Mad Money

Cramer: How stocks paid for me to go to college

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Jim Cramer aims to teach investors not only about the current environment of the stock market each day but also how to pick their own individual stocks that work with investment-worthy themes. He has shared many lessons over the years because he wants investors to learn what really needs to be done to be successful in the stock market.

When the "Mad Money" host first graduated college, he worked as a reporter covering sports and government in Tallahassee, Florida, where he made $153 a week. And while he didn't have a lot of money to spare, he did find a way to save in his IRA and began to buy individual stocks for a personal account.

"I was going to do it the right way, by researching stocks and getting an edge through that research," Cramer said.

I was going to do it the right way, by researching stocks and getting an edge through that research
Jim Cramer

After losing money on a few investments, Cramer decided to go to the library and research companies. Eventually, he found a company called Natomas, which had just discovered a large find in Indonesia. He took $300 and bought the stock, and it quickly caught a takeover bid.

Cramer realized from his investment in Natomas that by doing the homework, it gave him an edge over others and helped to arm him with the proper knowledge about a stock. He was hooked on stocks and never turned back. Eventually, Cramer made enough money to pay for his first year of law school when he decided to become an attorney.

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"I recognized that you can study, and you can pick worthwhile stocks that might be doing better than the average stock and that can, indeed, augment your savings provided you do it right, have some edge and stay current on the company," Cramer said.

So, Cramer wants investors to remember the value of homework. If you only know what one person says in the media and you buy a stock that is not good enough. In the end it is all about odds, and only hard work and thinking can increase those odds in your favor.

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