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Feuerstein's Biotech-Stock Mailbag: Elan

I received a few barbed emails from folks angry that I ended this Elan column Wednesday by stating that I "felt a whole lot better" after bapineuzumab's stumble.

"MM" emailed to say he thought the comment was "disgusting."

"I have no idea how you can feel a 'whole lot better' when an Alzheimer drug fails," he added. "Millions of people suffer from this devastating disease and you're happy because a drug failed and you were right and some shorts made some money? Absolutely disgusting. Writers for Wall Street rags have no soul."

My joy this week comes from being right about the stocks I cover in this column and others. That's what I do -- I write about stocks. When those stocks behave the way I predicted they would -- up or down -- I'm happy. When they don't, no one is more angry at myself than me.

If you invest in biotech stocks, your main concern should be the performance of those stocks. You should be making investment decisions based on whatever flavor of stock-picking floats your boat -- fundamentals, charts, momentum, value, growth, etc.

What you shouldn't be doing is getting emotionally involved in your stocks. Sure, that's tougher in biotech since many of these companies are seeking cures or treatments for horrible diseases. But once you become a cheerleader for a cure, you're no longer an objective investor. In other words, you're in trouble.

Alzheimer's is a horrific disease that affects millions of people and their families. I hope that one day someone develops a drug that can treat Alzheimer's effectively. But I don't write about Alzheimer's disease or cancer or AIDS. I write about the stocks of companies that seek to develop drugs for those diseases. Those are two very different things.

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