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Expiration's Not a Game You Can Win

Cramer knows. He's tried obsessively to play it, and he urges you to learn from his attempt.
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You can't game expirations. When will people realize that? This week, we had a source tell Aaron Task that if the market was grim Wednesday, it would be grim Friday. I bet some people put shorts out or took stuff off the table after they read that quote.


In my intensely manic phase (as opposed to my mild, nearly caffeine-free self today) I used to chart every single expiration, every single Wednesday and Thursday before expiration and every single hour of the 72 hours leading up to expiration.

There was no empirical proof that you could make money cueing off of any hour, day or session.

Periodically, Thursday would undo Wednesday. Occasionally you saw a couple of months in a row where the same pattern happened. But as soon as you bet that way, the pattern shifted and you lost money.

I am not saying it is chaos; it sure used to be. And I am not saying that you can't try to make money on these days. Be my guest.

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What I am saying is that anyone who thinks he has even a blackjack-like system to win is simply B.S.'ing you. Don't be fooled. If there was a way to make money by gaming expiration, I would be the one who would be giving a billion to charity today, not

Bill Gates


Sorry, Aaron, if I kiboshed your source, but if you walk onto my field and come into my zone, I am going to tackle you.

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