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Jim Cramer’s Mad Money – Lightning Round Legit?

If you’ve seen Mad Money, you know he has a lightning round where he just takes a ton of phone calls where it’s basically a free for all where he gives his buy/hold/sell advice (with brief reasoning and alternatives if he hates the stock) on the ticker. How is he doing it? They screen the calls of course so his screen probably pops up with some summary information but is he getting some “extra” help on those screens? It can’t be possible that he comes up with advice on fly does it? Let’s think about it a little bit…

I think he’s legit and here are the reasons why:
1) Sometimes he blows people off with basically no info (“I can’t say anything bad about…”). So you figure he doesn’t know about Company XYZ, he’ll figure out some clever and witty phrase and blow you off.
2) A lot of the advice he does give on some obscure stock is sector advice. He’s hot on energy but not on coal. Bring some obscure coal company, as someone did tonight, and he’ll tell you that coal sucks and sell the stock.
3) Always advises profit-taking, “ringing the register” if you will, regardless of the company. A woman mentioned a stock that had gained like 24% and he told her to take the cash! Who cares what the company does… take the cash!
4) When he does know the company, he gives legit advice.
5) He does pause from time to time, maybe a fraction of a second, and “appears” to think. I don’t see him faking thinking… seriously… why would he?
6) He talks quickly and does try to get as many calls as possible. If he was BSing, he’d probably waffle a little, kill some time, etc.

Remember, like every other pundit and every other show about stocks, you have to do your homework. So far, Cramer looks legit and I enjoy watching his show. It’s entertainment after all right?

Anyone ever call in and get on the air? I think the probability is low you called and happen to read my blog but if you did, please please please leave a comment! :)

Update: The other day, Jim Cramer commented on a company before a caller mentioned the company name. (5/4/05)


 Investing 
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Jim Cramer’s Mad Money

I watched Jim Cramer’s Mad Money (on CNBC) tonight because I have heard the buzz (especially around his new book, Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World) and I’ve seen this guy’s ad on Yahoo! Finance more times than I can count. I have to say I might watch this guy more often because he gets to the point, gets to it quickly, and doesn’t waste my time. He also won’t let guests get away with spinning some crap and he’ll confront them, something I really appreciate.

One example of how bold he is when he talked to the CEO of Skyworks Solutions. He asked specifically for the CEO to address the rumors that Motorola had been canceling orders from them. It looked like the CEO was waffling a little, avoiding the question, telling Cramer the positives and all that crap… Cramer nodded and what not. Then, Cramer didn’t let him off the hook and asked him the question again. Then they discussed the balance sheet and Cramer thanked the CEO for appearing. He then gave a recommendation as follows: he’d take a little bit and keep an eye on it because when it did go up, it’d go like a spring. But, it wouldn’t do anything for three months. Not a glowing reco for someone who just appeared on his show, that’s good. It adds a little credibility at least in my mind.

I like the apparent honesty and how this guy doesn’t waffle. He says that he likes a company or he doesn’t, he says what he’d do… he doesn’t mess around. His straight up attitude is something I appreciate and I’ll be checking out this program more often. If nothing else, he’ll shed some light on some companies and industries I hadn’t even thought about… and that’s a good thing.

Updated: After watching the show more, and still enjoying it, I was getting skeptical of the lightning round … so I thought about it. Read the post titled Jim Cramer’s Mad Money – Lightning Round Legit? and let me know what YOU think.

And incidentally, to clear up any confusion… I am not Jim Cramer.

If you’re interested in some other of my Jim Cramer related articles, click here.

Other Jim Cramer Books:

Confessions of a Street Addict
Confessions of a Street Addict ($17.16, Hardcover)
You Got Screwed! Why Wall Street Tanked and How You Can Prosper
You Got Screwed! Why Wall Street Tanked and How You Can Prosper ($13.60)
Jim Cramers Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World
Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World ($17.16)

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