When we spoke on Tuesday, I made a bold prediction: the Covid-19 outbreak, while serious, will not be as bad as the worst-case predictions would have it.
For one, much of the country is already on lock-down, cutting off the spread of the disease. That is buying us some valuable time as researchers race to find a cure or at least a good treatment option.
And I’m happy to report there have been some exciting developments in the search for treatments and vaccines against Covid-19
Last week, I noted that most vaccine research remains rooted in 1950s technology.
Despite mapping the entire human genome back in April 2004, drug firms and scientists still rely on slowly growing viruses inside chicken eggs to create a vaccine.
This takes a lot of time – and a lot of eggs.
But the Covid-19 pandemic has them racing to find a treatment using novel and fascinating science.
My wife and I recently helped our daughter Jordan find a reliable used car.
And since Jordan only recently got her grad degree, I have to say she was pretty price sensitive.
She had roughly $9,000 to put down and wanted to limit her payments to about $100 a month, so there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room on cost. She bought, a 2009, one-owner, fully loaded Honda CRV with only 45,000 miles on it.
I’m bringing this up to you because I think our recent experience illustrates a very important point for tech investors.
When it comes to putting your money in stocks that can crush the market, don’t let high “sticker prices” warn you off of great opportunities to build lasting wealth.
Instead, you have to focus on the long-term upside. You know, it’s the old saw by Warren Buffett that price is what you pay but “value is what you get.”
And that really comes into play with a firm that is pioneering the field of robotic surgery.
At first glance, $600 a share seems steep. But this is a stock that could hit $1,800 a shares in as little as seven years.
There’s no doubt about it. We are living in a time of astounding financial opportunities.
Last year, was a great one year for the average retail investor, continuing the epic bull market that began in March 2009. As we move into 2020, it looks like it has the potential to keep right on going.
The terrific economy that we’ve had has helped propel stocks to record highs. Unemployment remains at 50-year lows as real income adjusted for inflation is moving up for millions of Americans.
In a case like this, you’d think all you have to do from here on out is just coast on autopilot. After all, the bellwether S&P 500 was up roughly 28.9% for the year as of the close on December 31.
But, as impressive as that sounds, you could do much better in 2020.
That’s because the S&P 500’s numbers for the year are nothing compared to the gains members of my monthly tech investing newsletter, the Nova-X Report, scored in 2019.
Indeed, our three best performers for the year more than doubled the S&P.
Imagine if all it took to treat a case of cancer was taking out the trash.
Now I want you to imagine that your body could do it all for you.
Hold that thought. Because a tech platform with that very task in mind is set to hit the market sooner than you think and will target a field set to be worth more than $160 billion.
Here’s the thing. Several life sciences firms are hard at work perfecting a new class of drugs known as “degraders.”
Let me explain. The root of many diseases lies in misguided proteins that bind together. So, the idea here is to come up with a new class of drugs that activate the body’s own molecular trash disposal systems.
This is one of the most exciting breakthroughs I’ve come across in many years. I believe it puts us close to the day when one pill can cure dozens, if not all, diseases.
You could forgive drug and biotech executives for having a bad case of target fixation.
After all, they do work in a field that is filled with time-consuming and expensive headaches.
Consider that the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world’s largest biotech trade organization, looked at 7,400 drug programs by 1,103 companies. They were investigating drug-approval rates.
The news was not good -just 9.6% of drugs scientists discover ever get approved for sale. That’s a one-in-ten shot.
With such daunting data, it’s no wonder that, even in a field already worth $1.2 trillion in global sales, industry leaders are on the lookout for ways to lower the cost of discovery and shorten time to market.
And with that goal in mind, I’ve uncovered a high-octane, large-cap firm that has become an essential ingredient in the drug sector’s success.
It’s a cloud-based leader in pharmaceutical efficiency that has a history of crushing the market by no small measure. It’s been doubling its earnings, on average, every 18 months…
For one, I’m a bit taller than the average guy. My hair went silver earlier than I expected. And I’m fortunate that it’s easier for me to keep trim than a lot of people I know.
On the downside, I’ve got various allergies and genetic maladies that most folks don’t.
My environment isn’t average either. Here in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, I spend my days in some of the most polluted cities in the United States. Of course, in other ways, this region rates much higher than most of America.
Then there are my habits. For example, I eat well, but don’t get to the gym enough.
I bet you’re the same way – but different.
No one is average.
And that’s why it often seems like maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and regular checkups just aren’t enough to keep us healthy. If it were, no one would gain too much weight, go bald at 30, or get cancer.
By our very nature, each of us is so unique that this one-size-fits-all approach just isn’t enough.
That’s what opened the door for an emerging field known as precision medicine. The idea here is to set up disease prevention and treatment measures for each and every individual, accounting for your genes, environment, and lifestyle… for my genes, environment, and lifestyle.
Think of it as a partnership – a “convergence” – among traditional medicine, molecular biology, data analysis, and cloud computing.
Doctors and other medical diagnosticians collect our info, and then feed it to the cloud. There software and data scientists can crunch through all that data – and then use what they turn up to prescribe precise disease treatments and preventative measures for each individual.
Mordor Intelligence has run the numbers – and says precision medicine will be worth $59.2 billion by 2021
Thanks to legal recreational use of marijuana about to launch in California and nationwide up in Canada, sometimes it’s easy to forget where we got started here.
Legal marijuana first came to my attention because of the “War on Pain.”
Let me explain…
In a study a year or so ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that about 11% of Americans suffered from debilitating pain. Other sources say the number of this country’s pain sufferers may run as high as 50 million.
But I don’t need statistics to know that millions of Americans suffer from serious pain problems.
I do so myself – and so do many of my friends and family members.
And that has turned the market for pain medication into a huge business. According to market researcher VisionGain, the worldwide business for pain drugs is worth about $68 billion right now.
Other studies say it’s even bigger.
Equally huge is the nation’s opioid crisis.
President Donald Trump has declared the opioid crisis a “public health emergency,” and a White House commission has released its final report on the epidemic, calling for more drug courts, greater training for doctors, and penalties for insurers who do not cover addiction treatment.
The number of opioid-related deaths rose 75%, from roughly 20,000 in 2010 to 35,000 in 2015. In other words, opioid-based drugs kill more than 100 Americans every day.
This surge in the number of pain sufferers – coupled with the snapback against the prescription of opioid drugs – has opened the door to a wholly new approach to pain treatment.
I’m talking about medical marijuana and all its derivatives.