Cathie Wooden says exodus from high-cost cities will push down 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 is 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 lower 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 expects deflation in the face of a collapse in commodity prices, a stalemate in tax policy in Washington and incipient innovation trends.

The quick-tempered investor also wants to make St. Petersburg, west of Tampa, known to the innovation community.

“We believe St. Pete is going to be the next Austin and attract technology companies and attract innovation,” said Wood. “We see all levels of government working so closely together, which is very refreshing. They are very happy that Ark is helping. “

The company also announced last week that the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ark Innovation Center will take place in St. Petersburg in the first quarter of 2022. That includes a facility designed to help attract and retain 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 quality of life.

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