Tesla Stock Losses Top $575 Billion As ‘Investor Patience Wears Thin’ With Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘Circus Show’

Shares of Tesla sank to an 11-month low on Tuesday after a bearish analyst note tacked on to a flurry of concerns for the electric-vehicle maker and high-profile chief Elon Musk—even as one of the firm’s staunchest bulls doubled down on its massive investment.

Tesla stock fell 7% to $628 on Tuesday, pushing the stock down nearly 49% from its all-time high in November and wiping over $30 billion from Tesla’s market capitalization, which has fallen to $650 billion from a peak of more than $1.2 trillion.

Prompting the steep decline, Daiwa analyst Jairam Nathan on Tuesday morning lowered his price target for Tesla shares to $800 from $1,150—telling clients Covid lockdowns in Shanghai, where the electric-vehicle maker operates its so-called Gigafactory, as well as supply issues impacting its Austin and Berlin plants, will cut deeper into earnings than previously expected.

Nathan forecasts the headwinds will push deliveries this year down by 180,000 vehicles, meaning Tesla will deliver 1.2 million vehicles this year, as opposed to the 1.4 million units previously expected.

The note comes one day after Wedbush analyst Dan Ives cautioned Twitter’s shareholder meeting this week will “surely kick off some more fireworks” between Musk and the social media firm’s board, adding to the “major overhang” as investors worry the proposed takeover could divert his attention from Tesla.

“Tesla investor patience is wearing very thin,” Ives said about the resulting back and forth, with Musk suggesting he’ll lower his offer due to concerns about bots on Twitter, while the company’s board says it won’t alter the deal.

Despite the bearishness, Ark Invest, the New York City investment firm helmed by famed stock-picker Cathie Wood, disclosed it bought $10 million in Tesla shares on Tuesday—adding to its stake for the first time since February less than a week after the stock lost its top spot on Ark’s flagship fund to streaming giant Roku.

“This [takeover] circus show has been a major overhang on Tesla’s stock and has been a black eye for Musk so far,” Ives said Monday, adding that “major market pressure for tech stocks” has only added to the uncertainty.

Shares of Tesla have racked up big losses since Musk suggested he would sell about 10% of his stake in November, with prices only collapsing further as the broader market struggles in the face of rising interest rates. Adding to concerns for Tesla, however, “the worst supply chain crisis seen in modern history” has threatened the firm’s production in highly profitable China, notes Ives.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has plummeted 29% this year. Tesla, meanwhile, has plunged 47%. Even though its stock has struggled, Tesla reported its most profitable quarter in company history last month, posting $3.3 billion in first-quarter income fueled by record deliveries. $199 billion. That’s how much 50-year-old Musk, the world’s richest person, is worth, according to Forbes.

Source: Tesla Stock Losses Top $575 Billion As ‘Investor Patience Wears Thin’ With Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘Circus Show’

Critics by

Taking over Twitter may be good for Elon Musk, but it hasn’t been good for Tesla’s shares. One day after Twitter announced it had accepted Musk’s $44 billion takeover bid, Tesla shares sank 12.2%, wiping out more than $125 billion off the electric vehicle maker’s market value. The falls come as Wall Street fretted about how the deal could impact the electric vehicle maker and its stock price.

When Musk announced he had secured the money to finance the transaction, he said he would cover $21 billion himself, with banks helping finance the other half. What remains unclear is how he will come up with that money — whether he will sell some of the Tesla shares he owns, borrow against them, bring in additional investors, or all three.

There is also growing concern about whether owning Twitter would bring him into conflict over free speech with the government in China, a key market for Tesla where the auto maker also has significant production. On top of that, there is the risk Musk could become distracted by his latest acquisition. Musk is the CEO of Tesla and Space-X and is involved with other business ventures such as Neuralink, which develops brain implant technology, as well as The Boring Company, which makes tunnels.

If Musk does offload some of those holdings, it could drive Tesla’s share price down further. This is something the company warned investors about in its latest annual report, filed in February with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “If Elon Musk were forced to sell shares of our common stock that he has pledged to secure certain personal loan obligations, such shares could cause our stock price to decline,” the company wrote.

Further reading

Elon Musk Goes On The Attack After Tesla Cut From S&P ESG Index

Tesla Stock Plunge Wipes Out $128 Billion In Value As Twitter Deal Sparks Fears

Tesla’s Cybertruck has become the butt of every internet joke”

Tesla Battery Day recap: Major announcements include Model S Plaid and a $25,000 EV

Tesla Cybertruck may be unsafe for other road users, says Australian safety chief

Elon Musk confirms Tesla’s ‘Cyberquad’ as a Cybertruck accessory”. Engadget

Tesla boasts about electric car deliveries, plans for sedan”

Supply Agreement for Products and Services

Elon Musk: On the Roadster to Mars

Musk Sees Tesla’s Future: Trucks, Transit and Solar in a Push to Sustainability”

Elon Musk Confirms Tesla Minibus Built on Model X Chassis”

Elon Musk hints Tesla may not build a bus after all

Elon Musk was almost killed on a motorcycle, so Tesla will never build them

Elon Musk says Tesla’s next-gen Model 4 will be affordable for everyone

Tesla compact hatchback to launch within five years”

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Stocks Fall Again As Experts Worry About ‘Extremely Bullish’ Market Indicators

After closing at record highs last week, stocks are falling for the second day in a row as corporate earnings—which lifted the market to new highs during the pandemic—start to show signs of weakness, all while speculative pockets of investor mania continue to rage on.

Shortly after the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 147 points, or 0.4%, while the S&P 500 also slipped 0.4%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which underperformed Monday, shed 0.3%.

Far outperforming any other stock in the S&P, shares of railroad company Kansas City Southern are soaring 15% after Canada National proposed to acquire the company in a $33.7 billion deal—topping Canadian Pacific’s $25 billion bid from last month and setting the stage for a potential bidding war.

Heading up the S&P’s losses, Marlboro parent Altria Group’s stock is slumping 6% after reports that Joe Biden’s administration (which has not commented on the matter) is considering a reduction in the amount of nicotine allowed in tobacco products.

On the earnings front, shares of IBM are climbing 2.5% after the software giant surpassed first-quarter expectations with revenue of $5.4 billion—bolstered by ongoing growth in its enterprise cloud business—and adjusted earnings of $2.2 billion.

Meanwhile, medical device company Abbott, which makes Covid-19 test kits, reported worse-than-expected revenue of $10.5 billion Tuesday morning as Covid-related sales fell nearly 10% quarter to quarter, sending shares down about 3%.

Reflecting ongoing uncertainty over the economic recovery, epicenter stocks—or those belonging to companies hard-hit by the pandemic—are also driving losses Tuesday, with chemicals firms Dupont De Nemours, cruise-liner Carnival Corp. and Delta Air Lines all falling about 2%.

Crucial Quote

“The reopening news is directionally positive, but the big problem is that many epicenter stocks have already seen their enterprise values return to pre-Covid levels, while some are well beyond where they stood in 2019,” Vital Knowledge Media Founder Adam Crisafulli said in a Tuesday morning note.

Tangent

In a break from tradition, the Bank of Japan revealed Tuesday that it opted out of buying exchange-traded funds despite weakness in Japanese stocks. Crisafulli says the move is “perhaps the most important piece of news today” because it signals the central bank is dialing back its economic support—at a time when central banks around the world, including the Federal Reserve, have revved up their accommodative policy to help the economy and usher in new stock-market highs. Japan’s Nikkei 225, the nation’s benchmark index, fell 2% Tuesday and is now down 4.5% from a February high.

Key Background

Boosted by massive fiscal stimulus, an accelerating vaccine rollout and falling unemployment, stocks have had a strong start to the year, with the S&P pulling off 23 new all-time highs in 2021, according to LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Many of our favorite sentiment gauges are becoming extremely bullish, which could be a near-term contrarian warning,” Detrick says of indicators like sentiment, at a three-year high, and low cash allocations from portfolio managers increasingly piling into stocks.

Surprising Fact

The price of dogecoin is soaring Tuesday, climbing back near record territory from last week, as retail traders around the world stage a rally around cannabis holiday 4/20. The cryptocurrency, modeled after a meme and originally developed as a joke, has climbed eight-fold over the past month, nabbing a staggering $49 billion market capitalization.

Further Reading

S&P And Dow Score New Record Highs, For The Week: Health Care, Materials And Utilities Sectors Lead Gains (Forbes)

Peloton Shares Drop After It Resists Regulator Warnings About Treadmill Following Child’s Death  (Forbes)

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

Source: Stocks Fall Again As Experts Worry About ‘Extremely Bullish’ Market Indicators

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Elon Musk tweets that Autopilot had not been enabled as Tesla crash brings scrutiny

Apple stock update: The key numbers you need to look at now

IBM surprises with revenue gain, see growth returning to pre-COVID-19 levels

Kansas City Southern’s stock soars after Canadian National’s ‘superior’ bid valued at $33.7 bln

 

 

Elon Musk’s Fortune Falls Nearly $6 Billion After Tesla Crash Leaves Two Dead

Billionaire Elon Musk saw his net worth fall on Monday, as shares of his electric car company dropped following reports that two people died in a fatal Tesla TSLA -3.4% crash over the weekend.

Shares of Tesla were down 3.8% as of 3:45 p.m. EST on Monday, shaving $5.6 billion off Musk’s fortune. He’s now worth $174.1 billion, according to Forbes estimates. The Tesla CEO and cofounder is the third-richest person in the world—behind Amazon AMZN -0.8% CEO Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of $195.9 billion, and French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, who is worth $180.3 billion.

Tesla’s stock fell on Monday amid reports that two men died after their 2019 Tesla Model S crashed into a tree north of Houston on Saturday night. Local authorities said that they believed the vehicle was operating without anyone in the driver’s seat—with one of the men reportedly in the front passenger’s seat and the other in the back seat of the Tesla. The vehicle was traveling at high speeds along a curve before veering off the road and bursting into flames at around 11:25 p.m., police said.

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Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman told the media in a statement that it took emergency crews about four hours to put out the Model S fire, saying that the team even contacted Tesla for help. While electric vehicles are not necessarily more dangerous than gas-powered vehicles, high-voltage lithium batteries like the ones used in Tesla can reignite even after an initial fire is put out, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The crash also raises further questions about Tesla’s Autopilot feature. Authorities were not yet certain if Autopilot was active during the crash which killed the two men, aged 59 and 69, respectively. Nonetheless, the company’s semiautomated driving system has faced mounting scrutiny following a series of accidents involving Tesla vehicles in recent months. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last month that it had launched more than two dozen investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles, and on Monday said that it would also be investigating the most recent crash north of Houston.

Tesla, which does not have a media relations department, does not appear to have issued any statements in the wake of the accident. Both the company and its billionaire CEO, however, have repeatedly touted the safety of Tesla vehicles and the Autopilot feature. Musk, who is active on Twitter with nearly 52 million followers, posted on Saturday afternoon prior to the accident that a Tesla with Autopilot engaged is nearly ten times less likely to be involved in an accident than an average car.

Tesla also has been rolling out an upgraded suite of assistance features on a limited basis, a system it calls “full self-driving.”“Autopilot and full self-driving capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment,” Tesla says on its website, noting that the features don’t make the vehicle autonomous.

Some safety advocates have said that the company doesn’t do enough to keep drivers from depending too much on the features or using them in situations for which they aren’t designed. They also have criticized the company for the language it uses to describe its features, saying that terms such as “Autopilot” and “full self-driving” risk giving drivers a false sense of the vehicle’s abilities.

“They are intentionally, foreseeably creating unnecessary risks to the public,” said Jason Levine, executive director for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Auto Safety. Tesla has told federal officials that it doesn’t believe it needs to limit where drivers are allowed to use its assistance system because the vehicle is under the driver’s control.

NHTSA doesn’t have any rules on the books prescribing how companies must monitor driver engagement, something the NTSB, which issues safety recommendations, has criticized, saying that it puts people at risk. NHTSA has said that it is evaluating potential next steps to ensure driver safety.

Update 6:45 pm EST, April 19: Later on Monday, Musk posted on Twitter denying that Tesla’s Autopilot feature was involved in the crash. Data logs recovered from the accident “show Autopilot was not enabled” and that the car did not purchase Full Self-Driving (FSD), the Tesla CEO said in his tweet. “Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have,” Musk wrote.

I am a New York-based reporter covering billionaires and their wealth for Forbes. Previously, I worked on the breaking news team at Forbes covering money and markets. Before that, I wrote about investing for Money Magazine. I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2018, majoring in International Relations and Modern History. Follow me on Twitter @skleb1234 or email me at sklebnikov@forbes.com

Source: Elon Musk’s Fortune Falls Nearly $6 Billion After Tesla Crash Leaves Two Dead

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Related Contents:

Bitcoin, Tesla And GameStop: 10 Numbers That Sum Up The Fastest Market Recovery Ever

uncaptioned

Within just five weeks last year, the longest bull market on record erased three years worth of stock gains, crashing more than 30% from an all-time high in February to a pandemic low on March 23, the day Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pledged to use the central bank’s “full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time.” Exactly one year and trillions of dollars in government spending later, stocks have staged a historic rally, taking investors on a wild ride.

Some highlights: Electric-carmaker Tesla is now one of the most valuable companies in the world, the cryptocurrency market has swelled to more than $1 trillion and so-called meme stocks dominate Wall Street commentary with volatile swings that force exchanges to halt trading. It’s still unclear how long the new bull market can last, but one year after one of the worst stock-market crashes in history, here’s a look at its monumental recovery.

S&P 500

Up 76%

 The S&P 500 has skyrocketed over the past year, hitting its latest high on Wednesday and marking what LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick calls the “best start to a bull market ever.” It took just five months forthe index to recover its steep Covid-induced losses, the fastest recovery ever for a correction of more than 30%. To compare, it took the S&P a staggering 20 months to recover after the index crashed by 34% in 1987.

High-flying technology stocks like Amazon, Zoom and Tesla led the market to new highs last year, but this year, energy stocks have been heading up the index’s resurgence. The S&P 500 Energy Index is still about 10% off its pre-pandemic levels, but it’s surged 103% over the past year. Materials and financials aren’t far behind, climbing 92% and 90%, respectively.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Up 76%

The Dow, which counts 30 market leaders in its ranks, has also soared 76% over the past year, though its pandemic low was on March 16, one week before the S&P’s trough. A testament to the economy’s impending recovery, cyclical stocks–which tend to outperform during periods of growth but fall hard during recessions–have driven the index’s gains.

Top-performer Boeing tanked more than 70% in the pandemic’s early days, but it’s rocketed 165% over the past year. Meanwhile, storied investment bank Goldman Sachs nabs the Dow’s second-biggest gain, surging 145% as analysts look toward financials to lead the market this year. Equipment-maker Caterpillar, commodities giant Dow Inc. and Walt Disney round out the top five Dow stocks over the past year–all surging at least 125%.

Nasdaq

Up 95%

A new stay-at-home normal that catapulted stocks like Peloton, Zoom and Slack helped the tech-heavy Nasdaq climb to meteoric highs during the pandemic, but tech’s dominance has been threatened in recent weeks. The index is down about 5% from a high on February 12, as rising Treasury yields fuel concerns that investors may sell-off high-priced tech stocks in favor of the risk-free asset class. But experts aren’t too worried yet. “It’s a buckle-your-seatbelt moment for tech stocks, but we believe this sell-off has created a golden opportunity for investors to own secular tech winners for the next 3 to 5 years,” says Wedbush analyst, Dan Ives.

Russell 2000

Up 126%

Massive fiscal stimulus spending, including nearly $720 billion in forgivable loans doled out to small businesses, has been a boon to the Russell 2000, a basket of small-cap stocks with market values that are typically less than $1 billion. The index has outperformed the broader market and posted its best quarter ever during the pandemic. With President Joe Biden’s lofty $1.9 trillion stimulus plan shoring up fresh funding for the economic recovery–and an even bigger $3 trillion infrastructure plan in the works, Bank of America analysts say they think small-caps will continue to outperform larger companies this year.

Meme Stock Mania

GameStop: Up 5,005%

Perhaps most emblematic of the market’s bullish mania are the staggering gains in the meme stocks popularized by an army of Reddit traders in late January. Heading up gains is GameStop, the past year’s best-performing stock in the Russell 2000. The Grapevine, Texas-based video game retailer reached a meteoric high on January 27 as retail traders coordinated an effort to buy up Wall Street’s most heavily shorted companies, stirring a panic among hedge funds that exited their positions with steep losses. Short interest has plummeted since, and the rally’s taken a breather, but two months into the frenzy GameStop’s still sporting eye-popping gains that have landed prices at more than 10 times analysts’ average one-year price expectations. Meanwhile, meme stocks AMC Entertainment and Blackberry are also holding up, climbing 300% and 200%, respectively, over the past year.

The S&P’s Biggest Gainer

ViacomCBS: Up 790%

ViacomCBS, the S&P’s best-performing stock over the past year (save for a couple new additions on Monday–Penn National Gaming and Caesars Entertainment), is another testament to the recent retail trading frenzy. The company, founded in 2019 by the merger between CBS and Viacom, has long garnered bearish calls from analysts, but with short interest that’s roughly five times greater than the S&P’s average, shares have skyrocketed in the months since Reddit traders started plowing into heavily shorted stocks. Though its Paramount+ streaming service has helped improve its outlook, one analyst last week said the stock has “run too far” and climbed too high.

The S&P’s Few Losers

Gilead Sciences: Down 10%

The past year’s raging bull market is not without its losses. The S&P’s worst-performing stock over the period belongs to California-based Gilead Sciences, which surged alongside other biotech companies in January 2020 as the pandemic took hold, but has floundered ever since. The company’s Covid-19 treatment, remdesivir, pulled roughly $3 billion in sales last year, and it was even hailed as a miracle treatment by former President Donald Trump, but like with other biotechs last year, investors lost interest. Only four S&P stocks have fallen over the past year, and three of them, including Biogen and Viatris, are biotechs.

Tesla’s New Dominance

Up 670%

Shares of electric carmaker Tesla–last year’s best-performing S&P 500 stock–are down for the year and have plunged nearly 25% from a late-January high—yet another sign the recently booming market for tech stocks could be over once post-pandemic spending drives growth into other industries. Tesla made its S&P debut in December and now carries about 1.5% of the index’s weight, but some experts are worried the stock’s increased volatility could spell trouble for the index-tracking funds that represent trillions in market value.

Bitcoin’s Resurgence

Up 730%

The price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency has skyrocketed over the past year amid booming institutional adoption and heightened inflationary concerns fueled by massive government spending to combat the pandemic. Just this month, Morgan Stanley became the first big bank to offer up bitcoin exposure to wealthy clients (though it’s limiting the funds to investors with “an aggressive risk tolerance”), and Goldman Sachs is also dabbling in the space with a cryptocurrency trading desk that opened up this month.

Oil’s Wild Ride

Up 160%

At $61.55, the price of a barrel of U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate stands at nearly three times the price of $23.36 one year ago, but the oil market’s volatile ride has been anything but a straight shot up. Prices seeped into negative territory for the first time in history last April, when pandemic lockdowns led to a glut in supply that became too expensive to maintain. Now, experts are bullish that prices can continue to bounce back as the world reopens.

“We’re going to need more supply as demand comes roaring back, and add to that all the stimulus that’s been pumped out by governments, the massive growth in money supply and I think we’re headed toward a global synchronized economic recovery that’s going to be pretty strong,” NOV Inc Chair and CEO Clay C. Williams said in an earnings call last month of energy’s impending boom.Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

Source: Bitcoin, Tesla And GameStop: 10 Numbers That Sum Up The Fastest Market Recovery Ever

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Discussing what I’m coining “Movement Investing” and the implications on the future of stocks, companies and investing opportunities. Social 🐦 Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/heydave7 🎧 Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast… 🎙️Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/2iin015… 📸 Instagram https://www.instagram.com/heydave7
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How Cathie Wood Beat Wall Street By Betting Tesla Is Worth More Than $1 Trillion

 cathie-wood

The newest superstar investor has leveraged a zealous belief in innovation into a $29 billion-in-assets firm and a $250 million net worth. Among her predictions: Elon Musk’s car company is vastly undervalued.


Tesla shares were limping along around $200 in May 2019, about where they had traded five years earlier, when Elon Musk’s biggest Wall Street booster tried a gutsy experiment. Cathie Wood and her Ark Investment Management were already well-known for their way-out-there predictions that Tesla would build a fleet of robo-taxis worth $1 trillion and that its shares would soar 20- or 30-fold by 2023. Now she stirred the pot again by publishing online Ark’s new bull’s-case valuation of $1.4 trillion, implying a share price above $6,000, complete with every Excel calculation and assumption behind those estimates. 

Criticism came fast and furious. Tesla short seller Jim Chanos, famed for uncovering Enron’s fraud, took Wood to task over Ark’s forecasts of Tesla’s gross margins. “[W]hat Ark has produced is a forward pricing for Tesla, not a valuation,’’ sniffed valuation expert Aswath Damodaran, a finance professor at New York University. The model, he noted, didn’t include a discounted cash-flow analysis and carried incomplete forecasts on the costs Tesla would incur to scale its vehicle production. That $1 trillion value Ark was placing on Tesla’s nonexistent robo-taxi fleet? “Strikes me as more fairy tale than valuation,’’ Damodaran opined. 

Sixteen months later, Tesla shares—after a five-for-one August stock split—were trading at $400. In other words, they’d risen tenfold, driven up by speculation and excitement over Musk’s autonomous-driving and battery technologies and Tesla’s stronger-than-expected financial performance. Musk’s car company is now worth five times more than Ford and General Motors combined, and Wood has made a fortune. The nitpicking skeptics, she believes, have missed the big picture: As electric cars go increasingly mainstream, production efficiencies and advances in batteries and other technologies will cut what it costs to make them. And as sticker prices fall, demand will surge, including from businesses like ride-sharing companies. In September, Musk promised a $25,000 car within three years. 

Meanwhile, Wood, 64, is perfectly happy to have a chorus of critics: “It almost makes me feel comfortable, to be honest, because it means if we’re right, then the rewards will be pretty enormous.” 


Wood’s comfort with going her own way has helped her turn Ark into one of the fastest-growing and top-performing investment firms in the world. Its flagship $8.6 billion Ark Innovation Fund is up a staggering 75% in 2020 and has returned an annual average of 36% over the past five years, nearly triple that of the S&P 500. 

While most star stock pickers treat their work like state secrets, Wood makes Ark’s research freely available online and posts real-time logs of her firm’s trades. Instead of hiring MBAs, she prefers to bring onboard young analysts with backgrounds in subjects like molecular biology or computer engineering, figuring they’re more likely to spot the next trend. Even the structure of Ark, an acronym for Active Research Knowledge, is original. Wood manages seven portfolios designed to capitalize on breakthroughs in robotics, energy storage, DNA sequencing and financial and blockchain technology, and makes them available to investors, particularly Millennials trading on Robinhood, as tax-efficient exchange-traded funds. 

Its Tesla position and a pandemic that has accelerated adoption of the technologies embedded in the 35 to 55 companies in each Ark ETF have helped its assets nearly triple in 2020, to $29 billion. “Coronavirus has catapulted our innovative platforms into high gear because they solve problems,” Wood says. “Innovation solves problems.” 

Forbes conservatively values Ark at $500 million, or about 2% of assets under management, roughly the same multiple as publicly traded T. Rowe Price commands. Wood’s 50%-plus ownership gives her a net worth of $250 million, good for the No. 80 spot on Forbes’ sixth annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. 

It’s easy to dismiss Wood as the face of a stock-market bubble created by the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies. But she has survived her share of both bubbles and bear markets. While an economics student at the University of Southern California, she studied under supply-side guru Arthur Laffer and apprenticed from 1977 to 1980 at Los Angeles fund giant Capital Group, watching as interest rates approaching 20% crushed the economy and the market. After graduating in 1981, she joined Jennison Associates, now an equity investment arm of Prudential, as an economist in New York. There she made an early call that inflation and interest rates had peaked. That garnered eye rolls from her superiors, but Wood was right—and the experience inculcated in her an appreciation for the potentially big upside of going against consensus. 


As the pandemic took hold, Cathie Wood loaded up on tech stocks that she correctly predicted would lead the recovery—and bought herself a house in ritzy Hilton Head, South Carolina, from which to work.


Frustrated with her career path at Jennison and wanting to research individual companies, one Friday Wood up and quit. Her mentor at the firm persuaded her to return the following Monday and moved her into equity research. She covered nascent wireless telecom companies in the late 1980s and early ’90s, getting a ground-floor view of the huge economic and societal changes coming as cellphones grew ubiquitous. In 2001, she moved to New York–based AllianceBernstein as chief investment officer for thematic portfolios. But the 2008 financial crisis ushered in an era in which active managers underperformed the S&P 500 and trillions flooded into low-cost index funds. Wood decided a fresh approach was needed. In 2012, she proposed putting actively managed portfolios of innovative companies inside an ETF structure. The idea got nowhere at AllianceBernstein. 

Two years later, she launched Ark in New York. Success wasn’t immediate. In the firm’s first two years, its flagship fund placed in the bottom quartile of its peer group, according to Morningstar. By the end of 2016, Wood had attracted just $307 million in assets, and Ark’s 0.75% management fee wasn’t covering overhead. To keep going, she dug deep in her savings, sold minority stakes and struck partnerships with larger firms to build distribution. Japan’s Nikko Asset Management and the mutual fund firm American Beacon now own 39% of the company. Almost 10% is owned by the firm’s two dozen employees.

In 2017, Ark took off, buoyed by surging prices for stocks like Netflix, Salesforce, DNA sequencer Illumina, digital-payments processor Square and digital health provider Athenahealth. Assets rose tenfold, and Ark began to build its brand on the back of bold predictions, an active Twitter presence and the free research it put online. (It also attracted notice for a cryptocurrency fund available only to accredited investors; Wood started buying Bitcoin, which she calls an “insurance policy” against inflation, in 2015 at $250 a coin.)  

Wood takes a top-down approach to building portfolios, first identifying disruptions by any means possible, including crowdsourcing—she even opens the firm’s Friday afternoon research meetings to outsiders, who can call in via Lifesize. Economics is central. Wood is most bullish on innovations if she believes their costs will decline over time, creating real demand. When scoring potential holdings, Ark looks at corporate culture and management execution on growth initiatives. Only at the end of the process does Wood value a company, refusing to buy anything she doesn’t expect will rise by 15% annually over five years, Ark’s minimum expected holding period. 

The tumult of 2020 has been good for Ark. In March, when the pandemic emerged and stocks plunged, Wood correctly predicted fast-growing tech companies would lead the world (and financial markets) to recovery. She concentrated Ark portfolios in Tesla and other top picks including education-software company 2U and real estate platform Zillow. Then, in late summer, when Tesla soared, she trimmed her holdings and built a large position in the battered shares of Slack.

With all successful innovations, of course, come copycats. Gimmicky themed ETFs have proliferated in everything from pets to sports gambling to work-from-home. Fund giants Dimensional Fund Advisors, Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price have all recently launched their own slates of actively managed ETFs. 

An optimist by nature, Wood nonetheless offers some unsettling predictions for the next five years. She expects a broad swath of large industries—banking, energy, transportation, health care—to be disrupted by technological change, with many workers displaced. The result, she believes, is that economic growth, inflation and broad market indexes will all fall persistently short of expectations, providing an opportunity for active managers to pick the innovative winners that will continue to drive market-cap gains.

“I think the benchmarks and the indexes are going to go through a terrible period. We’re already seeing it,” she says. “We believe they are being increasingly populated by value traps.” 

Does she think the market is now in a bubble? Nope. Uncertainty over the pandemic and the election (Wood supports President Trump “unabashedly”) means money has been flowing out of stocks and into the safety of bonds, she notes. “The fact that people are fearful now that we’re back at the S&P 500 trading at 25 times earnings tells me that we are not in a bubble at all.” 

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Antoine Gara

Antoine Gara

I’m a staff writer and associate editor at Forbes, where I cover finance and investing. My beat includes hedge funds, private equity, fintech, mutual funds, mergers, and…

In this video we take a look into Cathie Wood’s stock portfolio over at Ark Invest. She’s an investor who focuses on technology and innovation, looking for those companies that could potentially change the way the world works. Here’s her 10 largest stock positions… 📊 Sven Carlin (Expert Investor) Portfolio & Free Investing Course: http://bit.ly/SvenCarlinPortfolio 📈 How To Invest Course: http://bit.ly/theinvestingacademy-how… __________________________________ Subscribe Here: https://bit.ly/2Y1kNq8 ___ DISCLAIMER: It’s important to note that I am not a financial adviser and you should do your own research when picking stocks to invest in. These are just some of my viewpoints, by no means would I recommend watching one YouTube video and then immediately buying that stock. This video was made for educational and entertainment purposes only. Consult your financial adviser.

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