Today I met one of the gurus of investing, Jim Cramer. Jim Cramer has a show on CNBC called “Mad Money”. Jim had a discussion and book signing at Barnes & Noble, Union Square. He gave a speech on the naysayers on Wall Street and spoke about the end of the “crash”. The is by far one of the most influential people I’ve met in my life.
Cramer has many critics (one of his biggest mistakes he admits is the “Bear Stearns” call he made prior to the debacle).
Investment managers, analysts, will always find themselves facing scrutiny. Many mistakes will be made it’s up to you, me as investors (small, big) to filter the information you receive, do your own due diligence in picking equities.
Jim spoke about a comment Meredith Whitney, a prominent analyst on Wall Street said on CNBC to Maria Bartiromo. Meredith spoke about selling the big banks, and a double dip recession. Cramer said she is not correct on that view. He also defended Warren Buffett and George Soros (Mr. Soros recently added more Ford (F) to his holdings) in connection to Meredith’s comments. Mr. Buffett, recently purchased shares of Wells Fargo, bought Burlington Northern outright, and recently bought more shares of Travellers, Exxon among others for Berkshire Hathaway. Mr. Buffett, Jim said has had more due diligence with Wells’ books than Meredith, so she is not credible enough to make such a comment.
My question to Jim during the Q&A was about investing in E*Trade, the CEO of ETFC recently appeared on CNBC, he said that the company is now 80% out of the mortgage mess, a dilemma they found themselves in as a result of the credit crisis. Jim’s answer was “buy” ETFC (also Jim mentioned that ETFC is a speculative play, meaning, it’s a riskier stock to get involved in, esp. for less riskier investors), will I just jump in and buy, no, you have to do you homework like he always preaches on his show (look at fundamentals, PE ratios, balance sheet, listen to quarterly reports).