This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

'Mad Money' Mailbag: Getting Started

Editor's Note: The following are questions received from viewers of "Mad Money," seen every day at 6 p.m. EDT on CNBC.


I only have about $1,000 to invest, and have no idea how to start. What do you suggest for someone who is new to the stock market?

-- Trisha from Tallahassee, Fla.

James J. Cramer: First of all, don't be scared of starting out investing with too little money. That said, even in the era of discount brokerages, the best and most cost-effective way to maintain a diversified portfolio with less than $5,000 is with mutual funds. First, I'd read all I could find online, and there's a lot of useful information for free out there on sites like TheStreet.com, Yahoo! Finance and Morningstar. When you feel comfortable enough, use one of the free mutual fund screening tools out there to find an investment vehicle that best fits your goals.


Should I continue to buy Metris (MXT) if the Fed keeps raising rates?

-- Darren from California

James J. Cramer: Metris is one of my top picks in the credit card space. I think the company is a solid acquisition target now that its fundamentals are improving and management is paying down a substantial portion of debt. Following this morning's acquisition of MBNA (KRB) by Bank of America (BAC), I think the company could be the next name to catch some takeover speculation.




Are you still bullish on Altria (MO)?

-- Pete from Idaho

James J. Cramer: I like Altria here at just 12.7 times estimated earnings and I own shares for my charitable trust. (To see all of the holdings in my charitable trust, visit ActionAlertsPLUS.) The company has announced preliminary plans to break the firm up into four separate companies, and I think shares could be worth more than $80 when each business is valued separately.


What is your take on Cisco (CSCO)?

-- Sue from New York

James J. Cramer: Cisco has been out of favor on Wall Street for some time. But I expect a round of new technology product launches and increased adoption of high-speed data services to breathe some life back into this tech behemoth in the second half of this year. I think Cisco is a buy at this price.


Would you pick up Duke Energy (DUK) with extra cash?

-- Christina from Brooklyn, N.Y.

James J. Cramer: Even though the stock is trading at a 52-week high, up 18% for the year, Duke remains my favorite utility stock. CEO Paul Anderson has done a great job turning the business around, and the recently raised 31-cent quarterly dividend (4.1% yield) is above the industry average.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,001.22 -38.27 -0.22%
S&P 500 1,988.40 -3.97 -0.20%
NASDAQ 4,538.5510 +6.4470 0.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs