Well, it turns out to be only partly true. Jim Cramer is the subject of this weeks Barron's cover story: Shorting Cramer. While I would surmise he isn't thrilled with the coverage, he shouldn't be all that perturbed.
In our day, we've seen some media hatchet jobs. All things considered, this was a relatively mild ctitique.
The ever popular Ubiq-cerpt:™
THANKS TO HIS NIGHTLY CNBC SHOW Mad Money, Jim Cramer has become the chief cheerleader for the bull market, or what was the bull market until a few weeks ago. Last spring, he was giddily exhorting the Dow Jones Industrial Average toward 15,000, with no troubles in sight. Earlier this month, as the Dow tumbled in the direction of 13,000, he had an on-air meltdown, complete with screaming, sobs and predictions of financial doom. The clip quickly made the rounds on YouTube. Friday, after the Fed cut the discount rate, he said that the Dow's run to 14,500 had begun. With dramatic pronouncements like that, it's no wonder that more than 100,000 viewers tune in each weeknight for his antic mashup of sound effects, Streetwise advice and stock picks.
It's those stock picks that caught our attention. Cramer, by all accounts, had a stellar career as a hedge-fund manager. And he is held out by CNBC as the guy who can help viewers make big money. But a comprehensive and careful review of his stock picks by Barron's finds that his picks haven't beaten the market. Over the past two years, viewers holding Cramer's stocks would be up 12% while the Dow rose 22% and the S&P 500 16%, according to a record of 1,300 of the CNBC star's Buy recommendations compiled by YourMoneyWatch.com, a Website run by a retired stock analyst and loyal Cramer-watcher.
The Barron's article included two charts. The one analyzing Cramer's 3458+ stock picks (see 2nd chart below) was not the one that really mattered to me.
Rather, it was the chart of TheStreet.com (TSCM) itself.
Since that first mention, the stock price has since tripled . . .
The Cramer Effect -- and Defect
Barron's, August 20, 2007