🚀 Ark Investment Management’s Best-Performing ESG Fund of 2023: A Bold Bet on Cryptocurrencies 🌈

The top-performing ESG fund of 2023 from Ark Investment Management took a daring leap by investing in cryptocurrencies, specifically Coinbase.

Ark Invest’s Crypto-Powered ESG Fund shines as 2023’s top performer.

📅 Last updated: January 17, 2024 ⌛ Reading time: 2 min

🔍 Source: AdobeStock / JorgeEduardo

Ark Investment Management’s Nikko AM Ark Positive Change Innovation Fund (NIPCIPJ LX) has emerged as the best-performing ESG fund of 2023 thanks to its daring investment strategy involving cryptocurrencies. With a remarkable return of 68% last year, the $2.4 billion fund outshined the S&P 500 index.

Riding the Crypto Wave 🌊

The standout feature of the Nikko-Ark fund is its significant exposure to cryptocurrencies, with its largest holding being Coinbase Global Inc., which makes up nearly 10% of the portfolio. This audacious move paid off handsomely, especially considering the challenges faced by ESG funds that focused on traditional clean-tech assets like wind and solar.

While clean-tech assets experienced setbacks due to disruptions caused by higher interest rates, Ark’s bet on cryptocurrencies proved to be a winning strategy. The market value of Coinbase skyrocketed almost fivefold last year, coinciding with a 21% decline in the S&P Global Clean Energy Index. This surge in the largest US cryptocurrency exchange played a significant role in the fund’s impressive performance.

Buy the Rumor, Sell the Fact 💭💰

The positive momentum for cryptocurrencies continued into 2024 as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally approved several Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This news sparked enthusiasm among crypto enthusiasts. However, subsequent market fluctuations have led some analysts to attribute the decline in Bitcoin’s value to the classic “buy the rumor, sell the fact” phenomenon.

Thomas Hartmann-Boyce, a portfolio manager at Ark, believes that the SEC approval provides ample room for Coinbase shares to continue their upward trajectory. As the leading custodian for underlying Bitcoin assets, Coinbase holds a prominent position in the digital assets category, making it the fund’s highest conviction investment.

The Nikko Ark fund’s primary focus is on disruptive technologies that align with the United Nations sustainable development goals. While acknowledging the energy-intensive nature of Bitcoin mining, Hartmann-Boyce emphasizes the fund’s sustainability rationale, which revolves around transaction transparency and providing financial services to the underbanked.

ESG Funds that Embraced Tech Outperformed Peers 💪📈

Last year, ESG funds that veered away from conventional green assets and fully embraced technology outperformed their counterparts. One notable performer was the JPMorgan US Technology Fund (JPMUSTC LX), delivering returns of almost 65% to its investors. Similar to the Nikko Ark portfolio, this fund is registered as “promoting” ESG, falling under the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation’s Article 8 category.

Hartmann-Boyce reveals that Ark aims for a compound annual rate of return of at least 15% over the next five years for its high-conviction public equities, including Coinbase, CRISPR Therapeutics AG, Block Inc., and Pacific Biosciences of California Inc.

Investors in the Nikko Ark fund are no strangers to volatility. The substantial gains of 2023 followed a decline of over 50% in 2022, and the fund has experienced a modest loss of approximately 5% in the early part of this year.

Similarly, Coinbase’s value has decreased by 23% year-to-date, with 11 out of 28 analysts recommending selling the stock. However, despite the volatile macroeconomic outlook and a challenging start for tech stocks, Peter Graf, the chief investment officer for Nikko in the Americas, remains committed to the fund’s strategy and allocations.

Graf highlights the fund’s long-term exposure to sustainability-related innovation, believing that new technologies will withstand business cycles and deliver compelling results.

🤔 Q&A: What Else Do Readers Want to Know?

1. Are ESG funds a good investment choice?

ESG funds have gained popularity due to their focus on companies that prioritize environmental, social, and governance criteria. While past performance is not a guarantee of future returns, ESG funds that embrace disruptive technologies have shown strong performance. It is essential for investors to carefully assess the fund’s composition, investment strategy, and alignment with their own values before making investment decisions.

2. How does Bitcoin mining affect the environment?

Bitcoin mining is energy-intensive, primarily due to the computational power required for solving complex mathematical puzzles. This process contributes to carbon emissions and has raised concerns about its environmental impact. However, as the industry evolves, there is a growing emphasis on utilizing renewable energy sources for mining operations to mitigate its carbon footprint.

3. What sustainable development goals does the Nikko Ark fund focus on?

The Nikko Ark fund primarily focuses on disruptive technologies that align with the United Nations sustainable development goals. These goals include but are not limited to poverty eradication, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, innovation, and sustainable cities and communities.

📚 References:

  1. Here’s What Happened in the Crypto World Today
  2. Coinbase International Exchange Caps Perpetual Futures Leverage at 10x
  3. Bitcoin Price Regains Strength – Will BTC Still Remain in Range in 2024?

📢 Share your thoughts on this article! What are your views on ESG funds and their investments in cryptocurrencies? Leave a comment below and let’s keep the discussion going! 🤝

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