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Cramer's 'Playing Defense' Rules: Part 5

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.

21. Spread out your retirement investing. Cramer’s talking about your 401(k) and IRA here. Make sure your contributions happen at least every month rather than dumping one lump sum into your account. That way you can take advantage of any dip – 10% or more, he said – in the market by boosting that month’s contribution.

22. Buy one diversified mutual fund. OK, you can own more than one, but make sure it’s not a small-cap growth fund. And if you want to own multiple funds, make sure you haven’t bought the same kind of fund three times over. Often times funds have different names, but their holdings are very similar. Watch for this.

24. Buy stocks with good buybacks. A company with a good stock-repurchasing plan will keep their share prices steady during tough times. So look for firms with large amounts of cash to make that happen.

25. Don’t stop looking. Stay current on your portfolio no matter how much it hurts to look. If you don’t, it could end up hurting a lot more.

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