How I Trim My Positions

With Cisco deal talk dominating Thursday, the trader turns his attention to how he cuts back.
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Nothing cooking in that session. Spent most of the day debating the prospects with Berko -- of the Giants! Just kidding, but there wasn't a lot to do beyond analyzing the

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

deal 4 million ways to Sunday.

"Not pivotal" is how I would describe it. We've had a big run. We are doing some selling off and consolidating. A lot of you asked what I do when I trim stocks. OK, I take a fifth to a quarter of the stock I own in a position and I sell it. So I can buy it back if it gets hit.

I sell good stocks and not-so-good stocks. I buy back the good ones on weakness. I don't have a recommended list and I am not a broker. I am just doing my job and writing a journal about it. I don't want to knock National GiftWrap & Web Site Co. by mentioning I am trimming it. That's a loser's game for everybody. Me because it might hurt the rest of my National Gift, as I am only selling some of it. You because you might think something is wrong with National Gift even though I am selling it for reasons pertaining to the market, not National Gift.

There is no way around this conundrum, I am afraid.

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

jjcletters@thestreet.com.