Posted by:GuestBlogger | Posted on: May 14th, 2013 | 0 Comments
Developing a financially secure future is an important and admirable aim for many families, but often the moral cost of that success can be greater than the monetary outcome. As more and more families look to establish a comfortable lifestyle within the bounds of their integrity, ethical investing and ethical saving funds become more pragmatic and successful.
Azzad Funds offers a number of ethical funds that cater to the important role of moral values in our personal lives. Azzad Funds do not sacrifice integrity for the sake of monetary successes, but rather they carefully select and chose ethically sound companies, which reflect a harmony in both values and success.
Azzad ethical funds provide a fusion of both insightful investment and saving funds with a unyielding conviction of moral integrity. Not only can you achieve a diverse financial portfolio that covers a myriad of interlocking industries, but you and your family can invest confidentially knowing that your money is going toward businesses and industries of progressive and morally sound practices.
Azzad Ethical Funds are successful due to their firm and clear objectives, which is to pursue long term capital appreciation by investing primarily in morally sound common stock and mid cap companies.
This approach spans continents diving into budding international markets and investing up to 20% in international companies with emerging markets. Using quantitative and fundamental analysis, the investment professionals and experienced team at Azzad Funds seeks to identify fast growing companies with strong and ethical business models.
These are companies with products or services in high demand, above average and sustainable earnings growth, and selling at inviting valuations.
Azzad Funds follows a careful and intelligent analysis of stock prices and earnings growth, which has showed that mid-cap companies often grow more rapidly and with greater abundance than larger companies. Using quantitative and fundamental analysis, the investment process is designed to be disciplined, repeatable, and applicable to companies with optimal risk versus reward profiles.
So with a highly crafted and effective investment strategy all surrounding ethically sound companies and practices, you and your family can not only see your assets grow with time, you can remain confident that your money is going towards companies that can spark a notable change in the world.
Read more about Azzad’s Ethical Investment process here
Posted by:GuestBlogger | Posted on: May 7th, 2013 | 0 Comments
Nothing says more about a person than the watch they choose to wear. Many times wearers will have to choose between simple function and bold style, but this is no longer the case. Style and function are no longer separated options. With international culture and influence continually blending with traditional values, beliefs and practices, unique innovation and luxury is a seamless product. Accutime is proud to offer the first Hijri and Gregorian Swiss made, Attawba Watches of Berne.
With a wide collection of colors, styles, and applications the Attawba Watches of Berne are perfect additions to anyone’s watch collection. These elegant watches are custom crafted specifically around the needs of both men and women who utilize the Hijri and Grerogian calendars. A clear and beautiful display showcases the dates and major events of each calendar, flawlessly integrated into the watch face. The display is crisp and striking and can be a practical solution for luxurious engagements.
Accutime has worked closely and exclusively with Watch Stream Incorporated to introduce these exceptionally magnificent watches to the watch enthusiasts throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Accutime is an expert in originating and introducing the highest quality watches to its valued and loyal customers, and is leading the industry with its progressive and encompassing innovation.
Through profound research, profit analysis and amalgamation, intuitive and user friendly website, as well as its unyielding excellent customer service, Accutime continues to remain a forerunner in luxury watch manufacturing for a number of demanding markets and demographics including the growing Muslim market.
The Attawba Watches of Berne are designed, crafted, and tuned by professional Swiss watch makers that ensure a high level of performance, longevity, and durability. These are expressive pieces that reflect the wearer’s personality with pride. The Attawba Watches of Berne are an exclusive, deluxe, and classic collection of watches that combines the elements of modern style with traditional function. Never again will you have to settle for less.
Posted by:GuestBlogger | Posted on: March 31st, 2013 | 0 Comments
With the financial market still tumultuous and uncertain, it is even more important to make intelligent decisions and invest your money wisely. Before deciding on any capital investment a thorough understanding of the company must be obtained, looking not just at profitability and monetary growth, but also at the ethical and moral stock with which it operates. Azzad Funds operates under this unyielding banner, offering investment services that take ethical considerations into account, allowing you to enjoy financial success without compromising your beliefs and values.
Over the past few decades ethical investing has grown faster than broader investing throughout the United States. Ethical investing looks at companies who take socially responsible actions and create ethically sound products. These companies span large and small business across a number of industries but consistently remain true to ethical principles and social responsibility.
Socially responsible investing is synonymous with ethical investing, mission investing, and sustainable investing. All of these approaches are based on selecting the proper investments from companies who operate progressively and make positive contributions to society.
Azzad Funds operates on four steadfast principles with which they measure the success and impact of your potential investment.
1. Screen For Ethical Operations. Many ethical investors would never consider directly contributing to a casino, liquor store, or weapon manufacture, but if you are not paying attention you may be doing just that. Azzad Funds uses strict screening processes and diligent research to track and ensure that your money is going into places you can be proud of.
2. Make Your Voice Heard On Governance Matters. Clients of Azzad Funds share a similar goal; a comfortable retirement, college education, and a way to develop and grow a successful life. Investing gives you the power and right to be active in the direction of a company. Through proxy voting you and your family have the ability to instill your values and ethical philosophy into a company.
3. Financial Freedom Without Compromise. Ethical investment allows you the ability to take pride in your decisions and combine your beliefs with your business and money.
4. Leverage Your Generosity To Benefit Your Favorite Charitable Causes. Your money gives you the ability to develop institutions and programs that will benefit your children and grandchild for years to come. Ethical investing with Azzad Funds allows you to build wealth within the community and create a bright future for you and your family.
Develop your financial security and independence with ethical and socially responsible investing with Azzad Funds. Chose smart and sustainable investments with the help of Azzad Funds.
Posted by:Fahad | Posted on: March 18th, 2013 | 0 Comments
So far in our blog we’ve focused on the advertising eco-system. Equally important aspect of online marketing are content creators or publishers as they’re referred to. A publisher can be any website that is attracting users. They are the ones that create advertising inventory on their website through banners, text and other forms of advertising. The job of an ad network like Muslim Ad Network reduced to its simplest form is to connect the advertisers to the publishers.
Publishers in the Muslim market range from news and forum sites, to restaurant reviews, recipes and community sites i.e. local islamic centers. The job of publishers is to keep content fresh and the design engaging to acquire new visitors and have them coming back frequently. Many of these publishers are supported completely by ads and the savvy publishers pay close attention to the KPI’s that matter to keep their revenue up.
Monthly unique visitors, page views, page rank, Alexa ranking are all important metrics to track for any publisher. RPM (revenue per 1000 impressions) and total revenue are the key metrics to track monetization. The largest of publishers afford the luxury of working directly with advertisers to run campaigns. However, even for big publishers and especially for smaller publishers, options to fill inventory via 3rd party platforms result in poor monetization and risk of alienating users.
For Muslim publishers, quality of ads is one of the most important factors. They hold the bar very high in terms of what they consider appropriate ads on their sites. Ads that might be considered acceptable on mainstream sites like Yahoo or CNN are unacceptable on Muslim publisher sites i.e. ads that promote gambling, alcohol, dating etc. In fact, even if the product is considered ok, the ad graphic and text might not be acceptable. Due to this reason, by running 3rd party platforms like Google AdSense and other marketplace ads, the publisher takes a big risk in terms of what ads might show up on their site and offend their users. Coupled with relatively low RPM’s, this option is not very attractive.
Ad Networks can help solve this issue by aggregating inventory across numerous publishers and then working with advertisers to fill the inventory. Ad Networks can manually filter the ad campaigns, banners and text to meet Islamic etiquette and rules. Furthermore, by aggregating inventory across multiple publisher sites, the ad network can get campaigns that each publisher would not be able to get on their own.
At Muslim Ad Network, we have consistently been able to surpass 3rd party platform RPM’s while maintaining 100% compliance of ads to make sure they are appropriate to the Muslim audience.
Posted by:GuestBlogger | Posted on: March 5th, 2013 | 0 Comments
This is a follow up to our last post, “Islamic Finance: Finding Wisdom in Today’s Market l Part 1″.
As the financial sector began to collapse in the fall of 2008, short-selling allowed speculators to exploit the worsening financial conditions and cause falling prices to further free-fall. Short-selling occurs when a seller sells a security it does not own and makes delivery with a borrowed security. The seller earns a profit by selling borrowed securities at a high price and then returning them after repurchasing at a lower price. The short-seller thus profits from the difference in selling at a high price and buying low. As Islam warns against injustice and inequity, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) specifically warned against selling what you do not own.
In the hadith narrated by Hakim ibn Hizam, Hakim asked (the Prophet), “Apostle of Allah, a man comes to me and wants me to sell him something which is not in my possession. Should I buy it for him from the market? He replied: Do not sell what you do not possess.” (Sunan Abu-dawud, Book #23, Hadith #3496).
As short-sellers dumped thousands of stocks they did not own, falling stock prices tumbled even lower, damaging already distressed financial institutions.
Finally, Shari’ah (Islamic Finance) based investments avoid companies with excessive debt. In tough economic conditions, companies with less debt are likely to do better since they have more flexibility and do not have as much outstanding debt liabilities. Low debt keeps a company’s interest costs down and allows it more flexibility to invest cash back into the growth of the business. Furthermore, companies with high debt can find trouble in poor economic conditions when the assets purchased by debt do not generate sufficient returns.
With less debt, they can be more flexible in altering their financial structure based on how the economic conditions affect their particular business.
Shari’ah based principals allow investors to align their ethical values with their investment decisions and gives them control over where their money is used and how it is grown. Ethical investing may not only leave you with peace of heart, but may also leave you with more than a piece of your pocket.
Azzad Asset Management has put these Islamic Finance principles to practice in the halal mutual funds it manages for investors.
5 Reasons American Muslims Should Invest in The Azzad Wise Capital Fund
- Today, American Muslim investors have the opportunity to invest in the first, halal fixed income fund, the Azzad Wise Capital Fund (WISEX).
- The Fund does not engage in charging or paying of interest from lending, trading debt, money market instruments, future contracts and currency.
- The Fund manages a portion of the portfolio according to an absolute return strategy that is designed to offer the potential for positive returns regardless of market movements.
- The Fund’s goal is to produce a return that is comparable to the return on bank accounts, certificates of deposits, and other such financial instruments (in which the Fund cannot invest) pursuant to the Fund’s ethical investment restrictions.
- The Fund invests in Islamic bank deposits (including Wakala agreements), sukuk (an Islamic alternative to bonds) and, to a lessor degree, high dividend yielding stocks.
American Muslims looking for halal income to preserve their capital or reduce the volatility of their portfolios may want to learn more about the Fund.
The Fund is available on Fidelity, Etrade and many other financial intermediaries. Of course, like any mutual fund, you may lose money and the Fund is not FDIC insured or guaranteed. Interested in learning more? For more information on the Azzad Wise Capital Fund’s fees, risks and investment strategy, download the Wise Capital Fund’s fact sheet at:www.azzadfunds.com.
Posted by:GuestBlogger | Posted on: February 21st, 2013 | 0 Comments
If you have been riding the financial market roller coaster the past few years, you must be nauseous by now. The turmoil not only created volatility in the domestic financial markets but leaked panic into global markets. Much of the crisis was due to sub-prime mortgages and the situation escalated as manipulators took advantage of falling market conditions. Yet in these difficult times, it is Shari’ah based investment principals (Islamic Finance) that continue to shine wisdom in a dismal situation.
So what can thousands years old wisdom from the Quran, Hadith and Sunnah teach us about today’s modern financial crisis? Islam offers investment wisdom not only for the spiritual seeker but also for the practical investor. Irresponsible and unethical behaviors within the financial and investments communities weakened the once robust financial markets.
Thousands of investors saw their portfolios shrink dramatically in 2008/2009 due to the unprincipled and reckless behavior of a few. Shari’ah-based investing offers ethical guidelines that help avoid such injustice while allowing investors to participate in modern financial markets.
Shari’ah-based investing avoids investments in companies with unethical lines of business such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, meat products, weapons of mass destruction, and unethical media & entertainment. Furthermore, the Islamic prohibition of excessive interest, or riba, means that companies engaged in or earning excessive income from interest are avoided. As financial giants like Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG and Washington Mutual collapsed, Shari’ah based investors were shielded from such devastating losses because of the Shari’ah’s prohibition regarding investing in conventional financial institutions including banks and insurance companies.
Shari’ah based investment portfolios also performed better on a relative basis as stocks of companies with high debt such as General Motors fell to historic lows. That’s because Shari’ah discourages investing in companies with high debt. It also discourages manipulative and unethical practices such as speculation and short-selling.
Simply put, the credit and housing market crisis was caused by banks issuing loans with excessive interest to home buyers who could ultimately not afford to make their payments. The aggregate default of these loans and the trading of mortgage-backed securities led to weakened banks and ultimately a weakened economy. This also caused the highest rate of foreclosures since the Great Depression, leading many families to lose their homes.
Shari’ah law recognizes the consequences of charging excessive interest and prohibits it due to the injustice and inequity it inflicts. Within Shari’ah law, riba is considered a tool of oppression as it exploits those in need by unjustly taking their money and allows those receiving it to illicitly hoard wealth.
The Quran states, “And for practicing riba, which was forbidden, and for consuming the people’s money illicitly. We have prepared for the disbelievers among them painful retribution.” (4:161) Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in his farewell khutba, “ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (excessive interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.”
Next Post: Why You Should Invest In the Azzad Wise Capital Fund
Posted by:Fahad | Posted on: January 23rd, 2013 | 0 Comments
After a primer a couple of weeks ago about online advertising to Muslims, let’s dig a little deeper into how to run a successful campaign. Many of these principles apply to all forms of online advertising whether it be display, text, social media or mobile.
To effectively execute an ad campaign, first it’s important to determine what your campaign objective is. The campaign objective needs to be more detailed that “I want more customers for my product”. Some objectives you may want to think about are:
- To increase traffic to my site from a particular user base for example college attending American Muslims or male, young professionals 22-30 year old
- To drive brand awareness and brand recall of a new product or service
- To generate customer leads by having potential customers fill out a form to provide their contact information
- To target viewers who have previously visited your site
These are just examples of objectives and there are many others but the important thing is to have a clear objective in mind – in fact in writing is even better.
Define metrics to measure success
With the objective clear, the next step is to define metrics that can measure a successful campaign. Some commonly used metrics that we should pay attention to and can be part of your objectives are:
- CTR – reach or maintain a certain Click Through Rate for your creatives.
- Conversion rate – increase conversion rate by X%. Conversion is defined by you and could be people who filled out a lead form, downloaded a whitepaper/article, called your sales department, bought something on your site, etc…
- Increase brand awareness by X% measured by a certain predefined process like pre and post surveys
Having clear metrics that are measurable (ideally day to day or week to week) will set up a platform on which you can try different experiments, like using various ad creatives and landing page designs to see which ones resonate better with your potential customers.
Try, Test, Repeat
The great advantage with online advertising is that the cost of tweaking a campaign is very low which allows you to try different combinations of ad creatives, ad copies, landing page designs and targeting criteria and really hone in on what combination works best for you. A/B testing is your friend and you should get really familiar with the tenets of this technique. The key in any form of A/B testing to make make sure you keep everything else as constant as possible and change just one thing only. There are many tools out there, some that are built in to the platform, that help you set up your A/B test and then analyze the data to see the winners.
At the end of the day it all comes down to the ROI you are getting out of your campaign to sell one more unit or get one more customer. The best process requires you to calculate lifetime value of a customer. At the high end, you would never want to spend more money getting that customer than his/her lifetime value. Ideally you want to know the ‘marginal value of your customer’ which takes into account your fixed and variable costs. However many new companies will find it hard to know how to make such calculation since they don’t have historical data to help them. Unfortunately there aren’t any silver bullets here so you have make certain assumptions and do your calculations based on those assumptions. In this case, it’s extremely important to test those assumptions against real data as it starts pouring in.
Once you have a total budget you can then divide that up into weekly or daily budget and start to see day-to-day data on how your ads are converting into real customers.
Posted by:Fahad | Posted on: October 31st, 2012 | 0 Comments
First thing first: our sincerest prayers and thoughts to all on the east coast that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Two of our team members are based out of NY and our thoughts out to them and millions like them who braved the storm and are now actively working through power outages, rain and floods to get their lives back to normal. As challenging a time as it is, it is refreshing to see so many Americans, muslims and non-muslims, citizens and organizations, come together and help out their fellow brother or sister in their time of need.
Many Muslim organizations like ICNA, ISNA and Islamic Relief, are stepping up their efforts to help those affected by the hurricane’s wrath. We usually see these organizations tirelessly working at the local community level as well as nationally to encourage fellow Muslim Americans to volunteer in aiding the affected, providing supplies to the needy, raising funds and most importantly, pray to ease the situation. We encourage our team members and our partners to take this opportunity to demonstrate our Islamic principles of compassion, activism and generosity, along with patience and prayer to do what they can to help – directly as individuals if you can, or through our institutions who are already on the ground making a difference.
We thank our NY team members for their efforts in working with ICNA-NY. We are ready to help in any way we can. If you are involved with a relief effort, or know someone who is, please contact us immediately. It would be our pleasure to help you broadcast your campaign out to the larger online Muslim community to garner their support as well and multiply your efforts for maximum impact. That is the least we can do.