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A new ETF from legendary tech investor Ryan Jacob will target 'forward-thinking companies,' tapping demand for thematic investments

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/14/2021 ewu@insider.com (Ethan Wu)
a man wearing a suit and tie: Jacob Internet Fund © Jacob Internet Fund Jacob Internet Fund
  • An actively managed ETF from Ryan Jacob's asset management firm is looking to capitalize on the thematic investing boom.
  • The Jacob Forward ETF will invest in "innovative, forward-thinking" tech companies.
  • Jacob cut his teeth investing in tech as the dot-com bubble inflated, launching the Jacob Internet Fund in December 1999.
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An actively managed ETF launched Wednesday by Ryan Jacob's asset management firm is looking to capitalize on the thematic investing boom.

The Jacob Forward ETF will invest in "innovative, forward-thinking" tech companies, on the theory technological advantages can drive "superior, lasting growth," according to the announcement.

Jacob cut his teeth investing in tech companies as the dot-com bubble inflated, launching the Jacob Internet Fund in December 1999, just months before the market crashed. After gaining 24% by March 2000, the bottom fell out for the fund, sending it tumbling 87% by the start of 2001.


Video: Engine No. 1 CEO on its new activist ETF debut (CNBC)

But Jacob hung on, and his fund steadily recovered. Following a precipitous run-up during the pandemic, the internet fund is back at pre-dot-com bust levels, gaining 528% since 2001. The fund has gained 20.3% year-to-date.

The new ETF follows on a huge surge of interest in thematic funds, driven by ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood. Wood's outsized returns on her innovation ETFs and a cult following have catapulted her to fame.

The Jacob Forward ETF will charge a 0.75% management fee, in line with ARK's flagship ETF but a touch above the sector average of 0.69%.

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