I studiously avoid watching Jim Cramer. It’s not that he’s a stupid man, he’s a very smart man. It’s not that he isn’t a successful man, he a very successful. It’s not that he makes bad calls. Well, it’s not solely that he makes bad calls.
It’s that he’s an insufferable jackass.
So last night he’s on his show, trying to convince his viewers not to panic and to stay with stocks, and he rips Kelly Evans over her Ahead of the Tape column yesterday about auto-parts stores. Now, whether or not Kelly’s right or wrong can’t be decided in one day. Whether or not anybody who writes a column or hosts a show for a living can ever be 100% right isn’t the point either.
It’s not the shot at Kelly that got me. It was the shot at his viewers’ intelligence.
So, here’s Cramer, a guy who as you’ll see momentarily has been massively wrong in the past. Not just wrong, but spectacularly, historically wrong, and he’s on cable TV last night telling people to keep buying stocks:
Despite all the worry, staying in stocks has been the right move every step of the way, and not panicking out on the big down days. No one ever made a dime panicking.
Now, he’s right about the panicking bit. He’s also right about the staying in stocks bit…if the world started turning on its axis two years ago. But it didn’t. Stocks have been a bad, bad bet over the past 12 years, and they are very likely to be a bad bet for the next four or five years.
Look, somewhere, there is some genius who got out in October 2007 and got back in in March 2009 and made a killing. But most people “in the market” are just getting jerked around, and Cramer’s one of the hacks pulling the chain.