Buying high and selling low sounds good if you know what is high and low, or when it will happen. Unfortunately, many investors wait around for low prices that never come. This short-sightedness can cause them to miss out on potential life-changing gains in stocks that go on to shape the future.

A stock chart pointing up and to the right

Image source: Getty Images

Anchored to the past

With a global pandemic and BioNTech (BNTX 2.23%) partnering with Pfizer (PFE 0.11%) on a successful vaccine, it's actually surprising that the stock is only up 225% this year. Still, the stock trades at an all-time high and optimism for a vaccine -- the pair's vaccine was recently approved in the U.K. -- is palpable. Wary investors may be asking themselves if it wouldn't be better to sit back and try to buy shares at a lower price.

That makes sense. Our brains are conditioned to anchor on information we receive first. The thinking goes, if we buy it now we must be paying too much. Rather than deciding if the company's prospects warrant the current valuation, we compare the price now to the ones we've seen in the past. But let's consider that potential future.

Look to the future

The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine will soon start filling syringes and arms around the developed world. The company -- along with Moderna (MRNA 3.06%) -- has validated an entirely new approach to developing vaccines. Using messenger RNA, the vaccine essentially turns our cells into machines that spur our immune system to pre-emptively fight, and later recognize, parts of the virus. The success of this vaccine represents a revolution in medicine, and Wall Street is typically quick to recognize companies that are transforming an industry. Investors would be wise not to let share price get in the way of owning a piece of that future.