by ilene - March 28th, 2010 1:43 am
Whatever you may think about Cramer is secondary. Baruch’s main argument is that being a consistently successful non-professional investor requires enormous effort and is quite challenging. And the odds of finding good advice are far less then guessing the outcome of a coin toss. As an analogy, you need to learn to swim really well before jumping in with the sharks, and then, the even the best swimming skills only go so far. – Ilene
Courtesy of Ultimi Barbarorum
Baruch found himself commenting on Wall Street Cheat Sheet like ten days ago, on a post by Damien Hoffman, who seems to really dislike Jim Cramer. The post was about some investigation of TheStreet.com by the SEC, which Damien thought highly amusing, perhaps because he also runs a competing subscription-based financial edutainment site. Now, Baruch doesn’t pay attention to Jim Cramer on TV, but in fact quite likes him in print. He reads his posts on theStreet.com, and respects his track record as a hedge fund manager and pioneer econo-blogger. So Baruch felt a brief moment of annoyance about seeing someone he liked being unecessarily trashed, but soon his heart was filled with forgiveness and understanding again. We must not be too harsh; snark is Damien’s job, what he gets paid for. He is a financial blogger-journalist, and being cheeky about mainstream media figures is part of that David and Goliath thing blogging used to be all about.
Anyway, this post is only a bit about Jim Cramer and Damien Hoffman. The exchange got Baruch thinking about the differences between journalists/bloggers (or whatever you want to call them) and investors, and what it means to communicate about investments with the public. Baruch finds this terribly interesting, because of course as an amateur econo-blogger and a professional investor, he has a foot in both camps.
Some of Baruch’s best friends are, or have been, financial journalists and commentators, on blogs and print. Baruch in his time also attempted a bit of journalism, before he found his true calling (which isn’t blogging, by the way). Being a financial journalist is a good, interesting job, and very important to the proper functioning of a marketplace. Journalists can do things, find things out, and explain things the public and investors need to know in ways investment professionals can’t, at least without risking jail.
by ilene - March 22nd, 2010 11:57 pm
by ilene - July 16th, 2009 3:30 pm
Unless this time the greatest "contrarian long-term secular indicator of all time" no longer applies, this bear market is not finished. Although if you’re short, you’re ability to trade it may be. – Ilene
Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist
The end of investment fads tend to coincide with sharp changes in investor sentiment and long-term secular moves. No one has represented the excessively bullish & leveraged market of the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s more than Jim Cramer. He worked at the most highly leveraged hedge fund on Wall Street – Goldman Sachs. He took a dotcom firm public and promptly lost 95%+ for his shareholders at the peak of the market in 1999. He ran a super beta tech hedge fund in the leverage driven 80’s & 90’s (which I guarantee you underperformed the Nasdaq 100 on a risk adjusted basis), and he now runs the bullish of all TV bullish shows – “Mad Money”. The show basically begs small investors to be reckless with their hard earned cash. It borders on financial negligence in my opinion, but that’s for another discussion. No one has been a better icon of the excess of the 80’s and 90’s than Cramer himself.
Cramer is a powerful man. The mere mention of a stock can send shares soaring. (If investors are truly upset about the stock manipulation that Goldman Sachs and high frequency traders are accused of they should be extremely alarmed about Cramer’s show – no single person has manipulated more stock prices in the history of the stock market). When this phenomenon began several years ago I was dumbfounded. I asked myself: “who would buy these stocks in the after hours market at such a steep premium?” Late last year the trend had waned. The stocks Cramer recommended didn’t soar. Cramer’s power had declined. After all, he had called the bottom to the bear market on 3 separate occasions (all wrong), had recommended Bear Stearns just weeks before they went under, recommended Wachovia just days before they went under, top ticked the banks in a bet with Eric Bolling in what has to go down as one of the worst market calls of all time and even proclaimed in late September 2008 that “the bounce means the crash can’t happen”. His track record was…