Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jim Cramer's bad bets

"Jim Cramer's bad bets". That's the title of an article written by Bill Alpert for Barron's and recently posted on the MSN Money website.

The article's subtitle: "Barron's tracks the 'Mad Money' host's stock picks and comes to one conclusion: Steer Clear". Ouch.

Well, I've never been much of a Jim Cramer watcher, but I am aware of the ongoing debates concerning his show, his antics, and his investment recommendations. So naturally, I was rather interested to check out this article. I think you will find it interesting as well, whether you are a fan of the "J-Man" or not.

The piece takes a very sensible, and skeptical, look at the value of Jim Cramer's on-air stock recommendations. On further examination of the available metrics for Cramer's stock-touting performance, Alpert finds that the overall performance of these picks offers little to shout about.

He also calls on CNBC to provide a more thorough database of the show's on-air picks, having found the available records to be rather selective, at best.

Kudos are given to Cramer for his accomplishments as a financial "renaissance man"; his triumphs as an on-the-field financial reporter, author, hedge-fund manager, and web innovator are noted.

You won't find an unfair character assassination of Cramer here, but you will be left with the thought of "more disclosure, please" when it comes to judging his on-air investment picks.

Give the article a look, and make a special note of its emphasis on tracking an investor's stated (or hypothetical) performance record. When it comes to judging the acumen of any investment guru, similar lessons may apply.