Mad Money Mailbag: 'Mon Back Explained

Also, measuring benchmarks, bond funds, and a hot stock.
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Editor's Note: The following are questions received from viewers of "Mad Money," seen every day at 6 p.m. EDT on CNBC.

How do you feel about the market indexes as long-term investments?-- Steve from Los Angeles

James J. Cramer

: My goal is to exceed the return of the

S&P 500

and other benchmark indices, through active portfolio management. That said, if you don't have time to do your own homework on the stocks in your portfolio, I believe you should find a mutual fund manager that also has a solid track record.

What do you mean, when you play the "C'mon back" sound effect?-- Julie from Arkansas

James J. Cramer

: That's to signify my desire to "back up the truck," because I want to load up as much of a stock as I can.

You talked about Lockheed Martin (LMT) - Get Report and their subcontractors this week. How do home-gamers such as myself find this info?-- Jason from New Jersey

James J. Cramer

: This is a good question, because all of the info I used for that segment was free and available to the public. Sure, I have a research staff, but if you viewers know where to look, you can do the same work on your own. In general, company Web sites,

SEC

filings and content sites like www.thestreet.com have a bevy of information -- if you have the time to look for it. When in doubt, plugging keywords into your favorite Internet browser can also yield good results.

Are there mutual funds that invest in bonds?-- Susan from California

James J. Cramer

: There are hundreds if not thousands of mutual funds out there that invest in bonds. Each major fund family has them, though I'd focus on the ones that primarily buy A-rated corporates.

Is Jones Soda (JSDA) going places?-- Dennis from Detroit

James J. Cramer

: This is one speculative stock that I believe has solid potential. The company is expanding its footprint through

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

and

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

. It will be some time until they're competing with

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

and

PepsiCo

(PEP) - Get Report

, but I believe there is still plenty of room for Jones to grow.

What do you think about Lucent (LU) ? -- Daniel from New Jersey

James J. Cramer

: I own this stock personally for my charitable trust --

ActionAlertsPLUS -- and believe its stock price does not reflect the recent improvement in the company's fundamentals. Some analysts out there are finally seeing the same inherent value that I've found in Lucent, but it may still be some time until the shares can sustain a rally to the midsingle digits.

Should I stick with Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report?-- Robert from Miami

James J. Cramer

: In my opinion,

Bristol-Myers

(BMY) - Get Report

,

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

or

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report

all offer better prospects at current prices.

Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by

clicking here

. Learn how to become a better investor. Get started now with the investing rules that Cramer lays out:

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Lucent.

James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

ActionAlertsPLUS. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by

clicking here. Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click

here. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" at 6 p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click

here to order Cramer's latest book, "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click

here to get his second book, "You Got Screwed!" and click

here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict."