Gene-Editing Stocks: A Costly Lesson in Emotional Trading
If you’re an emotional trader, take your money out of the market.
You’ll never make any money if your first reaction to fear is to sell stocks.
Look at gene-editing stocks, for example.
By far, this was one of the most innovative, exciting technologies we’ve seen.
It involves the insertion, deletion, or replacement of DNA in a cell or organism. While there are several ways of editing genes, the most exciting technique right now is clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, or CRISPR, an approach that uses an enzyme found in bacteria to alter DNA.
Investors were jumping into stocks like Editas Medicine (EDIT), Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA) and CRSPR Technologies (CRSP).
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All of a sudden, many of these stocks began to fall out of the sky.
News was that the human immune system has a built in defense against the Cas9 enzyme used in CRISPR technology. The technology was deemed far too risky to explore in human trials. Of course, the news sparked fear in investors.
But while bad news was partially true, there were still ways around the problem.
For example, the Cas9 could be modified so a human body would not immediately attack the enzymes. Once that was realized, once the fear dissipated, opportunity was found. Extreme fear gave way to wild greed.
In short, investors panicked. They sold with emotion.
They got caught up in herd mentality without ever doing their due diligence. As a result, some missed the NTLA rally from a low of $20 to $36; the EDIT rally from $30 to $44; and the CRSP rally from $23 to more than $62 a share.
What makes the gene-editing story even more powerful is news that two companies were reading human trials for 2018. Researchers found that a gene-editing technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 could be used to edit living human cells, raising the possibility that human DNA could be significantly altered. In fact, in early 2018, CRISPR Therapeutics applied for permission from European regulators to test its treatment in patients suffering from beta-thalassaemia, an inherited blood disease where the body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells.
That news alone dispelled the idea that gene editing was too risky.
Again, it proves that before you sell anything, be sure to remove your emotion and the desire to sell because every one else is panicking. You stand to lose a good deal of money that way.
Just think – how would you feel if you sold these stocks out of panic only to watch them explode? You’d feel a bit sick, wouldn’t you?
This logic applies to all assets – stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, indexes and even crypto.
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