Photo: Bloomberg

In the weirdest year of our lives, the rise of Cathie Wood is hardly the weirdest thing to happen. But still. She is the first star in an industry, the US$6.3 trillion ($8.35 trillion) world of ETFs, that wasn’t supposed to have any. She is a throwback — a money manager who is actually famous among regular investors, like Peter Lynch or Warren Buffett. And not only is she the first woman to play that role, she has taken a throne in the pantheon of meme stock demigods, up there with the Elon Musks and shiba inus.

Wood moves stocks with her trades and her tweets. On social media and in online forums around the world, her name is synonymous with a certain brand of technophilia, an enthusiasm for the next big thing, whether that is robotics or gene editing or digital currencies. Some of her bolder predictions for Bitcoin and Tesla came true, to the shock of Wall Street analysts who found them ridiculous.

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