It all started here, with the Washington Post blurb about the return of angel investors’ enthusiasm. The article is based on a recent study completed by Worthworm, which is a service that helps investors and entrepreneurs determine the value of start-ups.

The site (and perhaps the company) is in beta, but it’s definitely worthwhile signing up for their report. To do so go here.

The headline is that most angel investors plan to “maintain or increase the number of start-up investments they make next year.” The favored industries for these investors are healthcare, mobile and Internet.

Interestingly, according to the survey both retail and industrial sectors look to be attracting very little early stage money.

The reason early stage investors are focused on healthcare and tech is because these industries are where the most disruption in business is taking place today. With technology, the disruption happens behind the leading edge of innovation, where creativity and market forces vie for primacy in pushing things forward. Interestingly, the disruption in healthcare is not due to market forces. It is because of government action.

Like the Y2K boon for tech services firms, the presence of an independent event creates a windfall for some. I am of the opinion that PPACA will create a permanent change in the way healthcare providers relate to their customers. This change will be evolutionary: it will unfold over years rather than being a one-time process shift, and will reach deeply into the way healthcare is delivered – and paid for – in this country.

That’s why early stage investors are bullish: there is a large potential for financial windfall if one is in the right place at the right time.

A former business associate – who is also, it must be said, a federal white-collar felon – once told me that “there is money in confusion.” Nowhere is there more confusion today than in healthcare. Whether the money will follow has yet to be seen, but early stage investors suggest that healthcare is, in fact, a very safe bet.

Caveat emptor.

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