In South Korea, retail investors have given Cathie Wood a nickname: “Money Tree.” Looking at the pile of cash now managed by Ark Investment Management, it’s easy to see why.
Ark’s exchange-traded fund assets under management crossed $50 billion this week, up from only $3.6 billion at this time last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In 2021 alone, investors have funneled almost $11 billion in Wood’s family of funds.
The new record underscores the flood of money pouring into thematic products, tracking topics like genomics and fintech, as retail traders put money to work in funds with relatable narratives.
Wood’s eye-popping returns catch the pros’ attention, while her approachable persona attracts investors just starting out.
“This is a key milestone, and a sign that the ETF business is not just dominated by firms tracking indexes,” said Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF research for CFRA Research. “Given investor focus on long-term thematic investing, there’s room for additional growth for Ark and other active managers.”
Fame in South Korea
In South Korea, retail investors are swarming to buy thematic products and Cathie Wood has become something of a celebrity. In social media posts they refer to her as “돈나무”, which roughly translates as “Money Tree.”
The facts back that up — her ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) has gained 19% already this year, on top of a 149% rise in 2020.