U.S. money manager VanEck eyes China mutual fund license: sources By Reuters


© Reuters.

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – New York-based money manager VanEck is eyeing a mutual fund license in China, two sources told Reuters, which will allow it tap the country’s $2.6 trillion retail fund market that Beijing fully opened up for foreigners this year.

The company is also considering launching products under the so-called Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership (QDLP), an outbound investment scheme, to help mainland Chinese invest offshore, said the people with direct knowledge of the plans.

China fully opened its fast-growing mutual fund sector to foreign companies by removing ownership restrictions on April 1 as part of an interim trade deal with the United States signed in January.

BlackRock (N:), Neuberger Berman and Fidelity International have applied to set up fully-owned mutual fund subsidiaries in China, while Vanguard Group and Schroders (LON:) will follow suit.

VanEck, whose strategies include emerging market equity and fixed income, gold and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), started planning for China entry late last year, when Beijing vowed to fully open its financial sector in 2020, a source said.

The coronavirus outbreak slowed VanEck’s China strategy, but in recent months the company had been in active contact with Chinese regulators. It hasn’t yet submitted an application though, the sources said.

Representatives at VanEck’s Shanghai unit declined to comment. The sources declined to be named as the company’s plans are not public yet.

VanEck, which runs both actively- and passively-managed funds, has not finalized its China product strategy yet, and its mutual fund plans are also subject to change, the sources said.

Separately, VanEck, whose founder John van Eck was a well-known pioneer in gold investments, is also exploring businesses under China’s QDLP scheme, the sources said, tapping into Chinese investors’ penchant for gold.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





Original source link

Gold rising to $4,000 an ounce ‘would not be an unreasonable move,’ fund manager says


Stocks and bonds may be in an asset bubble, as record-low interest rates and a tremendous increase in the money supply have sent prices soaring this year.

Add gold, which has risen 35% to $2,049 an ounce Aug. 5, to the list.

But Michael Cuggino, CEO of the Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds, says gold can move a lot higher. It would “not be an unreasonable move” for gold to breach $4,000, he said in an interview.

Cuggino manages the Permanent Portfolio
US:PRPFX,
a $1.9 billion mutual fund that is conservatively run and rated four stars by Morningstar in the fund-research firm’s “U.S. Fund Allocation — 30% to 50% Equity” category.

A long wait for a big move

First, take a look at this chart showing how monthly prices for an ounce of gold
US:GC00
(per continuous gold contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange) have moved over the past 30 years:


FactSet

You can see the triple bottom from the end of 2015 through November 2018.

“Ever since then, it has been gradual move up, then some down. It moves sometimes in big chunks, gives some back, sits around and does nothing, reacts to stimulus, inflation, the value of dollar and euro … but it has had an aggressive move this year,” Cuggino said.

Gold may extend gains as money is being pumped into the U.S. economy, the dollar is declining, and investors are fearful that inflation may return, he said.

Cuggino warned of sharp pullbacks even during a long-term move up, as did Nigam Arora, who wrote that gold is an appropriate hedge against stocks. Still, “gold is a very small market, and it can be easily manipulated by the governments,” Arora wrote on MarketWatch.

The case for gold being relatively cheap

When looking back at how gold and stock prices have moved over the very long term, Cuggino said gold is still trading at an inexpensive level when compared with stocks. This chart shows monthly prices of gold divided by closing levels for the S&P 500 Index
US:SPX
over the past 30 years:

The S&P 500 was up 3% for 2020 through Aug. 5, but it was also up 49% from its closing low March 23.

Despite that action, and this year’s 35% climb for gold, the metal was trading at 0.6 times the level of the S&P 500. It hasn’t been above 0.7 since 2014, and you can see looking further back that it was close to 1.7 times the S&P 500 in August 2011.

Different crisis, different response

Cuggino said the quick and tremendous reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic by the federal government and the Federal Reserve was completely different from the actions taken during and after the 2008 credit crisis.

“In 2008, the fiscal policies didn’t matter much for economic gain. GDP didn’t grow because of stimuli. Monetary assistance from the Fed basically stayed in the banking system,” he said.

But now, because of programs meant to help small business, the payments made to individuals and families through the CARES Act and the loan payment deferral programs, stimulus is “much more targeted to get money out to consumers,” Cuggino said.

This points to a long-term concern and bullish possibilities for gold.

“Even though we have deflation now, [eventually] with excess raw materials, in a growing economy, the velocity of all that money can produce inflation risk,” he concluded.

Permanent Portfolio

The Permanent Portfolio
US:PRPFX
is designed to provide good long-term performance regardless of the economic environment, and to complement (and partially hedge) a broad portfolio by bouncing back more quickly during periods of market turmoil.

Here’s the fund’s broad asset allocation as of June 30:

Gold and silver made up more than 27% of the portfolio. Equities made up about 21%, with top holdings in that bucket including Texas Pacific Land Trust
US:TPL,
Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
US:FCX,
Facebook Inc.
US:FB
and Twilio Inc.
US:TWLO.

So the fund cannot be expected to outperform the S&P 500 over long periods. But because it bounces back more quickly, and because of the nature of the portfolio, it has outperformed the index so far this year:


FactSet

From a closing peak Feb. 21 through its trough March 20, the fund was down 21%. From its record closing high Feb. 19 through its closing low March 23, the S&P 500 was down 34%.

Here are long-term returns for the fund, compared with those of the S&P 500 — you’ll have to scroll to the right to see all the data:

Total return – 2020 through Aug. 5

Average return – 3 years

Average return – 5 years

Average return – 10 years

Average return – 15 years

Average return – 20 years

Permanent Portfolio Class I

11.7%

8.5%

7.9%

5.3%

6.6%

7.7%

S&P 500

3.0%

12.5%

11.9%

13.8%

9.1%

6.3%

Source: FactSet

So the fund didn’t capture the S&P 500’s extraordinary gains, led by the large tech companies that make up a major portion of its market capitalization. But if you go back 20 years, its average return has beaten that of the index.

Don’t miss:This $20 billion bond fund produced outsized returns by capitalizing on market turmoil, and is set to do it again



Original source link

Gold has ‘no role’ in portfolio of wealth clients, says Goldman manager


Don’t believe the hype.

That’s the message from Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, chief investment officer of private wealth management at Goldman Sachs, who thinks that gold is overpriced and has no clear role in the portfolios of her private clients.

Our view is that gold is only appropriate if you have a very strong view that the U.S. dollar is going to be debased. We don’t have that view. We think the dollar maintains its status as the reserve currency. The dollar can cheapen a little bit because it’s moderately overvalued but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be debased, that we are going to have huge inflation and that gold is a good substitute.

During an interview on CNBC Thursday morning, Mossavar-Rahmani explained that her wealth management group has two factors that it focuses on when thinking about gold: strategically and tactically.

She said that gold isn’t a great deflation hedge, doesn’t generate any income, and isn’t tied to economic growth and corporate earnings, so it fails the strategic hurdle as Goldman’s wealth management crew assesses its relevance in a balanced portfolio.

Secondly, she explained that tactically, gold is a hard case to make unless investors hold the perception that the current bout of weakness in the U.S. dollar is the start of a more severe downturn for dollars and a possible change in leadership of the monetary unit that is viewed as the No. 1 reserve currency in the world.

“So all this excitement and brouhaha about gold is not something that we buy into,” Mossavar-Rahmani said.

“In fact, at one point, we think people should look at the reverse and think there’s more downside to gold,” she said.

Mossavar-Rahmani’s comments run in contrast with Goldman’s commodity crew, which earlier this week raised its 12-month forecast for gold to $2,300 from $2,000 .

That shift was precipitated by “a potential shift in the U.S. Fed toward an inflationary bias against a backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions, elevated U.S. domestic political and social uncertainty, and a growing second wave of COVID-19 related infections,” said a team of analysts including Jeffrey Currie.

On Thursday, August gold
GOLD,
-1.84%

fell by $11.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,942.30 an ounce, after settling at a record on Wednesday, marking its ninth straight advance, which is its longest win streak since a 10-session climb ended in January.

Gold’s ascent has come amid the backdrop of rising cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and around the world. However, gold’s climb has also coincided with a weakening of the dollar against its major rivals, which can give gold buoyancy because bullion and other precious metals are priced in the currency and its softening can make metals more attractive to buyers using alternative currencies.

One measure of the buck, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY,
-0.41%

was down around its lowest level since 2018 and has dropped 4.5% so far in July, according to FactSet data, while gold has climbed 8.1%, based on the most-active contract.



Original source link

T. Rowe Price: Grow Wealthy With This Asset Manager (NASDAQ:TROW)


Every industry is susceptible to change, and the mutual fund industry is no different. Since the founding of Vanguard, passive investing has gained widespread popularity amongst investors, thereby taking share away from active portfolio managers. While this may be viewed as a negative by some in the mutual fund industry, I see it as a compelling force for the industry to rise up to the challenge and to find better ways to serve their clients.

While the risk of investment flows to passive funds will always be an overhang, there is a certain point at which too much passive investing can be bad for market efficiency. I believe there will always be a place for well-regarded asset managers such as the one I’m evaluating today, T. Rowe Price Group (NASDAQ:TROW). In this article, I intend to evaluate whether if the stock can make a good long-term investment, so let’s get started!

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

An Asset Manager With A Strong Track Record

T. Rowe Price Group is a leading asset manager that provides mutual funds, employer-sponsored retirement programs, and financial advisory services. It was founded in 1937, serves clients in 51 countries, and has over $1 Trillion in assets under management (AUM). It is best known for its actively managed mutual funds and currently offers 181 U.S. mutual funds across a spectrum of investment offerings in different asset categories, including stocks, bonds, blended, and target dated funds.

One of the risks facing active fund managers is the pressure from investors as they question the underperformance relative to indices and the higher fees (relative to passive funds), and competition from other asset managers. I see these risks as being mitigated by T. Rowe Price’s ability to differentiate itself with its scale, track record of outperformance, and reasonable fee structure. Morningstar, which is well-known for its comprehensive ratings on the mutual fund industry, shared this positive view of the company in its latest research report:

At the end of 2019, 75%, 80%, and 82% of the company’s funds were beating peers on a three-, five-, and 10-year basis, respectively, with 55% of funds rated 4 or 5 stars by Morningstar during the past five years, better than just about every other U.S.-based asset manager. T. Rowe Price also has a much stronger Morningstar Success Ratio – which evaluates whether a firm’s open-end funds deliver sustainable, peer-beating returns over longer periods – giving it an additional leg up.

While COVID-19 and the related market volatility have presented the firm with risks, I’m encouraged by the resiliency of the business model and the loyalty of the client base, as evidenced by the monthly increases in AUM that the company has reported since the end of March. As seen below, the firm’s AUM has increased every month since March and is now slightly above the December 2019 (pre-pandemic) level.

(Source: Created by author based on company press releases)

While some of the increase is undoubtedly related to the stock market’s performance over the past quarter, it also speaks to the stickiness of its client relationships, in which two-thirds of its AUM is tied to retirement accounts. I view this as a net positive, as retirement accounts are generally more stable due to the tax implications of early withdrawals. In addition, clients are less likely to switch retirement accounts to other asset managers, especially given T. Rowe Price’s performance track record, and the wide range of offerings provided by its platform. The notion of sticky client relationships is supported by a recent survey that T. Rowe Price conducted, which showed that 83% of 401(k) participants expressed interest in keeping their savings in their current employer plan upon retirement.

Turning to the financials, I’m impressed by the solid growth in revenues in recent years. As seen below, revenue has grown 7% for the trailing 12 months compared to the end of 2018. What’s also encouraging is that operating margin has held steady and even improved to 44.5% in the latest quarter. This suggests that fee-compression concerns have not affected the firm’s profitability.

(Source: Created by author based on company financials)

Next to the revenue growth, what’s perhaps the most attractive thing about T. Rowe Price is that it carries no debt. I see this as being a big plus, as this gives management more flexibility to weather difficult economic environments and reward shareholders. This is evidenced by management taking advantage of the low share price during Q1 by repurchasing a whopping 8.3 million shares. This represents a 3.4% share count reduction in one quarter alone to 228 million shares outstanding as of the end of March. I view the shareholder-friendly capital structure as being one of the key driving factors in creating shareholder wealth.

This shareholder-friendly structure combined with steady revenue growth has resulted in impressive EPS growth. As seen below, EPS grew at ~20% CAGR between 2017 and 2019. Dividend growth has also been impressive and the payout ratio remains safe at just 40% of trailing 12 months’ (TTM) earnings. While the TTM’s results have been affected by the market downturn during Q1, I see it as being more of a hiccup as the U.S. government has demonstrated its willingness to support businesses both big and small with stimulus measures and asset purchases.

(Source: Created by author)

Investor Takeaway

T. Rowe Price is a leading asset manager with a track record of having many actively-managed funds that have outperformed the broader market. It benefits from having sticky relationships with clients, who tend to stay with their current asset manager into retirement. While COVID-19 has presented the firm with challenges, I see it as being a bump in the road, as AUM has fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels. I also see the shareholder-friendly capital structure as being attractive, as it gave management the flexibility to repurchase a large amount of shares at low prices amidst the volatility.

I have a Buy rating on shares at the current price of $133.97 and PE ratio of 16.0. I have a price target of $150 per share, which I find reasonable given the company’s leadership position in its industry, track record of rewarding shareholders, and attractive balance sheet.

(Source: F.A.S.T. Graphs)

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in TROW over the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.





Original source link

Coronavirus was the perfect storm for tech innovation, and this fund manager made out


“It’s been a fascinating time to be an active manager,” Cathie Wood told MarketWatch in early June.

Left unsaid: It’s been a fascinating time to be an active manager whose long-held strategy aligned perfectly with a once-in-a-lifetime crisis-driven upheaval of technology.

Wood, the founder and CEO of ARK Invest, has grabbed attention, some of it skeptical, for that unwavering belief in deeply disruptive technology companies, and for her insistence that big bets on outside-the-box investments are akin to value plays. “If you have a five-year time horizon, like us, I can tell you with a straight face that I believe we’re a deep value manager because of these opportunities,” Wood said in an extended interview with MarketWatch in December.

The company’s flagship fund, the ARK Innovation ETF
US:ARKK
, is up 26% in the year to date, compared to just a 7.4% gain for the Nasdaq
US:COMP
. It’s pulled in over $1.3 billion in assets in that time period, according to FactSet data.

Wood is known for her transparency: ARK researchers communicate regularly with people in the industries they’re investing in, the company publishes its trades, and it sends out weekly commentary on big movers in its portfolios.

In an update since the COVID-19 pandemic locked down much of the country, Wood newly shared what her ideas have meant in practice: how the coronavirus crisis has helped accelerate innovation, more details on the trades she made during the March madness, and why the intuition of active managers beats algorithms.

MarketWatch: At an online event last month, you said, speaking of the pandemic and the lockdowns, that “innovation gains traction during tumultuous times.” You listed working from home, being educated from home, calling doctors from home and online retail as activities that have gained more traction during this period, and said, “I believe we have compressed three years of progress in terms of these new innovative platforms into three months. I don’t believe the economy is going back.”

Could you talk a little bit more about that idea, and also how ARK thinks about finding investment opportunity in that backdrop?

Cathie Wood: Companies make plans to adopt new technologies, but sort of take their time. They will take a three- to five-year look at the investment cycle. What has happened is, well-established companies were not well set up for a digital workplace. We heard about a lot of struggles taking place out there and a determination to say, finally, we have got to get onto the newest platforms. We have heard a lot of our companies saying, we have seen more interest in the past few months than we expected in the next few years. It’s an accelerated shift toward the technologies that are faster, less expensive, more productive [and] allow for more creativity.

Share gains absolutely have taken place in all kinds of innovation. We have learned the hard way that credit cards and debit cards are the most vicious virus spreaders out there. They’re worse than cash. The move toward digital wallets has taken off and this will be very disruptive for banks. Square Inc.
US:SQ
has network effects. Banks, to attract a customer, have been willing to pay hundreds of dollars. Square spends about $20… these new services, providing peer-to-peer transactions, small business and consumer loans, the reason Square especially can do this is that it sees every single transaction these small businesses have.


‘In this season of despair for all kinds of reasons, we’re seeing innovation be a great source of hope.’


— Cathie Wood, founder and CEO of ARK Invest

Before coronavirus, online shopping was only 15% of total retail sales. We think it is going to be 60% by 2030, especially as drones start evolving and rolling robots are approved to allow deliveries of groceries. When it reaches scale we think it will cost about 25 cents, certainly less than a dollar, to send a five-pound package 15 miles.

The other thing that’s been galvanized by this crisis is collaborative robots. Universal Robots, which is owned by Teradyne
US:TER
, makes a product that look like the arms of a robot for picking and packing. They’re going to be working with humans, and increase human productivity. They will have sensors so they don’t harm people and are able to work beside people.

This will be accelerated because of social distancing. People on assembly lines can’t be working next to each other. The robots are dropping in price, they’re below $20,000 now. They’re getting to be competitive with human beings and are taking jobs that are quite menial. Hopefully we will retrain people so they get interesting jobs. In this season of despair for all kinds of reasons, we’re seeing innovation be a great source of hope.

It was very interesting to be managing our style of portfolio during the teeth of the crisis because what we saw was the quantitatively-oriented managers just sent algorithms out there to look for any company with a small cash cushion and negative cash burn and kill it. One was 2U Inc.
US:TWOU
, an online education company serving colleges and businesses and boot camps. Algorithms found 2U and took it, in the span of two weeks, from $30 to $11.50. We bought the heck out of it because we knew it was a solution to the problems out there.

I remember saying, in our portfolio, let’s look at those companies that are getting hit hard: Zillow
US:Z
and Invitae
US:NVTA
. They were trashed. Trading around disruption and the volatility associated with disruptive innovation can be profitable… Zillow was a fascinating one. Its peak was $66.68, it dropped in the span of three weeks to $20, and now is back up at roughly $60. These great buying opportunities were partially because of the automatic-pilot high frequency trading out there. We were a buyer of these companies that were absolutely solutions to the problems coronavirus handed us. I mean, Zillow saw a 500% increase in online virtual tours. It’s been a fascinating time to be an active manager.

MarketWatch: Funny, one of the themes that’s gotten the most attention recently as a result of the pandemic is working from home — and that’s one you didn’t mention.

Wood: Oh yes! We have a fund called Next Generation Internet
US:ARKW
. We owned, though not in size, Zoom
US:ZM
, because we thought the barriers to entry were low. It really moved through this brilliantly. We sold Zoom and it’s been an out-of-sight stock. We may have been very wrong on the barriers to entry. We sold stocks that attracted a lot of capital, and what we decided to do was buy enterprise (software as a service) stocks that provide all of the various back ends.

A more important and better business model is ZScaler Inc.
US:ZS
, which provides cloud based security. That stock was crucified when Zoom was moving up. We bought that nicely. It went from about $66 down to $35 and now is at $106. This was a company that said we’re not going to give you guidance. Their year is going to be much better than they thought.

Even Netflix
US:NFLX
and Amazon
US:AMZN
, they were the obvious beneficiaries, and we own them in the next gen fund, but we sold some because they held up so well so we could move into digital infrastructure plays. It’s a very high margin model, 70-80-90% gross margins. Most people don’t know these names. Pagerduty
US:PD
, Twillio
US:TWLO
.

We did not own Slack
US:WORK
before. We were saying, low barriers to entry. They just announced a quarter that disappointed people but on the same day announced Amazon is starting to use Slack not only internally but also in communicating with suppliers and retailers. This could begin to enjoy the networking effect.

MarketWatch: Is there any way that the technology that you invest in can be used to address some of the issues that have come to the forefront in the past few weeks around social justice and racial equity? I’m thinking of the facial recognition issues around artificial intelligence, but there are probably many others that you know better than I.

Wood: We probably have one of the most diverse teams in the financial services industry. I’m not saying we forced that into being. It happened very naturally, very organically. I think people attracted to a firm like ARK see our message… our young analysts, the reason they’ve been attracted is they know they’re going to be competing out there with some very seasoned analysts in other organizations but having one foot in the new world is a competitive advantage.

We absolutely stand against racism. I often say we like to lead by example, so having diversity at the company to the extent we do is one form. There’s tremendous hope at ARK. And there has been tremendous sadness and we had a long discussion about it. Every other week we will watch a movie or read an article about the difficulties black people have had in the marketplace. Like the movie “Selma.” We will all watch it, so we all level-set and discuss it at a virtual lunch hour.

What has happened here, as tragic as it is, it has elevated this discussion and legitimized it in a way that should have been done a long time ago. I have heard those accounts (of facial recognition technology) as well and I think they’re going to get a lot more noticed. I think what happened to George Floyd — and what was exposed through technology — in a profound way, has changed this discussion forever. I really do believe that.

See:A first-of-its-kind racial empowerment ETF is ‘flying under the radar.’ Maybe it shouldn’t.

MarketWatch: You get a lot of press, including from me, about your thinking on Tesla
US:TSLA
but this time I’d love to get your take on bitcoin
US:BTCUSD
. Why should investors be paying attention now, and does anything that we’ve just talked about apply to it? The idea that it could be a more accessible form of capital for the underbanked, people cut off from credit?

Wood: Oh, could we just talk about Tesla a little bit, since it just hit a new all-time high, $1,000?

MarketWatch: Yes, that’s a really good point. Of course.

Wood: It’s very interesting. There’s an awakening in this market. If you looked at Tesla a year ago it had been trashed by hedge funds and many others, saying it is going to run out of cash. From one year ago when the stock got down to the $170s, to now, it just crossed $1,000, what you will see is that the balance sheet everyone was criticizing last year, today looks like a fortress compared to the balance sheets of traditional auto manufacturers.

Traditional manufacturers are in trouble. We’ve been trying to get that message out for a long time. Tesla was going to disrupt the traditional manufacturers which would have to make a number of great leaps to catch up. In fact, they’ve had to cut back on their investments. They haven’t succeeded in switching from the traditional internal combustion engine. They can’t get up to Tesla’s standards.

We’ve seen Tesla moving toward autonomous. Artificial intelligence is a big part of that. I think that analysts are beginning to get it. It’s less auto analysts and maybe analysts who are more technology-oriented. This is going to be one of the biggest investment opportunities of our lifetime. We were roundly disparaged last year.

MarketWatch: You came out with a $7,000 price target in February, I think it was. Does that still stand?

Wood: We’ve adjusted our base price for coronavirus. Over a five-year horizon, we took the base price target to $6,800 but there is something else that we think could take it much higher. It will probably launch its own ride hailing service, with human drivers, sometime this year. Tesla will sell a car for a down payment, and then the person buying the car will be able to pay the rest of it via their earnings. It’s a really good idea and I think they’re going to do it and we’ve just finished the modeling. It would take our price target up considerably. Compared to their current model, ride hailing is much more profitable, and I don’t think anyone has put that in their model.

As far as bitcoin, I think a couple of things have happened. It probably is the reserve currency of the crypto ecosystem. Since the peak at the end of 2017 to its low at $3,500 earlier this year, we have seen bitcoin’s share of the crypto asset ecosystem, the equivalent of market cap, go from 30% to above 70%. That tells you that bitcoin is the flight-to-safety currency. That is an exalted role.

We also have another impetus for bitcoin to get going here, and that is that we’ve seen traditional gold
US:GCM20
getting a nice bid. That is, a lot of investors wondering where all this monetary and fiscal stimulus is going to go. This is digital gold. If bitcoin got just 10% of the traditional gold investment market, its market cap would go from about $170 billion now, to about $900 billion. We also think it’s an insurance policy against… an outright confiscation of wealth, as has happened in Venezuela, in Saudi Arabia… I think more people are thinking about insurance policies, [saying to themselves] wow, if I just kept the keycode in my head I could walk across the border away from a country that’s trying to confiscate my wealth and have it at my disposal.

The other reason I’m more optimistic about it is the technology under it has been battle-tested. We just went through the halving… [I]t’s developing some scarcity value. There are about 18 million units out there now. It’s going to be growing even more slowly than traditional gold is mined.

Another thing happened recently, in conjunction with coronavirus. In March when bitcoin imploded, what happened was an exchange called Bitmex had allowed 100 times leverage for some traders. It happened in the middle of March when everything was getting hit hard. That introduced new governance measures in exchanges and decentralized parts of the financial ecosystem. I think that’s making the technology and the use of it more robust. I like to see these tests. And finally, what we’ve seen is that… this is a constantly appreciating currency year to year. This year it did not get to a new low, meaning this low was not lower than the last low, in March 2019. So you’ve got technicians looking at this, saying this chart is beginning to look robust.

MarketWatch: Is there anything you’re thinking about or working on that we haven’t talked about?

Wood: One thing I think is important, as we have been trying to make our way more into the institutional world, we often run into a question: what do we compare you against? My answer is always, well, whatever you want. But that is not satisfactory. Institutions do not want that answer. They want to have an independent arbiter of returns. What’s happened recently is we have worked with MSCI, which has developed some innovation indices. I have to have a complete arms-length relationship, but our research department has worked with theirs… [and] the traditional indexes have been value traps. I think when people hear ARK has a relationship with an index provider, they’ll think it’s a disconnect because I’ve been saying for so long index funds are about the past, not the future.

See: Investors are making big ‘BETZ’ on this online sports and gaming ETF



Original source link