Mad Money

When Did Panic Become an Investing Strategy?


Nobody ever made a dime by panicking. That may be Mad Money maxim number one.

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But since the crash of 2008 – when we watched Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Lehman Brothers either buckle at the knees or go under completely – panic has become an acceptable way to navigate the markets. While this strategy may have saved you money back then, though, it’s most certainly costing you now.

Panic Attacks

“I think it’s time we unlearned the lesson of 2008 and recognize that the great recession, and its vicious aftermath, is over,” Cramer said Wednesday. “I think it’s time we repudiate the notion that we must sell every stock the minute something goes wrong.”

Evidence of this panic is still readily apparent. When the market decided that Europe was on the verge of collapse, and looped in strong countries like Germany with struggling ones like Greece, investors left the Continent in droves. But sure enough, we’ve since heard stories of strength about Europe from companies as varied as FedEx , VF Corp. and VMware .

And just today the Dow closed lower on news that we already knew: The Federal Reserve released its “beige book” report, which said that the economy was – wait for it – still less than stellar.

As far as Cramer is concerned, though, it’s time to drop the panic. It ain’t 2008 anymore. Yes, the US is still lagging, for sure. But Brazil, India, China, Chile, Mexico, Germany, France and a host of other countries will more than pick up the slack. And he understands the concerns over job creation, or the lack thereof, and the present White House administration’s seemingly anti-business attitude. But investors need to understand that the crash was a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

“And I think with this earnings season we need to unlearn the lessons” we learned then, Cramer said. “They are hurting us. They are robbing us of endless opportunities in Europe, in Asia, in Latin America, Africa and even here for the companies that do business over there.”

In short, “It’s time to think more positive, react more rationally and accept that while panic actually did work for a few months there,” Cramer said, “it stopped working more than 16 months ago.”

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