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.
Minimum deposit to open
What's in this guide?
- What makes Wahed Invest unique?
- Who is Wahed Invest best for?
- How easy is it to use?
- Pricing and fees
- How safe is Wahed Invest?
- Customer reviews and complaints
- Pros and cons
- How do I sign up?
- How do I contact Wahed Invest support?
- Compare with other robo-advisors
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions
What makes Wahed Invest unique?
Wahed Invest is a robo-advisor that combines the advantages of automated portfolio management with ethical investments and returns in accordance with Islamic law. It’s an official member of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and is certified by the Shariyah Review Bureau.
The platform’s Shari’ah Board purification methodology states that any investment income that might have come from unlawful activities according to Islamic principle must be given to charity. 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. This process intends to ensure investor returns are halal in accordance with Islamic law.
Who is Wahed Invest best for?
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.
How are Wahed Invest securities screened?
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
How easy is it 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.
Pricing and fees
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 $1 minimum deposit required of Wealthsimple investors, or the $0 minimum for Acorns and 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 of its 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 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its partner broker is a registered FINRA member.
In the event that Wahed Invest goes under, funds are insured by the SIPC for up to $500,000.
Customer reviews and complaints
Overall, Wahed Invest receives fairly positive feedback from its investors. As of July 2020, it doesn’t have a Better Business Bureau page but earns a TrustScore of 3.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot and a score of 4.2 out of 5 from Google reviews. It has no registered complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Its mobile app earns 4.5 out of 5 on Google Play after 1,383 reviews, with numerous reports of the app’s intuitive, easy-to-use interface. In the App Store, the app scores just 3 out of 5 after five reviews — although the negative feedback from iPhone users stems from difficulties registering for the app and doesn’t seem to reflect the performance of the app itself.
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
- 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.
- 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’s dropped its minimum opening deposit from $500 to $100, it’s still higher than the $1 minimum deposit required by competitors Wealthsimple and SoFi.
How do I sign up?
Start the signup process on Wahed Invest’s homepage:
- Click Get Started.
- Select your country and click 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, click Select This Portfolio. If not, click Retake Quiz.
- Select the type of account you’d like to open and click Start.
- Enter your full name, residential address, phone number, Social Security number and date of birth. Click 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 click Submit.
How do I contact Wahed Invest support?
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.
Compare with other robo-advisors
Wahed Invest crafts a unique identity for itself by offering halal returns courtesy of its Shari’ah Board. But this exclusive investment opportunity comes at a price — and investors need at least $100 to open an account.
Not sure Wahed Invest is the right robo-advisor for you? Explore your investment options with other trading platforms to find the best account for your portfolio.