When you are on a battleground, you tend to forget that you have to keep your head down.
On Friday, I got sucked into the
battleground. Remember, a battleground is where people have such strong feelings that you can get the stuffing knocked out of you or you can knock the stuffing out of somebody else.
I want the stuffing in my turkey, not sprawled all over my trading turret. I hate these situations because the risk/reward ratio is usually plus five, minus five. (For the record, I like plus five, minus two!)
But I bit because Best Buy always has these cathartic crushings. That's been the story for this stock since it came public. Each time it has come roaring back. I think this time will be no different.
The problem is this morning we got a downgrade from
Salomon Smith Barney
. That's what happens in battlegrounds. Just when you think the machine gun nest on the left has been silenced, another one on the right flank starts up.
Now I am back in the situation where a trade I've turned (I wanted to get out quickly and make a buck or two) is becoming an investment. That harkens back to the
situation that I got involved in last week.
I won that skirmish, and I'm up nicely now. In fact, I just peeled a little off for a big profit.
But I am down on myself because of the Best Buy situation. A trader must, first, never get down on himself, and second, stick to discipline, which says to avoid these incredibly controversial decisions where things could go either way.
I will soldier on, but I want to give you insight here that is not just about what a great trade I just had in
. The real value here is in learning from my mistakes so you don't make them. That's where the subscription pays for itself many times over.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Best Buy, Cisco and Nortel. 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