A personalized investment strategy that aligns your goals with your values and ethical beliefs.

Ethical Investing

Ethical Investing, a unique form of investment which corresponds with the values and beliefs of an investor. It can therefore be defined as an equitable mode of investing. It is essentially a subset of Responsible Investing as they both tend to focus on investments that are morally acceptable and bring about positive societal impact.

Ethical and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) share some common ground as they both analyze the companies’ activity and how revenue is derived to measure their faith, social and environmental impact.

Socially Responsible Investors (SRI) tend to make choices that are environmentally conscious and avoid companies that have social and corporate governance issues (ESG), or companies that operate in countries with questionable labor, corruption and human rights records. They may also exclude companies from their portfolio that produce products and services that are engaged in tobacco, weapons, alcohol and gambling which usually have a negative impact on society.

Our Investing strategy not only follows the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) criteria but also examines the most distinctive element which is the avoidance of interest income (usurious practices) and highly excessive (leveraged debt) vehicles, whether nominal or excessive, simple or compound, fixed or floating.

Our Investing Principles

Sameer Azam is passionate about making a positive difference in your life. Our Investment principles adhere to ethical investing principles, which focuses on an equitable mode of investing based on equity and values. The investment models have an approach that differs from and is a viable alternative to interest based conventional investing. When investing on behalf of our clients, we examine and research each investment holding thoroughly to comprehend how it generates wealth from a profitable as well as an ethical perspective.

How do we accomplish this?

Process, screening and oversight

Using a rigorous globally recognized methodology and internal research, we screen for qualifying companies based on the following factors:

  1. Qualitative Screen – Business Activity

We are passionate about making a positive difference. In our investment process, we strive to filter out companies involved in activities such:

  • Gambling
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Weapons
  • Adult entertainment
  • Pork processing
  • Investments or companies involved in the payment and receipt of interest
  • Excessive debt

Instead, we focus in areas such as telecommunications, technology, healthcare, real estate and infrastructure, utilities, transportation, industrial, consumer goods, natural resources, sustainable energy and more.

  1. Quantitative screen – balance sheet and income statement activity

We focus on companies that are free of excessive debt, do not hoard cash, have considerable assets and have earned a certain amount of revenue. More specifically, we follow the rules below to ensure an investment meets our ethical standards:

Companies must meet the balance sheet and income statement financial ratios thresholds such as;

  • Interest-bearing securities/Market capitalization must not exceed 30%
  • Interest bearing debt/Market capitalization must not exceed 30%
  • Cash and receivables/total assets must not exceed 67%
  • Total sum of non-permissible income should not exceed 5% from the total income
  1. Responsible investing measure – environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria

We advocate sustainable investing and make this part of our ongoing selection, believing that companies with effective corporate responsibility policies are better positioned to avoid crises that could lead to reputation damage, higher costs, lost production, environmental cost and fraudulent operations. By assessing extra, non-financial characteristics such as corporate governance, human rights aspects, and social and environmental concerns, we offer an added layer of security and oversight.

  1. Developed markets and liquidity

Companies are selected from developed markets and must meet market capitalization and liquidity requirements. Most of the companies we invest in are established and “large cap” in nature.

  1. Portfolio strategy

Our portfolio strategy and investment research are backed by RBC Capital Markets which provides extensive coverage on equities based on its three research pillars: fundamental, quantitative and technical analysis. In addition, our dedicated Portfolio Advisory Group, consisting of equity specialists, provides portfolio ideas and recommendations exclusively to Investment Advisors and Portfolio Managers at RBC Dominion Securities.

Our clients have peace of mind when it comes to our methodology

  1. Our investment models adhere to a global golden standard

The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), established in 1991, is the leading international not-for-profit organization primarily responsible for the development and issuance of standards for the global Islamic finance industry.

  1. Third party research firms provided added oversight

Before investing in a company, we undergo an in-depth analysis of the company’s compliance  practices with the help of the world’s most trusted responsible and ethical investment research firms.

  1. Portfolio diversification helps minimize risk

As our client, you’ll receive a fully personalized portfolio. It is tailored not only to the values discussed previously, but also your unique circumstances, financial and personal goals, risk tolerance and more. We choose among the following asset classes to strike your perfect balance:

  • Stocks and ETFs
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Gold and silver bullion
  • Income-generating investments

Utilizing a disciplined asset allocation strategy is crucial to diversifying your investments. We believe the options noted above help investors achieve a diversified ethical investment portfolio.

Ask us about our investment models

Whether you are an individual investor planning for your retirement, a business owner looking to convert your professional equity into personal wealth, a parent or grandparent saving for your children’s education, or a charitable organization requiring professional investment management, our models can be a solution for you.

  • Dividend income: This model’s primary focus is value investments that offer steady dividend income. It aims to provide investors with a diversified portfolio of high quality Canadian, U.S. and international dividend-paying companies.
  • Dividend growth: This model focuses on generating both capital growth and dividend income through a value and growth style. It aims to provide investors with a diversified portfolio of Canadian, U.S. and international dividend-paying and/or growth companies.
  • Growth: This model is designed to achieve long-term capital growth. It aims to provide investors with a diversified portfolio of Canadian, U.S. and International growth companies.
  • REITs: This model invests primarily in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), publicly traded companies that buy, manage and receive income from a variety of properties. It aims to provide investors with a diversified, high-yielding and portfolio that tends to maintain income through market downturns. The model is composed of REITs within Canada and the U.S.
  • Income model: This model’s primary goal is to provide capital preservation and consistent income. It invests in global securities issued by foreign governments and corporations. These investments typically involve the purchase of financial certificates representing investments in tangible assets, project financing, sale and leaseback arrangements, and the distribution of profits (as opposed to the payment of interest) related to the underlying asset or project.

Having a professional who specializes in ethical/halal investing can give you peace of mind that your investment goals are aligned with your values and ethical beliefs.

My portfolios follow Islamic principles and are Sharia-compliant. Many think that means reduced returns. This is not the case, and Sameer and his team have proven results which also align with my principles. The diversified strategy and ability to invest in vast numbers of investment vehicles while being Sharia-compliant is extremely refreshing and ensures alignment with my long-term goals.

Imad Syed

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Helping clients throughout Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec.

For more information, or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please contact Sameer Azam at 905.615.5919 or sameer.azam@rbc.com