When I detail this strategy, it always comes out as if I am endorsing momentum itself. For the unsophisticated, just the act of naming these stocks is to say, "Cramer loves these stocks." In actuality, it is quite the opposite. I am not a thrill-seeker. I am trying to find the most performance with the least risk. These stocks give you the most performance with the most risk. But buying them when they go down for non-company-specific reasons has worked, and worked well, since the market bottomed in 2009.
Now, some of these stocks go so high that they become too dangerous to just go out and buy, and I have flagged two of them of late -- Netflix and Tesla. While almost all of these stocks have run and run hard, those two are of great concern, because they have broken away from just about every mooring I can think of. Buying such a name worked once, and only once, in my career: with the success of Amazon, an amazing company with amazing growth, but no profits to speak of.
But even those stocks, on a big pullback, can still make sense as a hedge to the momentum managers' performance.
I wish there were more to this analysis. What I attempt to do in several chapters in Get Rich Carefully is to explain how these managers evaluate stocks so you can get comfortable with their process, not mine. That's all I am saying when I identify these managers' growth vehicles. I want you to profit from the mechanics of money management, not from the valuations of the stocks themselves. That's way too often lost on people.I hope now you will understand that endorsing a concept of how others make money, and not necessarily loving the stocks that they use to do so, can be a legitimate way to make money without saying, "Look at me, I am a super bull, and these stocks are the cheapest and the best." Those stocks can turn out to be the most expensive and the worst. However, right now the opposite is true, so you have to wait until a selloff before you pick and choose one or two of them. In this way, you can hedge yourself from falling too far behind the performance of other managers who regard themselves as disciplined in a very different way -- a way has worked for a long time. The strategy will continue to work, as well, so as long as overall worldwide growth remains sluggish and investors seek money managers who understand and exploit that environment. Nothing fancy. Nothing flashy. Just the facts of the way the business works, gleaned over 35 years of picking stocks I like and mimicking the work of others who anoint stocks that I would otherwise stay away from. At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long FB and GOOG.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 8:48 a.m. EST on Real Money on Feb. 26.