Sometimes a Pretzel Is the Safest Bet

The trader's partner gave him a limited selection of what to buy in this market. Few stocks were included on that list.
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When we were down 90 going down to 60, I turned to Jeff Berkowitz, my partner, and said, "Come on, man, you know it is rallying. We gotta buy something. We gotta take something. Come on, man, give me some choices."

"Sure," he said. "We can go buy frozen yogurt or we can buy water ice."

"That's not what I mean," I said.

"OK, then," he said compromisingly. "Let's get a pretzel."

And so we did.

Yep, we don't want to be shooting until we see the whites of their eyes.

We have bought two stocks in this decline, a little

Tyco

(TYC)

and a little

United Technologies

. They were down; we wanted to rebuild our small positions in them.

Funny, if I had bought

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

when I wrote that like I wanted to, I would have made a buck, but then given it back in rapid fashion.

Guess that's why a pretzel is a safe bet.

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