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Guess Again

This market humbles all. Today you may be right, but what about tomorrow?

I should have bought more eBay (EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report. I should have bought more Cisco (CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report. Why didn't I add more Tellabs (TLAB) when it was down?

Days like Monday bring out the worst in second-guessing. Brutal second-guessing. When the


was down 150, and the


wasn't down nearly as much, we thought about taking some stock for some scalps. We saw the NDX put sellers, who pushed up the market in extremely thin volume. We recognized that the market was oversold short term. We thought they could push it up.

But how high? And would we be able to get in and get out? And aren't we pinning too much on



NOT disappointing after it has repeatedly disappointed?

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The market does that to you. I have left here so many times wishing I had been 200% long only to be blown to smithereens the next day by a bad employment number or a crummy earnings report.

You try to take solace in the fact that the advance decline didn't rally or that the volume was light. But there was money to be made for the nimble, there's no denying it.

Other times I have left the office horribly long, wearing terrible positions that roared back to life the next day. This column gig only makes it worse, because if I express caution, I have jokers emailing me from all over the country telling me I am missing the big rally.

Suffice it to say that the market humbles all.

Jeff Berkowitz

and I have spoken to a half dozen portfolio managers, all of whom wish they had bought more aggressively today. These same people may call us tomorrow wishing they had bought nothing.

To which I say, can't wait until tomorrow so I can take another set of cuts and once again try to hit it out of the park. Thank goodness, this casino never closes.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund was long eBay, Cisco and Tellabs. 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