Cramer Remix: What being young and broke taught me about the stock market

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer reflected on the days when he ate chicken liver to get by, and how it relates directly to the mood of the stock market.
  • Cramer also sat down with the chief operating officer of VMware, who likened creating a top-tier data center to baking a cake.
  • In the lightning round, Cramer gave his take to a stock that might go up with the price of crude oil.

It wasn't always fun and games for CNBC's Jim Cramer, but along the way, he's learned some valuable lessons.

"This may come as a surprise, but there was a point in my young life when I was really down and out," the "Mad Money" host said. "I was working as a reporter in Tallahassee at the Tallahassee Democrat and it was an unfortunate moment. I just wasn't making enough money."

Between eating meals of chicken liver and struggling to pay his $200-a-month rent, Cramer had to beg his parents to send him cash.

And oddly enough, Cramer sees a lot of his younger self in this market, where stocks like Verizon, American Electric Power and Clorox lock in gains for no real reason.

"I think this market's like me, the pathetic me in Tallahassee. 'Send me more money, mom, or I'm going to have to cut back on something.' That's what's really going on. And the parents just aren't complying," Cramer said.

"Sure, I could say that there's real substantive reasons why so many stocks are rallying while others aren't, but at the end of the day, the market's short of money, plain and simple," he continued. "And until we get some new cash in from the sidelines, there will be limitations on what can rally on any given day."

Finding value creators

Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
Katie Kramer | CNBC
Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

Cramer doesn't like to look at the stock market as a whole.

"There's no such thing as the stock market, not the way most people talk about it," he said. "Instead, you have a market of stocks, and that's an important distinction, particularly in Cramerica, because stocks are like snowflakes: no two are the same."

Even though Cramer thinks investors' first $10,000 should go into a broad-based index fund, he prefers looking at individual companies and their CEOs for the most illuminating market information.

Take Walt Disney. Shares of the entertainment giant have been rallying ever since the news broke that Disney is in talks to buy Fox's non-news assets and regional sports network.

The deal would expand Disney's film library to include Avatar and the Marvel characters, hopefully shifting the narrative away from the company's ESPN subscriber losses.

Off the charts with red-hot industrials

Caterpillar
George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Images

After the Dow Jones industrial average hit yet another all-time high on Tuesday, Cramer had to investigate to see if the white-hot index is showing any signs of cooling.

"I think it's worth asking which red-hot groups will have the staying power once 2018 rolls around," the "Mad Money" host said. "And as far as hot sectors go, nothing has been as hot as the industrials, powered by tremendous economic growth both here and overseas."

With a White House infrastructure plan and a congressional tax overhaul seemingly on the horizon for 2018, industrial stocks could still get a boost from the federal government's actions.

So Cramer called on technician Bob Lang, the founder of ExplosiveOptions.net and one of the three minds behind TheStreet.com's Trifecta Stocks newsletter, to see if the industrials' already lengthy rally can continue into the new year.

McAfee CEO on protecting companies from hacks

Christopher Young, CEO of McAfee.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Christopher Young, CEO of McAfee.

Executives must enforce cybersecurity as part of company culture if they want to have a safer, more protected workplace, McAfee CEO Chris Young told CNBC on Tuesday.

"One of the things that I talk about all the time when I talk to other CEOs is you've got to have a culture of security. It's got to matter," Young told Cramer. "Ten years ago, if I were to ask a CEO about cybersecurity, he might say, 'Yeah, I've got some guy in IT that's working on this.' Now everybody cares and I think that's going to make a big difference."

High-profile cyberattacks at firms like Equifax and WannaCry rattled consumers in 2017 as the world woke up to the possibility of mass-scale hacks.

And every day, the volume, complexity and speed of cyberattacks are on the rise, Young told Cramer.

VMware CEO: Data centers are like cakes

Just like a cake, a good data center hinges on having the right ingredients, VMware Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Poonen told Cramer on Tuesday.

"It's like baking a cake," the COO said. "When you bake a cake, you've got flour, eggs, sugar, maybe some icing. A data center is made up of four core elements: compute, storage, networking and a layer of management. And we've pioneered that. We call that the software-defined data center."

VMware's network of data centers, which services the private cloud, has landed the company a partnership with Amazon, the king of the public cloud.

Poonen said the Amazon partnership would give customers "the best of both worlds" and the ability to "expand or contract the data center elastically" across their devices.

And as large corporate customers take to devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops to do business, VMware's technology is at the center of the shift, the COO said.

"Invariably, every one of the retailers now are modernizing the store with these devices because these phones become a lot easier than these old, ruggedized devices that were the way in which people worked in the past," Poonen told Cramer. "And this is the future of how we think we can make the entire world have any app on any device."

Lightning Round: Blessing ENB buys

In Cramer's lightning round, he flew through his take on some callers' favorite stocks:

Enbridge Inc. USA: "I think this whole group is about to move up with the price of West Texas [Intermediate crude] being well under Brent [crude] and that Enbridge is good to own with a 5.4 percent yield."

Casey's General Stores Inc.: "No, that was a bad quarter. It had no two ways about it. I can't come up with a good thing to say, so I won't because my grandmother always said if you have nothing good to say, then don't say it."

Questions for Cramer?
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Want to take a deep dive into Cramer's world? Hit him up!
Mad Money Twitter - Jim Cramer Twitter - Facebook - Instagram - Vine

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com