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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Some say owning individual stocks is just far too dangerous, but Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday that if they buy what they know and pay attention while they own them, the rewards will be far greater than just owning a basket of stocks that include the good, the bad and the ugly.
You may have heard the latest catch phrase going around Wall Street, the notion of "single stock risk," as in, it's better to own an index fund or a sector-based exchange-traded fund rather than risk owning individual stocks, Cramer said. But while index funds do have a place in the investment world, mainly for those with less than $10,000 to invest, or those without the time or inclination to do their own stock homework, the vast majority of investors are indeed smart enough to make decisions that beat the averages.
Don't be scared out of owning a piece of American industry, he said, stocks like Colgate-Palmolive (CL) - Get Colgate-Palmolive Company Report which is up 591% over the past two decades or R.R. Donnelley (RRD) - Get R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Report, which pays a hefty 5.3% dividend and is up 15.4% so far this year.
Even in troubled sectors, like the homebuilders, there are winners like Lennar (LEN) - Get Lennar Corporation Class A Report, which used the recession to buy up land on the cheap, enough to fuel it for decades to come. Shares of Lennar are up 173% over the past five years since the crash.
Then there are companies like Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report, a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, and Regeneron (REGN) - Get Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report, two growth stocks investors should just own for the long term.
Sure, there's risk in owning individual stocks, but with a little time and effort, the rewards far outweigh the risks.
CVS Is a Buy
It may seem like the economy is in a lose-lose situation, with the Federal Reserve poised to raise interest rates and dampen the markets at the slightest hint of positive momentum -- but don't forget that there are plenty of stocks that do great in a low-growth environment.
The health care containment stocks are one pocket of low-growth success, as the aging baby boomers and the Affordable Care Act both demand reigning in costs.
Among the group, Cramer highlighted CVS Health (CVS) - Get CVS Health Corporation Report, a drugstore chain that also comes with a built-in pharmacy benefit manager. Shares of CVS are up 74% over the past two years, but that may only be just the beginning.
CVS currently has over 71 million members in its pharmacy benefit program, a business that generated $7.5 billion in new business. The company also has a specialty pharmacy business that is taking market share.
Then there are CVS' 7,800 locations throughout the U.S. which command a respectable 21% market share. These stores may only have posted 1.2% same-store sales growth when they last reported. Considering the company's bold move to stop selling tobacco, sales are still strong.
Yet, despite all these positives, and the recent announcement that CVS is acquiring Omnicare for $12.7 billion, CVS still trades for just 17.3 times earnings, the cheapest of its peers.
The stock of GameStop (GME) - Get GameStop Corp. Class A Report may have been left for dead last year but it's been on fire in 2015, up more than 29%, causing Cramer to issue a mea-culpa for being too negative on this successful turnaround story.
Many investors, Cramer included, had written off GameStop as becoming increasingly irrelevant in a world where games can simply be downloaded directly to game consoles. But 2014 proved to be just a transition year. Now that many gamers have their new Xboxes and PlayStations, they're returning to GameStop stores.
But GameStop is about a lot more than just games. The company acquired SimplyMac, a chain of Apple-authorized resellers, two and a half years ago, and has already increased the chain from 20 to 70 locations, with another 50 planned this year -- helping to bring Apple Store experience to smaller markets.
Add to that the company's 40 million member loyalty program and the fact that GameStop still sells at just 10 times earnings with a 3.3% dividend yield and it's easy to see why Cramer was forced to take a second look at this stock where 42% of the float is current sold short.
Executive Decision: Tom Farrell
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Tom Farrell, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion Resources (D) - Get Dominion Energy Inc Report, the utility that has seen its shares decline since the company posted a 3-cents-a-share earnings beat and an 8% boost in its dividend, which now yields 3.8%.
Farrell attributed the weakness in Dominion's stock to the classic cyclical rotation out of utilities that typically precedes a rise in interest rates. He said once the Federal Reserve actually raises rates, the utilities tend to rise once again.
But despite the weakness in his stock, Farrell is still hard at work planning for the future. Dominion recently announced a $20 billion capital investment plan for the next six years that continue bolstering their presence in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Farrell noted the growth of data centers in the company's service area continues to rise as companies are taking full advantage of the cheap, reliable power Dominion offers.
Turning to the issue of coal-fired plants, which are increasingly going out of favor, Farrell said Dominion has already shuttered some coal plants and he doesn't expect that all of their remaining plants will survive tougher environmental regulations. However, he did note the company is working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency and some plants will continue for quite some time.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
The Blackstone Group
Cramer was bearish on OPOWER (OPWR) .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer challenged the conventional wisdom that the tiny country of Greece, with its 11 million people, has the power to bring down the European banking system.
While Greece may continue to make headlines, Cramer noted that Europe is a lot stronger now than it was three years ago when this crisis began. In fact, the European Union is prepared for a Greek exit from the EU. There will be dislocations if Greece does indeed exit, he said, but there will be more losses from hedge funds on the wrong side of the trade than actual economic losses.
What the markets need most is a resolution, any resolution, Cramer concluded. This failure of leadership on both sides of the issue has gone on long enough.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL.