This column was originally published on RealMoney on April 10 at 10:07 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
"I'm in the house of pain,
I actually heard this last week, someone describing a down-$2 position on Akamai as the house of pain.
It took my breath away, for a multitude of reasons. First, when we decide that a down-$10% position on a highflier is a house of pain, we have clearly overstepped our risk tolerance. We are buying stocks that simply aren't suitable for us. That's fine; that's what happens occasionally.
You see, if you are buying a highflier, it will be prone to nasty corrections. For every Network Appliance -- another notorious highflier -- I buy for
Action Alerts PLUS, I like to buy a
because I don't like to have a portfolio full of stocks that can be crushed on a bad market day or on a spike in rates. Remember, stocks are, in the end, long-dated assets, and they are discounted more negatively when rates go higher.
(You want a real house of pain, that's
Bausch & Lomb
, which got a positive mention in
for being incredibly undervalued -- but I have been singing that song for 8 points!)
But besides market hiccups for Akamai and the inability of some people to tolerate then, there is a larger issue. The main reason to own Akamai is that every time you pick up a newspaper, you see a story about streaming video on the Web. We have a big one today about
. That's simply Akamai's bread and butter. If you want to play this obvious trend, you have to own Akamai. If you believe the trend is played out, you should sell Akamai. I just don't think you can call this trend played out yet. Way too early.
Normally, I would suggest a
'mon back for those who own Akamai and want to know what to do with it. I can't in this case, though. It just doesn't work for people who believe they are in pain if it doesn't snap back quickly; the propensity will be for them to sell it lower than it is.
It is unfortunate that we have so many people in the marketplace who don't understand how equities work. They are extremely risky vs. bonds and of course ridiculously risky vs. a 5% return for cash. That return may be all that the people who can't tolerate the ups and downs of an Akamai really want.
The reason I preach
diversification at every turn is that I don't want any portfolio destroyed by any one stock. For example, if you only owned
in the last month, I know you are thinking about getting out of the game. Remember my goal: to keep you in the game at all costs, because there has never been a 20-year period where stocks have been beaten by another asset class.
That said, there are tons of periods of shorter duration when stocks have crushed you. So, with that in mind, take stock of your risk tolerance, and then adjust your portfolio accordingly. There is nothing wrong with cash as an asset, especially when it offers as high a return as it does right now.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Network Appliance, Newell Rubbermaid and Bausch & Lomb. 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
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