Cathie Wood wants to build her own ark

The innovation evangelist’s ARK Innovation ETF is down sharply this year.


Mickey Pierre-Louis for the Wall Street Journal

For a second, it looked like innovation evangelist Cathie Wood wouldn’t have anything left to bet on. But she has plans to survive the flood.

With her ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund down more than 50% this year, Ms. Wood has stuck to her strategy of investing in growth, even as most investors have changed their minds. The world’s current problems will only serve to reinforce the need for technological solutions, Ms Wood said.

Some buy it. By the end of May, ARK Innovation had welcomed around $1.4 billion in net inflows this year, and the fund has rebounded 17% since its low in mid-May.

The tech industry is suddenly pushing for sweeping reform, cutting costs, cutting jobs, and forecasting left and right toward a more sustainable future. Even SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, who invested billions in shared office company WeWork before its crash, said he would focus on smaller, more diversified investments, warning his own investors that the current tech rout is not likely to be so fleeting.

Ms. Wood envisions a different kind of diversification: into private companies. Ms Wood told a transport summit this week that her company plans to set up its own crossover fund which could invest not only in public assets but also in private assets.

This is apparently what passes for innovative in this market.

Write to Laura Forman at

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