This column was originally published on RealMoney on March 2 at 9:04 a.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here.
Good stocks never get to where you want them to go. They never let you in at prices that make them seem like bargains.
In the 1989 mini-crash -- man, am I dated -- we had a 15% correction in an afternoon. (No wonder I am taking this one in stride.)
Yet, do you know what? When the smoke cleared, almost none of the stocks I wanted were at my price. Many of them were a point or 2 above if they were in their 20s or 30s, and 3 or 4 points above where I thought we had ideal levels.
I whiffed on most of them. I just didn't want to pay up.
Yet it was, in retrospect, a fabulous time to buy.
I bring that up because I am now reading articles about how "it is not down nearly enough" and "it has much further to go," typically from people who have hated the market or sat out the last 15% of it.
Look, I don't know if this is a bottom. In fact, I don't think it is except for the third that I have
highlighted endlessly, but I do know that those of you hoping for perfection buys will be disappointed.
You just never get them. And when they do happen, you will be scared to death to buy them.
Figure out your prices and your levels, but be ready to be a little flexible. You want to buy some
, make your target price $35
. Not $35 plain.
Give yourself some give. If you don't buy all at once, you can pay up a tad if you have to get something on.
But don't shrug your shoulders and say, "Nothing's down enough to buy." I can tell you from experience that something is down enough to buy, and you have to do your best to find it.
My friend Dan Dicker, commodities trader extraordinaire, has a great piece coming later today on the site.
At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned. Jim 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
Action Alerts PLUS. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" weeknights on CNBC. Click
here to order Cramer's latest book, "Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich," click
here to order his 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." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by
TheStreet.com has a revenue-sharing relationship with Traders' Library under which it receives a portion of the revenue from Traders' Library purchases by customers directed there from TheStreet.com.