Surviving Biotech's Downturns

In the realm of biotech investing, some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you. Last year was a great one for the sector, with the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (INDEX: NBI) up 42%. Even more stellar results came to those invested in the small caps, with gains in excess of 100% quite common. As it turns out, 2003 was the best time to be a biotech investor since the mania surrounding the Human Genome Project in 1999 and 2000. Of course, these runs will have to come to an end sooner or later, and this year has us pining for the good old days. As Fool Zeke Ashton has said, investing in small biotechs can be a tough way to make money. This year has been generally miserable for biotech investors. The NBI is down 12% year to date, though that's not really devastating performance. What hurts is that the NBI is now down about 23% from the peak in April. While that has been an excruciating experience, that is life investing in a highly volatile sector such as biotech.

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