An Industry That Can Beat Back Inflation

In his latest column for, Validea CEO John Reese says inflation can be a big hindrance to good investing returns, and highlights one industry — pharmaceuticals — that has the power to beat back inflation.

“If inflation were Wile E. Coyote then its Road Runner might well be the pharmaceutical industry,” Reese writes. “An AARP study found that of drugs used most by older Americans, prices rose nearly 26% from 2005 to 2009, which was close to twice the inflation rate.” He cites a New York Times article that notes that when a drug does not face any competition, “its maker can charge almost any price (and) once a company sets a price, government agencies, private insurers and patients have little choice but to pay it.”

“Nice,” Reese writes. “Wouldn’t we all like such pricing leverage? We can by investing in pharmaceutical companies and riding their pricing power.” He examines three stocks from the industry that get high scores from his Guru Strategies, each of which is based on the approach of a different investing great. Among them: Questcor, which gets high marks from his Martin Zweig-inspired strategy.