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The averages have had a huge run recently, and while this wasn't reflected in the market on Wednesday, Jim Cramer pointed out that people have made fortunes owning individual stocks in the past few years from the bright ideas that they have had.
"I always say good investment ideas are often right in our faces, on the dinner table or the living room or in the mall, which means the gains are there to be had as long as you're actually looking for them," the "Mad Money " host said.
Cramer heard a boatload of these fortune-brewing ideas on Wednesday when he attended CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference. He highlighted a few of the amazing ideas that he heard, so that investors could understand how easily good investment ideas can be found.
First up was the idea that Cramer heard concerning shoes. Yes, shoes. Cramer was trained to view stocks in a classical way, starting from the top down. Does he want to own a retailer when the country has decent job growth and oil is coming down? The answer is yes.
And while Cramer would typically be attracted to a retailer like Target that keeps raising guidance and beating estimates, he heard one idea that blew his mind and changed his perspective on Wednesday.
Cramer interviewed Jeff Smith, the CEO of the activist fund Starboard Value, at Delivering Alpha and he presented a new way to judge Macy's. Instead of looking at the company based on the earnings per share—Cramer's way—he looked at it as a real estate play and suggested that this $72 stock could be worth $125.
"I doubt I'll ever think of Macy's the same way again. It's not just the place where I bought my shoes, it's a collection of assets that might be worth much more than where the stock is currently trading," Cramer said.
Next up, Cramer spoke with Farooq Kathwari, the CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors. "Mad Money" has had Kathwari on several times, and he has outlined the story that the public will want to buy Ethan Allen's furniture because of its style, quality and brand.
But the one thing the CEO never said was that maybe investors should buy the stock because of the quality of the real estate that it owns. But that was exactly how activist Tom Sandell framed the stock, as one that is an underperforming company that could produce much greater returns if it simply monetized its real estate assets and closed superfluous stores.
"In other words, something could happen to turn this sleepy furniture stock into an instant win if you view it the way Sandell does…Those Ethan Allen end tables next to my old bed? Never going to look at them the same way again either," Cramer said.
Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
Cramer Remix: Wake up or you'll miss these stocks
Cramer: Why Apple could easily hit $140
Cramer: Beware! Expensive earnings season mistakes
Or how about McDonald's? Lately Cramer has been outspoken about the need to fix beaten down McDonald's locations. When he interviewed Nelson Peltz and Bill Ackman, who have both backed turnarounds for Wendy's and Burger King, they said that McDonald's was definitely fixable. They both stated that while it could take a lot of time to turn it around, it could be worth a lot more.
So, while some investors may value stocks like Macy's, Ethan Allen and McDonald's through the usual lens of earnings and be disappointed, taking another look through a different lens could change the game and make these stocks suddenly very exciting.