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The fine line between skepticism and disbelief

Janet Yellen
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
Janet Yellen

There is a fine line between healthy market skepticism and disbelief. Unfortunately, Jim Cramer is seeing such a large amount of incredulous attitude that he's ready to give investors a reality check.

"There is a huge difference between being skeptical, which is constructive, and simply refusing to accept facts that are staring you right in the face, which can be incredibly destructive to your portfolio," said the "Mad Money" host.

Especially when it comes to the insanely awesome numbers announced in the retail and restaurant sectors. Could they be too good to be true? Could Home Depot really post 8 percent sales growth or 11 percent from Domino's Pizza?

Yes. It really happened.

But what really concerns Cramer is that the general reaction he keeps hearing is one of disbelief. That the consumer can't really be doing so well and this has to be unsustainable. That any minute Janet Yellen is going to say something that will wipe it all away.

Cramer calls that mindset "close-minded incredulity."





Jim Cramer Mad Money
Source: CNBC

Granted, those are legitimate concerns. However, when put into context the fabulous numbers do make a lot of sense. Wal-Mart isn't up to par, so it's paying its employees better. Nordstrom is spending so much money to expand its technical presence that the stock is struggling.

So rather than live in fear that the gains will end as soon as the Fed pumps the breaks, Cramer said a healthy dose of skepticism is the right mindset in order to make the most money in this type of environment. Here are a few questions floating in his mind:

Why can't Macy's be as good as Dillard's? Macy's has been the stronger of the two stocks historically, yet it fell 3 percent on Tuesday.

And is this really the quarter where consumers returned to the mall? Are the retailers doing better because of cheaper gasoline prices? Then why is it that Visa said that the consumer isn't spending as much as we think on its conference call?

And if stocks like Six Flags and Disney are doing so well, why is there a reduction in foreign travelers?

Better yet, who is actually doing the spending? It certainly is not happening with Tiffany or Ralph Lauren. Could people be going to dollar stores instead? Does that mean that Bed Bath & Beyond is back, along with Best Buy?

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"That's what skepticism sounds like. I throw all of these questions out there because they're what people should be asking instead of saying 'I can't believe it'…That kind of amateurish analysis has become commonplace, and I'm sick of it," said Cramer.

In the end, skeptical thinking is what makes money. Not denial. That will only bring you and your portfolio down.

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