Money

The Red-Hot Sector Beating the S&P 500 by Three to One

Biotechnology is a high-octane sector where fortunes are made and lost quickly.

That’s because investing in biotech stocks is a lot like investing in small-cap mining stocks or Silicon Valley start-ups. You have to kiss a lot of investment frogs before you find your “Prince” Google or Facebook.

Biotechnology has had four massive, triple-digit percentage gain bull markets since the 1980s. The two biggest ones were, first, in the early 1990s, when biotech stocks soared almost 10-fold. The second came later during the dot-com boom, when the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index rose 457% from the end of August 1998 to the end of February 2000. But having been burned by dozens of investments that “went south,” investors never regained the enthusiasm for biotech they once had in the 1990s.

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