Catherine Wood, aka ‘Cathie,’ (pictured) is shaking up Wall Street with her ‘disruption-focused’ investment firm. ARK Investment Management, which she founded seven years ago, has more than $53billion under management
Wall Street’s newest investment guru doesn’t fit the financial industry’s usual alpha male mold. Instead, she’s a 65-year-old, Trump-supporting, devout Christian mother-of-three who reads the Bible religiously and also happens to have an appreciation for technology stocks.
Catherine ‘Cathie’ Wood is shaking up Wall Street with her ‘disruption-focused’ firm ARK Investment Management which she founded seven years ago and has more than $53billion under management.
The once-divorced, once-widowed evangelical mom has a net worth of $250million, and has become an enigma to those who don’t quite comprehend the realm of stocks, and to many who understand it all too well.
Her investment firm, which markets itself as an ‘untraditional investment manager,’ focuses solely on offering investment solutions to capture disruptive innovation in the public equity markets.’
‘Most people thought I was nuts, because active management was dead,’ she told Forbes. ‘A close friend of mine called it a vanity project.… That threw me, but it also made me even more determined to prove him wrong.’
Wood, (pictured) is a once-divorced, once-widowed evangelical mother-of-three with a net worth of $250million. She has become an enigma to those who don’t quite comprehend the realm of stocks, and to many who understand it all too well
Since it’s inception in October 2014, ARK’s flagship fund, Ark Innovation, is up an annualized 34 percent—translating to an increase of 34 percent every year for the past six-plus years.
ARK seeks to identify companies leading and benefiting from cross-sector innovations including artificial intelligence, robotics, energy storage, DNA sequencing, and blockchain technology.
‘We’re all about finding the next big thing. Those hewing to the benchmarks, which are backwards looking, are not about the future,’ Wood commented in a statement on ARK’s website. ‘They are about what has worked. We’re all about what is going to work.’
While her trajectory into the kingdom of Wall Street is impressive to say the least, her background tells a more humble story.
Born in 1955, as the oldest daughter of Irish immigrants, Wood grew up in Los Angeles, California.
She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in finance and economics, before getting a job at Capital Group, which managed $2trillion in assets.
Wood graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in finance and economics, before getting a job at Capital Group, which managed $2trillion in assets. she is pictured with her three adult children
Wood’s investment firm, which markets itself as an ‘untraditional investment manager,’ focuses solely on offering investment solutions to capture disruptive innovation in the public equity markets
Wood spent three years at Capital Group, before moving to New York to join Jennison Associates, another large asset-management firm.
Wood is an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump. She is also a devout Christian woman, who reads the Bible religiously and has an appreciation for technology stocks
She remained there for 18 years, navigating through positions such as chief economist and managing director, before leaving to help establish Tupelo Capital Management in 1998.
Three years later, Wood joined AllianceBernstein, as chief investment officer and the manager of a $5 billion portfolio.
Wood even caught the attention of Anthony Scaramucci, the hedge-fund manager best known for his 11-day stretch as the communications director in the Trump White House.
‘She’s a national treasure, because she’s broken every boundary on Wall Street,’ he said. ‘Wall Street doesn’t have a glass ceiling. Wall Street has a diamond ceiling.’
But not everyone is a fan of Wood, and many ‘alpha dogs’ within the world Wall Street have thoroughly criticized her.
Born in 1955, as the oldest daughter of Irish immigrants, Wood (pictured) grew up in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in finance and economics before getting a job at Capital Group, which managed $2 trillion in assets
Wood (pictured) spent three years at Capital Group, before moving to New York to join Jennison Associates, another large asset-management firm
CNBC’s Jim Cramer believes Wood’s success is potentially coming to an end.
Cramer criticized her profile saying, ‘the era of Cathie Wood propping these stocks up with her own buying bazooka, I think, appears to be over.’
In early March, Edwin Dorsey, a recent Stanford grad and an aspiring short seller, tweeted: ‘ARK’s illiquid holdings are problematic because as ARK faces redemptions, hedge funds could take predatory short positions in ARK’s illiquid holdings and create a performance death spiral.’
Marc Cohodes, an opinionated California-based short seller, wants the Securities and Exchange Commission to step up and do its job and ask Wood, ‘What are we doing here? How can this go on? Where are the limits?’
A short seller is an investor who borrows a stock, sells the stock, then repurchases the stock back to return it to the lender.
Short sellers hope the stock they sell will lower in price. If the stock drops after selling, the short seller will then buy back the stock at a lower price and return it to the lender.
‘We’re at the point right now where Archegos meets Bill Hwang, which meets Bible study, which meets Cathie Wood, which meets easy money, which meets mass speculation, which meets an S.E.C. that doesn’t care, which meets a government that wants to put down people who expose the truth,’ Cohodes added.
Cohodes if referring to Bill Hwang, the Tiger Management analyst who founded Archegos Capital Management.
In March, Archegos Capital’s leveraged bets in ViacomCBS went south, igniting a $20 billion wave of forced liquidations at numerous Wall Street banks. According to Bloomberg, Hwang would hold Bible study sessions before the pandemic hit.
Regardless if she’s right or wrong, Wood doesn’t appear to be bothered by skeptics and is already setting her sights on in the future of DNA sequencing.
Wood already has a nearly $2.5billion bet riding on four stocks within that realm, including: CRISPR Therapeutics, Intellia Therapeutics, Beam Therapeutics, and Editas Medicine.
In May, Wood told a group of investors she believes the world of DNA sequencing ‘is going to transform health care completely.’
‘For every cumulative doubling, the costs associated with short-read sequencing go down 40 percent. Think about that,’ Wood said.
‘And the costs associated with long-read sequencing go down about 20 percent. The cost associated with battery technology, battery-pack systems, again, 28 percent. With industrial robots, in the north of 20 percent range.’