Cathie Wood

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Cathie Wood
Cathie Wood.jpg
Wood in 2022
Catherine Duddy

(1955-11-26) November 26, 1955 (age 67)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California (1981)
Occupation(s)CEO and CIO of Ark Invest
Known forFounder of Ark Invest

Catherine Duddy Wood (born November 26, 1955) is an American investor and the founder, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest, an investment management firm.[1][2][3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Wood was born in Los Angeles, the eldest child of immigrants from Ireland. Wood's father served in the Irish Army and the United States Air Force as a radar systems engineer.[5] In 1974, Wood graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Los Angeles, an all-girls Catholic high school.[6][7] In 1981, Wood graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California, with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and economics.[2] One of Wood's professors was economist Arthur Laffer, who became Wood's mentor.[5][8]


In 1977, via her mentor Arthur Laffer, Wood got a job as an assistant economist at Capital Group, where she worked for three years.[5] In 1980, she moved to New York City to take a job at Jennison Associates as chief economist, analyst, portfolio manager and managing director. She worked there for 18 years. In the early 1980s, she debated Henry Kaufman on why she believed interest rates had peaked.[5]

In 1998, along with Lulu C. Wang, Wood co-founded Tupelo Capital Management, a hedge fund based in New York City.[5]

In 2001, she joined AllianceBernstein as chief investment officer of global thematic strategies, where she worked for 12 years, managing $5 billion. She was criticized for performing worse than the overall market during the financial crisis of 2007–2008.[5][2][9]

In 2014, after her idea for actively managed exchange-traded funds based on disruptive innovation was deemed too risky by AllianceBernstein, Wood left the company and founded Ark Invest.[5][2][10][11] The company is named after the Ark of the Covenant; Wood was reading the One-Year Bible at the time.[12] ARK's first four ETFs were seeded with capital from Bill Hwang of Archegos Capital.[13]

Wood was named the best stock picker of 2020 by Bloomberg News editor-in-chief emeritus Matthew A. Winkler.[14]

As of March 2021, two funds run by Wood were on the list of the 10 largest female-run funds by total net assets.[15]

As of 31 December 2021, Cathie Wood's ARK'S ETFs came in fifth place among Morningstar’s list of top 10 wealth-destroying funds compiled by portfolio strategist Amy C. Arnott, and ranked just below investment vehicles from Credit Suisse, ALPS, Kraneshares, and Barclay.[16]

As of December, 2022, Wood's flagship fund, Ark Innovation, had lagged behind the S&P 500 for five years, dropping in value by more than 80% from last year's peak.[17]

Awards and honors[edit]

Wood was selected for the inaugural 2021 Forbes 50 Over 50; made up of entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists and creators who are over the age of 50.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Wood lives in Wilton, Connecticut.[8] She was divorced from Robert Wood, who died in 2018. She has three children: Caitlin, Caroline, and Robert.[19][20][21]

Wood is a devout Christian.[19] During the 2020 election, she warned that Joe Biden's plan of taxation and regulation would stifle innovation.[22] Wood also has a large following on Reddit.[23][24]

In 2018, she donated funds to her high school to start the Duddy Innovation Institute, which encourages girls to study disruptive innovation.[7]


  1. ^ Schatzker, Erik (December 18, 2020). "Tesla, Bitcoin Bull Cathie Wood Targets 20% ETF Returns". Bloomberg News.
  2. ^ a b c d Winkler, Matthew A. (February 18, 2020). "Cathie Wood, the Best Investor You've Never Heard Of". Bloomberg News.
  3. ^ Ballentine, Claire; Greifeld, Katherine (December 11, 2020). "Cathie Wood Takes Crown From JPMorgan for Largest Active ETF". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on January 28, 2021.
  4. ^ Fitzgerald, Maggie (December 23, 2020). "Cathie Wood's Ark Innovation becomes largest actively managed ETF, amid 170% 2020 return". CNBC. Archived from the original on January 19, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Liu, Evie (March 8, 2021). "ARK's Cathie Wood Disrupted Investment Management. She's Not Done Yet". Barron's.
  6. ^ Ballentine, Claire (September 26, 2020). "Secret Sauce Behind Ark's Success Is Cathie Wood's Diverse Team". Bloomberg News.
  7. ^ a b "Duddy Innovation Institute – Duddy Innovation Institute – Notre Dame Academy". Notre Dame Academy.
  8. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Cathie Wood". Forbes.
  9. ^ Cuccinello, Hayley C. (October 13, 2020). "'Go For It': America's Richest Self-Made Women On Founding Businesses After 40". Forbes. Archived from the original on December 21, 2020.
  10. ^ Stupples, Ben (January 14, 2021). "Cathie Wood's Ark Gives Richard Branson a $300 Million Boost". Bloomberg News.
  11. ^ Potter, Sam; Ballentine, Claire (January 14, 2021). "Cathie Wood's Vision for Space ETF Sends Industry Soaring". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on January 28, 2021.
  12. ^ So, Dorothy (March 3, 2021). "Cathie Wood: religious, Reddit hit, Trump supporter? Meet Ark Invest's rock star stock picker who even has her own merchandise". South China Morning Post.
  13. ^ "Ark Invest CEO Wood says Bill Hwang provided seed capital for first 4 ETFs- CNBC". Reuters. May 7, 2021.
  14. ^ Winkler, Matthew A. (December 31, 2020). "The Best Stock Picker of 2020 Wins With Disruptive DNA". Bloomberg News.
  15. ^ Alladi, Amrutha; Dibenedetto, Gabrielle (March 16, 2021). "The Percentage of U.S. Female Fund Managers Is Exactly Where It Was in 2000". Morningstar, Inc.
  16. ^ "Cathie Wood's ETFs lost investors more than $1 billion before this year's wipeout". Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  17. ^ "Rise And Fall Of Cathie Wood - The Most Extreme Investor Of Wall Street". Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  18. ^ Gross, Elana Lyn; Voytko, Lisette; McGrath, Maggie (June 2, 2021). "The New Golden Age". Forbes. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Cathie Wood: a tech investor doing God's work". Financial Times. March 12, 2021.
  20. ^ "Robert Wood".
  21. ^ Rogers, Jen (February 6, 2021). "A typical day for Ark Invest's star stock picker Cathie Wood". Yahoo! Finance.
  22. ^ McInnes, William (October 8, 2020). "Tesla bull warns Biden presidency could stifle innovation". Australian Financial Review.
  23. ^ Bryant, Chris (January 29, 2021). "Why Reddit Loves Elon Musk, Cathie Wood and Chamath Palihapitiya". Bloomberg News.
  24. ^ Zweig, Jason (February 5, 2021). "Cathie Wood Has Wall Street's Hottest Hand. Maybe Too Hot". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660.