Islamic bank savings and term deposits are banking products. They are often referred to as investments in South Africa. It is important to distinguish between a bank product and a market-related investment product. 

Islamic bank products stay on the Islamic banks’ balance sheet, and this allows the Islamic bank to use these funds for lending (e.g., mortgage loans, vehicle financing, etc.) to other customers of the Islamic bank or Islamic bank window. 

Shariah Compliant investments on the other hand are exposed to global investment markets (i.e. Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and London Stock Exchange (LSE)). These exchanges allow investors to purchase various investment solutions either directly or through an intermediary (bank investment platforms, financial institutions’ investment platforms, etc.). 

The most common product and easiest to purchase would be individual shares or ETF portfolios. This could be managed either by yourself or you may receive advice for a fee. The fee would usually depend on the product you are purchasing and the amount you are investing. 

An easy way to get access to a diversified set of investments based on your risk profile (attitude to risk), time horizon and goals would be to invest in a single-manager unit trust fund or a multi-manager fund.  A multi-manager fund is a fund that consists of two or more funds. Again, here you could buy the fund directly or pay an advice fee for someone proposing a solution that best suits you.

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