(Bloomberg) — Cathie Wood’s funds had a scorching start to the year and she wants investors to know it.
The founder and chief executive officer of ARK Investment Management said her flagship fund now gives investors better exposure to long-term innovation than most of the market’s most popular growth stock benchmarks. While the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK), has jumped 42% this year — more than twice as much as the Nasdaq 100 — the fund is still down more than 70% from its peak two years ago, underperforming the index by about tenfold.
“We are the new Nasdaq,” Wood said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. The ARK fund has posted a five-year gain of just 12% versus 89% for the tech benchmark.
The claim is just the latest from the ARK Investment Management founder who is known for making bold predictions. She again reiterated a forecast that Bitcoin will top $1 million per coin in the next decade.
The Nasdaq 100’s top holdings currently include the mega-cap technology stocks that have dominated the market over the last decade: Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. While ARK Innovation ETF’s largest holding — Tesla Inc. — is also a top stock in the Nasdaq, the fund’s other big positions are concentrated in smaller, newer companies like Zoom Video Communications Inc. and cancer-test maker Exact Sciences Corp.
Wood said that while 2022 was a “horrific” year for her fund’s returns amid the rapid rise in interest rates, investors sold their positions in growth benchmarks like the Nasdaq and moved into ARKK. The ETF saw positive inflows of about $1.3 billion last year, despite plunging 67% in its worst annual performance on record.
“Innovation was one of the biggest victims of the massive interest rate increase we saw last year,” she said. “We felt it every time chairman Powell spoke.”
She added that last year’s plunge was driven by “exaggerated” fears of interest rates and angst that higher inflation would remain embedded in the economy as in the 1970’s. Now, she would not be surprised if the US central bank cuts rates at some point in 2023.
–With assistance from Tim Stenovec.