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Even though the Dow Jones industrial average was torn to shreds on Monday, Jim Cramer still loves it. Many regard it as being out of fashion and others dismiss it as a poorly weighted index where some stocks can overwhelm others — but Cramer doesn't care.
"We can carp all we want, but the Dow remains the face of the market, even if it is not the benchmark that funds use to measure their performance," the "Mad Money" host said.
That is why Cramer decided to give the index its due by highlighting the biggest winners and losers of the Dow in 2015.
However, Cramer reminded investors that the first $10,000 saved should not be allocated to individual stocks. He recommends putting that money into an index fund, typically an S&P 500 index fund or an ETF. However, he did not recommend indexing money to the Dow because there simply aren't enough stocks in the index to provide true diversification.
The 30 stocks in the Dow are still incredibly important, so Cramer reviewed the performance of each and selected the top five winners of the index.
Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer
"I don't know if they can be the best performers this year, as you've got Visa, Goldman Sachs and renewed Dow-DuPont to contend with, as well as laggard Disney and Pfizer combining with Allergan. But you won't go wrong picking any of these for your diversified Mad Money portfolio for 2016," Cramer said.
Cramer then turned his attention to the five losers of the Dow, to see if these bottom feeders could have any life left in them this year.
Cramer was worried that it could take Chevron longer to turn things around, especially with plummeting oil prices. In fact, he was surprised that Chevron was down only 20 percent for the year. His hope is that it uses its strong balance sheet to buy faltering oil companies this year.
"I think oil is going to be lower for longer than people realize. I sensed in the middle of 2015 that fossil fuels have become the new five, and I'm not talking about vice like liquor, which is a perennial winner; I'm talking vice like tobacco, where there is just not a lot of growth," Cramer said. (Tweet This)
So, there could be gold hidden among the losers of the Dow, but it will require some major change of leadership in order to transition to the winner column for 2016.