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On the eve of Janet Yellen's talk in Jackson Hole, many investors are bracing for market turmoil. But it's not the rate hike Jim Cramer says to worry about, it's a frightened investor.
"I think the stock market's psychological impact — both negative and positive — is almost always underestimated by economists and investors alike," the "Mad Money " host said.
In many declines in the past, it wasn't so much the market event that caused major declines. The hype and fear surrounding the decline prompted volatility in the market.
So, Cramer warned not to overthink Yellen's speech on Friday. The placid nature of the stock market in the past week could help investors more than they realize, and could resume shortly after Yellen's speech, barring an all-out attack on the market by either major presidential candidate.
"I have made no secret of the fact that I think the endless obsession with the Federal Reserve … has caused millions of people to miss this amazing run from the generational bottom seven-and-a-half years ago, " Cramer said.
In fact, Cramer refuses to make investments based on what he thinks the Fed will do next. Dissecting every word from Fed officials wastes time for investors trying to find high quality companies that can dominate a global economy.
"The Fed I've known over the course of my life as an investor is a fickle beast that is often wrong," Cramer said.
Case in point, Cramer would not have recommended several stocks if he thought only the Fed mattered. Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet have all enjoyed legendary runs, and the success had nothing to do with the Fed. Management execution led to the success.
At this time last year, terror gripped the market as it realized the weakness flowing to U.S. shores from China. Retail players like PVH Corp were crushed, as they had more inventory, more promotion and more negative same-store sales than they had in years.
Cramer scanned the headlines from last year, and the only stories he found involved stock market declines, not volatility. Retail suffered because of the collapse of the U.S. stock market, and the spillover from China scared investors.
Many determined that the mall was dead, yet, that wasn't true. Cramer thinks that the vicious stock market scared consumers frozen. Shoppers have now thawed out and returned back to stores as the market calmed down. The decline last year frightened a consumer who would have otherwise done fairly well.
"In my worldview, a placid stock market produces bounty in its own right, and that may be what's happening here," Cramer said.
Last year's mini-bear market mauled the consumer, and this year the stock market's placidity has done the exact opposite, he said.
Ultimately, Cramer warned that the stock market itself could run the show — not the Fed.
"I believe the hallmark of the stock market right now is resilience, which bodes well for everything from housing to retail to perhaps even the job market itself."