Harvard MBA Indicator

Definition of 'Harvard MBA Indicator'


A long-term stock market indicator that evaluates the percentage of Harvard Business School graduates that accept "market sensitive" jobs in fields such as investment banking, securities sales & trading, private equity, venture capital and leveraged buyouts. If more than 30% of a year's graduating class take jobs in these areas, the Harvard MBA Indicator creates a sell signal for stocks. Conversely, if less than 10% of graduates take jobs in this sector, it represents a long-term buy signal for stocks.

Investopedia explains 'Harvard MBA Indicator'


Started and maintained by consultant and HBS graduate Roy Soifer, the Harvard Indicator gave sell signals in 1987 and in 2000, which were both terrible years for the stock market. The esoteric indicator is meant to represent long-term signals based on the relative attractiveness of Wall Street jobs. The more grads that are enticed to go there, the more bloated Wall Street becomes and the more likely the market is nearing a top. When stock markets are doing poorly, fewer grads want to enter the sector.

This indicator runs on a similar theme to the old market adage that when everyone else is looking to get in, it's time to get out.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. 80-10-10 Mortgage

    A mortgage transaction in which a first and second mortgage are simultaneously originated. The first position lien has an 80% loan-to-value ratio, the second position lien has a 10% loan-to-value ratio and the borrower makes a 10% down payment. 80-10-10 mortgage transactions are piggy-back mortgage transactions, and are frequently used by borrowers to avoid paying private mortgage insurance.
  2. Passive ETF

    One of two types of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) available for investors. Passive ETFs are index funds that track a specific benchmark, such as a SPDR. Unlike actively managed ETFs, passive ETFs are not managed by a fund manager on a daily basis.
  3. Walras' Law

    An economics law that suggests that the existence of excess supply in one market must be matched by excess demand in another market so that it balances out. So when examining a specific market, if all other markets are in equilibrium, Walras' Law asserts that the examined market is also in equilibrium.
  4. Market Segmentation

    A marketing term referring to the aggregating of prospective buyers into groups (segments) that have common needs and will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation enables companies to target different categories of consumers who perceive the full value of certain products and services differently from one another.
  5. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  6. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
Trading Center