They’ll turn on you fast.
Anyone who’s ever enjoyed even a modicum of success involving the adoration of other people knows humans are fickle beasts. They’ll abandon ship at the first sign of trouble, with the only exception being bad sports teams, which, for reasons scientists have yet to discern, manage to retain their grip on fans come hell or high water.
And now, to Cathie Wood.
The rather dramatic slide in Tesla’s shares earlier this week helped fuel a veritable exodus from some of her ETFs, which have attracted billions amid a sharp run-up in shares linked to some of the themes her young firm champions.
Although Tesla eventually pared the majority of its intraday losses Tuesday, at one point it was on pace for another grievous slide atop Monday’s 9% debacle, which itself came on the heels of a smattering of smaller drops last week.
Some blamed this week’s early losses in Tesla on Elon Musk’s weekend tweet about Bitcoin. To the extent that’s even a little bit true, it speaks to the abject absurdity of the Musk-Bitcoin-Tesla-S&P 500 feedback loop, which some fear might come back to haunt market participants over the long haul.
Read more: ‘Tesla Risk’
But really, Tesla was just caught up in a tech slide precipitated by rising US yields. As rates rise, the frothiest corners of the market will be the first to notice. And some contend that Wood embodies market froth.
Well, this week, investors pulled nearly a half-billion from her main product, which, with just a handful of exceptions, never sees outflows.
Now that is quite something.
It wasn’t just the Innovation ETF. Between them, Wood’s Genomic Revolution product and the Next Generation Internet ETF bled more than $300 million. So, all together, it seems as though investors may have raided ARK for at least $800 million after it got lost… err, “loss.”
All three products suffered mightily over the past several sessions.
Wood isn’t deterred. Nor should she be. Whether you think the clout she wields is emblematic of a “bubble” or not, you don’t generally want a CEO to be spooked by a couple of bad days. “All I know is we are keeping our eyes on the prize,” Wood told Bloomberg Tuesday, adding that “corrections are good, they keep us all humble.”
I’d have to agree. I’ve been humbled more times than most men, I’d venture, and come out better for it. Then again, I’ve never been an Icarus that’s flown quite as close to the sun as Cathie.
Notably, shorts are getting interested (figure below).
Who knows, maybe I called the top on Cathie when I wrote about ARK earlier this month.
By her own account, she bought more Tesla during the selloff.