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Cramer: What the market's ‘warning signs’ mean for your portfolio

What 'warning signs' mean for your portfolio

Jim Cramer says every time investors see a headline about the warning signs in the market, or canaries in the coal mine, or signals to watch for an epic decline — take it with a grain of salt.

"It's what people want to read. Maybe it's even what they should be reading. The kind of evergreen stuff that can be dusted off over and over again and published to perform the public service of telling people when to get out and when to stay in," the "Mad Money" host said.

It's almost as if there is a business editor who decides that the averages have been rallying for a while, and there have been a few rough days, so they decide that it's time to break out the "warning signs" stories.

The real problem for Cramer with these stories is that while he has seen thousands of these stories since buying his first stock in 1979, there have only been very few moments where it has really paid to heed the warning signs.

Those times were the two weeks before the crash of 1987, the great Nasdaq run-up in 1999 and early 2000, and the period leading up to the Great Recession.

That's it.

"All of the other moments were simply times to take some profits and hope you can get back in at lower levels," Cramer said.

Watch the full segment here:

Cramer: What the market's ‘warning signs’ mean for your portfolio

The three declines Cramer mentioned all had obvious warning signs: massive overvaluation, a complete downturn in real estate—specifically housing—that spilled over into everything else, magnified by artificial financial products that distorted the size of the problem more than anyone could believe.

Once again, Cramer is seeing the "warning signs" stories start to appear, pondering whether Washington will save the market or not, or if the Fed rate hike cycle is about to begin in earnest.

"They are all 'worrisome' but what I have learned over the years is that you have to distinguish worrisome from catastrophic," Cramer said.

For example, in 2011 there were plenty of worrisome signs when the Dow Jones industrial average fell to roughly 10,600 from 12,600 in a decline that turned out to be a buying opportunity.

The reason was due to problems in Washington — the debt ceiling crisis — and believing that the government could destroy the market by defaulting on its obligations. But when the S&P downgraded the U.S. debt, it turned out to be a great moment to buy.

More important, it was a time to stay the course and have capital on hand to buy more stocks when the opportunity became available.

That is exactly where Cramer thinks we are now.

"I don't see any warning signs that were staring us in the face from the big three breakdowns," Cramer said.

Instead, Cramer sees a market that has had a big run and needs to consolidate.

For those worried that want to read the warning signs articles, Cramer gave his blessing to take some positions off the table.

"I hope, like in October of 2011, you can get back in at a lower level. Otherwise, all your selling will do is give someone else a chance to get in at a better price than he deserves," Cramer said.

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