I just have to be more critical until we get a market pause, until stocks work off the overbought reading, until everything isn't interpretive as positive -- because it isn't, for heaven's sake.
So you wait. During this period, individual stocks have come unglued when they shouldn't have. They are giving you chances, and not all of the chances are bogus.
It's a painful not to buy on a spike, as painful as it is not to buy on the way down. But sometimes you just have to wait.All day I heard replays of Jim Grant calling the whole shebang a hall of mirrors. That sounds like a "House of Usher" -- the "House of Usher" omen -- and I said, "Oh no. If I express caution, will I be lumped in with someone who has hated the stock market since I met him in 1985?" That's as worrisome as buying at the high. But I'm no Grant. I am no intellectual. I wasn't one at Harvard, and I'm not one at the trading desk -- and I rarely invoke that Harvard B.S. You always have throw in that smart stuff because you don't want to be disrespectful. It's a game I've played to little avail. I just need to know why things are going higher, and I couldn't find any reason, and I'm sure not going to make one up. I just want to wait until I know more. Then maybe the circumstances will go positive, and maybe the oscillator will work off the overbought condition and -- classic example -- maybe Netflix won't go up big because people will presume they'll save money by paying Comcast (CMCSA) the same amount as they do a middleman (not that we could prove it, and I've worked hard to do so every day). If all of that happens, perhaps I'll become less skeptical, and not more intellectual. In other words, flexibility -- the thing I am never known as being because I have been bullish for a lot of my career -- needs to pay a role. Skeptical. Critical. Flexible. Are these deadly? No. Always being bullish or always being bearish? Those are the sins. And while I have sinned, I sure try not to. This is one of those times when I don't feel like sinning, as tempting as it is to do so, until I know why I am buying. Then it isn't sinful, and it just might be right. At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long NBL.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 8:34 a.m. EST on Real Money on Feb. 25.
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