Wahed Invest review
This robo-advisor’s halal investments are backed by its own Shari'ah Board.
Robo-advisors have become more commonplace in the trading industry, offering hands-off portfolio management for passive investors. Wahed Invest stands out by offering halal returns courtesy of its Shari’ah Board of investment professionals.
- Consider Wahed Invest if you’re a passive investor seeking halal returns.
- Look elsewhere if you’re an active investor looking to buy and sell your own securities.
What I think of Wahed Invest
Wahed Invest is more expensive than many robo-advisors on the market. But it also offers a unique investment opportunity you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere: halal investments.
Wahed Invest offers ethical investments and returns in accordance with Islamic law, backed by:
- Its certification by the Shariyah Review Bureau.
- Its official membership of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).
Plus, its investors receive annual purification reports that detail the board’s calculation of accrued purification amounts, including the number of shares of each security, the net income per share and the number of days held for each security.
The downsides? Its 0.49% to 0.99% management fee is higher than most, and it doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting.
Wahed Invest is best for those seeking halal investments
Wahed Invest caters to the following investors:
- Passive investors. Hands-off investors executing a buy-and-hold strategy may like the ease and convenience of investing through a robo-advisor.
- Investors seeking halal returns. With its AAOIFI membership and Shariyah Review Bureau certification, Wahed Invest can cater to investors interested in halal returns.
To stay competitive, robo-advisors tend to cater to a specific type of investor. With its Shari’ah Board of investment professionals at the helm, Wahed Invest can do just that — offering investments that adhere to Islamic law.
Wahed Invest is well-suited to investors who want automated portfolio rebalancing and algorithm-based investment guidance. Its financial algorithms are based on Modern Portfolio Theory, and investors select one of six portfolio types when they apply. Investments are guided by the platform’s board and allocated based on each individual investor’s risk tolerance and investment goals.
A Shari’ah Board screens its investments
Wahed Invest’s securities are monitored by its Ethical Review Board, Straightway Ethical LLC, and are further screened by its Shari’ah Board to filter out investments from the following industries:
- Adult entertainment
- Excess debt
- Impure foodstock
- Unethical lending institutions
Investors say the platform is easy to use
Signing up for a Wahed Invest account can be done in a matter of minutes from the platform’s website. Investors can download the mobile app for free from the Google Play or the App Store to manage investments on the go. Investors report that both the web platform and mobile app are easy to use. Reports are delivered monthly, with a summary of portfolio holdings so that investors can stay conveniently up to date with the performance of their investments.
Wahed Invest’s fees are high
For robo-advisors, Wahed Invest’s fees and minimums are higher than most. Investors need at least $100 to open an account — not terribly high but not as accessible as the $0 minimum for some competitors, like Betterment investors. Wahed Invest’s monthly percentage-based management fee is higher than many of its competitors — even for those with portfolios large enough to nab the discounted rate.
Most robo-advisors with percentage-based fees charge between 0.15% to 0.75%, setting Wahed Invest firmly on the high end of the pricing spectrum. While it offers a service most competitors don’t — namely, halal returns — investors will need to weigh whether this benefit is worth the extra cost.
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How safe is Wahed Invest?
Having launched in 2016, Wahed Invest is a newer robo-advisors — which is likely why we couldn’t find a Better Business Bureau (BBB) page for the company. Despite its lack of presence on the BBB, Wahed Invest is registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its partner broker is a registered Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member.
In the event that Wahed Invest goes under, funds are insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) for up to $500,000.
Wahed Invest reviews are mixed
As of August 2021, Wahed Invest doesn’t have a Better Business Bureau page but earns a TrustScore of 4.2 out of 5 on Trustpilot based on the feedback of 26 investors. It has no registered complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Its mobile app earns 3.7 out of 5 on Google Play after 2,806 reviews, with plenty of praise for the app’s intuitive, easy-to-use interface but complaints of login errors. In the App Store, the app scores just 3.1 out of 5 based on 29 reviews. Investors complain of difficulties registering for the app and say the app’s user interface needs improvement.
Investors on Reddit say that Wahed Invest is an excellent option for those who don’t have the time or experience to manage their own investments. Among the complaints were high fees, limited customer support and wait times of up to two weeks for withdrawn funds to be deposited.
Pros and cons
Consider these drawbacks and advantages when considering Wahed Invest.
- Halal investments. Wahed Invest offers a unique opportunity for investors — returns are halal in accordance with Islamic law.
- Intuitive platform. Many positive reviews mention that the Wahed Invest web platform and mobile app are intuitive and easy to navigate.
- Automatic rebalancing. Automatic rebalancing provides peace of mind for investors worried about monitoring the market.
- Open to international investors. Wahed Invest can accommodate investors from more than 170 countries.
- Expensive. Wahed Invest charges more for its service than many of its competitors.
- Slow withdrawals. Investors report that account withdrawals can take between eight to 12 business days to process.
- Minimum opening deposit. While it dropped its minimum opening deposit from $500 to $100, it’s still higher than the minimum deposit required by competitors like Betterment.
- No custodial accounts. If you want to open an account on behalf of a child, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
- No tax-loss harvesting. Unlike several of its competitors, Wahed Invest doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting.
How do I sign up?
Start the signup process on Wahed Invest’s homepage:
- Select Get Started.
- Pick your country and select Next.
- Enter your email address and create a password.
- Answer a series of questions about your assets and investment goals.
- Based on your responses, Wahed Invest will suggest a portfolio. If you’re happy with your match, you can opt to Select This Portfolio. If not, select Retake Quiz.
- Indicate what type of account you’d like to open and select Start.
- Enter your full name, residential address, phone number, Social Security number and date of birth. Select Next.
- Enter the bank account and routing number of the external account you’d like to use to fund your account.
- Review your account information, make any necessary changes and select Submit.
Get support by email or phone
There are two ways to touch base with Wahed Invest:
- Phone. Call 855-976-4747 Sunday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
- Email. Send an email to email@example.com.
Alternatives to Wahed Invest
Wahed Invest crafts a unique identity for itself by offering halal returns courtesy of its Shari’ah Board. But this exclusive investment opportunity comes with less-than-competitive fees and investors need at least $100 to open an account.
Or, if you’re interested in exercising a little more autonomy over your investments, look into M1 Finance: you pick your portfolio holdings by hand, and the service automatically rebalances your selections.
Before you pick an account, take time to explore your investment options with other robo-advisors to find the best account for your portfolio.