It's not easy, Cramer said Wednesday, but you need to stay in the game because that's how you'll get back to even, if not win.
Doing so takes discipline, the "Mad Money" host explained. Let your gains run and limit your losses. Make sure to have a healthy mix of stocks, gold and dividend-paying names. It will require a lot of homework and you'll have to regularly monitor your portfolio to know if the facts have changed, a business has gone sour or if its time to cut your losses. But most of all, Cramer recommends having a diversified portfolio.
Being diversified doesn't simply mean owning several stocks, he said. It means owning several stocks across a range of sectors. That way, if one area starts to struggle, your positions in other sectors will minimize the pain. Even with diversification, though, you may feel some pain.
Because not all sectors perform well at the same time, hedge funds try and make money by way of rotation, which is the process of taking money out of one sector and putting it in another. But the pain associated with rotation is "like a pinprick" compared to the what you'd feel if you hadn't diversified.
The stock market can seem dangerous, but Cramer said it’s the best way to supplement your paycheck. Bonds give you a feeling of safety, but their meager returns aren’t enough to help pay for your kid’s college or save for retirement.
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