Every night, Jim Cramer goes on "Mad Money" with the mission to help people become better investors. In the past 10 years of the show, the evolution of that mission has transformed to match the surrounding environment.
The show first began as an outgrowth of Cramer's radio show called "Real Money." At that time, people were craving specific investment ideas. Everything changed when investors were hit with the Great Recession, which shifted the way investors viewed the market.
During that time, there were many big companies that were destroyed by the downturn, especially financial companies, along with the dramatic decline in economic activity.
"That era changed things, and it changed me. It changed the show," the "Mad Money" host said.
Ultimately, Cramer believes that stocks can be one of the greatest investment vehicles out there. They represent the sum progress of a business and the prospects for that business going forward. They can also share that wealth with shareholders and be very rewarding.
Cramer wants investors to come along for the ride with stocks, but that means doing it in a responsible way. That is why he always suggests an index fund as a safe way to invest.
"The show has changed over time from one where we pick stocks for you, to one where we educate you about stocks so you can understand why an index fund might be worth investing in," Cramer said.