Cathie Wood is our generation's Warren Buffet. Her unusual approach to investing — which combines high levels of risk with high levels of transparency about her views to produce, at least last year, astronomically high returns — have connected with new investors in a way the financial industry had only dreamed of.
Her aggressive bets on often unprofitable technology stocks are a better fit for traders who brag on Reddit about YOLO-ing their rent money than it ever was for the endowments and institutions that rely on the traditional money management industry. Her unique ability to connect with individual investors has helped her become the most influential investor at work in the markets today.
She does seem an odd standard-bearer for these retail investors though. She is a 65-year-old creature of Wall Street’s asset management industry, as well as a deeply religious donor to conservative political campaigns. The idea for her firm, ARK Invest, came to her when she was listening to the "Jesus Calling" podcast in 2012.
Fast forward 9 years, Cathie Wood now manages nearly $85 billion — up from less than $10 billion at the end of 2019.
Short Squeez Takeaway: Cathie Wood might not match last year's blockbuster performance. In fact her funds have been badly trailing the overall market in 2021. One thing is for sure that she has changed Wall Street forever. Some of the world's biggest financial firms, such as Blackrock and Goldman Sachs, are rushing to introduce products such as transparent ETFs that she pioneered.