Mad Money

Cramer's problem with Tepper's ‘nervous time’

Cramer digs into Tepper's warning

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

With global growth somewhat weaker than expected and concerns about deflation again creeping into the lexicon, is it 'nervous time' for investors? A top hedge fund manager sure thinks it is.

Billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper used that very language to describe risk in the market earlier in the week at SkyBridge Capital's SALT 2014 conference in Las Vegas.

He was also quoted as saying, "listen there's times to make money and there's times not to lose money… this is probably a time you're supposed to think about preserving some of your money. If you're 120% invested it's probably too much, You can still be long but you probably should have some cash."

PeskyMonkey | E+ | Getty Images

Because Tepper is widely considered a bull, "Immediately investors flew into a tizzy," Cramer said. And he finds the reaction understandable.

"I have known Tepper for a very long time. We both worked at Goldman Sachs. He's wicked smart and very mindful of risk." And his insights earned $3.5 billion last year at his $20 billion hedge fund, Appaloosa Management.

Although the commentary above isn't terribly bearish, coming from Tepper, the Street viewed it as nothing short of a shot across the bow.

That, Cramer thinks, is a mistake.

Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
Cramer: Significant shift is threat to investing
'Indispensable read' for bank shareholders
Fragrance stock smells of success

"Here's my problem. I don't have a line into Tepper's long-term thinking. I only have this snapshot of a warning," Cramer said.

That is, there no big picture perspective in the comments. And knowing Tepper personally, Cramer also knows Tepper is strategic; as the environment changes, he believes Tepper's outlook will change, perhaps rapidly.

"What if we fall three more percent," Cramer said referring to a scenario in which Tepper could again become a buyer, "What if we fall five percent?" Cramer added. "Tepper isn't going to alert the media when his perspective changes."

But if you view the comments as a broad indictment on the market, you might miss opportunity, perhaps even as David Tepper buys.

"So pay heed," Cramer said. "David Tepper is good. But don't sell out and don't stop looking for value. Believe me, Tepper is doing that too. And I don't want to be on the wrong side of that trade when he finds something he likes."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer?

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website?