Like In Comedy, Timing Is Everything for Investors

"Just because you don't like a market, that doesn't mean it's the right move to sell it," Cramer said Monday. "Selling into a sell-off has almost always been the wrong move."

Throughout his 31-year career, the "Mad Money" host had success in buying, not selling stocks in times of fear. Whether it was the 1987 stock market crash, the Sept. 11th attacks or the "flash crash," Cramer said panic selling is rarely a wise move. The only exception was during the financial meltdown of 2008. Those who heeded Cramer's sell call in September 2008 dodged a nearly 45 percent decline.

Overall, Cramer said panic isn't a money-making strategy, though. The right move, he explained, is to buy stocks during times of heightened fear. Those who do so will likely see a nice pop when the averages climbed back.

What's the bottom line?

"Do not sell in the midst of an awful decline, no matter how much you might want to. That's just bad timing," Cramer said, adding that there will be a better time to sell. "In all my years of trading, panic has only been the right response to a huge sell-off once. Every other time the right move was to buy into weakness, so keep that in mind the next time we get an horrible pullback."

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    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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