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Moods and Markets: A New Way to Invest in Good Times and in Bad by Peter Atwater

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5. Is Higher Education a Bubble?

Recently there has been a flurry of opinion pieces written about higher education that argue both pro and con that, like housing, higher education is also a bubble.

Although the arguments could fill a book all to itself, in this chapter I use the peak mood framework from Chapter 3, “Market Peaks and All the Red Flags They Wave,” to assess whether higher education qualifies as a bubble.

A Big Truth

Much like homeownership became a measurable standard of the achievement of the American Dream during the 1950s, so did earning a college diploma, especially with the introduction of the GI Bill after the end of the Second World War. Consequently, the cost of college became the necessary “investment in the future” that ...

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