Cramer's 'Playing Defense' Rules: Part 4

Forget about making money. Sometimes holding on to what you have is much more important.

That was the focus for Monday’s show. Cramer offered up 25 rules that will keep you from losing your hard-earned cash when the market’s at its worst.

Remember: Plan for the downside, and let the upside will take care of itself. The best way to do that is by following these important tips.

16. Don’t sell call or put options. Selling calls against common stock is like giving away your upside. Selling puts exposes you to almost unlimited downside. Don’t do this.

17. Never use margin. Sure, you can borrow to buy a house. But when it comes to investing, you can’t live in a stock when the price goes down. In fact, you usually have to kick in more money. And once you’re in a hole, it’s very hard to pull yourself out of it.

19. Play with the house’s money whenever possible. Be smart about taking profits. If you have the chance to get your original investment back, then do so. Then roll the dice with your winnings.

20. Keep your head clear. Sometimes the best thing you can do after a string of losses is to clear them out of your portfolio and start fresh. That new perspective can be the best defense you have.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? madcap@cnbc.com

Contact Mad Money

  • Showtimes

    Monday - Friday 6p ET
    Saturday 8a, 1p, 7p SYD
    Sunday 12a, 1a, 8a, 7p SYD
    New Zealand
    Saturday 10a, 3p, 9p NZ
    Sunday 2a, 3a, 10a, 9p NZ
  • 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."

Mad Money Features

  • Grab the latest CNBC gear from the NBCUniversal Store!

  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Cramer formulates his investment advice. "Inside the Madness" is a column, which features e-mails and more with Cramer and his researcher Nicole Urken.

  • You’ve always wanted to hit the “Hallelujah!” button. Here’s your chance.

Mad Money Moments

Cramer's New Book