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The Biotech Trader Handbook (2nd Edition): A Fast, Simplified & Efficient Guide to Potentially Generate Outsized Returns in Biotech Using Options (for the non-scientist) Paperback – February 24, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

T. Ayers Pelz was a trader on a major European bank's proprietary trading desk. He was responsible for a portfolio with limits of more than $200 million. Prior to proprietary trading, Mr. Pelz worked with several major investment banks in roles ranging from corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions to credit and business development. He has substantial international work experience in Asia, U.S., Europe and Latin America and was based in New York City, Bogotá (Colombia), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Mr. Pelz currently resides in Denver, Colorado where he trades for his own account. He is married and has a young son.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (February 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450598536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450598538
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book seems to be missing some chapters?!?! For example, how exactly to 'handicap' a phase III trial? It goes into no detail on the though process to establish a bullish, bearish, or neutral bias. Although it does clearly explain the ancillary information that might be required in analyzing a biotech company (cash burn, potential value, insider activity, and potential dates) it has no chapter or discussion on how to even begin to determine if a specific drug will pass/fail Phase III trial. Now granted that may be impossible to do in reality with a high degree of probability, but there is not a single case study of a trade to go through the entire process. Also missing is any discussion of how to obtain analysts estimates as a retail trader since most is only available to institutional clients.

That being said the book does do a decent enough job explaining what it does have chapters on including analyzing the cash positions of a firm and creating trading strategies around a specific bias. Unfortunately it never goes into how to exactly establish the bias via explanation or case studies.

Finally the author alludes to many possible potential short term trading opportunities such as a tendency for stocks and volatility around or after a specific announcement, but never elaborates on any. A chapter on this alone would've been worth 10x the price.

Mr Pelz has done a pretty good job with this one but it's only HALF COMPLETE. If the author reads this, please contact me!
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By ntc on January 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is not a very helpful book. It seems to be the standard format book written by someone with a website/advisory service. There is a some generic information describing the various steps in drug development as well as the different types of options. Also descriptions of several options strategies. The author does not really make any effort at synthesizing the information into useful conclusions. No real sense of why, when and how to use the different strategies in a biotech setting. This is disappointing, as option approaches can be very useful in this area.

I was also disappointed by the lack of real world examples. The book ends with 2 examples (really - only 2) which are poorly described. Compounding the poor description however, is the fact that they are just fictional constructs. Given how much experience the author apparently has, one would have thought it would be possible to come up with many examples of actual situations that could illustrate his approaches.

I think that someone interested in learning about these methods might be better served by something like The Bible of Options Strategies together with some research on how drug development works (plenty of free resources for this). Then spend some time paper trading strategies to get an understanding for them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not very thick, but the author packs into it an extreme amount of valuable data on how to select, time, and invest in biotech stocks. The author shows you specific methods for researching and selecting your biotech investments, without having to have any type of indepth knowledge in the biotech world. He even gives you advice on organizing your research data. The author then goes on in providing different detail methods in evaluating and implementing your investments. The author provides clear cut examples of how to make your biotech investments using options (both puts and calls) and how to hedge your investments to minimize risks while maximizing potential gains.

The author does assume you have an existing knowledge of options, and he tells you this early in the book. If you do not have an indepth knowledge and understand of options and the different option strategies (which I did not) I still highly recommend this book. Then do like I did and find a separate book that simply deals with learning to understand options.

If you are like me though and are thinking about focusing on biotech investing, or perhaps are already investing in biotechs, and want to learn how to improve your results while hedging against the risks... then I highly, highly recommend this book. I definitely feel it is the best investment I have ever made on the subject of investing in biotechs.

One last comment, to those reading my review: I have absolutely no connection with the author, the publisher, or any other associated party related to this book. I am simply an individual investor that was, and is, trying to continue to advance my knowledge and improve my own investing skills. I simply came across this book on Amazon, while looking to see what books were available on biotech investing.
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Format: Paperback
Kudos to the author of this book. This is the only recently-published book that I have found which targets trading opportunities in biotech. Provides a good overview of how to analyze biotech companies and gives thoughtful ideas on how to trade illiquid options. Also presents several interesting trading strategies. Good addition to any trading library.
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The author is a former bank/prop trader and his experience definitely shows. You're not going to find a bunch of theory and ivory tower ramblings here. Tony takes you from start to finish on how to find and analyze candidates then structure trades based on your outlook. My undergrad is in Intelligence Collection /Operations Planning so I particularly appreciate the way the author breaks down how to sort through the available "intel" from various sources and synthesize an actionable outlook. In this book you are taken from strategic to tactical and back again. This is the kind of book that's needed to be written for a long time. Pick it up and thank me later.
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