Sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand. Earlier this morning, I thought I had hit the ball in the monuments in dead center field. 440 feet. Sultan of Swat. All because
had signed a deal with
American Management Systems
. We owned some Ariba, and of course, it is on my
rotisserie league team. American Management is a well-known government contractor that handles procurement. Ariba is a business-to-business company that is trying to rationalize the world of procurement.
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With the two getting together, I figured, hey, if people think the market for
car parts is big -- they are huge B2B targets -- this one is the Kahuna, the government market. What could be better to be B2B'd than the government, which spends a fortune, much of it profligately and without using its leverage?
So what happens?
The stock gets crushed from the get-go. Just crushed. I go to the boards and ask if anybody knows anything. Turns out there is a block for sale. Turns out others think it will be a big deal, too.
It kept us in the stock. Now we are doing great. And we are feeling emboldened.
Could we have done this alone? Sure. Did it feel better to commiserate with others? Definitely. Did it make us buy rather than sell when the stock started rallying back? Absolutely.
This is the beauty and the purpose of chat -- to help each other. I know that it would be difficult to maintain decorum if we were anonymous on our boards, but we have to be open-minded because we need as many minds as possible to beat this game.
As many good minds as possible. And no vituperation, cheering or booing.
That's why I keep going back to the discussion of what would be the right thing to do, anonymous or not. Even internally we aren't sure.
thinks anon just makes us as bad as everyone else.
thinks we are losing some great input because of the rules we have set up. Ideally, people know who is hosing them and who isn't. I don't know what the answer is.
I do know that our boards continue to help us make money by giving us confidence and insight.
Don't forget my
AOL chat tonight at 5 p.m. ... Nice call by Henry Blodget to buy
TV show this weekend. I wish they were all that great!
Be sure to check out the latest standings in Cramer's business-to-business rotisserie contest against his colleague Matt Jacobs.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Ariba, BEA Systems, Oracle, Siebel, VerticalNet and Yahoo!. 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