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Why I Do What I Do

Editor's Note: This is a bonus story from Jim Cramer, whose commentary usually appears only on RealMoney . This column was published on Jan. 12 on RealMoney . We're offering it today to TheStreet.com readers. To read Cramer's commentary regularly, please click here for information about a free trial to RealMoney.






Is he the next Joe Granville? Is he the next Dan Dorfman? In the last 48 hours, I have been compared with both gentlemen, and I think it's about time I weighed in on who the heck I am and what I am doing on both my television and radio shows as well as in my writings.

First, the comparison to Dan Dorfman came from an unflattering bit of research from the shop of Laszlo Birinyi. It's always disappointing when you read something under the name of someone you respect that links you with someone who was dismissed for ethical violations. For those of you not familiar with Dorfman's work, he used to come on CNBC and dazzle us with takeover stories that might or might not be true. I always found him entertaining, but he was, I felt, a negative force, not a positive one, because his splashiest stuff was about who would buy whom and that's unknowable, at least legally.

The Granville analogy comes closer to home, and appears closer, too, being from none other than our own Doug Kass. Having traded aggressively during the period that Joe Granville moved markets, I find myself momentarily flattered by the comparison -- except Joe turned out to be more one-trick than I thought. He couldn't reinvent himself, despite the pyrotechnics.

OK, now let's talk about me. First, I was a professional money manager, something that Dorfman wasn't. Did Granville run money? I don't even know.

Second, I made a ton of money, enough to be able to burn through piles of it to start this enterprise and still feed and house my family, which, believe me, is saying something.

I point these two out because Wednesday, Don Imus, a man I respect tremendously, said that what distinguished me from many of the pontificators out there is that I actually did it and I made a lot of money, which puts me in a different camp from many others who write and talk about the market.

But there are others who have made a lot of money who don't make the splash that I do and don't put on "the show," if you want to call it that.

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