Global demand is lifting healthcare demand

In May and into early June, 2014, the Healthcare Sector portfolio has improved its performance and I continue to look for the strongest stocks in the sector to buy.

I reduced my cash position, which I had raised when biotech stocks tumbled earlier this year. I also started a new position in Anika (ANIK), a company that makes a wide variety of hyaluronic acid products for diverse uses from ophthalmic applications to orthopedic and dermatologic uses.

Anika has been a very volatile holding for me and hopefully this will move solidly into the profit column in the future giving me some additional leeway with this position.

I remain committed to cutting losses as they develop very early in the process and have parted with some positions prematurely when examined with 20/20 hindsight.

One of the stocks that I have brought back to Healthcare portfolio after selling is Biogen Idec (BIIB). Biogen is a leading pharmaceutical company with products that serve the market for more than 2 million patients worldwide fighting Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Other portfolio holdings including Novartis (NVS), Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), Pfizer (PFE) and Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) also offer such medications.

As I have written before, I believe that the growing consensus to bring uninsured people into the healthcare system is driving demand for medical products and services for the industry.

Coupled with an aging population worldwide, where middle classes in China, India and elsewhere seek better lives, the demand for medications, medical devices and pharmaceuticals and medical services will increase in my opinion.

Healthcare stocks will remain volatile, but I shall try to hold on to the companies that continue to grow their businesses and try to replace those that falter with other new names.

DISCLAIMER: The investments discussed are held in client accounts as of May 31, 2013. These investments may or may not be currently held in client accounts. The reader should not assume that any investments identified were or will be profitable or that any investment recommendations or investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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