The ARK Invest family of ETFs had a stellar 2020 that drew huge inflows. Across the five ETFs issued by Cathie Wood’s company, gains ranged from 105% to 178%, but 2021 has been much less friendly. The flagship ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) is down 4.9% YTD (and getting worse), with a mixture of gains and losses across other themes. Flows haven’t yet had that kind of round trip: $20bn in 2020, with another $15bn this year (including $2bn of outflows since the peak in February). Looking at the total ARK Invest universe, we can calculate the amount of money investors have gained or lost in aggregate by subtracting flows from market cap. As shown below, back in December investors had a weighted average return of more than 60% across the five ETFs, weighted by the size of purchases. The selloff since has driven that down to just 19% through yesterday. With $15bn entering the funds this year, lots of investors are getting close to or further underwater, and declines could accelerate. So far this year, there’s only been $2bn of outflows, but the money that was quick to come in could just as quickly leave given the recent losses. This blog post is adapted from an analysis included in our nightly Closer report. Click here to start a free trial of Bespoke Institutional to get immediate access.

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