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Investors pour into Cathie Wood’s ARKK despite losses


Even as Ark Invest’s flagship ETF trades at a mere fraction of its highest share price, famed portfolio manager Cathie Wood has never backed down on optimism around her strategy — and it appears Wood isn’t the only believer.

The Ark Innovation Fund (ARKK) has notched four straight weeks of inflows totaling $850 million, despite the fund being down more than 35% year-to-date, according to Bloomberg data.

Wood, whose trenchant stock selections made her a star on Wall Street after ARKK returned 150% in 2020, saw a change of fate last year when the fund nearly halved as speculative tech names — the kind of picks that comprise Ark’s investment lineup — came under pressure over concerns the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates.

Bloomberg Intelligence senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, who pointed out recent investments make the fund the 22nd largest receiver of inflows in the past month, told the rush of investors is partially attributed to dip-buyers purchasing the vehicle at a discount, and partially because of Wood’s unrelenting conviction.

“You can depend on Cathie Wood’s stock picks,” he said. “Even people who don’t admire her stock picks are finding it appealing to buy her basket of ARK stocks at this price,” adding that the money manager was smart to stick to her guns.

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Despite mounting pressure on Ark Investment Management, Wood has stayed the course and promised investors lofty returns, even making a move to expand her bets in disruptive innovation to private markets in filing with the SEC last month to launch a new investment vehicle.

“Given our expectations for growth in these new technologies, I think we’re going to see some spectacular returns,” Wood said on Monday in an interview with CNBC.

Cathie Wood, founder and CEO of ARK Investment Management LLC, speaks during the Skybridge Capital SALT New York 2021 conference in New York City, U.S., September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

ARKK was up more than 5% in intraday trading on March 9 as of 1:38 p.m. ET.

The fund has seen some relief since being pummeled at the start of the year but remains more than 60% down from its February 2021 high.

In a recent note, Datatek Research likened ARKK’s trajectory to the 1990s dot com bubble, pointing out the fund’s direction has broadly tracked the Nasdaq’s 2000, early 2001 path.

“Speculative tech names have been under intense pressure for an entire year and that’s likely to continue over the coming weeks,” the firm said in a note last month. “ARKK’s latest one-year performance from its peak has generally followed the same downward path as the Nasdaq in the early 2000s, the best analog to overvalued tech stocks deflating.”

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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