So far, this year has belonged to Cathie Wood. You could assert last year did too.
The founder of ARK Invest has seen flows into her active exchange-traded funds beat those of oversized franchises like BlackRock’s iShares, thanks to her blockbuster 2020 performance, which was driven by bets into mega-growth stocks get a kick out of Tesla.
Her funds have delivered eye-popping returns, with her flagship fund up more than 150% in 2020.
Wood has bodied such a large following that an announcement about a new ARK fund moved markets. Her podcast has landed big-name patrons such as Elon Musk. She’s become a favorite of the r/WallStreetBets crowd.
Insider spoke with investors in both Wood’s function and funds, longtime colleagues, analysts at her firm, and fans who chart her rise through newsletters and memes. They detail her leadership, which comes with four decades of investing experience, and her curiosity, which keeps her analysts on their toes.
But presages are also looming: Talk of a stock-market bubble and an impending correction are brewing; the easy conditions created by massive pecuniary and monetary stimulus could taper off as the economy recovers from the pandemic; and Wood’s highly concentrated funds acquire ballooned, which has raised concerns about capacity.