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Re: "You sort of contradict yourself, you seem to know what all the pharmas are doing, but say that we cannot know what is happening outside the company we work for."

Did you consider that maybe I work for a company that has reason to know? Of course, although I won't comment on my current or former employers and our partners (or competitors in any great detail), I am trying to make people think about their underlying assumptions.

You can take it or leave it, but over the last several years I've worked for two of the major genomics companies that are commonly discussed on TMF. What I've learned is that company PR, logical deductions and analysts opinions are worthless it you don't have at a minimum substantial specialized knowledge. And for some reason, there is virtually none of that on TMF (postdocs are great fun to argue with but they don't really know what they are talking about--academia is not biotech, and the only way you learn about drug development is by doing it). Unfortunately, most of my peers seem uninterested in interacting with the great unwashed masses (so maybe it's my little mission in life to spread what tiny bit of wisdom I can), or when they do, they come across as pretentious buffoons (I may be pretentious, or a buffoon, but I hope never a pretentious buffoon). Even for those few around here with MDs or PhDs or some experience in this general area, it is often laughable when I read some of the interpretations of the latest news on the boards regarding my own company. What is frightening is not that people can be clueless, but that they don't realize it. I can only assume this is equally true regarding other biotechs I haven't worked for. Take for instance the interesting, but ultimately uninformed discussion going on about the end of HGSI's database agreement and the number of targets their partners have found. [Remarkable that INCY hasn't been mentioned even once in this discussion! Where do they think their new database customers are going to come from?]

I strongly suspect the same situation exists for all of high-tech, and probably for all other industries as well (Krispy Kreme donuts?). I therefore acknowledge my cluelessness and invest accordingly.

As much as I love TMF, Tom and Dave et al.'s belief in their own down-home wisdom is depressing. They have a great message about index funds and taking control of your financial destiny, but then (because it sounds to much like Bogle?) they dilute it with this foolish "Foolish investors can outperform the Wise". I'm all for taking control, as long as you are not prone to self delusion.

I happen to own TYC, but I don't for a moment believe I understand it, despite having followed it from late 1998. Is their accounting dishonest? Can their acquisition rate continue at the same pace? What the hell are "connectors"? Got me. It is a speculation, pure and simple. The same with NERX and QCOM, the only other stocks I currently own, and GNTA which I'm thinking about (of course outside of my employer, who forces shares on me at a priced-to-perfection valuation that I'd never pay on the open market).


RE: "Taken to an extreme, your warning could be a vote against owning any individual stock or sector fund (including pharmas),"

is an accurate assessment of my opinion, strongly confirmed by most historical studies of stock ownership. If you doubt me, just post something to the contrary on a board that Datasnooper frequents!

I enjoy arguing with you, Richard, but you will obviously make up your own mind about what to invest in. However, if I seem like an reasonably intelligent, knowledgeable person to you, I hope you take it to heart that I consider myself, modicum of insider knowledge and all (and I still have a lot to learn), as clueless as everyone else on this board regarding INCY and the other stocks you mentioned. If you think twice before leaping, then I think I've accomplished something valuable.

Oh, and IMHO, perspective doesn't come from age, it comes from experience. They are not the same thing.

It's been real, but it's time to get back to work or my shares will never be worth anything.

Good luck,
(who, incidentally, is NOT a biotech bear, otherwise she would have found a different industry to work in!)
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