Cramer’s Big Idea for 2013

How should you put money to work in the new year? Before you make your next move, Jim Cramer wants you to consider this.

"Although you may be skeptical and even wary, don't be paralyzed by worry," explained the Mad Money host on Wednesday's broadcast.

For all that's wrong with the markets – there's also a great deal that's right.

"We always talk way too much about could occur and not nearly enough about what didn't occur," said the Mad Money host.

And because of the market's preoccupation with worst case scenarios – "we may actually be in better shape than we realize," Cramer added.

Better shape?

Cramer sees a slew of recent developments that support that thesis.

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"Let's start with the incredible news about General Motors buying back $5.5 million dollars in stock from the U.S government's TARP program at a price that was two dollars above where the stock traded Tuesday. That's right, we the people got a better deal than we could have ever hoped the day before," he said.

Cramer not only sees GM's actions as a sign of strength – but also a sign that the bailout worked.

That's something that went right - but it hardly the only thing.


"The United States is now producing more oil than any time in the last 17 years and will soon be producing enough to make our continent self-sufficient," reminded Cramer. "Plus, if we were ever to harness natural gas as a surface fuel we would quickly become nationally self-sufficient."

Cramer said the benefits of this bounty could put millions of people to work as well as make our nation a better place to do business.

Another thing that went right.

Read More: Cramer's Plan to Break OPEC, Really!

Jim Cramer
Jim Cramer


"Weren't we supposed to be having a slowdown, one that normally would be cutting into our companies' liquidity?" asked Cramer.

Instead companies have rarely been in better shape – they're leaner and meaner than any time in recent memory.

"In all my 32 years of analyzing companies I have never seen them in more amazing shape," said Cramer.

Yet another thing that went right.


Conventional wisdom suggested that Europe was facing a financial malaise that would last years and potentially threatened the euro-zone.

But that didn't happen.

"You see while the Europeans were kicking the can down the road, they gave themselves time to develop a very thoughtful plan to allow governments and banks to raise capital and fix their respective balance sheets at lower levels than anyone thought possible," said Cramer.

"The Europeans recognized that if they stopped the game cold, a la the way we did with Lehman Brothers, they would go into severe depression. They gave themselves time and it worked."

Again, it went right.


Although China's slowing growth spooked investors, new results suggest that those fears were unfounded.

"That economy, after pausing because the government was busy whipping inflation, is now coming on strong," said Cramer.

Again, right.


Cramer has said many times that he's convinced the recovery in housing should endure.

"The story of 2013? I think it will be the looming housing shortage. So many homebuilders disappeared during the downturn that the remaining ones, the big public companies can barely keep up with the demand. Prices are going higher everywhere and the best investment bet might be to buy a house before the affordability goes away," said Cramer.

Even housing – starting to go right.

Read More: Cramer's Plays on Housing Rebound

What's the bottom line?

Instead of focusing on all that could go wrong in the future, take a lesson from the past.

"Instead look at all the things that went right when they were supposed to be catastrophic and respect the fact that those who panicked lost out big."

If you're looking to put money to work, Cramer has a few words of advice. "Buy European stocks. While their markets are higher I think there is much more to come."

And if you're interested in China, "I think growth is accelerating and the stock market there might be the most undervalued in the world."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer?

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website?