Biotech Bull Market: Up 25.39% Over 2 Years With High Volatility
XBI Outperforms Up 12% YTD; FBT is Comparable, IBB lags.
Three Funds did well in H1 2018 (7-9%).
Biotech stocks peaked in July 2015 and reached a bottom on 10/31/16 gradually clawing their way back to a level about midway between the highs and lows of the past three years.Biotech stocks have had an exceptional recent two months despite severe sell-offs in February and March.
Over the years we have provided performance data on leading biotech ETFs and life science mutual funds. Despite a choppy, volatile year in the market certain sectors have outperformed the S&P with the NASDAQ-100 (QQQ), semiconductors and biotech at the top. Small caps also did well with the Russell 2000 (IWM) up 7.42 % and the IJR up 8.66% in 2018.This trend has carried through from 2017 also a good year for biotech. As of 6/29/18 trading here is 2018 YTD performance for major ETFs that we follow:
- XBI up 12.16 % to $95.11. This is our top pick in a bull market.
- FBT up 12.39% to $140. Performance comparable to the XBI.
- IBB up 2.86% to $109.82. Weighted toward well known large caps.
- QQQ up 10.2% to $171.65. Large cap tech weighted.
Since May we developed a Mid-Cap watch list and you can review them here.
You can review the Raygent Biopharmaceuticals Portfolio in the top toolbar. The Top Picks recently were : Abbvie (ABBV), Amgen (AMGN), bluebird bio (BLUE), Foundation Medicine (FMI) and the SPDR S&P Biotech (XBI).
Life Science Mutual Funds: Focused in Biotech and Medtech
Here is the 2018 and 12 month performance* of some leading life science and biotechnology mutual funds:
*Performance data can vary slightly depending on source.
Summary: You can establish a core position in biotechnology/life sciences with one ETF and one mutual fund. Some of the funds above have more diversification into med-tech, healthcare services and large cap pharma.
- For a less volatile portfolio look at FBIOX and PRHSX.
- For trading and overweighting in small and mid-caps we pick the XBI.
- If you favor large cap biotech stocks the FBIOX outperforms the IBB. JFNAX is a good choice for global large caps.
- Healthcare has lagged in 2018 with the XLV barely up 1 % YTD.
- QQQ is a good pick if you want large cap tech with some biotech.