Mad Money

Mark Cuban: American Idol


When it comes to stocks, Cramer’s an authority in the field. So it’s no small compliment to say that Mark Cuban actually beat the Mad Money maven in a stock-picking contest 16 years ago. Since then the Dallas Mavericks owner and HDNet co-founder has focused on some companies of his own, and he might have even more business plans on the horizon.

With that in mind, Cramer wanted to know if Cuban planned on buying the Chicago Cubs, which owner Tribune Co. announced it would sell at the end of the 2007 season. “It’s too early to tell,” the 6-foot-3 dot-com billionaire said. “To make any acquisition in any business, you have to know what you’re buying first, and you don’t buy what’s not for sale. You don’t tell them you’re buying if it’s not for sale – and it’s not for sale until the end of the year,” Cuban said.

“If they want to come to me after the baseball season … I’ll talk,” Cuban said with a mischievous smile.

As for the Dallas Mavericks, “They have been a great investment for me,” Cuban said. “On an annual P&L basis, we’ve done OK, mostly because of the money I have to pay to the commissioner,” Cuban said, joking about the fines he has received for his courtside shenanigans. 

Class is in Session!

Cramer wanted to know if Cuban thought it made sense for a sports team to go public. That depends, Cuban said. “A team like the Cubs or the Yankees, they’re iconic. They have such a broad fan base, it might make some sense. But in terms of just a team like the Mavericks or … the Pacers, it’s tough because winning sometimes is more important than making a dollar.”

Much to Cramer’s chagrin, Cuban had this to say about college kids buying stocks: “For any of you in the audience, the dumbest thing you can do is buy a stock.” The better investment, as far as Cuban is concerned, is in yourself. “What stock do you know better than yourself?” he asked. “You should be willing to do everything that you possibly can to improve your value first.”

If you are going to buy stocks, Cuban said it was important to remember that there’s always someone on the other side of the trade. For every stock that you’re out there buying, there’s somebody that has a reason to sell. “If you have a better reason to buy than they have to sell,” he said, “then you should be doing it. If you don’t, don’t.”

Questions? Comments?