If you’ve been following global financial news closely in recent times, you will probably have heard of ARK Invest. This US firm has generated plenty of headlines for its “disruptive innovation” investment strategy, which saw its actively managed funds deliver some impressive returns in 2020.
But what is ARK Invest, what ETFs does it offer, and how can you buy ARK Invest ETFs? Keep reading to find out.
What is ARK Invest?
ARK Invest is an investment firm headquartered in New York City. Founded in 2014, ARK Invest offers ETFs that provide exposure to companies that will benefit from disruptive innovation. With this strategy in mind, the firm’s ETFs focus on areas like genomics, fintech innovation and even space exploration.
ARK Invest offers six actively managed ETFs and two index funds. As of 31 December 2020, the firm had more than US$58 billion worth of assets under management.
ARK Invest is led by CEO and Chief Investment Officer Cathie Wood. Previously the Chief Investment Officer of Global Thematic Strategies at AllianceBernstein, Wood was named the “best stock picker of 2020” by Bloomberg thanks in large part to the performance of the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF, ARK Innovation ETF and ARK Next Generation Internet ETF.
The strong results delivered by ARK funds throughout 2020 and into 2021 has resulted in their increasing popularity with US investors. The ARK Innovation ETF, for example, posted a return of over 150% in 2020, while the Genomic Revolution ETF posted a return of over 180%.
This generated plenty of headlines for ARK and also attracted substantial capital from investors. ARK’s flagship Innovation ETF, for example, saw its assets under management skyrocket from US$1.86 billion at the end of 2019 to almost US$22 billion in March 2021.
Details and performance
ARK Invest offers six actively managed ETFs and two index ETFs. The most recent addition to the ARK stable, the Space Exploration & Innovation ETF, was launched in March 2021 amid plenty of hype.
Let’s take a closer look at the eight ETFs ARK offers and their investment objectives.
ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK)
This actively managed fund is the flagship product in the ARK range. It focuses on ARK’s key investment strategy of disruptive innovation, targeting companies across areas such as DNA technologies, industrial innovation in energy and automation, fintech innovation, and next-generation internet technology, services and infrastructure.
The fund’s objective is to capture long-term capital growth.
Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (ARKQ)
The ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF is an actively managed fund that focuses on companies in the following five sectors:
- Autonomous transportation
- Robotics and automation
- 3D printing
- Energy storage
- Space exploration
With an aim to achieve long-term capital growth, ARKQ invests at least 80% of its assets in US and foreign securities.
Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW)
ARKW is an actively managed ETF designed to provide long-term capital growth. It invests at least 80% of funds in companies expected to benefit from the development of what it calls the “next-generation internet”.
This includes a focus on a wide range of products, services and technologies, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and blockchain technology.
Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG)
Long-term growth is the focus of this actively managed fund, with at least 80% of assets invested in companies that could potentially benefit from technological and scientific advancements in genomics.
These companies offer exposure to areas such as CRISPR (genome editing technology), therapeutics, agricultural biology and more.
Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF)
Another actively managed fund that targets long-term capital growth, ARKF invests at least 80% of its assets in US and foreign shares of fintech innovation companies.
The focus is on tech-enabled products and services with the potential to disrupt the financial sector, including mobile payments, digital wallets and peer-to-peer lending.
Space Exploration & Innovation ETF (ARKX)
This actively-managed ETF aims to provide long-term growth to investors. At least 80% of assets are invested in companies in the space innovation and exploration field.
This not only includes orbital and suborbital aerospace companies, but also companies that develop supporting technologies (such as artificial intelligence and robotics) and that benefit from aerospace activities (such as agricultural and construction companies).
The 3D Printing ETF (PRNT)
This index fund aims to track the performance of the Total 3D-Printing Index. The Total 3D-Printing Index features companies in a range of 3D printing-related fields, including hardware, CAD and 3D printing software, printing materials and more. PRNT was launched in 2016.
Israel Innovative Technology ETF (IZRL)
The second of ARK’s index ETFs, IZRL is designed to track the performance of the ARK Israeli Innovation Index. This index comprises Israeli companies in areas such as genomics, health care, manufacturing and information technology.
Which ARK ETF is best?
Unfortunately, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. The right ETF for you, or any other type of investment for that matter, depends on your appetite for risk and your financial goals. Take some time to think about how much you want to invest, what your timeframe is, and the risk/reward ratio with which you’re most comfortable.
If you’d like to invest in ARK ETFs, it’s essential that you thoroughly research any fund you’re thinking of buying. ARK ETFs let you invest in key growth areas, such as fintech, robotics and space exploration, so read all fund documentation closely to find out where your money will be going.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that there is some overlap between different funds — for example, several ARK ETFs currently have exposure to companies such as Tesla and Square.
Finally, remember that past returns are no guarantee of future returns. While ARK enjoyed a huge 2020, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can expect similar results in the future.
Want to invest in an ARK Invest ETF? Use the table below to compare the features of share trading platforms that offer access to ARK ETFs from New Zealand.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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