Muhammad shares his journey from knowing nothing about investing in shares, to becoming a fully fledged content creator educating others about Islamic finance and Halal investing.
Tell us about yourself.
I work as a full-time content creator (@musliminvesting) where I educate others about Islamic finance and Halal investing. I’m usually based in Auckland, but my wife, daughter, and I are currently on a 9-month worldwide trip abroad!
What’s your money story?
Growing up, money was often talked about at home. My dad worked as an entrepreneur for most of his life, which meant that his income fluctuated. However, my parents never made us feel like we couldn’t afford things—they always prioritised spending money on things that were important to us, like travel, food, and family.
We moved from the UK to Malaysia when I was 10, which really helped me understand the value of different currencies and what money could buy. As a teen, I was given a weekly allowance which taught me a lot about saving money. From about the age of 14, I started a string of businesses thanks to my dad’s encouragement—but I wanted a less time-consuming way of making money. Which is where investing came in.
How did you start investing?
I’d heard the term ‘passive income’ thrown around, so I did some research and stumbled across investing in shares. Investing wasn’t something my parents ever really talked about, so I had to figure out how to do it on my own. I did a ton of research to find an investment platform—and after being all psyched to get started, I realised that the platform didn’t even allow fractional shares (and I couldn’t afford a whole share!).
Now I use Sharesies, and have been for over three years. I’m a big fan of auto-invest—it’s really helped make the whole investing process easier. I’ve also got a 10-month-old daughter, and we set up a Sharesies Kids Account for her as soon as we could! I can’t wait to teach her about money and investing and get her more actively involved with choosing her investments.
How do you manage your money and investments?
Each month, I transfer money into spending, saving, and investing accounts so I can set aside the right amount to meet my financial goals. My wife and I have fortnightly money meetings, where we check in on how things are going financially and whether or not we need to adjust our budget.
Investing has become a big priority for me. My investment portfolio consists of a mix of shares, cryptocurrency, gold, and KiwiSaver. I tend to steer away from any trending investments (I learnt my lesson with the hype of crypto!). To keep things simple and avoid emotional investing, I use a dollar-cost averaging strategy and invest the same amount regularly.
I like knowing that my money is being used to grow my wealth productively. I find it really cool that I’m a part-shareholder in the companies that I invest in. In the future, I’d love to include start-up investments in my portfolio—playing an active role in helping a company grow sounds super exciting!
How have you learnt about money and investing over time?
I’ve learnt a lot by reading personal finance books, watching a ridiculous amount of YouTube videos, and doing a Masters in Finance.
But my foundational understanding of the role that money and work play in my life has been from my dad. He taught me that you don’t have to be tied to a job or a place to make money—and that money isn’t the goal, but a means to live the life you want.
My view on money has now become more about the freedom that money offers, and using investing as a tool to help set my family and I up for the long term.
What would you say to someone who doesn’t think investing is for them?
Whether it’s in shares, property, or business, investing your money allows you to grow your wealth and get it to work for you, instead of sitting in cash or a bank account and devaluing due to inflation.
You don’t need to have a lot of money to start investing either. I started with a small amount each week, and have slowly increased it over time. It’s more important to create the money habits that’ll set you up for the long run.
As an Islamic finance content creator, I find that many Muslims believe investing isn’t permissible or are unsure how to navigate the space. Things used to be complicated—but they’ve gotten much easier! Thanks to Halal stock screening apps, you can now quickly determine whether or not a stock is permissible to invest in.
There’s also a ton of info out there to help you learn more about Islamic finance and Halal investing. And you’ll be surprised to learn that there are a number of Halal ETFs (exchange-traded funds) available on Sharesies too, which makes starting even easier!
Ok, now for the legal bit
Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.