Cramer's first fling with stocks

Editor's note: This show is in memory of Jim Cramer's father, Ken Cramer 1922-2014.

Jim Cramer loves stocks. He absolutely loves them. And he has for a very long time.

"My love of stocks didn't begin in law school or college or even high school," explained the "Mad Money" host. "No, my love for stocks started back in fourth grade, that's right, fourth grade."

At the time, Cramer was already a sports nut and scanned his local paper for info on the latest games, as well as the comics. As a curious kid, he understandably became intrigued by other sections.

"There was always this solid chunk of the paper that seemed impenetrable to me, the business section. It made no sense to me."

Outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. 
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. 

Cramer was particularly curious about the columns and columns of stock information, and he turned to his father for help.

"He sat me down and explained that each of those lines represented the performance of a stock of a company on a different day. It fascinated me."

It was then and there that Cramer began his love affair with stocks. It all began as a game of fun as Cramer pretended he was an investor, and attempted to guess which stocks would go higher and which would go lower.

"So what I did was write the names down that I heard and I followed them. I kept them in a ledger that I still have. It was a terrific game trying to figure out the next move of a stock, even as all you knew was its name."

Perhaps his future was decided right then. However in the case of Jim Cramer; fate left nothing to chance. Something else happened in his youth that laid the foundation for Cramer's illustrious Wall Street career.

Again, it involved a game.

"My dad's company at the time was the National Gift Wrap and Box Company, and represented 3M Corp.," Cramer said. And at the time, 3M started selling games designed to pique a young person's interest in business.

"One was called Acquire, it was about takeovers. The other was called Stocks & Bonds," Cramer explained. As you might imagine, the "Mad Money" host was smitten.

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"I loved those games so much," he said. They clearly helped spark the beginnings of what would become a celebrated career. "I have subsequently asked the CEO of 3M to bring the games back," Cramer admitted.

Cramer's point here is that parents shouldn't worry that kids are too young to learn about the stock market. As far as Cramer is concerned, it's never too early to get kids interested.

Cramer thinks they may absolutely love it, especially if it's introduced not as something serious, but rather as a game.

"Simply pick companies that are familiar to your kids and have them track them and guess which will do best over a period of time," said Cramer. "If your kids have an aptitude for investing, they will naturally find the contests fun. And they may stick with it for life."

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