Jim Cramer Did Not Actually Say What He Said Yesterday… Or Something

Yesterday, Jim Cramer annoyed Ann Curry by saying the following words on her little television program, which is known as The Today Show: “Ok, whatever money you may need for the next five years, please, take it out of the stock market. Right now. This week. I do not believe that you should risk those assets in the stock market.”

He then went on to confirm that those people should sell even at a loss. Later that day, as the world reacted to his advice, Jim claimed that he was “subject to misinterpretation today,” but claimed that he could take the heat because he was “born in the kitchen.”

“Everyone says I said sell everything and you know because you watch the show, Alex, that that is quintessentially untrue, but I’m willing to take the heat because I was born in the kitchen.”

If you’re interested in which prognostications of doom Cramer is willing to take responsibility for, you can click here and get his 5 year plan.

Cramer revisited The Today Show today to field insults from their viewers — many of whom accused him of creating a panic.

“Do you think I’m causing a collapse?,” he asked Vieira. “I worked at Goldman Sachs. They almost went out of business. My insurance was with AIG. It did get nationalized. Lehman Brothers is a place I traded with for years. It’s disappeared, as has Bear Stearns. I’ve sold a lot of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bonds. They don’t exist anymore.

“I could sit back and say, ‘None of this really matters. Everything’s fine,’ ” Cramer added. “Or I can say, ‘Take some off, ride it out, put it in a savings account that’s insured for $250,000.’ To me, that’s [better] safe than sorry. Only in a jittery time would someone who says ‘be safe than sorry’ be pilloried.

“I like the stock market. I still recommend defensive stocks. I do one every night on my show. But I think I’m irresponsible if I tell you everything’s fine.”


Did ‘Mad Money’ host turn into Chicken Little?
[Today Show]

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  1. Allllll righty then!

  2. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    “Do you think I’m causing a collapse?,” he asked Vieira. “I worked at Goldman Sachs. They almost went out of business. My insurance was with AIG. It did get nationalized. Lehman Brothers is a place I traded with for years. It’s disappeared, as has Bear Stearns. I’ve sold a lot of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bonds. They don’t exist anymore.”

    In other words, wherever Cramer goes, you will know him by the trail of the dead.

    I fear for Maria B.

  3. silver-bolt says:

    If you read what he said, he did only say take whatever you need, not everything. Take out a little for short term fallback. Save some long term stocks. People just hear what they want to hear.

    • shorty63136 says:

      @silver-bolt: I agree. Everybody’s looking to throw blame everywhere because everybody (who has money tied up in this mess) is panicking.

      But at the same time, they have numerous people on there EVERY DAY who they ask the same question to: “What do you think people should do in light of the financial crisis?”

      You’re going to get a million different answers – and you already KNOW if you’re invite THIS guy on, he’s probably going to say something you don’t like.

      • mac-phisto says:

        @shorty63136: really? a million different answers? the only one i’ve heard is don’t sell. even when there’s rumors that your bank is closing, don’t sell. even when fannie/freddie are on the brink of collapse, don’t sell. whatever you do, DON’T SELL!!1!

        personally, i find this advice a little refreshing. for once, someone is telling the truth – you can’t just assume that the stock in your portfolio is just going to rebound – some of it will & some of it will not. now’s the time to take inventory, assess your risk & make an educated decision about which stocks you should keep, which ones you should sell (even at a loss) & which ones you should buy more of.

        maybe if he had said it that way, he wouldn’t be in the hot seat.

        • alexawesome says:

          @mac-phisto: Thank you. A little common sense. I think the bottom line is that there are no absolutes, especially not with the stock market – and, while Cramer conveniently offers just-vague-enough advice that’s primed for multiple (and conflicting) interpretations, I think that’s essentially what he’s saying – amateur investors who’ve been playing the stock market game and have money tied up in the market need to look hard at where their money is. Depending on INDIVIDUAL situations, like unemployment, medical expenses, etc., it seems like a reasonable timeline to think about. If, in the next five years, you’re LIKELY to need the money you CURRENTLY have tied up in stocks, and you will otherwise be unable to pay for necessities (like food, shelter, medical care), SELL NOW.

          Regardless, you should look at where your money is, evaluate what it’s doing and if it’s in good places. If not, redistribute your cash. Hell, if you have a lot of money floating around in the stock market, a very good investment is to buy property. BUY property – as in, if you have enough cash floating around, get some properties, even if they aren’t hugely expensive or in great neighborhoods. Over the next few years, fix them up, rent them out and hold on to them. It’s extremely unlikely that housing will go up to the inflated prices we had before, but property is property. Unless everything goes to hell, it is always a good investment, provided you OWN it (come on people – no more lousy mortgages).

          Sad to say, but as the economy continues to struggle, people will likely be renting homes. If you have the money and you’re worried about your investments, this is a very sound one to make.

  4. Geblah187 says:

    Go ahead and breathe some oxygen if you need to … don’t breathe too much though, you just want enough to stay alive for the next 5 years or so.

    Another guy deserving a good ‘ol fashioned punch in the face, someone call that nice fellow that punched Dick Fuld and tell him we’ve got another job for him to work on …

  5. Nofsdad says:

    Cramer ought to stick to being Eddie Lampert’s favorite bobble-head doll. The more he runs his mouth the higher the crap rises around him.

  6. jscott73 says:

    Not that I’m a big fan of Cramer but I agree with silver-bolt, he said to take out what you need in the next 5 years, that is all, so for me that is $0 and I will continue ignoring his advice…

  7. highmodulus says:

    I always take financial advice from people who bellow at the camera and use wacky sound effects. Or you could invest in a diversified portfolio of low cost index funds. Either way, you’re good.

  8. coan_net says:

    I understood what he said the other day – but can see how some would take it the wrong way.

    simply put: If you are going to need your money in the next 5 years, then the stock market is NOT the place where you want your money. (of course this is good advice for anytime – not just during these fun rollercoster times)

    If you don’t need your money for at least 5 years, then you should keep it in and ride it out.

  9. Bladefist says:

    if the world is reacting to what Jim Cramer is saying, then I would say, I found the worlds problem.

    Heres your sign.

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    From the MSNBC article cited above:

    As recently as July, Cramer said on his CNBC show “Mad Money” that the market had bottomed out.

    Cough.
    I quite literally have nothing more to say. (shocking, I know!)

  11. Jesse says:

    It’s possible that Jim decided to “clarify” his comments after a chat with higher ups at CNBC. I’m sure they were none too pleased that the host of a popular show on their channel recommended people not do what they tune into the show for in the first place. There is the risk that this could mean lower viewership, ratings and thus ad revenue.

    But of course I’m just speculating.

  12. Christovir says:

    Oh, you mean this Jim Cramer?

    Why is he on tv again?

  13. chenry says:

    I think you’d be better off getting financial advise from a magic eight ball.

  14. Now I know where these idiots who bought and sold all the bad paper were getting their advice.

    “Honey, a crazy guy is waving his arms and foaming at the mouth on the TV telling me to invest in X. What do you think?”

    “He’s on TV and he’s very entertaining. Buy it!”

  15. ELC says:

    Though i don’t like him, what he said was – “whatever money you may need for the next five years, please, take it out of the stock market.” That’s a far cry from ‘sell everything” you have in the stock market.

  16. Jim Cramer…. another person who should be punched in the face

  17. HarcourtArmstrong says:

    He said what he said, and he’s not taking it back (as this article implies). The question is, did his comments effect the market?

    Aside from that, his advice is sound. You need to liquidate your assets as time comes near to use them. Anybody who follows the old 100 minus your age rule for retirement wouldn’t have to do a thing.

    People are ridiculing his decision to say this on TV, because those same people may have lost money as a result of it. He honestly did this because he felt it was the right thing to do. Normally, it could be argued that he made money from this, but short selling is suspended at the moment so that is unlikely.

  18. leoeris says:

    Why would I listen to Cramer now when I didn’t before?

  19. Overheal says:

    He said take everything you need for the next 5 years, not Everything you have invested.

  20. dougp26364 says:

    Wow, he admits to selling or doing business with everythng that’s failed. Yep, he’s the guy I want telling me what to do with my money.

    And what’s this about taking out of the STOCK market what you’ll need for five years? Has this guys advice been to have EVERYTHING in the stock market all along without a safety cushion for the tough times?

    People with half a brain should have already had their safety cushion in a safe harbor long before the market began to crash. They shouldn’t have to sell at a loss because they all their assets at risk.

  21. smartmuffin says:

    I’m obviously parahprasing here, but Cramer’s overall philsophy has always semeed to be that long-term, the stock market is a great place to have your money and isn’t nearly as “risky” as most people think.

    What he said was that for any amount of assets where your window is five years or less, to take it all out. But that doesn’t mean to sell ALL of your investments, because presumably, most people have a lot of investments with a longer horizon than that.

  22. Oh, is HE the one behind this Anonymous poster then?

    ;)