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Seller Inventory n. John Shon ; Ping Zhou. Publisher: FT Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. And while the political rhetoric has yet to take the shape of tangible drug-pricing reform, the impact on pharmaceutical stock prices at least in the short term is still very real.
Though the rewards for picking the best individual pharmaceutical stocks are attractive, they often come at a cost. It's not unusual for an early-stage company with a limited product portfolio to quickly lose the bulk of its value in an instant after a disappointment like a clinical trial failure. Given the risks and time required to vet hundreds of healthcare stocks, alternative investment vehicles -- such as exchange-traded funds and mutual funds -- can be an easy way to gain exposure to the industry, all while spreading your risk across dozens or hundreds of stocks representing the entire healthcare sector.
But it's important to note that the ease, convenience, and simplicity of fund investing comes at a price.
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Annual expense ratios, or management fees, can eat away at your returns. Exchange-traded funds ETFs allow you to invest in a variety of stocks with the convenience of buying and selling the fund on major exchanges, just as you would with individual stocks. Here's a chart that compares historical performance which, of course, is no guarantee of future returns and costs of several top biopharmaceutical ETFs:.
This means the fund is heavily weighted toward larger companies, which typically means less overall volatility. As the oldest and largest ETF, it broadly reflects the overall U. Mutual funds , on the other hand, are pooled investments that are managed by financial professionals.
The amount you invest in a mutual fund is spread out over the portfolio, meaning that you can wind up owning partial shares of a stock. This also means selling your investment, or redeeming those shares, is not as simple as with stocks or ETFs. Because mutual funds do not trade intraday like stocks and ETFs do, the price of the fund is calculated after the market closes each day, and it usually takes until the next business day to get the cash from your sale.
You'll want to consider funds' turnover ratios, or how often stocks are bought and sold, giving preference to funds with lower turnover ratios in order to minimize fees.
Here's a chart that compares the performance, costs, and turnover of several top biopharmaceutical mutual funds:. The Vanguard Healthcare Fund offers another easy and profitable way to gain exposure across the industry. Couple that with a rock-bottom expense ratio of 0. Those are good reasons to consider adding the Vanguard Healthcare Fund to your portfolio. Innovation, scientific breakthroughs, and technological advances are changing healthcare treatment paradigms as we know them. What was originally an industry thought of as simply "treating the sick" is now one of preventative, diagnostic, and holistic patient care.
For example, physicians are increasingly turning toward targeted treatments, such as Zelboraf, for patients whose skin cancer tests positive for a specific genetic mutation known as BRAF. Another revolution in healthcare is gene editing. Scientists pioneering gene editing don't simply want to treat a disease after diagnosis. Rather, they hope gene editing can target the underlying genetic cause of the disease, even before diagnosis. CRISPR , short for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats," is a gene-editing tool that could one day cure diseases such as blindness, sickle-cell disease, and even cancer.see url
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Advances in technology are also set to dramatically change the healthcare landscape. Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence AI could help scientists and physicians better analyze and understand prevention and treatment techniques, leading to better patient outcomes. Pharmaceutical companies are no strangers to share-price volatility. Clinical trial results, regulatory decisions, and political posturing can make it tough to figure out when to buy shares in these stocks.
And while long-term investors don't attempt to time the market, they do look for opportune moments to make investments. With innovative trends set to disrupt the healthcare industry for the long term, this may be the best time to add healthcare stocks to your portfolio.
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