On its 8th birthday, lifetime gains at Cathie Wood’s ARKK have fallen behind the S&P 500

Marco Bello

Eight years after her high-profile innovation ETF launched on Halloween, 2014, Cathie Wood is likely looking back over a horrific past 12 months, with her ARK Innovation ETF (NYSEARCA:ARKK) down almost 70% during the past year. But extending the gaze back over the full history of the endeavor, has ARKK offered a trick or a treat to investors?

Over ARKK’s eight-year lifespan the exchange traded fund has provided the investment community with a 90.4% return. However, that return sits just shy of the returns accumulated by the S&P 500 (SP500) and its mirroring ETFs (NYSEARCA:SPY), (NYSEARCA:VOO), and (NYSEARCA:IVV). Over ARKK’s lifetime, the S&P has delivered a 92.8% return.

Much of this underperformance has come in the past two years. ARKK reached its peak in February of 2021 and, at its height, the fund showed +682% returns since its launch almost seven years before.

However, the ETF has faced significant challenges since that peak, especially during 2022. Rising interest rates and changing investor tastes have forced massive selling in the innovation-focused names that ARKK favors. As such, the ETF has cratered 75% from its peak, bringing the ETF back below its pre-COVID highs.

ARKK currently trades near the $38 per share level and recently came close to touching $33 a share. A break below that figure and Wood’s flagship fund will be at a new 5-year trading low.

Along with ARKK, see Wood’s other actively managed exchange traded funds and how they fared in 2022: (ARKW) -59.7%, (ARKF) -59.1%, (ARKG) -45.9%, (ARKQ) -40.4%, and (ARKX) -29.1%.

In other ARKK related news, Cathie Wood and her team believe that Tesla could potentially expand its overall addressable market by ten-fold.

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