Moving With the Market

If you’re going to watch Mad Money effectively, you have to know that Cramer is going to change his mind often. That’s because the market is dynamic and things are constantly changing, so his opinions will change, too. You can’t rely on five hours of television a week to tell you exactly what you should buy, exactly when you should buy it, and then exactly when to sell.

After a certain point, you’re on your own. This is why Cramer emphasizes homework. He recommends one hour per week per stock you own. If you do your homework, you’ll probably make a whole lot more money.

Besides, it would be reckless and irresponsible for Cramer not to change his mind about stocks. He says there are very few of them that are worth holding for longer than 18 months – and even that’s a stretch. It’s best to take profits when you have them rather than risk losing what you’ve gained. The reasons he gives for buying a stock are always contingent on those reasons holding true. So if he’s changed his mind, it’s because the situation has changed. Once the market switches direction, investors need to as well.

Bottom Line: Cramer doesn’t deliver eternal truth on this show, and he often changes his mind. If you want to watch this show the right way, you need to understand the radical contingency of every recommendation he makes. Even the best stocks are fragile, and you always have to stay flexible.

Questions? Comments? madmoney@cnbc.com

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  • Jim Cramer

    Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

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