By Bill Alpert
A vocal critic of stocks such as Tesla, and of celebrity bulls such as Cathie Wood, will close the exchange-traded fund he launched to put his skepticism into practice.
George Noble announced Wednesday that his Noble Absolute Return ETF (ticker: NOPE) will stop trading on Aug. 24, and liquidate its $19 million in assets—after cumulative losses of nearly 60% since the ETF’s launch last September.
The ETF’s trustees at the Tidal Financial Group said in a statement Wednesday that closing the fund “would be in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.” Neither Noble, nor Tidal Financial responded by queries from ’s.
Noble made a name for himself running Fidelity Investment’s mutual funds in the 1980s, then two international hedge funds—with performance that earned him a spot on the ’s Roundtable.
A Traditionalist with Skepticism
In recent years, Noble managed his own money. He also became active on social media, where he found an audience that shared his skepticism of a stock market that he saw as bubbly. Espousing a traditional preference for reasonably priced value and growth stocks, Noble heaped scorn on grandly valued names such as Tesla (TSLA), and its fans like the ARK Invest CEO Wood.
Noble’s new following on social media allowed him to launch his ETF in late September 2022. Tidal marketed the Noble-advised ETF as an active fund that gave individual investors access to a long-short strategy for fees of less than 2%—in contrast to the 20% fee charged by hedge funds. It was an ETF that said “NOPE to passive investing, NOPE to ignoring valuations, and NOPE to asset bubbles.”
He quickly put the money to work, going long oil and gas stocks, while shorting Tesla, Coinbase Global (COIN), DraftKings (DKNG), Roku (ROKU), and Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK).
It has come to a quick end. With the S&P 500 up more than 20% this year through July, the Noble ETF was down 69%. Not even a year old, the NOPE fund will end its run.