Bitcoin ETFs from Fidelity and Skybridge Capital are under review by the SEC

Anthony Scaramucci
Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital is waiting on SEC approval of a bitcoin ETF.

  • Bitcoin exchange-traded fund applications from Fidelity and SkyBridge Capital are under review by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • The SEC is currently looking at four other applications to launch bitcoin exchange-traded funds.
  • A decision on asset manager VanEck’s application is expected in June.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing applications for bitcoin exchange-traded funds filed by Fidelity and SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund founded by Anthony Scaramucci.

The SEC is examining a request from Fidelity Investments to launch the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, according to a filing dated May 25, and it is looking at SkyBridge’s petition to start the First Trust SkyBridge Bitcoin ETF Trust, according to paperwork dated May 21.

The moves expand on the regulatory agency’s review of other potential bitcoin ETFs. The US has yet to approve a cryptocurrency-based ETF. Money management firms are seeking to capture potential gains from exposure to bitcoin, which has been pulling in more interest and activity from institutional and retail investors and companies.

Scaramucci’s SkyBridge is working with investment firm First Trust Advisors on the ETF project and in March filed for regulatory approval. If greenlighted, the ETF would trade on the New York Stock Exchange Arca, which specializes in exchange-traded listings.

Fidelity also in March submitted paperwork to launch a bitcoin ETF to track the digital currency’s performance. If that wins SEC approval, shares of the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust would trade on Cboe Global Markets.

Investors are waiting to hear from the SEC if it will grant clearance for bitcoin ETFs from Kryptoin, Valkyrie, WisdomTree, and VanEck. Applications for about 10 others ETFs are pending, according to CoinDesk.

The SEC in late April said it expected to release its ruling on VanEck’s application on June 17. The agency said it was delaying the decision to take an “appropriate” amount of time for the review. A review period can be extended for up to 240 days.

Read more: A crypto expert shares the top tips to pick worthwhile NFTs in a landscape littered with scams – including how to avoid getting caught up in Reddit-fueled hype that can cost you millions of dollars.

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Fidelity plans to offer no-fee investment services for teenagers who want to trade stocks and ETFs

fidelity investments
  • Fidelity Investments will offer no-fee investing accounts to 13- to 17-year-olds.
  • The firm said parents can use the accounts as a “teaching moment” to discuss finances.
  • Analysts have previously said Gen Z will be the most disruptive generation ever to markets.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Teens will soon be able to use a new no-fee service from Fidelity Investments to buy and sell stocks, exchange-traded funds, and Fidelity mutual funds.

The firm plans to offer investing accounts, along with debit cards and savings accounts, to 13- to 17-year-olds whose parents or guardians also bank with Fidelity, according to a Tuesday press release.

Parents can see what their teens are doing in the account and discuss the reasoning behind their child’s financial decisions. “Fidelity is committed to responsibly supporting young investors,” Jennifer Samalis, senior vice president of acquisition and loyalty at Fidelity Investments, said in the press release.

The youth account, which will become a standard brokerage account with more options when the teen turns 18, will also offer educational resources. In a pilot program of the new offering, Fidelity said 90% of parents and guardians used the account as a “teaching moment” to discuss saving, spending, and investing.

“Opening the account can create new opportunities for parents/guardians to engage their teens about money concepts, then allow the teens to independently take action and learn by doing,” Fidelity spokesperson Robert Bearegard said to Insider in an email.

Read more: Northwestern Mutual’s chief investment strategist told us why growth investors are in for ‘painful’ months ahead as the economy heats up – and shares his 2 highest conviction trades right now

The offering comes amid the firm’s push to attract new investors. Fidelity added 1.6 million accounts for individuals 35 years old or younger in the first quarter of this year, which is more than three times the amount from a year earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the firm.

Bank of America analysts have previously said Gen-Z will be “the most disruptive ever” to the stock market, pushing it to focus more on technology, sustainability, and climate change, and less on classical institutions.

Social media platforms like Reddit and TikTok have helped drive the new wave of investors, along with trading apps such as Robinhood and Webull.

At the beginning of the year, an army of day traders on Reddit drove the GameStop stock price to surge from single to triple digits in an effort to squeeze short sellers. The rally signaled the power of a new wave of investors and a new trend of investing in so-called “meme stocks” like AMC and GameStop, among others.

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Energy-sector ETFs the only group to see $1 billion in weekly inflows as Suez Canal blockage and coming summer demand create favorable backdrop for oil

oil texas
Workers extracting oil from oil wells in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas.

  • Energy-sector ETFs took in more than $1 billion in inflows this week, the only funds from a major sector to do so.
  • Energy inflows accompanied some recovery in oil prices after they dropped into correction territory.
  • Oil prices could stick to higher ground if a cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal remains lodged there for weeks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Energy sector exchange-traded funds were the only group this week to add more than $1 billion in inflows as the cargo-ship blockage in the Suez Canal helped oil prices recover from their slump into correction territory.

Energy ETFs were a standout as flows to sector funds “fell prey to the general uncertainty” that ran through the week ended March 24, said EPFR, a subsidiary of Informa that provides fund flows and asset allocation data.

Four of the 11 major groups — commodities, telecoms, technology and financial sector funds — logged outflows for the week, according to a note issued Friday.

Investors pushed into energy sector funds “during a week when the blockage of the Suez Canal, the prospect of the North American spring and summer driving season and expectations of less investment in new supply helped the price of oil rebound from an earlier correction,” said Cameron Brandt, director of research at EPFR, in the note.

Brent oil, the international benchmark, and West Texas Intermediate crude prices tracking US light, sweet crude this week fell into correction territory, with prices down 10% or more from recent highs.

Prices have since recovered some ground, with Brent and WTI each rising by more than 4% on Friday. Brent traded above $64 a barrel after sliding below $61 this week. WTI hovered close to $61 following its drop under $58 a barrel.

Also on Friday, the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund rose 1.8%, the Vanguard Energy ETF picked up 1% and the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF added on 2.3%.

Oil prices gained on expectations of tighter oil supplies while a cargo ship remains stuck in the Suez Canal, a key trade route that’s used to transport crude and refined products and connects Europe to Asia. Analysts have said it may be weeks before the Ever Given, a nearly 200-foot-wide and 1,300-foot-long vessel, is dislodged from the canal.

The blockage is costing $400 million an hour in delayed goods, according to a Lloyd’s List estimate, with hundreds of cargo ships are now unable to pass through the canal.

“The blockage has impacted over 20 oil tankers and the longer this lasts, it should drive oil prices higher,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in a note. Meanwhile, “Europe is slowly getting their vaccine rollout in order and that should trigger energy traders to price in an improved crude demand outlook by the summer,” he said.

As the summer driving season approaches in the US, roughly 14% of the population has been vaccinated for the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President Joe Biden on Thursday raised his vaccination goal to 200 million for the first 100 days of his administration after hitting his previous target of 100 million.

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ETFs tracking oil, air travel and retail are soaring as investors pile into stocks tied to the reopening of the economy

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines at LAX
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport.

  • As the US economy opens up, investors have been piling into stocks tied to hopes of renewed growth and consumer spending.
  • “ETFs are an instant global diversification to many different companies from around that industry,” Andrew Chanin, CEO of ProcureAM, told Insider.
  • Year-to-date, some ETFs tied to oil, air travel and retail have seen record highs.
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Vaccine distribution is priming the economy for a reopening later this year, and the pace so far has been faster than officials expected. Optimism is growing and investors have been piling into stocks that were beaten down by the pandemic but are now set to thrive as economic activity restarts. Investors are finding ETFs to be a solid bet on a range of reopening plays, sending some funds soaring year-to-date in 2021.

“ETFs are an instant global diversification to many different companies from around that industry,” Andrew Chanin, CEO and co-Founder of ProcureAM, told Insider. Chanin is behind UFO, an ETF focused on space exploration launched in 2019. UFO, he said, is “for investors looking to get access to the space economy and don’t want to settle or just pick a couple of names.”

Year-to-date, ETFs tracking oil, air travel, and retail are soaring, thanks to the value stocks – typically well-established companies that are often undervalued and have lower price-to-earnings ratios – in their holdings that could appreciate with a burst of new economic activity.

Cyclical industries are usually attuned to various business cycles. Revenues are higher when there is economic growth and lower in times of contraction.

Andrew Slimmon, managing director and senior portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, in a recent note said he is “extremely bullish” on value stocks, especially after the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its policy in place until the US economy rebounds last week.

Here are three ETFs that are benefitting from investor sentiment around the economic reopening:

1. USO

The United States Oil Fund primarily invests in listed crude oil futures contracts and other oil-related contracts. The ETF, which debuted in 2006, may also invest in forwards and swap contracts.

The roughly $3 billion fund has gained 26% year-to-date.

Oil prices have soared since mid-February due to outages in Texas from the freezing temperatures. Refineries have taken a while to bounce back from the historic blast of winter weather, causing inventories to drop. Still, a summer rally may be in store for the oil ETF amid a tighter market.

Bank of America in February said Brent Crude prices could hit $70 a barrel in the second quarter of 2021. This year, it could average $60, the bank said, raising its average price outlook by $10 a barrel.


The US Global Jets ETF invests in the global airline industry, which includes airline operators and manufacturers around the world.

Launched in 2015, the roughly $11.5 billion fund has gained 25% year-to-date.

The index utilizes a tiered weighting scheme driven by market capitalization and passenger load. 70% of its weight is in US large-cap passenger airlines with the top four companies receiving 10% each. The next five largest US or Canadian airlines each receive a 4% weighting.

United Airlines and American Airlines are the ETF’s biggest holding both at 11% each, followed by Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines at roughly 10% each. Alaska Air Group takes up 4%

The airline industry was among those that suffered the most when large swaths of the global economy shut down, halting travel in nearly every part of the world for some time. Optimism is gaining, however, when the Transportation Security Administration in mid-March revealed that air travel spiked to its highest level in nearly a year.

3. XRT

The SPDR S&P Retail ETF primarily invests in the US retail industry from apparel, automotive, computer and electronic, to department stores, general merchandise stores, and internet and direct marketing, among others.

The roughly $635 million fund has gained 42% year-to-date.

The top sectors it focuses on are internet and direct marketing at 21.5%, followed by automotive and retail at 18% each.

Holdings include Hibbett Sports, Wayfair, Best Buy, eBay, Murphy USA, Revolve Group, Magnite, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Albertsons companies, and Target, all weighing a little over 1% each.

As the economy rebounds from pandemic lows, the retail sector is making a strong comeback, driven by the pent-up consumer demand. Retail sales, according to the National Retail Federation, are expected to grow between 6.5% and 8.2% this year to more than $4.33 trillion in sales.

Many of the retail companies have also invested in enhancing their online presence to catch up on the e-commerce trend that many experts say is here to stay.

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Cathie Wood’s ARK ETFs load up on Teladoc after the stock dips following Amazon threat

Cathie Wood
Cathie Wood is the founder, CEO, and CIO of ARK Investment Management.

Three of Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest ETFs loaded up on 305,457 shares of Teladoc on Wednesday following a sharp fall in the share price.

Specifically, the ARK Innovation ETF added 174,957 shares, while ARK Genomic Revolution ETF and the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF added 78,371 and 52,148 shares, respectively.

Teladoc is now the largest holding in the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF and is tied for the third-largest holding in the ARK Innovation ETF with Roku.

As of market close on March 17, the combined shares bought by Wood’s ETFs were worth approximately $58 million.

Teladoc has been under pressure of late after Amazon announced it’s launching a rival telehealth business called Amazon Care. The service had previously only been available to Amazon employees in the state of Washington.

Now, as Insider reported back in December, Amazon Care is undertaking a national expansion with the goal of serving workers at other major companies in all 50 states.

Teladoc stock fell nearly 8% in a gap down move before Wednesday’s opening after the Amazon Care expansion was confirmed, perhaps signaling to Wood and co. that time was right for a buy.

Shares of the multinational telemedicine and virtual healthcare company have fallen over 36% from mid-February highs. While some investors fear Teladoc may have more downside ahead of it, many experts argue Amazon won’t be able to take over from the Harrison, New York-based firm so easily.

David Larsen, CFA, a managing director at BTIG, told Bloomberg, “the threat is overstated because Teladoc and American Well have contracts with many of the large health plans. Amazon has been very successful in taking market share from your traditional retail storefronts in many areas. But health care is different.”

Teladoc traded down 3% as of 3:49 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Teladoc chart
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Investment adviser launches the first ETF dedicated to professional sports teams and leagues

Knicks Fans
Knicks fans return to the Garden as the first-ever sports ETF goes live.

Roundhill Investments and Huddle Up newsletter founder Joe Pompliano launched the first-ever exchange-traded fund dedicated to professional sports teams and leagues on Wednesday.

The ETF consists of 36 sports-related holdings including sports teams, leagues, media companies, and even sports-related SPACs. The fund will trade under the ticker “MVP” on the New York Stock Exchange.

As of March 17, the MVP ETF consisted of 53.9% pro sports teams, 17.4% apparel companies, 14.1% pro sports leagues, 8.3% SPACs, and 6.2% media firms and others.

Sports teams in the ETF include the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Manchester United, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, and AS Roma.

Professional sports league holdings include Formula One and WWE. Companies within the sports media and sports apparel sectors in the ETF include Nike, Puma, Adidas, and MSG Networks.

MVP’s largest holding is Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. at 9.39% of the total ETF value.

After the launch of MVP, Roundhill Investments will have five ETFs with combined assets under management of over $650 million. Roundhill also started ETFs like the BITKRAFT Esports & Digital Entertainment ETF and the Sports Betting & iGaming ETF.

In a substack letter to investors, MVP partner Joe Pompliano lauded the ETF’s promise given the professional sports industry, the consistent appreciation of sports teams and leagues, increased media rights, and an expanding sports betting market.

“Professional sports leagues and teams have a history of being premium, scarce assets with a strong history of value appreciation. With MVP, we have created a unique and efficient vehicle for you to adequately invest and diversify into the sector,” Pompliano wrote.

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Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy just released a video backing a new ETF designed to track Reddit-driven social-media buzz

buzz etf new.JPG
  • A new ETF designed to track social-media sentiment on platforms like Reddit and Twitter is launching on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker “BUZZ.”
  • Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy posted a video on Twitter promoting the ETF on Tuesday.
  • “There is a new ETF launching that I’m a part of, that I’m putting my reputation behind,” Portnoy said in the video.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy promoted a new exchange-traded-fund that is set to launch on the New York Stock Exchange this Thursday.

The VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF tracks social media sentiment on various platforms like Reddit, StockTwits, and Twitter to fuel its holdings. The ETF will trade under the ticker symbol “BUZZ.”

“There is a new ETF launching that I’m a part of, that I’m putting my reputation behind,” Portnoy explained in the video. Portnoy added that he was “approached by these guys who built an algorithm” that “lingered” and “did its thing” for a number of years.

That algorithm is the BUZZ NextGen AI US Sentiment Leaders Index developed by Periscope Capital in 2015.

But after COVID-19, “the amount of chatter on the internet about stocks exploded,” Portnoy said, adding that he was approached after Penn National Gaming, a casino company that Portnoy partnered with to launch its online sports betting app, “showed up in their ranking.”  

The ETF utilizes alternative data about stocks scraped from social media posts, news articles, and blog posts that are then filtered through an analytical system that helps determines whether the sentiment in either positive or negative. From their, the top ranked 75 US stocks with a market capitalization of more than $5 billion are included in the ETF, which is rebalanced monthly.

“BUZZ empowers individual investors to potentially benefit from the predictive insights gained by measuring the collective convictions about stocks, ultimately building the benchmark for social sentiment,” VanEck managing director Ed Lopez said in a press release. 

In an emailed statement to Insider, VanEck added: “David Portnoy is a shareholder of BUZZ Holdings, ULC, the parent company of the BUZZ NextGen AI US Sentiment Leaders Index. He represents the Index and has no affiliation with VanEck. He does not provide investment advice on behalf of VanEck. There is no affiliation with VanEck and Barstool Sports.”

From criticizing Warren Buffett’s decision to sell airline stocks amid the pandemic, to his recent interview with Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, Portnoy continues to make waves in the investment world as he periodically broadcasts to his millions of followers the moves he is making in the stock market. 

A similar social media insight ETF from Sprott Asset Management that was based on a different social media sentiment index launched in 2016, but closed three years later after failing to attract enough assets.

The environment for a social media ETF may be better today than it was then, after millions of new investors flooded the stock market amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and following the outsized influence of forums like Reddit’s WallStreetBets, which helped sparked an epic short-squeeze in shares of GameStop earlier this year. 

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: These 40 heavily shorted stocks could be the next GameStop if retail traders target them – and the group has already nearly doubled over the past 3 months

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Stocks look ‘resilient’ as investors pour $120 billion into equity ETFs in the face of rising rates, BlackRock says

trader Gregory Rowe
  • Inflows into equity ETFs of $120 billion are outpacing inflows to bond ETFs, BlackRock said in a note Monday. 
  • Stocks and bond yields generally have been moving higher simultaneously as the US growth picture improves. 
  •  Value and cyclical stocks are finding favor among investors, said the asset manager. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Inflows into the equity market are strong despite the spike up in rates as investors respond to economic growth prospects by embracing risk and not staging a “taper tantrum”, BlackRock said in a note Monday.

Equity exchange-traded funds have raked in $120 billion so far this year, outpacing inflows into fixed income ETFs by 4:1, according to iShares data outlined by Gargi Chaudhuri, head of US iShares markets and investments strategy at BlackRock.

That rush of investor cash into equities has taken place at the same time that Treasury bond yields have made notable moves higher, including a jump past 1.5% on the 10-year yield last week.

“That’s not because the stock and bond markets have become untethered, but rather because rates are moving for the right reason: stronger U.S. growth,” wrote Chaudhuri in the note, describing equities as “resilient”. 

Economists have broadly been increasing their forecasts for economic growth as vaccinations to prevent COVID-19 continue to accelerate. Meanwhile, House representatives in Washington last week passed a proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, sending it to the Senate for approval. The US economy in 2021 could grow by the most in decades, said John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, last week.  

“Unlike previous bouts of rising rates (like the Taper Tantrum of 2013), equity investors have generally responded with risk-on reallocations into pro-cyclical exposures this time around,” said Chaudhuri.

The response by investors could also be explained by real rates remaining “extremely accommodative” at around -70 basis points after the recent rise, she added. Real interest rates exclude the effects of inflation.

ETFs skewed towards value and cyclical stocks will keep benefiting as rates continue to rise and the yield curve steepens, Chaudhuri said, “with over $8 billion of ETF inflows to the value factor corroborating this view.” The inflows of $8 billion represent nearly as much as the previous six months combined, BlackRock said.

Meanwhile, earnings forecasts for 2021 and 2022 should increase through the spring and summer, “further cushioning in the impact of the rise in Treasury yields,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a Monday note.

Shepherdson said the spread between Treasuries and the S&P 500 earnings yield recently fell to 115 basis points after widening by 363 basis points at the peak.

“A narrower spread is no guarantee of future equity gains, but it ought to provide of measure of comfort,” he wrote.

This article and headline has been corrected from an earlier version that said $8 billion has flowed into ETFs this year. That figure refers to inflows into value stock ETFs. The correct figure for year-to-date inflows into ETFs is $120 billion. 

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A complete guide to Cathie Wood’s mind-blowing success, her firm’s investing strategies, and the stock picks she’s betting on for the future

Cathie Wood
Cathie Wood is the CEO and chief investment officer of ARK Invest, which runs three of the highest-returning stock ETFs of the last three years.

  • Cathie Wood has earned cult-like status on Wall Street due to her firm’s investing outperformance.
  • Her firm’s ETFs are attracting inflows that rival industry legends like Vanguard and BlackRock.
  • Insider is covering every angle of her career, investing strategies, and market outlook. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Cathie Wood emerged as the breakout star investor during one of the most chaotic years in Wall Street history. 

While her career dates back to 1981, 2020 was the year when her performance and fund inflows earned her a cult-like following in the industry. 

The $24.5 billion ARK Innovation ETF, her flagship exchange-traded fund, rose 150% last year, thanks partly to Tesla’s 730% gain. Her other funds that cover the fintech, genomic, and internet industries all landed on the list of the 10 best-performing ETFs of 2020. 

Retail and professional investors alike took notice of Wood’s performance: Last year, Ark’s family of ETFs grew at the fastest proportional growth rate of any ETF or mutual-fund manager in a Morningstar database that goes back to 2000.

Ark ETFs continue to command the industry’s attention in 2021 by attracting new investor money at a pace that rivals stalwarts like BlackRock’s iShares and Vanguard. Even her less-popular index funds are in the top 10% of flows year-to-date, according to Bloomberg data.  

Following Wood’s rapid rise over the past few years, there are questions about whether, and for how much longer, she can sustain her outperformance. The recent sell-off in high-growth stocks triggered a record one-day outflow of $465 million from her flagship innovation ETF. But in a sign of her staying power, investors poured a near-record $464 million back into the fund on the final trading day of February, Bloomberg data shows.

Insider will continue covering every angle of her cult-like status, from her ascendancy to the biggest investing bets she is making and the corners of the market she’s exploring next. 

Subscribe now to read Insider’s full coverage of Cathie Wood.  

Inside her meteoric rise: Cathie Wood made a career betting on the future. Insiders reveal how the ARK Invest founder won the funds (and hearts) of memelord traders and boomer investors alike.

Inside Ark Invest’s workplace, and what it’s like to work for Wood: Famed investor Cathie Wood has staffed her firm with analysts in their 20s and 30s as she looks to predict the future. 2 analysts break down what it’s like to work at Ark Invest.

Inside her stock-picking process: Cathie Wood’s firm built 3 of the world’s best ETFs, which all doubled in value within 3 years. She told us her 3-part process for spotting underappreciated technologies before they explode.

Why she was unfazed by the bond-induced sell-off in stocks: Cathie Wood breaks down why she was ‘very comfortable’ as the stock market got rocked by last week’s bond sell-off – and shares her outlook for what happens after the tech rout

Her views on the biggest market events of 2021 so far: Cathie Wood and her analysts discuss why Tesla’s $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase could trigger a wave of corporate investments, the fallout of the GameStop-AMC phenomenon, and their bullish views on the Chinese stock behind Clubhouse

Ark Invest’s 2021 outlook: Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest runs 5 active ETFs that more than doubled in 2020. She and her analysts share their 2021 outlooks on the economy, bitcoin, and Tesla.

The investment case for TeslaArk Invest, Tesla’s biggest bull, broke down its thesis on the electric-car maker ahead of its inclusion in the S&P 500

Her stock picks that crushed the market in 2020: We’re very surprised we didn’t underperform in the 4th quarter’: Cathie Wood and her analysts break down their stock-selection process and the top 10 picks that contributed to the outperformance of ARK ETFs in Q4 2020

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