Fund manager Cathie Wood described herself as an “odd duck.” She’s now a social media celebrity among the meme-stock crowd.
ARK’s exchange-traded funds have benefited from the fund manager’s passion for such risky investments, but this year has been particularly difficult. ETF fans of fund manager Cathie Wood have established websites that track her every investment move, according to Ms Wood. They sell T-shirts with her likeness and the ticker symbol of her flagship exchange-traded fund, ARK Innovation, in the style of Barack Obama’s “Hope” poster. On social media, she is referred to as “Mamma Cathie,” “Aunt Cathie,” and “Money Trey” in South Korea.
Behind the adoration is her unbridled enthusiasm for a certain type of speculative investment: companies that generate little or no profit but have the potential to change the world through “disruptive innovation,” according to her asset management firm, ARK Investment Management LLC.
Her focus on meme-worthy assets, as well as her constant presence on Twitter and financial news outlets, has put her in the company of market influencers like Tesla Inc.
Elon Musk, Chamath Palihapitiya, and David Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, are among those who use Twitter, YouTube, and podcasts to reach out to a younger audience. Ms. Wood joined Mr. Musk and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc. and Square Inc., for an hourlong virtual conversation on the potential of bitcoin, which had been declining in value for months, last month, according to headtopics.com. Ms. Wood observed at one point, “Imagine how exponential growth could be.”
Busta Rhymes, aka Trevor Smith Jr., was one of the converts, tweeting a day later that he was “sold on bitcoin” after listening to the three promote the cryptocurrency.