DEFINITION of 'Tulipmania'
Tulipmania was the first major financial bubble. Investors began to madly purchase tulips, pushing their prices to unprecedented highs; the average price of a single flower exceeded the annual income of a skilled worker. Tulips sold for over 4000 florins, the currency of the Netherlands at the time. As prices drastically collapsed over the course of a week, many tulip holders instantly went bankrupt.
BREAKING DOWN 'Tulipmania'
Tulipmania reflects the general cycle of a bubble: investors lose track of rational expectations, psychological biases lead to a massive upswing in the price of an asset or sector, a positive-feedback cycle continues to inflate prices, investors realize that they are merely holding a tulip that they sold their houses for, prices collapse due to a massive sell off and many go bankrupt.
A similar cycle was witnessed during the dotcom bubble.