Inside Vivek Ramaswamy and Strive Asset Management

Who is Vivek Ramaswamy and how are Strive ETFs performing?

kent
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Research Lead
Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Mark Nacinovich

Vivek Ramaswamy’s GOP debate performances and campaign momentum have contributed to Strive Asset Management’s crossing the $1 billion threshold in assets under management. But how are Strive ETFs performing and how might Ramaswamy’s popularity contribute to future success for the ETF issuer he co-founded?  

We provide a glimpse into Vivek Ramaswamy’s profile, as well as details on the top Strive ETFs. 

Who Is Vivek Ramaswamy?

Vivek Ramaswamy is an American entrepreneur and presidential candidate. He founded Roivant Sciences, a pharmaceutical company, in 2014, and co-founded Strive Asset Management in 2022. In February 2023, Ramaswamy declared his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for the presidential elections. 

Ramaswamy was born in Cincinnati in 1985, to Indian immigrant parents. He graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in biology and later earned a J.D. from Yale Law School. 

The entrepreneur is a controversial figure, and at the same time, a rising star in the Republican Party. He is seen as a potential challenger to former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination. 

Strive Asset Management’s Anti-Woke Investing

Vivek Ramaswamy launched Strive Asset Management in early 2022, together with his high school friend Anson Frericks. The firm raised about $20 million from outside investors, including PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Ohio Republican Senator J.D. Vance and billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. Ramaswamy has said that he founded Strive to provide investors with an alternative to the "woke" investment culture that he believes has become dominant in recent years. 

This “anti-woke” investing philosophy is Strive’s form of anti-ESG investing, which stands against certain environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that Strive believes can erode shareholder value. Thus, Strive invests in companies that it believes are taking a reasonable approach to ESG, rather than following a strict ESG mandate. 

Best-Performing Strive Asset Management ETFs

Supporting its anti-woke, anti-ESG philosophies, Strive has launched 11 ETFS, including the Strive US Energy ETF (DRLL) and the Strive FAANG 2.0 ETF (FTWO).  

With 11 ETFs traded on the U.S. markets, Strive ETFs have total assets under management of $1.01B. The average expense ratio is 0.30%.  

The 3 Best Strive ETFs by Performance 

TickerFund3-Mo ReturnAUMExpense Ratio
DRLLStrive US Energy ETF13.31%$363.76M0.41%
STXVStrive 1000 Value0.19%$18.73M0.18%
STRVStrive 500 ETF-0.69%$266.960.05%

Data as of September 26, 2023. 

Ramaswamy’s Presidential Campaign Spotlighting Strive 

Ramaswamy’s presidential run has provided a national spotlight for Strive, as the ETF provider surpassed $1 billion in assets after less than one year since its initial launching. While Ramaswamy is clearly the face of Strive, he stepped down from the CEO role to run his presidential campaign. The current CEO is Matt Cole, a former portfolio manager at CalPERS. 

Judging by fund flows on the largest fund in the roster, DRLL, the initial Ramaswamy effect may be wearing off. For example, according to the etf.com fund flows tool, the Strive US Energy ETF (DRLL) had net inflows of nearly $320 million in its first month following its Aug. 9, 2022, inception date. For an entire year following that first month, net inflows for DRLL were only $9 million. Total assets for DRLL were $363.76 million as of Sept. 26, 2023. 

What’s Up Next for Ramaswamy and Strive? 

The future of Ramaswamy’s Strive is uncertain, although the company plans to continue with growth plans. While the GOP candidate’s popularity and anti-ESG sentiment could continue to climb, the net inflows for Strive ETFs have tapered off in 2023 compared with flows following the initial excitement in 2022. Furthermore, future performance is dependent on market conditions, as well as the underlying assets and benchmarks the funds track. 

Kent Thune is Research Lead for etf.com, focusing on educational content, thought leadership, content management and search engine optimization. Before joining etf.com, he wrote for numerous investment websites, including Seeking Alpha and Kiplinger. 

 

Kent holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and is a practicing Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) with 25 years of experience managing investments, guiding clients through some of the worst economic and market environments in U.S. history. He has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching classes for The College of Charleston and Trident Technical College on the topics of retirement planning, business finance, and entrepreneurship. 

 

Kent founded a registered investment advisory firm in 2006 and is based in Hilton Head Island, SC, where he lives with his wife and two sons. Outside of work, Kent enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and working on his philosophy book, which he plans to publish in the coming year.