My mailbox is overflowing with people who start their letters with, "Tell me if this isn't a sign of a top." The parking lots were filled -- that's a top. The guy on TV was saying how easy it is -- that's on top. Friends at parties talking about making oodles in the stock market. There's a top.
Give me a break!
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You could have used this indicator any time in the last 15 years. I have heard it a gazillion times. It doesn't work.
We have an impression, fostered by a couple of (probably wrong) anecdotes from 1929, that when people talk about making money in the market, it is the end.
Bull markets don't end by their own collective weight. And they don't end by people who "aren't supposed to be making money" are. They end when rates shoot up, earnings collapse and business goes bad. When you hear that at a party, give me a jingle.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at