Fund Focus: Wahed S&P Shariah Fund and Wahed S&P Dividend Growth Fund

Islamic robo-advisor Wahed Invest added another string to its bow when it introduced the Wahed S&P Shariah Fund and Wahed S&P Dividend Growth Fund in September, being the first fully-digital Shariah investment manager to offer Islamic funds.

Targeting both retail and institutional investors, the funds provide affordable passive exposure to the US equity market; the start-up does not charge a fund management fee, bucking the market trend where most asset managers impose a fee of at least 1%.

The team began working on developing the fund earlier this year.

The Wahed S&P Shariah Fund tracks the S&P500 Shariah Index while the Wahed S&P Dividend Growth Fund tracks the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Shariah Index designed to measure the performance of Shariah compliant companies within the S&P Composite 1500.

“As it has been the trend in conventional investing, investors have been moving toward passively managed funds since the crisis, particularly in US equities. We decided to launch these two funds to provide Shariah compliant investors with a low cost, diversified exposure to US equities,” shares Samim Abedi, the global head of portfolio management at Wahed.
 
To be rebalanced periodically, the funds are expected to perform in line with US equity markets, which tend to average high single-digit yield over the long term.

Both funds are only available on Wahed Invest’s platform. “We have no immediate plans to register as a fund and list on other platforms, but perhaps that is something that makes sense once we have economies of scale,” says Samim.
The opinions and viewpoints expressed in the Fund Focus do not constitute as a recommendation for any funds highlighted. The information presented is not investment advice and should not be treated as such. 


<table>
<tbody>
<tr>
<td  colspan="2">
Table 1: Key features of the fund
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Name of the fund
</td>
<td>
Wahed S&amp;P Shariah Fund and Wahed S&amp;P Dividend Growth Fund
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Issuer
</td>
<td>
Wahed Invest
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Launch date
</td>
<td>
5th September 2018
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Fund manager
</td>
<td>
Wahed Invest
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Fund category
</td>
<td>
Index fund
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Fund domicile
</td>
<td>
US
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Investment objective
</td>
<td>
Capital appreciation
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Geographical exposure
</td>
<td>
US
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Investor risk profile
</td>
<td>
Varies, will have some exposure across conservative to aggressive risk profiles
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Expected yield
</td>
<td>
Expected high single-digit yield over the long term
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Base currency
</td>
<td>
US dollar
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>
Benchmark
</td>
<td>
S&amp;P 500 Shariah Index and S&amp;P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Shariah Index
</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>


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