After years of breaking down market moves for investors — often times at the risk of being wrong — CNBC’s Jim Cramer is taking a stand against market commentators who play it safe, but never really help the average stock-picker.
“If I came out here every day and said it was the seventh inning of the bull market, would anyone really mind? That’s the kind of cautious nonsense that you could’ve said every day for the last 30 years and it’s always lapped up … by journalists,” the “Mad Money” host said on Tuesday.
Cramer argued that it’s all too easy for commentators to “equivocate,” detailing both sides of a problem but not offering a solution, or to put themselves permanently in the bullish or bearish camp, which he said is “equally unhelpful.” Similarly, it’s easy for someone to tell investors to stay away from stock-picking altogether, he added.
“The problem is that none of that is actually advice that is at all helpful for regular investors,” Cramer said. “You have to try to explain the risks and the rewards. You have to try to help people avoid gigantic downside, even if the market can come back over a five-year period, as was the case from 2007 to 2012.”
Right now, Cramer believes that stocks have “a lot of risk and not a lot of reward,” something he knows people don’t necessarily want to hear. But, in his view, honesty is more useful to individual investors than eternal optimism.
“If you want wishy-washy opinions or permanent bullishness, believe me, you’ve got a lot of different options to choose from,” he said. “But as far as I’m concerned, that kind of analysis is not very useful. I’d rather try to get it right and help people, which is why I come out here every night, including tonight, and tell you the truth as I see it, even when it causes me to get pilloried on social media, and even when I get it wrong, either through a lack of understanding or simple bad luck.”