Owning stocks has serious earning potential, but Jim Cramer says it's just one piece of the investment puzzle.
"There are some people, call them the 1 percent if you will, who can make enough money from their ordinary day-to-day income to become truly rich. But for the vast majority of Americans, that paycheck is simply not enough," the "Mad Money" host said.
The key to capital preservation is knowing the importance of saving money and preventing loss. Without this, don't even think about investing in stocks, he said.
"You can make a fortune in the market, but if you're hemorrhaging money everywhere else, than a healthy portfolio isn't going to do you much good."
The three keys to success in capital preservation are paying off credit-card debt, having health insurance and getting disability insurance. Without these things crossed off the list, investing just doesn't make sense.