Katie Wood competes with Elon Musk as the guru of the investment world

Katie Wood founded her first investment fund when she was 58 years old. Now 65-year-old Wood is one of the most influential fund managers of our time. She is quoted along with Warren Buffett, her portraits and tickers of her funds are printed on T-shirts and sweatshirts (recently, sales proceeds go to charity projects to combat COVID-19). She has imitators: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) counted at least three sites and a smartphone app that quickly track the transactions of Wood funds so that investors can act in a similar way.

Meanwhile, as recently as February of last year, Bloomberg published a long article about Wood titled “The Best Investor You’ve Never Heard Of.” Perhaps it’s the profitability of her umbrella-branded Ark funds. The flagship Ark Innovation Fund (ARKK) yielded 150% in 2020, and has averaged 36% per annum over the past five years, tripling the S&P 500. Last year, five of its seven ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) showed an average return of 141%, calculated by Barron’s (a weekly published by Dow Jones & Company). This year, the eighth fund opened – Ark Space Exploration and Innovation (ARKX). The assets under the management of Ark Invest funds, according to the company, amount to $ 48 billion.

But, most likely, the point is different. Bloomberg believes Wood is the same phenomenon as Elon Musk, or the King of SPACs nicknamed venture capitalist Chamat Palihapitiya, an apologist for SPAC funds. They are being watched closely by retail investors, members of Reddit and other internet groups. Most funds have a strategy and portfolio – a secret, for the disclosure of which employees are perhaps not shot. Wood and her team, like Musk and Palihapitiya, are open to communication. They share their views and plans on the website and in social networks, Wood’s subordinates openly collect information on the assets that interest them with the help of the Internet community and third-party experts – engineers, scientists, doctors. This triggers a debate in which a lot of new information emerges, Wood said, allowing for strategy adjustments. For example, Venkat Viswanathan, an associate professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, who specializes in energy conversion and storage, often volunteers his latest insights with Ark analysts.

“Our analysts are available on Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, Telegram, any social network that will help them interact and become part of the communities in the areas they explore,” Wood tells Bloomberg. This, she says, allows her to “play in a much heavier weight class.” After all, the more popularity, the more money people bring to its funds.