Every once in a while, Jim Cramer likes to take a step back and takes a look at the big picture of how we create sustainable wealth. However, building that wealth can result in a lot of mistakes.
Cramer aims to help investors avoid these mistakes by providing wealth-building secrets that can be utilized today and making sure there's money available when you really need it down the road.
The reality is that owning stocks, which can be very profitable, is really just one step in the wealth-building process.
"There are some people, call them the 1 percent if you will, who can make enough money from their ordinary, day-to-day income to become truly rich. But for the vast majority of Americans, that paycheck is simply not enough," Cramer said.
That means owning stocks is just one piece of the puzzle. To start, Cramer pointed out that you must have capital preservation. Meaning, your goal is to save money and prevent loss. Don't even bother investing in stocks without it, he advised.
"You can make a fortune in the market, but if you're hemorrhaging money everywhere else, then a healthy portfolio isn't going to do you much good," added Cramer.
Paying off credit-card debt and getting health and disability insurance are the most important elements of capital preservation. Cramer highlights these elements, because when he is giving daily recommendations for investing on "Mad Money," he assumes that investors have these things crossed off their lists already.
In other words, in order to grow money for the future, you need to protect your money today.