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How To Buy ARK ETF in UK: Your Guide to Investing in Innovative Technology Funds

ARK ETFs have made a significant splash since the US firm launched these innovative funds in 2014.

In this guide, I’ll explain what ARK ETFs are, and how to buy ARK ETF in UK.

Also consider: Find ETFs brokers for UK Investors

How do I buy ARK ETFs UK?

  1. Find an alternative ETF in the UK – ARK ETFs are generally not available to retail investor accounts in the UK, so finding an alternative ETF that represents similar companies could be a way to circumvent this. Not all platforms will list the alternative you want, so shop around to see which broker or provider has the alternative ETF you’re interested in.
  2. Decide on your broker – make sure that the broker you make an account with lists the ETFs you want to invest in that could act as an alternative to ARK ETFs. Also, some platforms have fees and limits that you should be aware of before investing.
  3. Open an account – you will likely have to enter your personal details to confirm your identity. There are different types of accounts for different styles of investing, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
  4. Deposit funds – decide how much you want to invest. Make sure you can afford to lose the full amount you put into your account, as you may not get back as much as you invest.
  5. Place your trades – once you buy the number of fund units you want, or place your derivative trades, closely monitor the position and keep track of your investment’s value.

UK investors typically cannot access ARK ETFs directly

Before I explain what ARK ETFs are and how you can invest in them, it’s important to note this key piece of information: retail investor accounts in the UK will generally not be able to buy fund units of ARK ETFs.

Unfortunately for UK investors, the ARK ETFs are only available on US stock exchanges. So, it’s unlikely UK traders can buy ARK ETFs.

This is because ARK is yet to submit the necessary documentation required under European regulations. For example, this includes the key information documents (KIDs) that would permit them to trade in the UK.

Even so, there are alternatives available to investors in the UK that track similar companies to those contained in ARK ETFs. You also have the ability to trade derivatives, such as spread bets and CFDs, on ARK ETFs.

So, keep reading as I will explain what ARK Invest is, the different ETFs the company offers, and the alternatives you can access in the UK.

What is ARK Invest?

ARK Invest is an investment management firm based in the US that has recently gained attention for its exciting, risk-on investment options. It was founded in 2014 by Cathie Wood and has seen mixed success ever since.

Most notably, ARK Invest offers a set of ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that list companies in areas of business primarily known for driving disruptive innovations.

These are mostly technology companies spanning different business sectors such as robotics, space exploration, blockchain technologies, and many more.

Because many of the industries that are represented in ARK ETFs are still in their infancy, investing in them is rather speculative and could involve greater risk than other ETFs.

Despite this, some investors might be attracted to these types of investments as getting into young industries early enough could generate strong capital growth.

What different ARK ETFs are there?

ARK Invest lists six main ETFs that all focus on next-generation technology and the products and services that it can enable.

It’s useful to understand how each ETF offered by ARK differs from one another since they can be slightly nuanced.

Regardless of the companies listed within them, all of the ETFs listed below are available as actively managed funds. This means finance professionals will oversee and curate the selection of companies in the ETFs based on performance and other analyses.

However, this means that you may likely be charged a commission on your trades which some investors can find expensive. This is one reason why it could be a good idea to do some investment research before you begin trading.

Most, if not all, of the companies involved in ARK’s ETFs are considered to be innovative companies, or disruptive to current standards.

Despite their similarities, ARK’s ETFs all track different sectors and companies, so it’s helpful to know the ins and outs of each fund.

Other Ark ETFs are available, including:

  • ARK Israel Innovation Technology ETF (ticker code: IZRL)
  • ARK 3D Printing ETF (ticker code: PRNT).

In this article, I will only be discussing the six main ARK ETFs. Read a detailed explanation of each of these major ETFs below, as well as an alternative ETF you can invest in from the UK to achieve similar exposure.

ARK innovation ETF

ARK Innovation ETF

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Listed as “ARKK” on exchanges, the ARK Innovation ETF is essentially an innovative technology ETF. It’s designed to be an ETF that tracks companies involved with general disruptive innovation across different sectors of business.

ARK defines “disruptive innovation” as the “introduction of a technologically-enabled, new product or service that potentially changes the way the world works”.

It’s comprised of a selection of companies that feature throughout the other, more targeted ETFs that ARK offers. The ARK Innovation ETF is considered to be the most “general” fund on offer.

As of 15 September 2022, 34 companies are listed in the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK), which includes companies such as:

  • Roku
  • Zoom Video Communications
  • UiPath
  • Intellia Therapeutics
  • Tesla
  • Unity Technologies.

Alternative ETFs in the UK

Similar alternative ETFs to the ARK Innovation ETF that are available in the UK include:

  • iShares Automation and Robotics
  • L&G ROBO Global Robotics & Automation
  • Invesco KBW NASDA Fintech
  • FirstTrust Dow Jones International Internet
  • EMQQ Emerging Markets Internet and & E-Commerce
  • iShares Healthcare Innovation
  • HAN-GINS Index Healthcare Innovation
  • iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense
  • ETF Procure Space ETF
ARK Autonomous Tech and Robotics ETF

ARK Autonomous Technology and Robotics ETF

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The ARK Autonomous Technology and Robotics ETF tracks companies concerned with robotics and automation. Companies in this robotics ETF will produce or enable autonomous transportation, robotics and automation, 3D printing, energy storage, space exploration, and more.

ARKQ was comprised of 40 companies as of 15 September 2022. This includes:

  • Tesla
  • Blade
  • Teradyne
  • Alphabet
  • Caterpillar.

Alternative ETFs in the UK

Some alternatives to the ARKQ ETF could be:

  • iShares Automation and Robotics
  • L&G ROBO Global Robotics & Automation.
ARK Fintech Innovation ETF

ARK Fintech Innovation ETF

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The ARK Fintech Innovation ETF is listed as “ARKF”. This ARK ETF tracks companies that are involved with financial technology products and services.

ARK says that any company listed in the ARKF ETF must derive a “significant portion of its revenue or market value from the theme of Fintech innovation” or “[has] stated its primary business to be in products and services focused on the theme of fintech innovation”.

The definition of “fintech innovation” listed on ARK’s website reads as “the introduction of a technologically enabled new product or service that potentially changes the way the financial sector works”.

This includes businesses involved in transaction innovations, blockchain technology, risk transformation, frictionless funding platforms, customer-facing platforms, and new intermediaries. It can also feature investments in domestic and foreign equities of fintech.

31 companies are listed as part of the ARKF ETF as of 15 September 2022. Examples of these are:

  • Shopify
  • MercadoLibre
  • Zillow
  • Roku
  • Robinhood.

Alternative ETFs in the UK

An alternative ETF in the UK could be the Invesco KBW NASDA Fintech.

ARK Next Generation Internet ETF

ARK Next Generation Internet ETF

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The ARK Next Generation Internet ETF tracks companies producing products and services to be used in the new age of the internet.

Companies listed in the “ARKW” ETF are summarised as being focused on developing next-generation internet technology. These will include cloud computing firms, infrastructure and services, new payments, big data, social distribution and media, and internet-based product services, among others.

Areas like cyber security, e-commerce, 5G, data and artificial intelligence, mobile technology, social platforms and blockchain technology are also relevant to this ETF.

There are 34 companies in listen in ARKW as of 15 September 2022. These include companies such as:

Alternative ETFs in the UK

Some alternative ETFs in the UK could be:

  • FirstTrust Dow Jones International Internet
  • EMQQ Emerging Markets Internet and & E-Commerce
ARK Genomic Revolution ETF

ARK Genomic Revolution ETF

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The ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG) aims to track genetic and healthcare products and services.

Companies listed in the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF may be involved with developing, producing, or enabling targeted therapeutics, bioinformatics, molecular diagnostics, stem cell research, and agricultural biology. DNA technology is also an area of healthcare that ARKG represents in its listings.

As of 15 September 2022, there are 49 companies listed in the ARKG ETF which include:

  • Moderna
  • Regeneron
  • Ginkgo Bioworks
  • Exact Sciences Corp.

Alternative ETFs in the UK

Alternative ETFs that are available in the UK could be:

  • iShares Healthcare Innovation
  • HAN-GINS Index Healthcare Innovation
ARK Space Exploration ETF

ARK Space Exploration ETF

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Space exploration is another field of innovation that ARK offers an ETF for, in the form of the ARK Space Exploration ETF (ARKX).

To be listed in the ARKX, companies will have characteristics that are “leading, enabling or benefitting from technologically-enabled products and/or services that occur beyond the surface of Earth”, as ARK states.

To be more specific, these may include:

  • Orbital aerospace technologies – concerned with launching, making, servicing or platforming orbital infrastructure, such as satellites.
  • Enabling technologies companies – these may be concerned with AI, 3D printing, materials, and more that aid space exploration ventures.
  • Aerospace beneficiaries – industries that could benefit from space exploration, like agriculture, internet, and GPS.

As of 15 September 2022, there are 35 companies in the ARKX ETF which include:

  • John Deere
  • Amazon
  • Trimble Navigation
  • Airbus
  • Komatsu
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions.

Alternative ETFs in the UK

Space exploration ETFs available in the UK you could use as alternatives are:

  • iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense
  • ETF Procure Space ETF

Can I buy ARK ETF on eToro?

ARK ETFs are listed on US stock exchanges and can’t currently be traded in the UK since the company hasn’t submitted key information documents (KIDs) to ensure ARK products meet regulation standards here.

While you can’t own units of the fund directly on eToro, you are able to speculate and trade on its value through derivatives products.

One way you could do this is by trading contracts for difference (CFDs) on the value of ARK’s ETFs.

This involves speculating on an asset’s price without actually owning the asset. You’ll then receive the difference in price between the opening and closing of the contract.

You can typically use leverage to trade CFDs, allowing you to place larger trades with a smaller upfront investment. Any gains you generate will then be magnified accordingly.

However, this also means your losses will be magnified too. When using leverage, you should always be aware of the high risk that you incur. This could lead to you losing money rapidly.

Because of the greater risks, a CFD trading account may require retail investors to submit further proof of identity.

In fact, the majority of retail investor accounts lose money trading CFDs due to leverage. Make sure you fully understand these risks before you start trading CFDs on the value of ARK ETFs.

How much does ARK ETF cost?

ARK offers six major, next-generation ETFs that track different companies and each has its own respective price.

The most popular of ARK’s ETFs is the General Innovation ETF (ARKK). It acts as a representation of the other five ETFs combined and is a way to invest in technological innovation generally.

When markets opened on 15 September 2022, its price was $43.20.

The other costs of investment that are worth considering are the fees and expenses which you could incur when purchasing the fund units through a broker or investment firm.

ARK’s ETFs are “active ETFs”, which means your investments are presided over by a financial professional. To subsidise this, it calculates the annual expense ratio for investors as 0.75% of your portfolio.

It’s also worth noting that this figure does not include brokerage commissions and other expenses to intermediaries that may cause you further expenses.

Because of these fees and expenses, it could help to make an investment strategy before making any trades.

Although you typically won’t be able to trade ARK ETFs from the UK, this information is still useful to have so you can compare the alternative ETFs you could invest in instead.

Trading derivatives on ARK ETFs UK

As I mentioned earlier, ARK ETFs can be traded using derivative trading methods such as spread betting and CFDs.

These instruments are offered by a range of UK investment firms and brokers. It’s worth shopping around and finding a trading platform that suits your trading preferences, as the features or parameters of the trading methods may vary between brokers.

For example, some may offer leveraged trading while others may not. Additionally, fees could be charged at varying rates between different platforms, so it’s worth researching different brokers to find which best suits your circumstance.

Some platforms that provide derivatives trading for ARK ETFs include eToro and CMC Markets.

How To Buy Ark ETF in UK FAQs

Can you buy ARK ETFs in the UK?

No, you can’t currently buy ARK ETFs from the UK, but you can purchase alternative ETFs that are similar, or trade derivatives products like spread betting and CFDs to speculate on price movements of ARK ETFs.

These methods involve a significant amount of risk so you should be aware that you are likely to lose money when trading derivatives.

Are ARK ETFs risky?

ARK states that its ETFs are “medium-risk” and suggests holding the investment for at least a “full market cycle”, which it regards as five to seven years.

Please note:

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

This article is for information only. Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change.

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