As more money managers try and figure out how to invest cash in the current market environment, Jim Cramer has noticed one question on everyone's mind. How much is the stock really worth, and how is it valued?
Many individual investors think that they should start investing by putting their money first into index funds or exchange traded funds that mirror certain sectors.
"Remember, you should put your first $10,000 in an index fund so that you can get the benefits of diversification, which lowers your risk but doesn't necessarily have to lower your reward," the "Mad Money" host said.
Once enough money is saved to create a diversified portfolio of individual stocks, Cramer said stocks like Nike and Starbucks are the two great growth stocks of our time and should be bought at all times.
However, he is not a fan of ETFs. In fact, he thinks many ETFs are not created for the benefit of the investor. They are simply rolled out so that the issuers can make money, with many meant for day trading.
"I think these day-trading ETFs should be labeled just like we do with cigarettes so your portfolio won't get hurt, because prolonged exposure to these trading vehicles can be hazardous to your wealth," Cramer said.
On Monday, ConAgra announced it was its ailing private label to TreeHouse Foods for $2.7 billion in cash. Cramer noted that this was significantly less than the $5 billion ConAgra originally paid for the business when it purchased Ralcorp in 2012 and decided to dig a little deeper.
ConAgra is best known as a large, packaged-food company. Its private label business makes the knock-off store brands for various supermarkets. TreeHouse is the dominant player in the private label food space and has a long history of making smart acquisitions.
Unfortunately, Wall Street did not love the deal, as TreeHouse's stock was slammed more than 5 percent on Monday. This was partially because TreeHouse said it would do a $1 billion equity offering to help pay for the transaction, and because the company announced revenues that were lighter than expected.
To learn more about the deal, Cramer spoke with TreeHouse Foods Chairman and CEO Sam Reed.
The CEO commented on the significance of the deal, saying, "It's the largest to date, and in context, Jim, we are now 10 times larger in revenues than when we first started. It's a transformative event by any definition and in all dimensions."
Brunswick Corporation, the world's top maker of recreational boats, boat engines and fitness machines also came out as a stellar winner of earnings season when it reported an incredible quarter last week.
"I like to think of Brunswick as being the ultimate play on big-ticket discretionary spending, because neither owning a boat nor buying a gym membership where much of their exercise equipment is sold counts as a necessity," Cramer said.
Brunswick reported a 3-cent earnings beat from a 74-cent basis, in-line revenues and solid full-year guidance. Cramer was most excited about management's bullish commentary on its conference call, which sent the stock soaring 7.8 percent on Thursday.
To learn more, Cramer spoke with Brunswick Chairman and CEO Dusty McCoy.
"It really works great when you have nice gross margin growth, you can hold operating expenses, and everything just clicks. We had a great quarter," McCoy said.
Whenever Cramer sees a large company pull off a magnificent turnaround he knows the stock will have the ability to rally for years to come and only take an occasional breather.
Newell Rubbermaid is the composition of brands in housewares, home furnishings and office products. It is best known for Rubbermaid plastic storage containers, Sharpie pens, Calphalon cookware and much more.
After being undermanaged for many years, in 2012 management rolled out a multiyear restructuring plan called the Growth Game Plan. Since that time, the stock has been unstoppable, up more than 100 percent since its current CEO Michael Polk took over in June 2011.
"Every brand has opportunity to grow. Growth is really the engine that powers us, and that's what we've been focused on the last number of years. How do you unlock the trapped capacity to grow these brands," Polk said.
In order to help Cramerica become better investors, sometimes Cramer likes to go off the tape to check in with privately held companies that are on the cusp of a major trend in its industry.
One of those industries is the consumer lending business. For ages it was incredibly difficult to get access to credit from anywhere but a bank or a loan shark. These days, it seems to Cramer that many companies will lend credit, even without perfect credit.
Affirm is a private company that provides instant financing for purchase up to $10,000 that can be paid back over a term of 3, 6 or 12 months. It has partnered with various stores and e-commerce platforms to use Affirm to apply for a micro-loan, with clear straightforward terms.
To hear more, Cramer spoke with Affirm CEO Max Levchin, who also is one of the co-founders of PayPal.
"We bring new buyers, people that are window shoppers, turn into actual purchasers by extending credit to people that either opt out of credit cards entirely or cannot get a credit card. And merchants get a whole new set of buyers, and people get a whole new set of things that they want to consume," Levchin said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
Ambarella Inc: "When it comes to semiconductors, I am an Intel, Texas Instruments guy right now. I am willing to cut off my upside. Now people don't really want to hear that. They want a little bit more juice — I am not the guy with the running gun offense."
Mobileye: "Mobileye is a very aggressive thing to own. In other words, it is a company that is doing well and the auto business is doing well, but I have to tell you it's so expensive that count me out in terms of trying to get an endorsement."