Early this year Cathie Wood hailed her flagship fund as the "new Nasdaq."
However, her Ark Innovation Fund has sharply underperformed the Nasdaq 100 despite big gains for tech stocks.
The ARKK ETF's underperformance reflects declines in some of its biggest holdings such as Tesla and Zoom.
Cathie Wood is no stranger to making big, bold statements.
Early this year, the ARK Invest CEO made a particularly feisty claim — hailing her own flagship Ark Innovation Fund (ARKK) as the "new Nasdaq", suggesting it could become the leading investment vehicle for cutting-edge technology.
When Wood made that assertion in February, she was riding high on her fund's best monthly run.
"We are the new Nasdaq," she told Bloomberg at the time. Look through the Nasdaq now and "you will not find the kind of disruptive innovation" that ARKK represented, Wood added.
Unfortunately, the going hasn't been too smooth for the exchange-traded fund (ETF) since then.
In particular, its performance has paled in comparison with the Nasdaq 100 itself. Wood's main fund has notched a 12.3% gain for the year to date, which looks unimpressive compared with the benchmark tech index's 32% surge.
Put another way, ARKK has actually tumbled 15% year-to-date, proportionate to Nasdaq 100. That follows a 51% relative plunge last year and a 40% underperformance in 2021.
Wood's fund has trailed the Nasdaq even more starkly since late July — when the whole stock market came under increasing selling pressure amid signs interest rates will remain higher for longer than expected.
The ETF declined in recent months as some of its biggest holdings such as Tesla, Zoom and Roku all fell.
Shares in Elon Musk's EV maker dropped 23% in the second half of this year, while Zoom and Roku declined by about 12% and 8%, respectively.
ARKK is also down by more than a fifth since mid-2018. That slide prompted Larry McDonald, founder of the Bear Traps Report, to comment in August that the fund is "dead money" in terms of longer-term performance.
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