Cramer: Wait for the big banks to get uglier

Jim Cramer thought the stock market session on Thursday was a perfect illustration that panic is not a strategy. As the averages faced a marketwide sell-off during the day, he found that it paid to search for opportunity rather than panic — because the averages rebounded before the close.

But that doesn't mean the pain is over.

"What is really ailing the market is that all stocks trade together off of news that shouldn't produce such a homogenized output," the "Mad Money" host said.

Cramer thinks it is clear that something is ailing the big banks of Europe. He isn't sure what it is, but it must be bad if they are all going down at once.

Getty Images

The U.S. bank stocks were horrendous, too. This could be the impact of having more bad oil loans than investors know about. Or maybe the Fed is not going to raise rates, and the financials depend on higher rates for more money. Or maybe the entire industry is lying and they all have huge exposure in European banks, so if Europe goes down the U.S. goes down.

"People are worried that there is systematic risk caused by potential European bank failures that have not happened yet, and for the record, might not happen at all — but we have to be scared out of our wits that the possibility is even on the table," Cramer said.

Read more from Mad Money with Jim Cramer

Cramer Remix: Why companies are scared of IPOs
Cramer: Death to Mickey? Where Disney went wrong
Cramer: Yellen & oil—The world's most dangerous game

However, most investors are not S&P 500 futures traders. They are not trying to catch intraday moves, they are trying to buy stocks of companies at prices they like but didn't expect to get.

That's why Cramer said to stop worrying! Wait for the declines to get uglier, and look for stocks to grab at a steal, such as McDonald's, Cisco and Procter & Gamble.

"I say wait until the market really gets ugly and gives you a chance to get into the Golden Arches at lower levels," Cramer said. (Tweet This)

Cramer wants investors to be ready if a European bank is seized or Janet Yellen trashes the market by announcing higher rates on Friday.

Some might think that Cramer is being glib, but he considers himself to be an opportunist.

"I have no idea if these European banks are going to fail. I do know that this situation is creating opportunities for those who are willing to own individual stocks," Cramer said.

So, if you are a futures trader or just own the S&P 500, then Cramer thinks there is more pain ahead for you. But if you are a long-term investor who owns individual stocks, Cramer expects you to come out as a winner of this situation.

Questions for Cramer?
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Want to take a deep dive into Cramer's world? Hit him up!
Mad Money Twitter - Jim Cramer Twitter - Facebook - Instagram - Vine

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website?