Cramer’s Gatsby Index: An Affluence Composite

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How's the economy affecting the better set? Cramer said these 13 stocks tell all.

"From now on, whenever we want to get a read on the spending habits of the rich, we'll come back to these 13 stocks to see what they tell us," said Jim Cramer.

Following are the selected stocked that make up the Gatsby index as well as brief insights.

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Michael Kors

As a maker of high-end clothing and accessories, Michael Kors designs for the famous and fashionable. Open the closet of anyone who's anyone and you're bound to find a piece or two from the Kors collection.

On February 14th, the company reported robust quarterly results as its namesake luxury brand saw strong demand, and said it expects its accessories business to drive profits in the coming quarters.

Two weeks later, on February 27th, Cramer recommended the stock as a 'buy' on the current pullback.

Ralph Lauren

Nothing says preppy like Ralph Lauren and it's Polo collection.

Ralph Lauren reported its latest quarter back on February 6th with the company earning $2.40 a share, handily beating the estimates by 22 cents. They also gave healthy guidance for the next quarter and for 2013.

"This is what happens when you have a brand that's perceived to be on the high end of things—the money just flows in because people cannot resist a little conspicuous consumption," said Cramer.

The Great Gatsby
Archive Photos/Stringer | Moviepix | Getty Images
The Great Gatsby


"The niche yoga-inspired lifestyle brand caters to people who can afford to shell out a hundred bucks for niche clothing," said Cramer.

"I consider Lululemon one of the most powerful growth stories around, because when you wear their clothing, it puts you in a certain rarefied category," he added.

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Whole Foods

"At Whole Foods, you pay through the nose" said Cramer, " but you do so gladly because you feel good about what they sell."

Whole Foods has been a long-term Cramer fave, and in December 2012 Cramer recommended it as a hot stock for 2013.

"Whole Foods has been a very fast grower and the company has excellent cost controls," he said at the time. "Whole Foods can rebound with a vengeance here, it's still the Jay Gatsby of the supermarket business."


Nordstrom is a high-end department store and they're experiencing strength, broadly. Cramer explained. "See, Fitzgerald was right, the rich really are different.

In February Cramer recommended Nordstrom as a play on Internet retailing. "Nordstrom is moving aggressively into mobile—last year alone, mobile devices accounted for a fifth of the company's total direct sales, an area that grew at an ultra-rapid 31% clip last quarter, something that I think can help the stock continue to power higher."

Panera Bread

"I know, Panera Bread is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of high society, but it is the Gatsby of the quick-serve space, especially in comparison to the proletarian McDonald's or the college beer oriented Buffalo Wild Wings," Cramer said.

In February he said, "They are best in class when it comes to consistency. Plus, Panera still has room to expand—they're increasing the store count by roughly 8% per year. This is a fabulous growth story."


Cramer calls Starbucks a play on the Gatsby-fication of the developing world. "China is already well on its way to becoming Starbucks' second largest global market in 2013, and the company still has a massive amount of room to expand in the People's Republic. Yep, even communist China is full of aspirational coffee drinkers."

Toll Brothers

Toll Brothers has been one of Cramer's favorite plays on the housing recovery. "And make no mistake, this is a luxury homebuilder—the average selling price for a Toll house is nearly $570,000."

In January Cramer recommended this stock among others as a way to play the renaissance in housing.

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"Brunswick belongs in the Gatsby Index because this is the number one maker of boats in the world, and a yacht or a motorboat is as discretionary as it gets," he said.


"Saks is the quintessential high end department store. And in their latest conference call, Saks said that the high-end is stabilizing, with the boost from the wealth effect offsetting the impact of higher taxes."


The rich as well as people who hope to become rich, shop Coach. Of all the stocks in the Gatsby Index, this one may be the most difficult to anticipate. Coach products are always fashionable but the stock, however isn't.

"I've come to think of Coach as a company that, over the last year, has made the difficult transition from being a growth to a value stock," Cramer said.


"Tiffany, the renowned jewelry retailer, is another one that had a tough year in 2012, but unlike Coach, Tiffany has been roaring since the beginning of 2013 even after the company reported disappointing holiday sales at the beginning of January," Cramer said.

Estee Lauder

Cramer called this maker of beauty producer the premier player in the cosmetics industry. "Estee Lauder's leading positions in all sorts of prestige beauty products have allowed the company to transcend its overall category, with earnings growth in the mid-teens and a stock that's only a point and a half away from its highs."

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