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ARKK vs ARKG – Which ETF Is Better?

ARKK vs ARKG

Last updated on June 6th, 2021

The ARK Invest ETFs are one of the more interesting ETFs to invest in.

However, there are quite a few ARK ETFs, such as ARKK and ARKG.

So how exactly are they different from each other?

The difference between ARKK and ARKG

ARKK and ARKG are 2 ETFs managed by ARK Invest. ARKG only invests in ARK’s Genomic Revolution theme, while ARKK invests in all 4 of ARK’s themes. As such, ARKK is a more diversified ETF compared to ARKG.

Here is an in-depth comparison between these 2 ETFs:

Fund Manager

Both ETFs are offered by ARK Invest, where Catherine Wood is the portfolio manager for both of these funds.

She has always believed in disruptors and founded ARK Invest to invest in these companies.

As such, she has a pretty strong track record in identifying what she terms as ‘innovative disruptors’.

Assets under management (AUM)

Both ARKK and ARKG started on the same date (Oct 2014). Despite that, ARKK has a much larger AUM (assets under management):

ARKKARKG
AUM$17.68 Billion$7.67 Billion

Themes Tracked

ARKK and ARKG do not track an actual index. Rather, they focus on certain themes that are defined by ARK Invest.

ThemeDefinition
Genomic RevolutionAdvancements
in DNA technologies
Industrial InnovationInnovation in energy,
automation and manufacturing
Next Generation InternetInnovation in shared technology,
infrastructure and services
Fintech InnovationTechnologies that make financial
services more efficient

ARK’s main aim is to invest in companies that are expected to benefit from the technological revolution.

ARKK tracks all 4 themes

ARKK tracks ‘disruptive innovation’ as a whole. This is why the ETF is called the ARK Innovation ETF.

As such, it tracks all 4 themes that are defined by ARK Invest.

ARKG only tracks the ‘Genomic Revolution’ theme

ARKG is a more specific ETF that only tracks the ‘Genomic Revolution’ theme. This theme focuses on:

  1. Gene therapy bio-informatics
  2. Bio-inspired computing
  3. Molecular medicine
  4. Pharmaceutical innovations

The companies that ARKG invests in are more specific to this theme. Meanwhile, ARKK invests in the broader theme of ‘disruptive innovation’. This includes the ‘Genomic Revolution’ theme as well.

Element Weightage

Due to the different themes that both ETFs track, they will have a different weightage in the thematic elements.

Here are the thematic elements in ARKK,

ARKK Element Weightage

and in ARKG.

ARKG Thematic Elements

ARKK has a much broader diversification of companies in the different elements. Moreover, the weightage is much more spread out.

Meanwhile, ARKG is heavily concentrated in:

  1. Targeted therapeutics
  2. Bioinformatics
  3. Molecular diagnostics

Top 10 Holdings

Here are the top 10 holdings in ARKK,

ARKK Top 10 Holdings

as well as ARKG.

ARKG Top 10 Holdings Dec 2020

ARKK is heavily weighted in Tesla

ARKK has quite a high weightage in Tesla (11%), compared to other stocks in other themes.

Tesla performed extremely well in 2020 with a 695% increase in it’s stock price!

The overlap between ARKK and ARKG

There will be an overlap in the stocks found in both ARKK and ARKG. This is because both ETFs invest in ARK’s ‘Genomic Revolution’ theme.

This means that the stocks in this theme will be found in both ARKK and ARKG.

You can view the overlap in stocks using ETF Research Center’s fund overlap tool. There are a total of 21 overlapping holdings between these 2 ETFs!

Here are the top 5 holdings that overlap between ARKK and ARKG:

ARKK vs ARKG Overlap

Since there is quite a huge overlap between these 2 ETFs, you should try to have only one of these ETFs in your portfolio. If not, you may be duplicating your investments.

You’ll need to decide if you prefer to invest in all 4 of ARK’s themes or just one!

ARKG has more holdings than ARKK

ARKG has 53 holdings, while ARKK has 50. As such, ARKG has slightly more stocks in the ‘Genomic Revolution’ theme compared to ARKK.

The ETFs’ holdings may change over time

Both ETFs are actively managed ETFs by Cathy Wood. As such, the holdings of both ETFs are very dynamic and may change when a new company shows a lot of promise.

This is in contrast to a passive ETF that tracks an index. The index only changes the allocation periodically. Meanwhile, active ETFs can change their holdings at any time.

Performance

The 2 ETFs will have different performances since they contain a different basket of stocks.

Here’s how the 2 ETFs have performed between Jan 2020 – Jan 2021.

ARKK vs ARKG Yahoo Finance
Source: Yahoo Finance

ARKG has been consistently performing better compared to ARKK! However, the sample size is too small as both ETFs have only been in the market for a few years.

Both of these ETFs invest in tech companies of the future. As such, the performance of the 2 ETFs will be extremely volatile.

It is hard to compare the performances between these ETFs

It may be hard to compare the performances of these 2 ETFs, since they contain different stocks.

However, the technology sector still has a huge potential for growth. Both of these ETFs should be able to give solid performances, especially in the long run.

Dividends

Both of these ETFs are actively managed ETFs that invest in growth stocks. As such, you will not receive much dividends from these companies.

Growth stocks mainly reinvest most of their earnings back into the company. These funds will be used to accelerate the growth of the company further.

As such, most of these companies will not distribute a dividend to shareholders.

The dividend yield for both ETFs have been rather unstable. Based on ARK’s prospectus, they intend to distribute dividends that they have received at least annually.

Here are the latest dividends that both ETFs distributed since December 2020:

YearARKKARKG
2020$2.044
2019$0.381$1.05395
2018$1.091$0.46634
2017$0.090$0.32769

The dividend distributions are rather inconsistent. Moreover, ARKG did not distribute a dividend in 2020!

You should not worry too much about the dividend yield

You may be concerned that the dividend yields are rather low. However when you are investing in an ARK ETF, you are more concerned about capital appreciation rather than dividends.

As such, the low dividends shouldn’t worry you too much!

You may want to consider investing in the S&P 500 if you are looking for more stable dividends.

Expense ratio

On top of the trading commissions you’ll need to pay the broker, you will have to pay an expense ratio to the fund manager as well.

This expense ratio is usually deducted at the end of each year.

Here are the expense ratios for these 2 funds:

ARKKARKG
Expense ratio0.75%0.75%

Both of these ETFs have rather high expense ratios. However compared to other ETFs which are passive, these 2 ETFs are actively managed.

So long as the ARK ETFs are able to produce higher returns than passive ETFs, the expense ratio will be worth it in the end!

Ways to Invest

Both ETFs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This makes it rather accessible since most brokers allow trading in US stocks.

One such broker you may want to consider is Tiger Brokers.

ARKK vs ARKG Tiger Broker

It offers a competitive trading commission of just USD1.99 per trade!

You can read my review of Tiger Brokers, as well as how it compares to FSMOne.

Alternatively, you can use commission-free brokers to purchase US stocks, such as:

  1. Firstrade
  2. TD Ameritrade

There are many brokers that you can choose from. As such, you should select one that offers the cheapest fees for your investment amount.

Investing via Kristal.AI

Alternatively, you can choose to invest in both ETFs using Kristal.AI, a robo-advisor.

ARKK vs ARKG Kristal AI

However, there are some tradeoffs when you invest with Kristal.AI. This is further touched on in my guide to buying the ARKK ETF.

Verdict

Here’s a comparison between these 2 ETFs.

ARKKARKG
Fund ManagerCathy WoodCathy Wood
AUM$17.68 Billion$7.67 Billion
ARK Themes TrackedGenomic Revolution
Industrial Innovation
Next Generation Internet
Fintech Innovation
Only Genomic Revolution
Number of Holdings5053
Number of Elements Tracked229
Expense Ratio0.75%0.75%
DividendsAnnuallyAnnually

So which ETF should you invest in?

Invest in ARKK if you want a more diversified portfolio

The ARKK ETF invests in all 4 of ARK Invest’s themes. Apart from the ‘Genomic Revolution’ theme, ARKK also invests in 3 other themes:

  1. Next Generation Internet
  2. Industrial Innovation
  3. Fintech Innovation

This makes ARKK slightly more diversified when it comes to investing in these disruptive innovations.

Your portfolio is spread across different companies from different sectors.

As such, even if one sector does poorly, the other sectors may perform well. Overall, your portfolio should still go up!

If you had just invested in that one sector, your portfolio will suffer huge losses!

This is the power of diversification. Ultimately, ARKK helps you to spread your risk over a greater number of assets.

Invest in ARKG if you are very confident in genomic technologies

ARKG is solely weighted on technologies involved in the genomic revolution.

If you are confident that these technologies will do well, then you can invest in this ETF.

ARKG has also been performing better compared to ARKK. However, there is a chance that ARKK may overtake ARKG in the future!

If you are confident in only a few themes that ARK has, you may want to invest in the individual ETFs instead of ARKK. The other 3 thematic ETFs that ARK Invest has are:

  1. ARKQ (Industrial Innovation)
  2. ARKW (Next Generation Internet)
  3. ARKF (Fintech Revolution)

In this way, you will have less of an overlap compared to if you invest in both ARKK and ARKG!

Conclusion

Both actively managed ETFs have huge potential to generate large returns for you. However, there is some overlap between the stocks that are found in both ETFs.

As such, it may be better to decide on one of these ETFs and then invest with it throughout!


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