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What's the Best Way to Invest in Coronavirus Vaccine Stocks?

By Keith Speights – Updated Oct 26, 2020 at 2:00PM

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Here are three potential strategies.

Some investors have already made a lot of money so far this year with coronavirus vaccine stocks. But what's the best way to invest in these stocks going forward? In this Fool Live video, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and longtime Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights discuss several investing strategies to potentially profit from coronavirus vaccine stocks.

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Corinne Cardina: I'm going to ask you about strategies for investing in the coronavirus vaccine. Then we'll try to get to a couple of questions that are rolling in.

But depending on someone's own preferences for risk versus reward balance, there are several different approaches an investor could take. They could buy a basket of all the stocks with candidates in phase three trials, or at least those that are trading on American exchanges. You could buy a basket with some of the phase three companies that one from each of the different vaccine technologies. You could buy only the stocks with existing products in the market, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.56%) and Pfizer (PFE -0.63%), AstraZeneca (AZN 0.46%). Or if you're feeling really bold, you could go all in on some of the clinical-stage biotechs that really will skyrocket if they're successful. Those biotechs are known for being pretty binary.

What do you think about strategies? What are the benefits or drawbacks of some of these strategies? What would you say?

Keith Speights: I would say to any investor, ask yourself, what is your tolerance for risk? I think that's going to dictate which strategy you pursue.

If you are an investor who is very aggressive and you don't mind taking on risk and you've got a long time horizon and you're well-diversified, I would say you might want to take a look at some of these clinical-stage stocks. Particularly you've got Moderna (MRNA -1.76%), BioNTech (BNTX -1.62%), and Novavax (NVAX -6.50%) that are all clinical-stage stocks that are leaders. They all have late-stage candidates, and so I think you might want to consider those.

But let's say you're not such a risk-taker. If you're not such a risk-taker then going with stocks like Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer or AstraZeneca would certainly be something you're going to be more comfortable with than going with one of the smaller clinical-stage biotechs.

Now, as for the basket approach, I think it could work. But there is a scenario where it wouldn't work so well. Here's this scenario where it would not work so well: Let's say you put money in the basket and you put an equal amount of money in these clinical-stage biotechs as you do the big pharma companies like Pfizer and J&J. Let's say none of them is successful, none of the vaccines are successful. Well, all of the stocks are going to fall, but the small biotech stocks are going to crash. Don't think just diversifying across a basket insulates you from risk. There's still a possibility that it's not going to pan out.

Corinne Cardina: There is no 100% strategy, absolutely.

Keith Speights: No.

Corinne Cardina has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool recommends Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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