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Mad Mail: Making Too Much Money Too Fast

Hey Jim: My husband and I are in our 50's and figure now would be a good time to start accumulating some stock for our retirement. Yeah, yeah, yeah, what took us so long? We have decided to have a stable portfolio by buying some dependable stocks, but our additional aim is to start collecting stocks from companies who either make green products or their components. We live in St Louis, so we were going to start by buying a couple hundred shares of Zoltek. Thoughts? --Melodee

Cramer says: “No, no. You cannot make money in Zoltek. That was a discovered story years ago when we started the show. We caught a double, never looked back. I don’t want you to think like that. I think that your first idea about dependable stocks is good, but I want to define dependable as companies that pay a dividend and have been raising the dividend. Use that as your criteria and I will go with you. The idea of green versus no green, I am not going to go with that. I am trying again to develop some companies that I think can benefit from cap-and-trade, but I have to tell you something – that’s not the way to invest. I like companies that are either accidental high-yielders or have a consistent policy of paying a dividend.”

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Jim: In your book, Stay Mad For Life you wrote that pros worry about making too much money too fast because it shows a potentially dangerous imbalance in the risk/reward ratio. Does this idea apply to companies as well - especially financials? --Scott

Cramer says: “Look, if you’re putting on numbers that are too fast, particularly if you’re buying other companies, it does apply. By the way, I often look at this issue for my charitable trust, where I am always nervous when I’ve made, say, twice what the market did on a given day. When I have that kind of outperformance, I know I’m taking too much risk. That’s what you need to worry about…are beating the market by two, three times in a day? You’re probably having too much risk. Cut back the risk, and the reward will stay steady.”

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