Jim Cramer can't wait to start a new week of investing and happily bid this week goodbye. In his opinion, investors spent way too much time focusing on the Fed and not enough time on the actual companies affecting their portfolios.
"I'm hoping next week, with its earnings laden announcements, might produce some more logical action," the "Mad Money" host said.
With that in mind, here is what Cramer will have his eye on next week:
Monday: Wells Fargo energy conference
This conference will allow many companies to give their perspective on where they think oil is headed. Cramer is interested to hear what they have to say about the horrendous decision for Royal Dutch to bid on BG, as well as other mergers and acquisitions that could be in the works. The "Mad Money" host thinks this conference could dictate the direction of oil futures next week, since they tend to rely on rumors.
Tuesday: Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo
Johnson & Johnson: Cramer shared a secret with investors on this company: Headline numbers for Johnson & Johnson are always useless. The only way to know how the company is really doing is to listen to the conference call. About halfway through, they will share their outlook. Cramer has seen investors get spooked on this company, and he suspects company estimates may have come down hard because of the strong dollar.
JPMorgan & Wells Fargo: Cramer expects to hear both firms complain about the low interest rate environment. He thinks JPMorgan might be able to hit its numbers, but since Wells has a big mortgage business, he thinks some number cuts might be on tap.
"That said, my charitable trust owns Wells, and I wouldn't mind buying more of Warren Buffett's favorite bank into weakness—even with low rates, it's pretty darned lucrative," Cramer added.
Every once in a while, Cramer takes a step back and looks at the big picture—how to build sustainable long-term wealth.
Owning stocks has serious earning potential, but it's just one piece of the investment puzzle.
"There are some people, call them the 1 percent if you will, who can make enough money from their ordinary day-to-day income to become truly rich. But for the vast majority of Americans, that paycheck is simply not enough," the "Mad Money" host said.
The key is capital preservation is knowing the importance of saving money and preventing loss. Without this don't even think about investing in stocks, he said.
"You can make a fortune in the market, but if you're hemorrhaging money everywhere else, then a healthy portfolio isn't going to do you much good."
The three keys to success in capital preservation are: pay off credit-card debt; have health insurance; and get disability insurance. Without these things crossed off the list, investing just doesn't make sense.
And if you are serious about getting rich and staying that way, then Cramer thinks that means you need to prepare for retirement.
Even if you are in your 20s and just started working, or if you're in your 60s and are trying to catch up to retire, everyone has to learn this eventually.
"Notice I didn't say save for retirement. I said prepare, because just stuffing your money in the first national bank of Sealy, a.k.a. stuffing it into your mattress, or automatically saving it into an IRA or 401(k), great though those two tax-deferred vehicles may be, might not be enough to prepare for your retirement," the "Mad Money" host said.
First things first, should you put your money into an individual retirement account? Yes!
Now that you know what you should do with an IRA, what about a 401(k)?
Yes, you should contribute to your 401(k) if it is available to you. Most companies will match your contributions to a certain point, and that's like getting free money. Woo hoo!
The caveat to contributing is what you use the money to invest in. Cramer advised that you should not use much of your 401(k) funds to buy stock in the company that employs you.
Why? Because one of the key components to investing is diversification. Meaning that if you expose too much of your portfolio to the same sector, than you run an enormous risk.
Hence, investing your retirement money into the same company that is paying your salary is not a good idea. That is like putting your savings into the same basket as your paycheck.
Read More Cramer: Do not put this in your 401(k)
When there is a 10 percent decline in the , Cramer said you should take advantage and double down on your money. That means to put twice your normal 401(k) contribution amount.
He recommends investing in a low-cost S&P 500 index fund or an actively managed fund that operates like an index fund with a manager who has a long record of consistent out-performance.
Most likely, this approach will not make a huge difference in five years, but over 40 years it will mean tens or even hundreds of thousands of extra dollars. Taking an active, rather than passive, approach is the only way to go in this age of investing.
"Your 401(k) is important, but it has its downsides, plenty of them," said the "Mad Money" host.
So while Cramer does think that it is important to contribute to a 401(k), he is not part of the crowd that thinks you should max out the limit.
The biggest benefit to a 401(k) plan is that an employer will match at least some percentage of contributions up to a certain point. Booyah, that's free money! Only a fool wouldn't cash in on that.
However, a few downsides of a 401(k) are that some people complain about high management fees and administrative costs. For Cramer, the worst part about the 401(k) is the lack of control over his money and lack of choice in what he can invest in.
Cramer's rule of thumb is to contribute as much money to your 401(k) that is needed to get the full company match, and then stop. At that point the rest of retirement savings should go into an IRA until that is maxed out.
So while a 401(k) plan has a lot going for it, Cramer wants investors to be aware that they can be deeply flawed. That is why he only recommends contributing the amount that allows you to get the full match from your employer, and then everything else should go into an IRA that has lower fees and more flexibility.