Biotech M&A: Do We Need a New Driver?

Hepatitis C acquisitions like we've seen from Gilead, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merck can't last forever.

Jun 23, 2014 at 7:36PM

This week's tweet of the week on Biotech Banter comes from LifeSciGuy, who says:

Party like it's 2011. HCV still the dominant M&A driver for sector? Not sure if that's a good thing. Need torch passed to something else.

He's of course talking about Merck's (NYSE:MRK) recent acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDIX), which follows a couple of large acquisitions in 2011 by Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY).

While an acquisition frenzy is certainly a good thing for investors as it drives up valuations, hepatitis C is a bit of a unique situation because Gilead, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merck needed to add drugs to their pipelines to make more potent cocktails.

As senior biotech specialist Brian Orelli and health-care analyst David Williamson discuss in the following video, hot areas such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and cancer immunotherapy might be acquisition targets, but we may not see the frenzy we've witnessed with hepatitis C, where the acquired drug increases the value of the drugs already in the pipeline. Just because your competitor has a nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or cancer immunotherapy drug doesn't necessarily mean you need one of your own.

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Brian Orelli has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. David Williamson owns shares of Merck. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Gilead Sciences. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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