Activist investors have garnered increasing attention, as they try to bend health-care company management to focus on maximizing shareholder value.These proxy fights are important for investors, especially in biotech, where buyouts are the preferred outcome to many holdings. 

The success of Carl Icahn's years-long campaign agitating Forest Labs resulted in a successful takeover by generic drugmaker Actavis. Icahn deservedly crowed about a deal that caused a one-day 28% pop, and ended his time as a shareholder with roughly $1.7 billion in net gains. Investors who jumped in following Icahn's initial investment would have seen three-bagger returns. 

In this segment from Market Checkup, The Motley Fool's health-care focused investing show, analyst David Williamson dives into the activist investor trend, highlights recent successes and ongoing fights, and explains why investors need to watch this action carefully.

It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report, "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

David Williamson has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Compare Brokers