Defending Jim Cramer

Oh boy! If the title of this blog post alone bothers you, then do me a favor and don’t continue reading. If you’re cool and open-minded, then please read on :)

I don’t know Jim Cramer. I’ve never met him, never spoken to him, but I have tremendous respect for the man. I was recently on a plane reading his book Confessions of a Street Addict (which is a great book by the way) and the man next to me asked: “Isn’t that the guy who recommended buying financial stocks before the crash years ago?” I was DYING to respond. Instead, I politely smiled and kept my mouth shut because: 1)That statement is flat out wrong 2) I don’t like to argue with ignorance and 3) The guy looked like he wouldn’t know the difference between common stock and livestock.

While writing this blog post, so many thoughts went through my head, but I will try to sum them up in 5 points:

1) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. To blame Jim Cramer for bad stock picks is ridiculous. If you blindly buy a stock without doing your due diligence, just give up on investing right now. The purpose of any financial TV show, blog, newsletter, or trading service is one thing: idea generation. Investment professionals give ideas and it is up to you to decide if they fit your investment strategy. If you don’t have an investment strategy, GET ONE!

Now, let’s say you’ve done your homework and you like a stock that Jim recommends. If the stock goes up, he constantly reminds people to “ring the register” and take profits. If the stock goes down, you should have a loss cutting policy. If you don’t have a loss cutting policy, GET ONE! If you are too scared to take a loss, or even worse, you never sell a stock at a loss, then you should NOT be investing on your own…PERIOD! The last thing you should do is blame someone else for your inability to make a decision and protect your portfolio.

2) HE’S FORCED TO HAVE AN OPINION EVERY DAY. Jim Cramer is paid to discuss stocks every day AND to be entertaining too. Do you realize how difficult that is? Could YOU do it? I know I couldn’t. If I was FORCED to recommend stocks, I could only come up with 4 or 5 strong ideas…OVER AN ENTIRE YEAR! If I had to recommend a stock EVERY day, I would be wrong way more than half the time. In fact, the best in the business are only right 50% of the time.

3) THE HATERS. I realize there are people who REALLY dislike Jim Cramer. If you are one of those people, ask yourself: Does Jim Cramer REALLY affect your life? Do you REALLY care that much? Is your life THAT miserable that you feel the need to put down others to make yourself feel good? Whenever I write a controversial blog post, it’s amazing how many anonymous people post nasty things or respond on Twitter with anger…and I’m an unknown! I can only imagine the hate that Cramer gets, especially considering that he’s one of the most recognizable names in the financial world. The sad thing is that most of these people are cowards who would NEVER say these things to his face. I call them “Twitter Tough Guys,” and I assume they live in their parents’ basement.

4) CONSISTENT RETURNS AND WORK ETHIC. I respect Jim Cramer for his strong returns as a money manager. What makes someone the best in anything they do is one simple word: consistency. The best athletes perform at a consistently high level, and the best money managers produce consistently strong returns. Cramer achieved a +24% average annual return over 14 years while managing his hedge fund.

Even if you don’t believe his returns, you still have to respect the man for his work ethic. I have spoken to many people who know Jim and they all say the same thing: The man is a workaholic. You can see it in his daily routine. He posts on Twitter at 5AM, sometimes appears on the Today Show at 7AM, CNBC at 9AM, again at 2PM, and of course his show at 6PM. What’s amazing is that he does the EXACT SAME show again at 11PM! (That’s a joke by the way, as I realize it’s a rerun). What’s more impressive is that he doesn’t need the money. Would you work that hard if you had his money? I know I wouldn’t.

5) PHENOMENAL WRITER. Before his TV popularity, Jim gained much credibility because of his writing (books, TheStreet.com, etc.). To be perfectly honest, many Wall Street professionals I speak to don’t care for his show, but they have a great deal of respect for him as a writer.

My goal of this blog post is not to force you to like Jim Cramer. It is to encourage you to be a human being. I actually disagree with many things he says, and there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing…as long as you do it with maturity and decency. I enjoy when people bring up strong points and make me consider a different point of view. However, when people argue with such anger and take personal shots…well, it just makes them look foolish and immature.

Like ALL of us, Cramer is wrong a majority of the time. If you don’t like his show, then don’t watch it. No one has a gun to your head. If you feel the need to continue to bash him, go ahead. Just ask yourself before you do it: Why do you really care? If you want to leave negative comments about this blog post and it’s really that important to you, go ahead. However, if you agree with any of these points, no need to say anything, a simple retweet of this post would show support and would be greatly appreciated. Again, I don’t know the man, but my feeling is that he’s genuinely trying to help and educate people, and for that, he should applauded…not criticized.

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The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.

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