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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gone are the days when investors can trade off of news that's already happened. Those were Jim Cramer's thoughts to his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Monday, as he compared Hurricane Sandy's closure of the stock market to that of Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
Cramer said things were very different in 1985, when he was working as a broker for Goldman Sachs (GS). He said back then, there was no CNBC or Internet, the news day started at 7 a.m. ET and most people got their stock news from the next day's newspaper. He said that no one had access to real-time quotes unless they were a broker.That's why when Gloria slammed into the east coast, Cramer was able to think ahead and put his clients into companies that made the doors, windows, tools and lumber that would be needed to rebuild. That proved to be a wise move, as those stocks all popped in the days following the storm, as others read the news and also made the same connections. But as Hurricane Sandy hits the same part of the country almost 30 years later, a lot has changed, noted Cramer. Today, everyone knows about Lowe's (LOW) and Home Depot (HD) and everyone has access to real-time information around the clock. Investors can make their own trades in today's markets, said Cramer. So does that mean that investors can still make money investing in doors, windows and tools? Not a chance, said Cramer, because those stocks would've moved days ago, long before anyone even knew who Sandy was. The market is, in fact, ready to make money off of those late-comers to the hurricane trade. That's why investing, not trading, makes more sense than ever.