Cathie Wood Net Worth: How She Achieved Celebrity Investor Status

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Cathie Wood is one of the biggest names in the investment world, having achieved celebrity investor status as the founder, CEO, and chief investment officer of asset management firm, ARK Invest.

Wood’s net worth is estimated to be around $250 million as of April 2024. Her net worth rose as high as $400 million in 2021 following her company’s impressive run during and after COVID-19.

Wood’s investment style and success have been recognized by multiple publications. She earned a place on Forbes’ 50 Over 50 list in 2021, Forbes’ Most Powerful Women list in 2021, and the Bloomberg 50 list in 2018.

Facts about Cathie Wood

NameCatherine Duddy Wood
Birth date26 November 1955
Net Worth$250 Million (approx.)
BirthplaceLos Angeles
EducationUniversity of Southern California
Known forInvesting Strategy
Marital statusDivorced

Cathie Wood net worth

Cathie Wood’s net worth closely mirrors the performance of ARK funds. Thus, her net worth has seen wide fluctuations over the years.

For instance, her net worth was estimated to be around $400 million in 2021, but it declined to around $140 million shortly after, reflecting the performance of ARK Funds. Presently, Wood’s net worth is estimated to be around $250 million.

Barron’s reported in 2020 that Wood owns a 50% to 75% stake in ARK. However, this information has never been made public.

Cathie wood net worth
Ark Invest – Source: Shutterstock

Early life and education

Born in November 1955 in Los Angeles, Wood’s parents were immigrants from Ireland. Her father served in the Irish Army and the U.S. Air Force.

Wood completed her high school at Notre Dame Academy in Los Angeles, and she graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a Bachelor of Science in finance and economics.

During her graduation, Wood got the chance to learn from economist Arthur Laffer, who later became her mentor. Laffer, the inventor of the Laffer Curve that explains the relationship between tax rates and tax revenue, served as an advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

Wood currently resides in Wilton, Connecticut, and has three children. Her ex-husband, Robert Wood, passed away in 2018. She is a devout Christian and bases many of her investing strategies on her faith.

Professional journey

While at USC, Wood worked as an assistant economist at Capital Group. After graduating in 1980, she joined Jennison Associates.

In 1998, after working at Jennison Associates for 18 years in various capacities, she co-established the Tupelo Capital Management hedge fund in collaboration with Lulu C. Wang.

In 2001, she joined AllianceBernstein as a portfolio manager and a limited partner. She left the research and investment company after 12 years to establish ARK Invest.

During her stint as a portfolio manager, Wood focused on thematic investing, a strategy that revolves around long-term trends. She carried the same investing strategy over to ARK.

About the company she founded

Wood founded ARK Invest in 2014 with her own capital. The company took about three years to break even. Though ARK stands for Active Research Knowledge, its name also refers to the Ark of the Covenant.

ARK Invest believes in fostering new ideas and, thus, gives its research to anyone who wants it. Wood, in fact, said that she treats ARK research as “open-source software.”

In 2020, ARK was among the top-performing investment companies after the company’s investment in Tesla, Bitcoin, Coinbase, and Robinhood gained significantly. The company’s flagship ARK Innovation ETF also increased by 157% in 2020, and by February 2021, ARK Invest was managing about $50 billion in assets.

Despite the unexpected downturn triggered by the pandemic, the fund made a notable turnaround in the first half of 2023 and returned over 70% in 2023.

However, 2024 isn’t going quite so well, with investors starting to lose confidence in the fund, which has posted a negative 28% return (annualized) for the past three years, compared to an 11% return from the S&P 500 during the same period.

Wood’s investment strategy

Wood is widely praised in the investing world for her positive and forward-thinking investment strategy. Her success can be largely attributed to her active management approach and her investment in companies with substantial growth prospects, even if it means taking more risks.

Wood is known for making big bets on tech-driven companies that emphasize “disruptive innovation” and growth, even if it means being unprofitable in the short term.

In addition to growth, Wood has used the value-investing approach. In 2022, when the stock market was in a downturn, Wood added more stocks of its existing holdings, including Tesla, despite its poor performance at the time.

She is also bullish on cryptocurrency despite steep losses across the industry, and believes the blockchain will eventually result in increased transparency and decentralization in the financial sector.

Criticisms of Wood’s investing strategy

Wood has been criticized for focusing on specific sectors, such as electric vehicles or genomics. This can make investors more vulnerable to downturns in those industries.

Morningstar called Wood a “wealth destroyer” based on figures suggesting that the ARK ETF Trust wiped out $14.3 billion in investors’ wealth in a 10-year period.

Fellow star investor Daniel Loeb, chief executive of Third Point, also criticized Wood’s investing strategy following her fund’s poor performance in 2022.

“Anyone teaching a value investing class or one on investment psychology should use this memo as a treatise to study the mindset of stonk hodlers,” Loeb tweeted.

The term “Stonk hodlers” is slang for investors who hold (hodl) onto their stocks (stonks) for too long.


Cathie Wood has undoubtedly left her mark on the investing world with her unique, out-of-box investment style. Wood’s bold forecasts and imaginative techniques have given her rock-star celebrity investor status.

Her fund may be down now, but her strategies have made investors a lot of money in the past.


Is Cathie Wood a billionaire?

Cathie Wood’s net worth is reported to be around $250 million to $300 million in 2024. Her net worth was estimated to be around $400 million in 2021.

What stock does Cathie Wood own?

Cathie Wood’s portfolio’s top holdings include Tesla, Block, and Shopify. She is also bullish on Bitcoin.

Why does Cathie Wood like Tesla?

Wood prefers investing in disruptive technologies, which is one reason Wood likes Tesla. She also likes Tesla’s dominance in autonomous driving and robotics initiatives.