, as well. So, you know, I like to... and I didn’t know it was Will Rogers when I found this quote, but it’s something that I’ve been using because I heard it a while back and it was slightly different but the way that Will Rogers said it—apparently—is, “too many people spend money they don’t have or they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people that they don’t like.” Right? Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people that they don’t even like. So, often times we are going to spend money without really needing to spend that money to impress people and, you know, if you get into a budget and you really apply yourself for a year or two, you’ll find that it will make a big difference, financially, for yourself. I’m going to go through this very quickly. The five easy steps of budgeting. Don’t plan for the perfect month because there’s always going to be something that happens. If you are... let’s say you are the wife in the relationship here and you want to do this: get your husband involved. If your husband is the one that’s looking at this webinar today: get your wife involved, right? And if you have adult children that are in the house, let them know that you’re doing it so everyone understands that we are trying to... try to carve out our expenses and carve our savings for financial success so that we can go on a vacation. Maybe you haven’t gone on a vacation for three years and you’re trying to figure out a way to do that. Maybe you haven’t been to hajj yet and you don’t think you can get there. I knew somebody that wanted to retire at 63, 64... they had a small, maybe $100,000 left on their home, and they didn’t know that they could pay it off. They didn’t even know how much savings they had in the different places they had the money. So, you know, we reviewed it over time and eventually found out they had way more than $100,000. They could pay off their home and they could still have enough savings and they were going to get a pension and they could retire. So, about six months later, they retired. But if they hadn’t really reviewed this, they probably would have kept working for five more years without wanting to work. Budget for emergencies, as we talked about. You can consider what those are, and we already talked about some of them. And revisit your budget. One thing in the modern age is we have applications for all of these things. So, you can either look it up on Google or you can find one on your cell phone store to find one. And if you don’t like it after a while, get another one. But really, try this to see, you know, how you can get your credit in line, how you can get your savings in line, and your expenses in line. So, as we talked about, the top priorities are housing and food. Your car payments. Your insurance, utilities. And then, savings, we put it as “f” here but it's really super important because this is going to help you to accomplish your financial goals down the road. So, what makes up your credit score? That’s what we are going to talk about today, and what is a great credit score? So, if you have a score, you know, of 800, you’re in the exceptional bracket. Very good is 740 and as you can see the rest of the numbers there. If you’re at the 600 level, the 700 level, what does that mean in terms of cost? We’re going to talk about that. So, if you have an account at your bank, you most likely will have a FICO score that they will provide to you. Even some of the credit cards now, if you just look on their app, it’ll show you, you know, click here for your credit score. It doesn’t cost you anything. They’ve already loaded it. Every single month they load it, and you can see if your credit number is going up or down. Is it 800 today and then the next month is 795? Fine, that’s not a problem. Right? But something is driving that. What is driving that number? We’re going to talk about that. And then ultimately, is it costing me money that I have a low credit score? Or is it helping me if I have a high credit score? And one way to look at this is if you’re looking to go out there and get a new lease of a vehicle and you hear on tv, on an ad or a radio ad, and they say, “We have this great deal. It’s $399 a month.” You can name the number, but we’ll use $399. It’s $399 a month but for exceptional credit. Right? So, you know if you go in there and your credit sore is 620, don’t expect it to be $399 a month. It’s probably going to be $500 a month and they’re going to ask you for more money up front. So, try to raise your score by what we talk to you about in this presentation today. How it’s calculated, your overall number... remember, let’s sat you’re shooting for 800. What’s going to go into that 800 score? 30% of it is the amounts that you owe. Right? So, if you have a credit card with a $10,000 limit and you have a $9,000 balance on there, and then you have another one with a $5,000 limit and you have $4,000 in there. So, you have a good amount of credit, but you also have a good amount of debt and you’re carrying that debt. New credit means that you just signed up for more. You signed up for another credit cards, but you already have ten credit cards. You signed up for #11. That’s makes up for 10% of your score and then the length of your credit history. So, if you only had credit for six months. Like my daughter, right? She’s going to college, and she just got her first credit card. That’s going to make a difference because you don’t have enough there for the credit agencies to say that you’re a good risk. That’s what this is all about. Is this person a good risk or not? So, before I move forward here, you can see the rest of the numbers are payment history... you know, are you late? Are you on time? That’s the biggest number, by the way. And then the credit mix which is... do you only have credit cards, or do you also have a lease? Do you have rent that you’re paying that they’re reporting properly that you’re making payments on or do you have home financing that they’re making, reporting back saying that this person is making payments? If you just have one type then it does affect your credit score but it’s only 10%. So, the thing that I wanted to pause here about is... start talking to your children early about what credit is going to mean. Because there is a punchline at the end about how much this is going to cost you, as we mentioned. So, as you’re, you know, discussing with them, tell them that once they become 18 and they’re in college, you’re going to help them to get a student credit card. And you may not have considered this but those in the know, know to do this. Right? Because a child, when they are in college and you give them your credit card, it may not help them at all in terms of their credit. It’s helping your credit. So now, they graduate, they’re 22 years old and they want to... they’re making some money, they want to go get a lease of a car. Even a very cheap one, for example. And then, um, the car company says, “Well you need a cosigner. You don’t have any credit.” Well, we set them up that way, right? Because we didn’t help them to get credit. So, what you can do is... or if they want to go for a credit card at your local bank and they have no credit and they already graduated, they’re going to have a difficult time doing that unless you are a cosigner for them. So, there’s an exception, which is when a child is in college, the credit card company will trust them and give them a credit card. And in my day, it used to be $700 that my bank would give me, automatically. If you qualified for a student credit card, you were given a $700 limit. Now, it’s a little bit more. I think it’s $1,500 to $2,000 limit. And if you do this and you talk to your child about this. We’re going to get you a credit card under your own name when you go to college, and you start setting them up for this. You tell them why the scores are important, why we’re doing this, you can also tell them, “Just make sure if you’re buying some coffee or buying lunch, let’s set some limits and we’re going to make your payment at the end of each month automatically. In fact, we’re going to set that up through bill payment or automatic payment but we’re going to pay the entire amount, so you don’t pay any interest.” And you can explain to them why we don’t want to pay interest. First of all, it’s costing you money and secondly, which is more importantly, it’s, you know, part of our religion says to stay away from usury and that sort of thing. So, this is the way to get your children to success. And now, if you look at that 800 number that I was talking about. If you’re shooting for an 800 credit score. I said that payment history is like 35%, I believe, right? That’s 192 FICO score points. If you’re in a very bad situation with payment history, you will lose up to 192 points. So, your 800 is almost down to 600. If it’s not so bad, maybe your 800 went down to 650 just because of that score. The amounts owed could be up to 165. Again, this one was, I have $25,000 of available credit card debt level and I owe most of that already. Like, I’m carrying a balance, so that’s not going to look good. So, you can see here that, you know, too many recent credit inquiries or too much new credit is 82 points to your 800. Let’s say you got zero points in that category, your 800 would go down to 718. So now, if you say, let’s do the reverse. I’m at 650, how do I get up to 800? You can see what the numbers will do. Make your payments on time. Pay off your credit cards. Right? Like, try to do anything you can to make more payments on your credit cards if you owe money on them. If you’re in a situation where you don’t owe money, never get into the point where you carry balances. As we mentioned, it’s not good for you financially and also religiously. So, you can see, we’ll get you to ask some questions once we get through this part here. Length of credit history, again, if you’re a young person, you’re just starting off... it is what it is right? But it’s only 55 points so it’s not going to kill you. How does this actually make a difference in how much you pay? And, you know, if you want to go get a cell phone. If you want to get... an insurance company, an employer even, will look at your credit history. Not all employers will, but many will look at your credit history to see if you’re going to be okay with dealing with money. Their money. So, you have to take it seriously, whether you like it or not. Let’s say you bought a $350,000 home and you got $240,000 financing for 30 years. You can see here that if your FICO score is at 760-850... these are some old interest rates, right? But it would be around 4.15%, but if you’re in the 620-639 range and they actually gave you a loan, you would be at 5.736%. So, how much is that? What is that costing you over the life of that? Haitham, do you see the numbers, because it’s cut off for me because I’m presenting.
Haitham Al-Sayed: Yeah, it’s almost $100,000 in interest difference.
Owaiz Dadabhoy: $100,000. So even if this is Islamic financing and it’s not necessarily... let’s say it’s a co-ownership agreement or something, but there’s going to be some type of rate that they are going to apply. Right? What’s going to end up happening is you’re going to pay more because you are a credit risk if you’re at that level and actually, many of the lenders will not even give you a loan if you’re at 620 or below. So, you know, it is what it is, here. 4.15% versus 5.7%. This is the same thing that’s going to happen for a lease or if you want to go get a credit card. You may not get the credit card if you’re at the lower... so, it’s not like rocket science is what I’m trying to tell you, right? This is just numbers. You just have to understand what makes up the numbers and then you can control your destiny thereafter. So, we’ll take questions in just a bit. I want to have Haitham talk about, you know, now that you figure out, through budgeting, or because you have a better credit history, and you go for financing... instead of paying $500 for a car you’re paying $350. What are you going to do with that money that you’ve discovered that you have? So, he’s going to talk to you about four different strategies here.
Haitham Al-Sayed: [introductory invocation] Everybody, I’m in the beautiful ISTABA Islamic Center of Tampa Bay conference room, in their new facility. Just before we started it was nice and sunny and humid. Now it’s raining, tropical thunderstorm, and still humid. But Hamdulillah. It’s a pleasure to be with you here today. I’m going to be very short and quick, as well. I think Owaiz, you know, laid it out, how important it is to have a budget and I think of budget just... you made an analogy to cars, Owaiz, earlier in your discussion. I think of it as an oil change. It’s something that you periodically need to do and check, and it will keep your car going. As long as you do an oil change in any car, you should be fine. The car will last for a long time. So, you know, there’s always a moment where you look at your budget and you look at your inflows and outflows—because at the end of the day you want to have more inflows than outflows—but when you can tweak a little bit of the expenses here and there, whether it’s the cable bill or the phone bill, and that extra saving... you’re already paying it, just create a new account like Owaiz said and start putting int into an investment vehicle or some sort to allow you to have the potential to grow it. Because sitting in a bank earning no interest, you’re actually losing money based on the inflation concept. We are an, Islamic, as you know, mutual fund company. We’ve been doing halal investment options to individuals, businesses, and non-profits for the last 35 years or so. We do have four different Funds with different strategies that are geared depending on what you’re looking for... whether it’s retirement, non-retirement, whether it’s for hajj, college planning, what have you.
For performance current to the most recent month-end, please visit our Month-End Performance page.
Haitham Al-Sayed: We have, you know... we started with the Income Fund in 1986 as you can see. This Fund focuses on high paying dividend stock companies. These are companies that are putting money back into the shareholders to attract shareholders so they can continue to be attractive investment vehicles. And Hamdulillah, net of fees, total return has been around 9%, net of fees, since 1986. Then, if you move up, we have the Amana Growth Fund, companies like Apple, Google, and some pharmaceuticals. Now, these companies, unlike the dividend companies, these are companies that actually make new products, new technology. So, that’s been driving that Fund since 1994. And then we move to the Developing World Fund. The Developing World Fund was launched in 2009. This allowed folks that wanted more international coverage or exposure. So, these are Islamically filtered companies outside the US along with companies that are US based that might have 50% of their assets or revenue coming from foreign... outside the US. And then, we have the last... the one on the bottom which is more of a conservative fund. It’s called the Amana Participation Fund, launched in 2015. The objective of this fund is to preserve capital and earn some income. It’s an Islamic bond equivalent. It’s based on the notion of sukuks, which comes from the Arabic term sakk which is a certificate or ownership of an asset. I won’t get into details. There’s a very useful video that brother Owaiz and others and the Portfolio Manager what the sukuk is and how it functions to get a nice conceptual idea. But we are available, any of us, to discuss any of these in the future. So, Owaiz is going to move to the Fund Selector. This is on our website. So, if you go to amanafunds.com. We have several options for you. This is a risk tolerance questionnaire, if you will. And basically, it allows you... it’s for educational purposes only. But it allows you to take a short, 8-question quiz and it kind of gives you a guideline of where you should allocate. This will help guide you in that direction. Now, my suggestion is whether you take our risk questionnaire or any other risk questionnaire... take this twice, because the first time you take it, this is how you think globally, this is how you think of the markets currently. You might come out 50/50 or 70/30 depending on the allocation, but if you take it the next day, the same 8 questions but now you have specific things to question about... you know, “This money is really for my retirement. My retirement is in 20 years or 10 years, and I need to outlast this for 10, 20, 30 years in retirement.” Allah knows and may Allah give us good health, but people are living 10, 20, 30 years right now in retirement unlike our grandfathers, so you have to plan this out and so this gives you an idea on how to allocate and once you’ve finished your allocation, give us a call. We’re happy to discuss it further if you want. We also have some more complex financial plans available that we can provide, and we can talk about it one on one. Just as Owaiz mentioned earlier, myself, I’m in Florida this week and next, throughout Orlando, Tampa, and then down to South Florida, Miami. Along with my colleague, Amjad, who’s also going to be in the area. So, if you are in the Florida area and would like to meet or talk to us, we’re available to carve some time. So, with that, I’m going to turn it over to Owaiz.
Owaiz Dadabhoy: Alright, thank you Haitham, and as you can see, there is risk on each one of these Funds. You can read what the different risks are, whether it’s the Income, Growth, Developing World Fund. Participation Fund. Each carries its own type of risk, including... some of our holdings are international holdings so it could also have currency risk and what not, right? So, take a look at our prospectus. You’ll see more information there. You know, year to year, the returns are going to be different. There’s never a guarantee of any type of return, but most of you are shareowners or shareholders and you understand how that all works. If you do want to contact us... and we’re going to wrap up slightly after this, but I do have a few more comments and we’ll take some questions. You can always contact us by emailing us or calling into the Saturna offices. Amana Mutual Funds. And choosing those extension numbers. So, as Haitham said, if you want to go through that Fund Selector on our website and then... talk to us about it and get our thoughts, we’d be happy to help you with that. But again, you know, the main thing that we wanted to do today is to get you thinking about how to budget in order to free up money to have emergency savings. Because we can see that what happened, you know, during the pandemic, hurt a lot of people and it hurt people of, you know, particular diversities more than it hurt others. And so, you want to protect yourself and your family by understanding finances, right? It’s simple to do but you need to go seek it out. So today was just the beginning of that conversation but make your objective that you want to find money in your checking account every single month and pay yourself first and figure out what you want to save for. Right? Whether it’s for your children, for your retirement, for health savings or what not. And we can help you with that. We can help you to figure out what your goal should be if you don’t know how to figure them out yourself. We can talk to you about that. So, learn more about budgeting and then, you know, have an emergency fund and then figure out how to save more for the future. That’s the bottom line of what we are trying to accomplish and through figuring out, you know, your credit score, you can save some money on your financing, on your leasing. People will give you the best possible deals if you have the best credit. So, let’s see if we have any questions, here.
Haitham Al-Sayed: Owaiz, while you look that up, I have two additional comments, before you look at the questions. So, one is, as Owaiz mentioned, have a budget and there are worksheets you can find online. We also have access to budget worksheets to kind of put it on paper and, you know, see what your expenses are. And write them down pre-retirement, post-retirement. But more importantly, if you take anything out of this, it’s to have a disciplined process in place, which means, you know, having those automatic enrollments into an investment savings plan. That will kind of... not set it and forget it, but it allows you to say, “You know what? Just like I’m paying a bill, I have to pay myself.” Like Owaiz said, I have to pay myself first and my family first. So, having a disciplined process is by far probably the most successful execution you can take out of today’s webinar.
Owaiz Dadabhoy: And saving a little bit over a long amount of time is how to really build wealth in this country, unless you’re a business owner and you have some very good years, this is the way to do it. So, some of the questions that we are seeing here are, you know, helping me to realize that you’re starting to think in the right direction. Right? You’re starting to take action in your mind about how to move this forward. One of the comments here is, “For helping children build credit... what about adding them as an authorized user?” What you can do is, if you have a credit card from whatever company... call them up and say, “Look, my child is 16 years old, I want to add them to the credit card. How do I add them in a way where you will also report on their credit, as well? Is there a way to do that?” And some credit card companies may do that, some may not. But all is not lost. I mean, once they turn 18, even if you can’t build up their credit when they’re 16, it’s not really an issue because they’re not going to start going out and getting leases on their own when they’re 18. Right? You’re going to be helping them at that point. But once they graduate college, if they go to college and graduate, they’re going to need to have that credit built up. So, once they turn 18 or whenever they go to school, that’s when you help them to apply for their credit card through school. So, you know, just about any of the large banks are going to have what they call student Visa or student Mastercard. And that’s the way to do it. You don’t have to start when they’re younger. But what you should start on when they’re younger is start to talk about finances with them and get them interested. Show you how much you have saved for them. Show them, “Hey look I have an education savings account. If you go to college, this is what you’re going to have. I’m going to buy you a computer because it’s required. I have the funds for it. I’m going to get you in a dorm if you’re far away and it’ll be no problem. If you want to go to a higher end school, we can be able to take care of it.” So, get them interested and let them know that there is light. Right? At the end of the tunnel. That they will be able to go to college because of what you’re doing for them. You might also save in a minor account. If you don’t have a minor account for them yet, you know, this is a great way to show your children how to save for themselves and invest and, you know they don’t need to go buy individual stocks and risk all of their money. They can buy funds like the Amana Funds and you can show them how slowly, methodically, it helps them. So, you’re helping them to understand this so that they will practice the same thing. If your child... 15, 16, 17, their earning some money, look up Roth IRA for children. You can put up to 100% of their income, up to $6,000 into a Roth IRA. I know people that have done that, and the children start to look at it and say, “Wow, this is actually growing. I’m actually doing this for myself.” Right? And you’re setting them up for future success as well. One thing that people can do when they have questions about financial services or anything else... you can go to AMJA Online. I think it’s .net. And they have fatwas on their website. So, you can ask about life insurance or about investing or about credit cards. You know, in the United States, from the scholars that I’ve spoken to or heard from, they say it is okay to have a credit card just as long as you’re making your payments quickly. Right? So, as soon as you get your bill or you’re looking online, make that payment so you don’t have debt, making sure that you don’t have any interest, as well, that you’re paying. There is a question on here. “Have you guys worked on setting up trusts and waqf [endowment] in the United States?” Yes, we have. It’s a separate subject but yes, we have. In fact, many of the nonprofits, especially the large ones that you have heard of, do have either their brokerage accounts so they can accept stocks directly from you, or mutual funds, to save you on taxes. Call us if you have questions on that or call your CPA. And then, some of them do have waqf as well. And some of them are doing very well building up their waqf and the reason why it’s important to have a waqf for a large nonprofit is, you know, once you have enough money in there, you can use the profit or the returns from that to fund your operations. So, if there’s an organization and you give them $100 but only $90 of it is going to the zakat-eligible person, the organization might be taking $10 of that $100, right? Eventually, if you have a large enough waqf, then when you give them $100, they’ll be able to use all $100 towards the people in need. So, I’m not finding any other questions and if you do have questions, you saw that you can, you know, get in contact with us. If you just call into our office and ask for any one of us, they’ll give you our email address to set up a time or try to get you in touch with us right then and there. So, please do contact us if you have any questions. We’re always here to help our existing clientele. And finally, I’ll just say that if you think that this is good for the Muslim student association at your local college or your masjid, you know, would like to have a presentation like this, we can do it virtually or in person. You might have a youth group and they need information as well. Right? They need different content. So, we can provide this kind of content and other presentations, purely educational. We’re not really selling you anything. We’re putting the information out there so people can make the decision about how to move forward.
Haitham Al-Sayed: And Owaiz, for the Imam Generational Scholarship Fund. I don’t know if you mentioned it. You probably did. If you put amanafunds.com and search “Imam scholarship” for those of you interested in passing that long. It’s available on there.
Owaiz Dadabhoy: Alright we’re going to leave it there. If anyone has any comments or questions, reach out to us. I’ll just give you my email address again if you have any questions. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call into our office and they will transfer you over to me. Thank you very much for your time. We’ll see you next month for our next webinar. If you want to find any old webinars or our podcast Halal Money Matters, you can google it, google “amana mutual funds webinar” or “amana mutual funds halal money matters” or just go to our website and search it there. Thank you very much everyone. As-salamu alaykum.
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The Amana Funds are distributed by Saturna Brokerage Services, member FINRA/ SIPC and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saturna Capital, investment adviser to the Amana Funds.
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.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT RISKS
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.
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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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