Investors need to learn an important lesson, according to Signal Hill's Trace Urdan: Put your money in education stocks.
"People want to go back to school when times are tough," he told CNBC, citing remarks made by the mayor of Columbia, MO, a city in good financial shape — largely because it is home to the largest campus of the University of Missouri.
Urdan says there are important opportunities right now in for-profit education companies, and those opportunities seem likely to last.
"The fourth-quarter numbers are accelerating over where the third-quarter numbers were, and we expect this fundamental strength in the business to continue," he said. "One of the things that's fueling it is the fact that advertising rates continue to decline, so for companies in this sector...their advertising dollar is going a lot further."
Urdan has "buy" ratings on ITT Educational Services and Apollo Group, the parent company of University of Phoenix online.