How do you feel about Jim Cramer? He's Wall Street's rock star but he can be a polarizing kind of fellow. Some find the seasoned trader with an encyclopedia of ticker symbol knowledge fascinating, while others feel that he's doing the investing community more harm than good by leaning on theatrics and rat-a-tat-tat due diligence.
I have no problem telling you exactly how I feel about him. I think that he is housing one of the most brilliant investing minds inside that noggin of his. The problem is that when the cameras roll he starts spinning around like a carnival ride.
You can see it in action this morning. Shares of The Knot
"Buy Knot before Yahoo!
I'm not going to argue against that logic. I made the same case a year ago in smoking out potential dot-com buyouts for all of the greenery that rival Google
To love and to cherish, till sell signal do you part
Earlier this year, I recommended The Knot to our Rule Breakers newsletter service subscribers. That was on the third Wednesday of January when our February issue came out with The Knot fetching a great price of $11.81. It has gone on to more than double since then.
I'm not trying to brag here as much as point out the benefit of loyalty rewards. See, just last week, Cramer was quick to proclaim that he was bearish on The Knot during his show's Sudden Death round.
What happened over the past week to make him change his mind? The stock had inched higher over the course of the five trading days between his calls so it's not as if he could argue that the stock was valued more attractively. Even if the move is more about the desperation of Yahoo! than the attractiveness of the Internet's top wedding planning site, don't we deserve to know why the bear grew horns?
Wouldn't it be nice to know why he feels that The Knot would warm up to Yahoo! on bended knee just days after appointing a Google regional director to its board? Good luck waiting up for an answer. The point of Cramer's show is that he can zig and zag his way through a sea of ticker symbols without much in terms of personal accountability. In the real world, Cramer has an established record as a worthy money manger. On TV, he can be a windup toy backed by a symphony of cheesy sound effects to obfuscate the harm behind his frenzied turns.
A history of silence
I took him to task earlier this year. I broke down how his seven different about faces on Intuitive Surgical
Like The Knot, Intuitive Surgical is another Rule Breakers stock pick that has gone on to more than double since it was first selected as Cramer's show performs cartwheel dances around them.
He did write me back after the Intuitive Surgical piece and I invite him to get back to me again if he wants to go on the record as to why he feels he can catapult from one camp to the other so quickly and without public reflection.
Talk is cheap, but the same can't be said for trading costs, running afoul of wash sale rules, and the opportunity costs of speculators who are hanging on every single Cramer sound bite.
He can pass on the self-flagellation but that doesn't mean that others can't take him to task. Sites and blogs like CramerWatch.org are tracking his every televised whim. His market calls are also being followed in the new Motley Fool CAPS stock rating service.
You're brilliant, Jim. Let some of that rub off on your audience by making the most of your stage time to enlighten as you entertain. You don't have to take a stand on every single ticker symbol that is hurled your way, yet when it is, make sure that your opinion is somewhat consistent.
You're better than that, you rock star, you. We deserve better than that too.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz realizes that his own TV show would be a lot more boring than Cramer's, and with a lot less goatee. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy .