Fund manager Cathie Wood fans have created websites that track her every step in her investment. They sell T-shirts with their image in the style of the Barack Obama “Hope” poster and with the ticker symbol of their flagship stock exchange fund ARK Innovation. On social media they call her “Mamma Cathie”, “Aunt Cathie” and in South Korea “Money Tree”.
Behind the admiration lies 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,” she says. Her asset management firm, ARK Investment Management LLC, has made a heavy bet on buoyant sectors including alternative energy companies, space exploration and digital currencies.
Her focus on meme-worthy investing and her ubiquitous presence on Twitter and financial news channels has got her messaging the Twitter, YouTube and podcasts alongside market influencers like Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya and Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy to be passed on directly to a new generation.
Last month, Ms. Wood, along with Mr. Musk and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc. and Square Inc., had a one-hour virtual discussion about the potential of Bitcoin, which has been depreciating for months. “Think about how explosive the growth could be,” Ms. Wood once said.
Among the converts was rapper Busta Rhymes, aka Trevor Smith Jr., who tweeted that he was “sold on Bitcoin” the day after hearing the three of them about the cryptocurrency.