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Cathie Wood’s Famous Outperformance Versus the S&P 500 Is Fading

Stock MarketsJan 20, 2022 01:16
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(Bloomberg) -- With another 4.2% drop on Tuesday, the tech-heavy ARK Innovation ETF (NYSE:ARKK) is closer to wiping out its famous outperformance versus the S&P 500 Index that helped propel Cathie Wood to Wall Street superstardom.

As rising yields hammer expensive-looking growth companies with shaky profit outlooks, the exchange-traded fund beloved by day traders, ticker ARKK, has already plunged 18.7% this year -- down 51% from February’s peak. 

It has now returned just 11 percentage points more than the benchmark U.S. stock gauge since the start of 2020 -- when Wood’s fortunes soared in the pandemic-fueled speculation that helped ARKK trounce just about every fund in America’s now-$7 trillion ETF market.

That year the fund handed investors 153% versus the S&P 500’s 18% return.

Last week Wood, the founder of ARK Investment Management, saw ARKK’s returns since 2020 fall below the Nasdaq 100 Index, as the new year tech wreck disproportionately lashed her favored stocks. Assets managed by ARKK, which launched in 2014, now stand at $12.8 billion versus the $28 billion peak last February.

Given the asset manager’s preference for high growth, speculative stocks, every single U.S.-listed ARK fund is now down in 2022.

Weighted by when inflows occurred, the average investor in five ARK ETFs is sitting on a 27% loss, Bespoke Investment Group wrote in a Tuesday note. The firm monitors a slew of the firm’s funds as a proxy for market risk appetite.

“It would be hard for that sentiment to get any worse at this point,” the team said.

Still, ARK and Wood manage to command remarkable investor loyalty. The latest data showed an inflow of about $193 million into ARKK. And almost all of the more than $15 billion drop in assets managed by the fund has come from underperformance rather than outflows.

Bespoke sees signs all that could be changing.

“Cumulative inflows to the ARK Invest ETF universe are steadily reversing from their peak,” the team wrote. The $24 billion still in ARK’s funds “represents a potential brutal outlook for further liquidity pressure on the space,” the note said.

Amid the turmoil, Wood’s mantra is that ARK invests with a minimum five-year time horizon, and that volatility is to be expected in the industry-disrupting and cutting-edge stocks it targets. 

On Wednesday morning, she tweeted about the “enormous” arbitrage opportunity in the disparity of valuations between private and public markets for innovative companies.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

 

Cathie Wood’s Famous Outperformance Versus the S&P 500 Is Fading
 

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