Mad Money

Cramer: Trading like a pro in a volatile market

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There were many methods that Jim Cramer used to become a great money manager on Wall Street. And now he wants to show investors how they can use these same techniques to make money. Unfortunately, that also means knowing that you might be bored; you will need lots of discipline.

"This is a discipline that is incredibly useful, especially in volatile, crazy markets. It is called trading around a core position," the "Mad Money" host said.

In order to be a successful investor, Cramer thinks that will require a lot of discipline. That will pay off, as it will allow you to buy the stocks you like at lower prices and sell more shares when they are high. Trading is all about profiting from short-term fluctuations in price, which can be caused by a catalyst or by a wild market.

In Cramer's opinion, knowing proper strategy for trading will make you a better investor. That is why it is so important to know how to trade around a core position.

What does it mean to trade around a core position? Cramer outlined the steps below:

If you're good at trading around a core position, you should be pretty bored.
Jim Cramer

First, pick a stock that you both like and believe will go higher in the long term. Think of a company with solid fundamentals that can stay strong when the market becomes volatile and will go higher with a little patience.

Cramer recommended establishing a position in the stock through buying in increments. Buying it all at once is just plain arrogant, in his opinion.

For instance, if you want to own 100 shares of your favorite stock over time, then Cramer wants you to buy the stock in increments of 25. Buy it four times over a span of weeks or months until you reach 100 shares.

But what if you want to live a little and trade?

Cramer does not want investors to think that only professional traders can trade. Home-gamers can make money, too, if trading is done right.

If you wanted to start trading on your core position, then every time the stock jumps 5 percent, you should sell 25 shares. Keep shaving a little off the top to bring in some profits. This is called scaling out of a stock, though Cramer always likes to keep the last 25 shares if he loves the stock.

Then you wait until something happens to the stock that knocks it down to the same price when you bought it initially, as long as the news isn't specific to the stock. Then when the stock comes down, you start to buy it in increments again.

This might appear to be small potatoes, but over time the profits add up. Up 5 percent and sell 25 shares, then buy it from where you started; the cash in your pocket will start to accumulate.

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"A lot of people think that trading is incredibly exciting, and it can be, but if you're good at trading around a core position, you should be pretty bored. All you're doing is watching the stock move, and trimming or adding to your position accordingly," Cramer said. (Tweet this)

Boring, by the way, is a good thing for your portfolio.

The purpose of this technique is to avoid putting yourself in a position where you have too much money on the table for a stock. This way, if the stock takes a hit and goes down, or if you have too little on the table to take advantage of an upside, you are prepared.

"Trading around a core position is an important basic trading strategy that everyone can use, even those of you who find the notion of trading, as opposed to investing, to be abhorrent."

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