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Harvard MBAs can be bad for your wealth


Too much intelligence is bad for your financial health.

That is the message Ray Soifer gleans from his study of where Harvard MBA graduates seek their fortunes.

Soifer, who runs bank consultancy Soifer Consulting and who himself took a Harvard MBA back in 1967, says he has conducted his study - the Harvard MBA Indicator - for many years and has found it a "generally accurate long-term indicator of the US equity markets".

It's based on how many graduates follow market-sensitive careers, which Harvard Business School describes as those such as investment banking, investment management, sales and trading, venture capital, private equity or leveraged buyouts.

Quite simply, the more that go into such professions, the more the likelihood of a falling stock market. The two figures to watch for, according to Soifer, are 10% and 30%: "If 10% or less of the year's class take such jobs that's a long-term buy. Conversely, if 30% or more do so, that's a long-term sell signal."

This year's results are, if not promising, at least not as bleak as recent years'. The indicator has been on sell since 2000, when the figure hit 30%, 32% in 2001 and 36% last year.

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