But in recent years, the markets have turned the notion of blue-chip upside down with such notable names as Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and General Motors (GM) all filing for bankruptcy.
Cramer said that much of the traditional investing advice ignores the human elements of investing, those which tell us that investing in stodgy stocks that don't do much will only cause many investors to stop doing their homework or pay attention at all. That's why having at least one speculative stock in your portfolio is so important.
Cramer said he advocates having no fewer than five stocks in a portfolio, but also no more than 10 since that's about all the time the average home-gamer will have to spend on their investments. But one of those stocks needs to be a speculative stock -- a high-risk, high reward company that will keep you interested and paying attention and one that just might provide massive returns.
One type of speculation involves those companies with shares prices in the single digits, Cramer explained. He said that sometimes, great companies fall onto hard times, as did Ford Motor (F), Bank of America (BAC), Pier 1 Imports (PIR) and Sprint (S).But when a share price falls below $10, many mutual funds and institutional investors simply cannot own them, said Cramer, which means that investors who can tell when a company's fundamentals have changed can buy in ahead of the big money for huge gains once shares regain double-digit status. That was certainly the case with all four of the names above, Cramer said. In each case, speculative investors could've played the "over $10" jump ahead of the big money players.