"Mad Money Manifesto" by Jim Cramer:
For years I have been trying to help people like you, who own stocks and feel like they're on the outside looking in, become better investors. That's the mission statement, plain and simple. My job is not to tell you what to think, but to teach you how to think about the market like a pro. This show is not about picking stocks. It's not about giving you tips that will make you money overnight – tips are for waiters.
Our mission is educational, to teach you how to analyze stocks and the market through the prism of events. I come out every night to help level the playing field, so you can try to have a fighting chance against the big boys, the fat-cat hedge fund managers who think they own the market. To them the world of investing in stocks is a posh country club. They don't want to let you in. They don't want you to know what they know because then you could make money and they would lose their edge. Mad Money is all about breaking into the country club.
See, to the insiders, the mutual fund managers and the hedge funds, too, investing is a big game. It's not a game to you. It's your future, your retirement, your kid's college fund, a way for you to make that extra bit of money you need to live your life the way you always wanted to rather than being chained to your paycheck. But the big boys don't see it that way. They play the market like it's a game. And because they manage so much of the money in the market, it's their game. For all intents and purposes, the huge institutional money managers, the masters of the universe, are the market. The stocks they like go higher, and the ones they target get crushed, bear raided, forced down by unrelenting short selling.
That's why we try to help you understand the rules of their game. The real reasons why stocks behave the way they do, how to find the stocks that work given what the plutocrats are doing, what's in style in the Wall Street fashion show. Like it or not, when you invest, you're sitting down to play a game of Monopoly against a bunch of major, big-shot money managers. Some people will tell you to ignore the board, that you can make money if you just close your eyes, buy some good-looking stocks and hold onto them forever. They tell you that's the responsible way to invest – buy and hold – and forget about everything else because it's all short-term noise. Those people are not your friends.
You can't make money in the market if you don't understand it. It's like playing Monopoly without knowing what Pennsylvania's worth, or how much it costs to put a hotel up on Boardwalk. My job is to make sure you have not just the facts, but also the rules – and those rules are always changing. I try to help you keep up so you know what matters. Nothing is more important than understanding the forces that move stocks. Nobody on the inside wants you to know this stuff. They don't want you to be empowered because it makes it harder for them to game the system.
My goal is to give you the knowledge and the tools that will empower you to be a better investor. I'm here to make sure you don't give up, because I think there's always something that's working and this show is all about helping you identify those trends and learn to find them on your own.
That's the mission. Have I made mistakes? Absolutely. But when I get something wrong, I put the Post-it note on my face and put on the hair shirt because I know the market is a humbling place. That said, I don't come out here every night to tell you what to buy and what to sell. I have my opinions about stocks and I happily share them. But all of that is ancillary to educating you about the market.
I sometimes play a clown, too, and I'm proud of it. I can't teach if you're not watching. So even though the purists think I can't be rigorous because I have sound effects and props, I'm going to keep up the humor, keep up the education and keep trying to help you make money for as long as they let me.