The Ark Innovation Fund, or ARKK, is the flagship investment product for Cathie Wood's Ark Invest. In 2020, the fund returned a whopping 150%, due mostly to Wood's ability to select and include stocks that perform. The past two years haven't been as kind to the ETF, and shares are worth fractions of the value they held in 2020.
Yet investors keep dumping money into the fund. In early March, the fund was down more than 35% year-to-date, so why is so much money still coming in?
The first reason is Cathie Wood herself. Wood has a history of making good picks early in the game—often investing in emerging stocks and opportunities well before they become mainstream. Some examples include Tesla and Bitcoin, which Wood was on before they became major news in general financial channels.
On top of her history of solid picks and returns on high-risk, high-reward strategies, Wood has a lot of personal conviction. Whether she's tweeting about her investment products or speaking to someone on video, she is inspiring and speaks with an authority that others may find easy to follow.
The second reason investors are buying ARKK is because it's down. They're using a classic investment strategy of buy low, sell high—and banking on Wood's charisma and past success.
Will ARKK recover? Some analysts say the chances are good, noting that they're seeing some of the similar trends from previous economic downturns. In previous cases, investment vehicles like ARKK did recover. Others reserve their opinion and prefer to play it cautiously. For investors with money to dump somewhere, though, ARKK may be an attractive high-risk, potentially high-reward opportunity.