Capital Investments Group speaks at the Bloomfield Unity Center (BUC)
Bloomfield–December 15–Capital Investments Group gave an informative promotional lecture last Friday at the BUC. The speakers were Osman Minkara, CIGâ€™s founder and Managing Principal, and Soumaya Sarayji, a Financial Consultant with the firm. They spoke to a fascinated audience of about 40 people in one of the BUC classrooms.
CIG claims to manage over $100 million in client assets. Mr. Minkara, while young and vibrant, has already established an impressive track record–in addition to founding a successful company he has received industry achievement awards from many sources and has been interviewed on financial matters by multiple media outlets including CBS
Capital Investment Group (CIG) is a â€œcomprehensive financial consulting and asset management company,â€ according to their website. The website lists a comprehensive series of financial services that CIG can provide for their clients. Many of the companyâ€™s staff are Muslim, as are many of its clients.
Mr. Minkara and Ms. Sarayji both are impressively energetic and polished individuals, able to think quickly on their feet and articulate difficult ideas precisely, accurately, and on demand. This is in fact one of the first things you notice on seeing them.
Minkara and Sarayji engaged their audience in their Powerpoint lecture, asking how they would think to begin creating plans to achieve their dreams of nice homes, education for their children, and retirement.
By a simple Powerpoint presentation Ms. Sarayji was able to demonstrate that even wealthy doctors, if they do their own financial planning without expert assistance, will likely fail to take into consideration vitally important ramifications that might adversely affect their plans for the distant future.
She walked through a typical plan and the methodology she would use to help a client, starting by first finding out the clientâ€™s goals, then analyzing all of his/her current assets to evaluate where he/she is, then developing a method to reach those goals based on financial tools at the disposal of CIG.
She emphasized that there are in fact hundreds of financial products, using a simple analogy of buying a tube of paste from among the hundreds available at a grocery store to show that there are many financial products to choose from. She discussed different types of financial products in broad groups, after tax and pre-tax products including 401(k), 403(b), Uni-K, annuities, savings accounts, dividends, Roth IRAs, Education IRAs, and more.
She showed the necessary balance between risk and return that financial advisors are able to perform in a fashion scientifically most beneficial to their clients (and which would be very difficult for their clients to do by themselves in such an effective way).
She also discussed investment types that have been attractive to Muslims, and discussed the planning CIG does in finding and considering investments tailored not to violate Muslim principles, such as REITs and more, designed not to violate Shariâ€™ah as would many other investments, especially interest-bearing bonds.
All of this CIG does in a way designed to minimize the total tax burden on their clients.
She and Mr. Minkara described five general models for investments: capital preservation, income producing, growth and income, growth, and aggressive growth, and explained that many financial products could be combined together in a way uniquely suited to each clientsâ€™ needs.
The question and answer session was especially interesting, as it exposed many of the concerns that Muslims typically have when making investments.
Several of the questions were very difficult ones about forecasting the United States and Michigan economies and the dollarâ€™s likely devaluation in the future, and they exposed Mr. Minkaraâ€™s quick mind and deep understanding of economics and of financial products, although of course it is impossible for him to make sure predictions as forecasts based on what has happened up until today.
Several questions concerning â€œhalalâ€ mortgages exposed problems with those no-interest mortgages–in fact Mr. Minkara argued, those mortgages resemble regular interest-based mortgages in many ways (reporting, tax incentives, total payments).
Some questions concerned ethical funds like the Calvert fund (which stay away from businesses which have unsavory environmental or labor or other practices), which Mr. Minkara also did not show great appreciation for. Unfortunately, he said, the more restrictions you place on your investments, the more difficult it is for them to perform well.
Some of the problems with Islamic banking were exposed during questioning. Each Islamic bank has its own group of fiqh people to give approval to its policies, and from one such organization to another, and certainly from one country to another the rules as interpreted vary, making it difficult to conduct business with them.
CIG has been helpful to local Michigan organizations (including the MCWS Canton mosque) in securing imaginative financing for their school project, as well as other local Muslim organizations.
They do not have a minimum level of â€œnet worthâ€ for their customers, but their focus is on helping what Ms. Sarayji terms â€œsophisticated investors,â€ which means essentially wealthy investors.
They provide tax planning, but do not actually prepare tax returns for their clients, even difficult returns, playing the role of â€œquarterbackâ€ for a team consisting of them, their clientsâ€™ accountants, and financial advisors.
They have an impressive website listing their many financial services, and all of TMOâ€™s contacts with company administrators and staff have been very professional, competent and courteous.
CIG explains they have many Muslim clients, many of them word-of-mouth referrals, and CIG is sensitive to Muslim issues in financial matters and warm and welcoming to Muslim business.
An initial meeting with CIG is complementary, after this CIG advisors discuss with their clients the amount their services will cost going forward.
If you are interested in investing with Capital Investment Group, they are located online at www.capitalinvestmentgroup.com. They are in Southfield, Michigan. 248-827-1010.
Pakistan Association of America Elections
By Imam Abdullah El-Amin
Pakistan Association of Americaâ€™s General Body Meeting and Elections were held according to schedule on Sunday, December 17, 2006 at Lawrence Tech University auditorium. About 150 members participated in this session.
After all the ballots were tallied and counted by the Election Committee, the results were as follows:
President: Syed Zahid Hussain; General Secretary: Muhammad Zahid; Directors (2): Faiz M. Khan & Sher Akhtar;
3 officers who were already elected unopposed earlier are as follows: Vice President: Mohammad Qasim; Finance Secretary: Ibrahim Rehmat; Information Secretary: Huma Khan.
PAA is located at 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 170, Southfield, MI 48076; Phone: (248) 663-2272 Fax: (248) 353-6652.
Michigan Udhiyya/Qurbani (1427 H)
The Islamic Shura Council of Michigan is sponsoring a Michigan Udhiyya program for the second year. Last year, program sponsors explained, the program distributed more than 12,000 pounds of meat to needy Muslim families, and donated some of the meat through the Gleaners food bank to soup kitchens in the
Detroit area with a message stating that the meat is a gift from the Muslim community in Michigan.
This year the program sponsors hope the event will be even better.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Dr. Mouhib Ayas at 248-705-9137.
Donations can be sent to Life for Relief and Developmentâ€ PO BOX 236 Southfield, MI 48037 (write â€œMichigan Oudhiaâ€ in the memo section); or go online to www.lifeusa.org and choose Udhia/qurbani USA; or write your check to your Muslim center and write in the memo section â€œMichigan Oudhia.â€