Dictionary.com defines spite as “a malicious, usually petty, desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person; bitter ill will; malice.”
Nothing about that definition screams investing. In fact, just the opposite. There are now investment vehicles specifically designed to profit off the poor performance of high profile pundits.
Spencer Jakab at the Wall Street Journal writes about the launch of the Inverse Cramer Tracker ETF ($SJIM) on the heels of the success of the AXS Short Innovation Daily ETF ($SARK) which bets against the performance of Cathie Wood’s headline fund. Jakab writes:
Millions of investors still seem to believe that stock-picking talent does exist and can be identified, though. If so then there must be such a thing as anti-talent too. Mr. Tuttle thinks he has found it in Mr. Cramer and Ms. Wood.
Betting against the performance of Wood or Cramer feels like more than just a simple desire to profit off their ill-timed picks. It seems more like an unhealthy mix of emotion and investing, wishing poor performance on someone no matter how high profile. What are you going to do if and when Wood or Cramer hit a hot streak? Cut your losses or double down?
Barry Ritholtz has written about why it’s a bad idea to mix investing with either religion or politics. Both are the opposite of rational investing. Ritholtz writes:
Good investing is about future discounted cash flows, behavioral management, and having a long-term perspective. It’s not about partisan politics, religious beliefs, or any other emotionally-driven system separated from the intelligent allocation of capital.
I am all for keeping ETFs weird. So have at it, if you want. My guess is you would be better off turning CNBC when Cramer comes on or muting Cathie Wood mentions than spending your emotional capital hoping these high profile investors stub their toes.