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Cramer’s Tips for Spotting Secular Growth

Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 6:21 PM ET

No stock is worth holding forever, but there are a few that will rack up multiyear gains, "Mad Money " host Jim Cramer said Wednesday.

"I'm talking about secular growth stocks, a rare breed that you should always be on the lookout for, " he said. "These companies are driven by powerful long-term stories that transcend the strength or weakness of the underlying economy."

Cramer pointed out that a true secular growth story can deliver stellar results even in a down economy.

"I like to look for big-picture themes, where you have a company that's a play on a much broader trend. Take the move toward healthy eating in this country, and the embrace of natural and organic foods, " he said.

"This organic theme has made Whole Foods, the go-to supermarket for all things healthy and organic, into a powerhouse stock. And the same goes for Hain Celestial, which makes many of the products found in the aisles of Whole Foods ."

However, as the secular growth trends age, there will be fewer plays that make money.

Cramer said the early days of the smartphone was a reason to buy best-of-breed names like Apple.

"It wasn't a license to buy even the sector's weakest players, which gradually fell by the wayside, " he said. "A rising tide does not lift all ships — the ones with holes in them still sink."

While a stock might provide a great ride, Cramer reiterated that nothing lasts forever.

"Remember, even the biggest wave ends up crashing on the shore, " he said. "Only homework will keep you from crashing along with it."

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