I have some maaser money that I would like to set aside for a particular cause. The money will not be needed until next year. Can I invest the maaser money in the stock market now and sell it next year when the money is needed? If the stocks lose value, am I obligated to give the original amount to the cause or just whatever is left over after the losses? Can the broker’s fees be deducted from the maaser amount?
You can certainly invest the money on behalf of the cause in question, and if the investment pays off, this will surely be in your merit. However, you must ensure that the cause will not lose out as a result of the investment. Maaser, or the cause in question, did not ask you to invest the money, and therefore you cannot make a loss at its expense.
Therefore, broker’s fees can be deducted from the amount that you finally yield, but not if this will decrease the amount you give beneath the original sum.