Cramer: Best performers from the Haines bottom

Seven years ago, the market hit rock bottom, and late CNBC journalist Mark Haines called it in a moment now known as the Haines bottom. To mark the anniversary, Jim Cramer took a look at many of the stocks winning since 2009, noting that many of the top performers were accessible to investors at the time.

"You could have spotted some of the top 15 gainers since the Haines bottom, and those who say otherwise just don't want you to feel empowered about making your own investments. I guess they think you're stupid; I don't," the "Mad Money" host said.

Before reviewing the best performers, Cramer reiterated his mantra that one should not even think about investing in an individual stock until the first $10,000 is invested into an index fund, as he prefers their diversification and low costs.

Additionally stock picking can be a high-risk proposition, thus only discretionary, non-retirement funds should be used to invest, also known as "Mad Money."

Mark Haines
Source: CNBC
Mark Haines
"You could have spotted some of the top 15 gainers since the Haines bottom, and those who say otherwise just don't want you to feel empowered about making your own investments." -Jim Cramer

The best performer was General Growth Properties, which Cramer recognized could have been a bit hard to spot. It went in and out of bankruptcy and rebounded faster than anyone thought possible with the help of hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.

The second best performer could have been achievable, Cramer said. Regeneron was the first guest on "Mad Money" and Cramer has recommended it based on its medicine to stabilize macular degeneration, a disease that causes blindness.

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Third on the list was Under Armour, which Cramer considers to be a technology company that sells clothing. He recommended buying it on any pullback.

Wyndham Worldwide was also gettable, as the CEO transformed the company from being a capital intensive builder of hotels to an asset-light manager of hotels and timeshares. That new business model allowed profits to rise.

Next up was United Rentals, which was a tough one. It had a busted deal with a leveraged buyout that was not completed due to financing issues. And with so much exposure to oil with the equipment rental business, Cramer recognized that many wouldn't have seen the gains coming.

Cramer was shocked to see CBS in eighth place, but perhaps it was hidden in plain sight as it repeatedly calls itself America's most watched network. An investor could have heard that and bought the stock.

Just looking at one's daily routine could have been a great clue for Starbucks. Sure, the stock had its ups and downs, but Cramer has found that the dips were always buying opportunities.

"Recognizing that your own personal ritual is often shared by others can be one of the keys to successful investing, so the stock's 1,292 percent gain may have been the easiest to come by," Cramer said.

Other top performers were HanesBrands, Netflix, Extra Space, Priceline, Signet Jewelers, United Continental Holdings, and L Brands.

"You can put almost all of your money in an index fund, and I fully endorse that, but based on how obvious some of these winners since the Haines bottom seven years ago have been, I think it makes sense to sock away something extra to invest," Cramer said.

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