A particular matter for Q1 2021 celebration in Boomersville, USA has been the decline of Ark Invest’s flagship funds, ARKK and ARKW. The poster children for dot com do-over, SPACy craziness.
You see, nobody really likes a big winner and so the number of naysayers who have arrived to feed on the expected carcass of Ark Invest at large, and Cathie Wood specifically, is legion. In part this is plain jealousy of the success, and in part it’s a reaction to the very different way in which Ark conducts itself in public. Oh, also, she has the temerity to be, you know, a girl and all.
Traditionally, public stock fund management - particularly active fund management - has been a business the protagonists thereof have sought to shroud in mystery, in pursuit no doubt of conjuring up the aura of genius. Some such fund managers are very very clever, and some are very very successful. And sometimes those aspects coincide - perhaps even have a causal link, we cannot say. Other such fund managers are doubleplusunclever, and some are successful only in turning your money into a dumpster fire. After the deduction of their fees, of course. Again, correlation, causation, who knows.
Annoyingly for all concerned, Ark does actually do things differently in this regard. As someone much smarter than us wrote on Twitter a few months back (if it was you, email us to claim your prize!), investment firms who think that they aren’t also media companies will soon also not be investment firms. What this wag meant was, if you want to keep shoveling money into that dumpster, sorry, we mean, building your assets under management, you need to market yourself in a whole different way to how it used to be. No longer is your sole concern to wine and dine prime brokers, registered investment advisors, and whatnot. You do still have to do that. But now you also have to live in real time on Twitter and Substack and StockTwits and Revue and a bunch of other places that Marjorie’s boss hasn’t heard of. And if you think the best people to do that work is the same marketing team which arranges for your favorite broker to play golf in a fancy setting with your favorite RIAs, well, good luck with that.
Now, if Ark’s first smart move was to catch the third wave of the Internet
, their second smart move has been to employ a corps of social-native analysts, the better to market with. And in amongst this army of child soldiers will be some investment geniuses. We don’t know which ones because some of them will be merely meme-weavers, and we aren’t smart enough to discern one from another via podcast. In any event, it doesn’t matter. For now, Ark is the Cathie Wood Show. (One day she will be Caesar’d by Brutus The Teenage Analyst. Probably the meekest-looking, friendliest one of them. But not yet.)
The other thing Ark does that your parents’ mutual fund manager does not, is to post a summary of some of their trades every night. Not all
of their trades, as people seem to think. Just some
of them. Read the small print. It says so. And this adds to the media narrative of, we do things differently here. No shroud of secrecy and occasional puffs of white or black smoke. Hey, we tell everyone our investment strategy, which stocks we love and why, we joust with the Technoking on Twitter, we publish our models on GitHub (no, really) and heck we even tell you
[some of] our trades every night!
And what all this says is: this isn’t Marjorie’s boss’s fund manager. Send money here. Hey, we take Bitcoin (of course we do. We’re scooping up armfuls of Coinbase stock!). And soon, in ARKX
, we will be accepting Space Doge Token. Well, we will issue any redemptions in Space Doge Token. Purchases? Dollars only. Did you not hear us right? D-O-L-L-A-R-S. Yes fiat currency is dead. No you can’t pay us in altcoins.