Crescent Wealth

Year in Review

2020

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2020 has certainly been a year like no other. From devastating bushfires that swept across the country to a global pandemic that is still disrupting most parts of the world, there have been big challenges to overcome for many of us.

But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom, and what we can take away from 2020 is that the greatest hurdles often cause the most pivotal moments of reflection – a chance to look inward and focus on what truly matters in our lives and in the wider community.

To bring the year to a close, we present to you our annual Year in Review, where we summarise all the exciting moments, major milestones, important announcements and much more. Read on to discover the stories that defined our 2020.

January

2020 kicked off with a big achievement – our Crescent Wealth Australian Equity Retail Fund was named one of Australia’s top 10 equity funds for 2019 by Money Management’s Investment Centre. This was despite domestic and economic issues throughout the year.

We dug deep into our performance for the 2019 calendar year – and what a hugely successful year it was! Consistent growth and double-digit returns meant our members could approach 2020 in high spirits.

We also shared an incredibly helpful explainer from SuperGuide about what myGov is, how to use it and how you can accelerate the power of your super. As a single online destination for accessing government services with one login and one password, it’s important to know how to make the most of myGov.

February

Plenty of Australians committed to the Febfast challenge, focused on calling ‘time-out’ on alcohol, sugar and other vices for all of February. It was a timely reminder that there are many vices in our lives that can create roadblocks to success.

This month, we also announced that Crescent Wealth became the first Australian super fund to directly invest in a global sukuk mandate. This was an important move as we continue to seek diversified sharia-compliant investments for our clients and expand our range of defensive asset classes.

We also offered our members strategies to help increase their superannuation savings in 2020. After all, super is something you should always be thinking about, particularly in terms of your long-term investment strategy.

March

March was a month for highlighting some incredibly powerful women in our community. We spoke to Yara, a Syrian refugee who was forced to flee her war-torn country, about how she is striving to reach her ambitious career goals.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we also sat down with one of our members, Julide. She discussed what it’s like to chase your dreams, how medicine and religion can – and should – coexist, and her views on the changing roles of women in society.

With COVID-19 starting to impact the economy, we held two live webinars to give our members comprehensive information about the Australian and global stock markets’ response to COVID-19.

To help our members through these challenging times, we also shared SuperGuide’s exploration into getting financial support through your super.

April

This Ramadan, we looked at what it means to be Islamic, and international journalist Medhi Hassan shared a heartfelt video to thank our community and all Australians for acting as one and prioritising the health of everyone.

We shared stories of how Aussie Muslims were spending their Ramadan with the social restrictions in place, from organising virtual iftars to getting prayer guidance through YouTube.

We also explored 10 fun activities for children during Ramadan to help our members make the most of the blessed month – all in the name of #stayingathome.

May

Eid al-Fitr marked the end of the dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan, and on this beautiful occasion we bought together our political, religious, corporate and community leaders to share the joys in our #WeAreOne video.

Staying on the topic of Eid, we took a virtual trip around the world to see how this year’s celebrations faced the unique challenges posed by strict lockdowns, aimed at preventing further spread of coronavirus.

Zakat is Islam’s third pillar and a cornerstone of a Muslim’s commitment to our religion, so we asked the question: is it payable on your Islamic super contributions? It’s a very good question and the short answer is “it depends”.

We also used our second COVID-19 Webinar for the year to gain insights about the global impact on superannuation, employment and investment returns. And we explored whether COVID-19 could potentially revamp the superannuation model.

June

We had the honour of speaking to Sheikh Alaa Elzokm, who has been an instrumental figure in the Melbourne community for some time now. We spoke with him about how his teachings can be applied to contemporary Australia, especially in light of recent challenging events

For our third COVID-19 webinar, Crescent Wealth’s Director and CIO shared their insights on the performance of our fund – and the broader economic implications and opportunities of the pandemic.

Finally, with tax time right around the corner, we offered tips to help our members prepare their tax returns, and explored the beneficial changes of the “work test” from 1 July 2020.

July

To kick off the new financial year, our Managing Director, Talal Yassine, shared his tips and learnings to help take our members forward into 2020–21.

With the pandemic keeping most people indoors, we also explored how alcohol fuels physical and sexual violence – particularly against women – and is responsible for 6,000 deaths every year. This was a chance for everyone to step back from the normalisation of drinking and reflect on the real price Aussies pay for alcohol excesses.

The government announced that its early super access scheme would be extended through until the end of the year (31 December 2020) and we felt this was the perfect time to ask the question: can super be Islamic? The short answer is yes, but the question deserves to be unpacked.

August

We continued our webinar series in August, this time joined by Sheik Alaa. Both he and our Crescent Wealth specialist dove into the fundamental and technical details of Islamic finance, and how we invest according to Islamic principles.

It’s been a long journey to become Australia’s only Islamic super fund, so we felt it was time to reflect on what it takes to be recognised as an Islamic super fund.

And after the release of our 2020 Year in Review, we sat down with Ghazal Qadri, the Kashmiri-born illustrator behind our “Investing Islamically” comic strip. Every element of her art stems from her lived experience, and is now featured right around the world.

September

We were very excited to announce the newly appointed Board of Crescent Institute. Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor of Western Sydney University, will steer the Crescent Institute ship on its mission to open up a world of possibilities for everyone in our community.

In a year of many challenges, leading with strong governance is essential. We interviewed Nicholas Whitlam, one of Australia’s most highly regarded businessmen and non-executive director of Crescent Wealth, about the importance of a strong governance framework for super funds.

There were plenty of insights provided to our members this month, especially from the next instalment in our Conversation Series, COVID Economics. Finally, we uncovered why the property and construction sector was a strong driver of growth in what were otherwise difficult times.

October

A delayed Federal Budget brought a number of critical changes and new schemes, all to help prop up the economy and improve affected sectors like health, aged care and the wider workforce. We provided key insights into how the Budget affected superannuation.

We were extremely pleased to announce the appointment of former Socceroo Craig Foster to the Crescent Foundation Board. Craig has more recently become known for his social-justice endeavours both in Australia and overseas.

We also spent some time speaking to important people in our community. Sheikh Shabir Moosa joined us for an intriguing Crescent Super Conversation, while human rights and immigration lawyer Rabiah Khawaja was this month’s Meet Our Member.

November

We could not be more excited to share news that Crescent Wealth Super was nominated for the 2020 Australian Muslim Achievement Awards (AMAA). We also received word that Crescent Foundation Director Craig Foster was nominated for the 2021 Australian of the Year Awards.

We shared SuperGuide’s insightful quiz on boosting your super with super contributions, and also explored the world of global real estate – a path to alternative asset classes for Australian investors.

Finally, in keeping with our continuous mission of delivering and expanding our Islamic-based investment offerings, we announced our fourth Islamic-compliant investment option. All options have a mix of global and domestic investment asset classes and specific investment return objectives, while maintaining Islamic investment compliance.

December

We capped off the year by being recognised for our stance against weapons of mass destruction. The recognition came from Quit Nukes, a joint initiative of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign the Medical Association for Prevention of War. Our Managing Director Talal Yassine OAM said, “It is way past the expiry date for super funds to continue to invest in the weapons industry.”

We were also able to help you kick your feet back over the launch of an Australian film titled The Furnace: a tale of the forgotten history of Aussie Muslim Cameleers starring David Wenham and Ahmed Malek. We invited our community to support this story in a private screening. Thank you to everyone who came, enjoyed the night, and celebrated an inspiring narrative of Australia’s rich multicultural history.

For the second year in a row, Crescent Wealth Super was delighted to be the host of the Australian launch. In addition, we supported the Dinar Standard annual state of the global Islamic report 2020 - 2021.

January

2020 kicked off with a big achievement – our Crescent Wealth Australian Equity Retail Fund was named one of Australia’s top 10 equity funds for 2019 by Money Management’s Investment Centre. This was despite domestic and economic issues throughout the year.

We dug deep into our performance for the 2019 calendar year – and what a hugely successful year it was! Consistent growth and double-digit returns meant our members could approach 2020 in high spirits.

We also shared an incredibly helpful explainer from SuperGuide about what myGov is, how to use it and how you can accelerate the power of your super. As a single online destination for accessing government services with one login and one password, it’s important to know how to make the most of myGov.

February

Plenty of Australians committed to the Febfast challenge, focused on calling ‘time-out’ on alcohol, sugar and other vices for all of February. It was a timely reminder that there are many vices in our lives that can create roadblocks to success.

This month, we also announced that Crescent Wealth became the first Australian super fund to directly invest in a global sukuk mandate. This was an important move as we continue to seek diversified sharia-compliant investments for our clients and expand our range of defensive asset classes.

We also offered our members strategies to help increase their superannuation savings in 2020. After all, super is something you should always be thinking about, particularly in terms of your long-term investment strategy.

March

March was a month for highlighting some incredibly powerful women in our community. We spoke to Yara, a Syrian refugee who was forced to flee her war-torn country, about how she is striving to reach her ambitious career goals.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we also sat down with one of our members, Julide. She discussed what it’s like to chase your dreams, how medicine and religion can – and should – coexist, and her views on the changing roles of women in society.

With COVID-19 starting to impact the economy, we held two live webinars to give our members comprehensive information about the Australian and global stock markets’ response to COVID-19.

To help our members through these challenging times, we also shared SuperGuide’s exploration into getting financial support through your super.

April

This Ramadan, we looked at what it means to be Islamic, and international journalist Medhi Hassan shared a heartfelt video to thank our community and all Australians for acting as one and prioritising the health of everyone.

We shared stories of how Aussie Muslims were spending their Ramadan with the social restrictions in place, from organising virtual iftars to getting prayer guidance through YouTube.

We also explored 10 fun activities for children during Ramadan to help our members make the most of the blessed month – all in the name of #stayingathome.

May

Eid al-Fitr marked the end of the dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan, and on this beautiful occasion we bought together our political, religious, corporate and community leaders to share the joys in our #WeAreOne video.

Staying on the topic of Eid, we took a virtual trip around the world to see how this year’s celebrations faced the unique challenges posed by strict lockdowns, aimed at preventing further spread of coronavirus.

Zakat is Islam’s third pillar and a cornerstone of a Muslim’s commitment to our religion, so we asked the question: is it payable on your Islamic super contributions? It’s a very good question and the short answer is “it depends”.

We also used our second COVID-19 Webinar for the year to gain insights about the global impact on superannuation, employment and investment returns. And we explored whether COVID-19 could potentially revamp the superannuation model.

June

We had the honour of speaking to Sheikh Alaa Elzokm, who has been an instrumental figure in the Melbourne community for some time now. We spoke with him about how his teachings can be applied to contemporary Australia, especially in light of recent challenging events

For our third COVID-19 webinar, Crescent Wealth’s Director and CIO shared their insights on the performance of our fund – and the broader economic implications and opportunities of the pandemic.

Finally, with tax time right around the corner, we offered tips to help our members prepare their tax returns, and explored the beneficial changes of the “work test” from 1 July 2020.

July

To kick off the new financial year, our Managing Director, Talal Yassine, shared his tips and learnings to help take our members forward into 2020–21.

With the pandemic keeping most people indoors, we also explored how alcohol fuels physical and sexual violence – particularly against women – and is responsible for 6,000 deaths every year. This was a chance for everyone to step back from the normalisation of drinking and reflect on the real price Aussies pay for alcohol excesses.

The government announced that its early super access scheme would be extended through until the end of the year (31 December 2020) and we felt this was the perfect time to ask the question: can super be Islamic? The short answer is yes, but the question deserves to be unpacked.

August

We continued our webinar series in August, this time joined by Sheik Alaa. Both he and our Crescent Wealth specialist dove into the fundamental and technical details of Islamic finance, and how we invest according to Islamic principles.

It’s been a long journey to become Australia’s only Islamic super fund, so we felt it was time to reflect on what it takes to be recognised as an Islamic super fund.

And after the release of our 2020 Year in Review, we sat down with Ghazal Qadri, the Kashmiri-born illustrator behind our “Investing Islamically” comic strip. Every element of her art stems from her lived experience, and is now featured right around the world.

September

We were very excited to announce the newly appointed Board of Crescent Institute. Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor of Western Sydney University, will steer the Crescent Institute ship on its mission to open up a world of possibilities for everyone in our community.

In a year of many challenges, leading with strong governance is essential. We interviewed Nicholas Whitlam, one of Australia’s most highly regarded businessmen and non-executive director of Crescent Wealth, about the importance of a strong governance framework for super funds.

There were plenty of insights provided to our members this month, especially from the next instalment in our Conversation Series, COVID Economics. Finally, we uncovered why the property and construction sector was a strong driver of growth in what were otherwise difficult times.

October

A delayed Federal Budget brought a number of critical changes and new schemes, all to help prop up the economy and improve affected sectors like health, aged care and the wider workforce. We provided key insights into how the Budget affected superannuation.

We were extremely pleased to announce the appointment of former Socceroo Craig Foster to the Crescent Foundation Board. Craig has more recently become known for his social-justice endeavours both in Australia and overseas.

We also spent some time speaking to important people in our community. Sheikh Shabir Moosa joined us for an intriguing Crescent Super Conversation, while human rights and immigration lawyer Rabiah Khawaja was this month’s Meet Our Member.

November

We could not be more excited to share news that Crescent Wealth Super was nominated for the 2020 Australian Muslim Achievement Awards (AMAA). We also received word that Crescent Foundation Director Craig Foster was nominated for the 2021 Australian of the Year Awards.

We shared SuperGuide’s insightful quiz on boosting your super with super contributions, and also explored the world of global real estate – a path to alternative asset classes for Australian investors.

Finally, in keeping with our continuous mission of delivering and expanding our Islamic-based investment offerings, we announced our fourth Islamic-compliant investment option. All options have a mix of global and domestic investment asset classes and specific investment return objectives, while maintaining Islamic investment compliance.

December

We capped off the year by being recognised for our stance against weapons of mass destruction. The recognition came from Quit Nukes, a joint initiative of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign the Medical Association for Prevention of War. Our Managing Director Talal Yassine OAM said, “It is way past the expiry date for super funds to continue to invest in the weapons industry.”

We were also able to help you kick your feet back over the launch of an Australian film titled The Furnace: a tale of the forgotten history of Aussie Muslim Cameleers starring David Wenham and Ahmed Malek. We invited our community to support this story in a private screening. Thank you to everyone who came, enjoyed the night, and celebrated an inspiring narrative of Australia’s rich multicultural history.

For the second year in a row, Crescent Wealth Super was delighted to be the host of the Australian launch. In addition, we supported the Dinar Standard annual state of the global Islamic report 2020 - 2021.

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All in all...

Despite the challenges of 2020, we hope you and your family have stayed safe and found many moments of fulfilment. Thank you so much for being a member of the Crescent Wealth community, and we wish you a prosperous 2021.

If there is anything else you would like to explore further, don’t hesitate to visit our website or speak to us directly on 1300 926 626.