Churning Through the Seasonal Bias

Families are pressuring managers just like Cramer to spend more time at home. But others know this can be the season to buy.
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Lock-in vs. seasonality. Which is more powerful? All over the country this holiday week, managers like me are taking heat -- from our families. The heat feels like this: It's been a great year. Take something off the table. Come home more. Spend more time, real time, not run-to-the-cell-phone time or CNBC-on-in-the-background time.

If the managers are like me, they are going to do it.

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I get paid once a year. I don't want to blow it in the fourth quarter. I want to keep the ball on the ground or take a knee. No sense doing anything dangerous.

But there are others who know that this season is the season to buy. Stocks tend do well right now. Seasonality shouldn't mean anything, in that each year has a totally different set of circumstances. Oil is high now; rates keep creeping up; the


has been hostile. These are parameters that should be more important than any date on a calendar.

Nevertheless, seasonal biases are well documented, and these weeks are supposed to be good ones.

So I think we churn as they offset each other. There are times that are important, or "fulcrum" in my terminology, when big moves occur. Then there are other, less consequential times, times when it wouldn't be such a bad idea to turn the cell phone off.

That's this time.

Random musings:

I got this great email from a reader saying he doesn't like our boards because they don't scale. Right or wrong, there are heft and volume to the

Silicon Investor

boards. To which I say I have no desire to have the biggest boards. I just want to have the best boards.

That's where we are headed, too.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of 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