Cathie Wood says the exodus from expensive cities will push inflation as ARK heads to St. Petersburg

Cathie Wood, Founder and CEO of ARK Investment Management LLC, speaks during the Skybridge Capital SALT New York 2021 conference in New York City, September 13, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

The closely-followed innovation investor Cathie Wood said the migration trend in her own company was further evidence that investors should fear deflation rather than inflation.

Wood – founder, CEO and CIO of ARK Invest – is moving the headquarters of her investment firm to St. Petersburg, Florida on November 1st. The disruptive innovation investor said individuals and companies flocking to cheaper areas of the country should keep inflation in check.

“Cost of Living [in St. Petersburg] is between 20 and 40 percent less than New York City, and that includes rents, “Wood said during an ARK Invest webinar Tuesday.

“The exodus or great migration is from areas of the world with very high rents to much lower rents. So there will be a blending effect that many don’t take into account when thinking about inflation,” she added.

Wood has been vocal about her deflation theory. While many market participants are concerned about rising prices, the founder of ARK Invest anticipates deflation amid a collapse in commodity prices, a halt in taxation in Washington and burgeoning innovation trends.

The pushy investor is also trying to put St. Petersburg, on the central west coast of Florida, on the map for the innovation community.

“We believe St. Pete is going to be the next Austin, attracting technology companies and attracting innovation,” said Wood. “We are seeing all levels of government working so closely together, which is very refreshing. They are very excited that ARK will help with this process. “

The company also announced the groundbreaking ceremony last week for the ARK Innovation Center, which will take place in St. Petersburg in the first quarter of 2022. This includes a facility designed to help retain and attract top talent by supporting entrepreneurs and tech startups in St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area, according to ARK’s press release.

“I think this region of the world will flourish, this region of our country will flourish because of its focus on innovation,” she added.

Wood added that St. Petersburg was “incredible” in terms of the quality of life.


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