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(Story updated to add Cramer's Lightning Round picks, responses to "Mad Tweets," and concluding remarks.
NEW YORK (
) -- The best investor is a successful one, Jim Cramer told his
TV show viewers Monday. And if that's true, he argued investors who are overly cautious about the markets aren't bringing their "A" game.
Cramer said investors have been taught over the past few years that being overly cautious was the right thing to be, but that thinking no longer applies to today's markets. He said the market's current rally isn't a narrow one, it's broad-based, and it's not a two-day move higher and it's lasted for weeks. And that, he said, make it prudent not to be scared and to embrace the move.
But Cramer said he finds himself alone in championing the stock market. The president isn't promoting stocks because of high unemployment, despite the fact that stocks are up 58% since he first took office. The
is also cautious and continues to be downbeat on the U.S. economy.
Even the brokerages are laying low, noted Cramer. Despite countless calls that earnings estimates are too low for countless companies, analysts are afraid to upgrade their estimates or to promote stocks in any big way. Corporate executives aren't faring any better, said Cramer, as they too are fearful of setting expectations too high, even though the first quarter of 2012 is proving to be a blockbuster for many companies.
So with no one else stepping up, Cramer said he stands alone, telling investors that this rally is for real and now is not the time to step away. Instead he said it's the time to buy into some great companies that are still trading far too cheaply. "Do not give up," he concluded, this move higher is not over yet.
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again sat down with Martin Franklin, the executive chairman of
, the largest sporting goods company on earth, as well as being a major player in small appliances. Jarden recently conducted a massive stock repurchase program, reducing its overall share count by 13%.
Franklin said that Jarden wanted to do something that would get its stock noticed by investors and its massive buyback accomplished that goal. He said the company generated enormous cash flow and will likely generate $450 million in free cash flow this year. When asked about the current earnings estimates for the stock, Franklin said he's comfortable with Wall Street forecasts.
Turning to the company's businesses, Franklin reiterated that diversification is a major strength for Jarden. He said the company has enjoyed six consecutive quarters of organic growth thanks in past to a $1 million per day investment into its brands. For brands like Coleman, known for its outdoor gear, that meant expanding into LED flashlights, where the company is now the No. 3 player in that market.
Franklin was equally bullish on Jarden's technical apparel segment, another aspect of the company that's growing in the double-digits, but still has lots of room to grow as it broadens its product offerings. Franklin was also bullish on their Rawlings brand of sporting goods ahead of the upcoming baseball season.
Finally, when asked why company management sold shares into its recent buyback, Franklin explained that the company wanted to encourage investors to tender some of their shares. He said that's why company management participated in the offer. That move did not indicate that company executives are any less bullish on the company however.
Cramer said that normally he's not a fan of buybacks, but in the case of Jarden, where share prices are rocketing higher, he's willing to make an exception.
Great Turnaround Story
In the second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Bob Benmosche, president and CEO of
American International Group
, a company that turned a corner in August, 2009 and has now become one of the greatest turnaround stories, thanks to excellent management.
Benmosche said that when he took the reigns at AIG, the company had great people, great assets and a reputation of knowing their businesses very well. He reminded viewers that out of 44,000 overall trades that AIG made, only 121 went bad during the the height of the financial crisis. Benmosche said that despite incredible criticism, the people of AIG were giving the freedom to act and were able to fix the company's problems.
Benmosche also discussed the company's plans to diversify itself and not become overly concentrated in any one area. He said the "win big, lose big" strategy is no longer in place at AIG and the company views diversification as a means to better debt ratings and more flexibility to thrive in any economic environment.
When asked about the government's stake in the company, Benmosche said that the government hasn't been a problem for AIG. He said the government lets AIG run its company. Overall, Benmosche made the bold claim that U.S. taxpayers will see a $5 to $10 billion profit on their investment into AIG.
Cramer closed by once again saying that AIG is perhaps the greatest turnaround of our time. He told investors to stick with the company.
In this segment, Cramer responded to questions asked on Twitter to @JimCramer.
Cramer said that
is still a play on Japanese reconstruction, which is why he owns it for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS.
When asked about
, Cramer said the company is not a good investment with gas prices going higher and sales still slumping in Europe and Latin America. He said Ford is not the best way to play the 2012 bull market.
Cramer was bullish on
Nordic American Tanker
Cramer was bearish on
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer sounded off against BATS Global Markets, the company that controls nearly 11% of all American trading, yet couldn't wrestle control of its own trading platform to bring its own stock public last week.
Cramer said the BATS fiasco last week exemplifies how electronic trading is fundamentally flawed. He called BATS' claim that it "helps the little guy" totally bogus, noting that high-speed electronic trading actually sucks liquidity out of the markets instead of adding to it.
Cramer added that the SEC has clearly lost regulatory control of the markets and is no longer enforcing its mandate of leveling the playing field for all investors. "This is not a system I want to trust with my retirement fund," he said.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Weyerhaeuser.
Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."
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