I read an article this weekend in a science journal about a man who was having an electroencephalogram (EEG) – a test to detect electrical activity in the brain – when he had a fatal heart attack. It was a tragedy, no doubt.
But there was a silver lining – an unprecedented scientific observation that could feed future discoveries…
See, the doctors monitored the man’s brain waves before, during, and after his death.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “My life flashed before my eyes.”
Well, his doctors found evidence to suggest there might be truth to the phenomenon of our lives “flashing” before our eyes.
The brain activity picked up by the EEG machine right around the time of death resembled dreaming or recalling memories.
And the data will help give scientists a greater understanding of how our brains store and recall information and how thought processes work.
This article is just one example of the ways we’re gaining new insights into the human mind and body… which is feeding into many important areas of research.
As we understand ourselves better, of course, we’ll be able to treat new diseases… cure conditions… and live longer and healthier lives than ever before.
And this is quickly becoming an exciting field not only for researchers and scientists… but also for investors.
Companies on the Bleeding Edge
Incredible companies are already standing out at the forefront of the biotech space.
Neuralink, for example, has already successfully experimented with inserting microchips into the brains of animal subjects, which were then able to control computers with their minds.
Cofounder Elon Musk eventually aims to use this technology to help people with paralysis. Today we are only at the first toddler steps of developing these kinds of technologies… Imagine decades into the future where we will be and what solutions might unfold!
Another company working on the edge of science is Moderna (MRNA). It created a highly effective vaccine for COVID-19 using messenger RNA (mRNA).
These vaccines teach our immune systems to react to proteins introduced with mRNA. The firm has several other mRNA vaccines and therapeutics currently in trials as well.
Or look at Twist Bioscience (TWST). This company creates synthetic “control” versions of diseases like COVID-19 for safer research use.
Twist also developed a viral test that detects COVID-19, MERS, SARS, and other strains of coronavirus, influenza, pneumonia, and more.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), a firm I know well as an investor, just introduced a drug that helps 90% of cystic fibrosis patients breathe better and live better lives a couple of years ago. It’s now working on more treatments for six different diseases with clinical readouts expected this year.
Then there’s 10X Genomics (TXG), which makes hardware and software tools for single-cell analysis. This enables scientists to identify changes at the cellular level of various types of tissues and create targeted treatments.
There are so many more. Yet as investors, how do we know which of these companies – or the thousands of others out there – we should invest in?
How to Find the Best of Biotech
We can make a strong case for investing in companies working on cutting-edge developments.
Yes, some far-out things may never pan out… But others might. Some of these companies may become household names.
For early investors in breakthrough companies, the sky is the limit. Those who get in early and see where the long-term opportunity goes can reap big rewards.
In fact, the investments that succeed can far outweigh the ones that fail.
Even better, my own AI system can help me point readers to the best of the best. My technology can pinpoint companies in a particular sector with the best fundamentals (such as strong earnings and low debt), technicals, and institutional buying patterns.
This is especially important given the rough treatment the biotech sector as a whole has received over the past year. Outlier Investor, my research service, can help direct readers to stocks that have been unfairly punished and are primed to succeed in the coming year.
If you’d like to learn more about that, then I’d encourage you to go right here for all the details.
But if you’re not ready to make that leap, then an ETF can help provide some broader exposure to this trend…
One good option is the iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB), which holds a basket of stocks focused on biotech innovation.
Currently, it holds 375 stocks, including Moderna, Vertex, Twist Bioscience, 10X Genomics, and many more. IBB is the biggest biotech-focused ETF out there with more than $8 billion under management.
“Big Money” investors like institutions and pension funds have liked IBB in the past.
The green bars in the chart below show when IBB was bought in big volumes over the past year. Yet as you can see from the red sell indicators, IBB could be a bargain right now, as it has been sold off along with other growth assets during the recent market pullback:
What do buy and sell signals mean?
My proprietary system tracks inflows of “Big Money” buyers and sellers. These are hedge funds, Wall Street firms, and other institutional players. When my system spots unusual levels of Big Money buying or selling, it triggers a buy signal (green) or sell signal (red).
Sometimes, when we see Big Money piling in with lots of buy signals, we will try to jump on the trade and ride the wave up. As more and more institutional money flows into a stock (or ETF), it naturally pushes up the price in many cases.
Other times, we may buy when Big Money is selling – especially if this is merely a pullback from lots of buying that has been taking place. This can give us a chance to enter a position on favorable terms and profit as Big Money returns to its primary buying trend.
Investing in innovative biotech firms can bring big wins over time. And with an ETF like IBB, you can get exposure to lots of biotech innovations without too much concentration on any one company.
Given the potential of this sector though, it’s worth building at least a small stake in the future of health care technology. The future is full of possibilities – just think of where one man’s life flashing before his eyes could lead us.
To me, the application of innovative technology in the name of improving human health is a worthy long-term investment.
Editor, Outlier Investor
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