- Cathie Wood likened Tesla to Apple and touted crypto as the internet’s missing layer.
- The Ark Invest CEO slammed the regulatory backlash against Didi and other Chinese tech companies.
- Wood predicted technologies such as blockchain and clean energy would transform industries.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Cathie Wood suggested Tesla will follow Apple in capturing the lion’s share of its sector’s profits, predicted new technologies will reshape entire industries, and explained what traditional finance professionals don’t appreciate about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in a five-part RealVision interview this week.
The Ark Invest CEO also bemoaned the recent crackdown on Didi and other Chinese technology companies, argued that long-term technology investments can matter more than profit margins today, and advised workers to switch jobs if their excellence goes unrecognized.
Here are Wood’s 10 best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
1. “I feel that I was put on Earth to do this, that if I had retired at 57 instead of starting ARK, that I would not be a happy woman. I feel like I’m a vessel for something that was meant to be.”
2. “I’ve loved being a woman in this business. I’ve had amazing mentors who have given me growth opportunities. And if a person – a woman or a man – delights their bosses but does not get a shot at promotions even though the numbers are speaking loudly, you have to move on. Just cut your losses, and bring your brilliance and your ideas to another team.”
3. “We are on the cusp of more change than has ever happened. There’s going to be tremendous disintermediation and disruption. We see the energy sector, financial services, any industry touching the internal combustion engine and its suppliers, anything really physical in terms of being the touchpoint for the consumer, the point of sale – in harm’s way.”
4. “There’s huge inefficiency in the research behind and the investment in Tesla, so much so that our target price right now for our base case is roughly $3,000. People think that’s a crazy number. Right now, the stock is closer to $700. We believe that the reason there’s such a big inefficiency in Tesla’s valuation is the short-term time horizon of analysts and the wrong analysts following it.” – Wood suggested analysts don’t grasp the full potential of Elon Musk’s clean-energy company.
5. “Apple understood that a cell phone was really a computer well before Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola did. It designed its own chip because Intel and Qualcomm, they were going with the volume players, and Apple was nowhere, right? By designing its own chip, it now still has the lion’s share of the profits in the cellphone market. Even though its share has gone down, its value has gone up. We think that’s what’s going to happen to Tesla.”
6. “They’re better-performing cars. They delight the consumer. This is how Apple won. This is how Tesla is going to win.” – suggesting the quality and performance of Tesla’s cars will give it an edge over rivals.
7. “These technologies needed 15, 20, 25 years of gestation before they were ready to hit prime time. Anyone running the kind of strategy back then that we at ARK are running right now, they were cheered on. It was hallelujah, the brave new world, rah-rah-rah-rah, everybody chasing and trying to one up one another, right? Today, we’re considered such an odd duck.” – contrasting the skepticism of Ark’s investment style today with the widespread championing of technology before the dot-com crash.
8. “Execution to us does not mean hitting operating margins to the decimal point. In fact, we could care less about that. In the early days, we want them to spend. Our execution is around R&D – how much they’re spending, are they spending it in the right places, or are they just throwing spaghetti against a wall.” – emphasizing that Ark cares more about companies’ technology investments than their profits today.
9. “The way China is behaving, very defensively, is anathema to the rest of the world, and probably not to the pleasing of its own population. There’s a bit of a stifling going on here. Anyone with dreams of becoming a unicorn with more than a million users is going to have second thoughts, because the government is basically putting them on watch, you know? I don’t think you encourage entrepreneurship that way.” – commenting on Chinese regulators’ recent crackdown on Didi and other domestic technology companies.
10. “People from the old, traditional world of financial services, they aren’t thinking about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as the missing layer from the internet. The internet was never conceived with commerce in mind. That’s really what this is.”