The extensive sell-off of pricey tech shares has pummeled ARK Investment, forcing Cathie Wood to defend her fund’s strategy by arguing that “the market is not pricing assets based on fundamentals” for the companies preferred by ARK. That argument drew Cliff Asness, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, to Twitter; in a since-deleted tweet he fired back that “…we were right, you are not…’Fundamentals.’ You don’t get to use that word.” The tweet is screenshot in an article in Bloomberg, and was accompanied by another Bloomberg piece about the ARK Innovation ETF’s latest woes.
Though Asness had earlier given Wood some support by criticizing an online piece cautioning investors away from ARK’s main fund, he and Wood are set at opposites ends of the investing spectrum. Wood favors making speculative bets on growth stocks that she believes will be major industry disruptions or the tech stars of the future. Asness, on the other hand, takes an approach based on existing rules that looks to identify undervalued shares that will rise in the long run. AQR has always gone after stocks that look inexpensive when compared to benchmarks like profits or assets—the kind of stock that has endured years of underperformance and is now on a rebound. Indeed, AQR’s value-heavy fund has soared 35% this year through the end of April.
Meanwhile, ARK has suffered greatly under its speculative approach, with the article noting that its ARK Innovation ETF has plunged about 60% so far this year as the Fed’s tightening policies have hit the kind of expensive sectors that Wood is so devoted to the hardest.