There is no crime to taking something off the table. Yesterday's market may not mark the top, but I will tell you that it was the easiest day in my whole career to make money. Let me repeat that: It was the easiest day in my whole career to make money.
That's why there would be nothing sinful or injudicious about booking a few profits. When you have jumps of 40 and 50 points, it does pay to take something off the table, whether it is
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I know that in a bull stampede like we are having, the idea of getting off, even for a second, or putting some of that money away for at least -- need I say it -- a down day, seems downright un-American.
But can you imagine what a crime it would be if we didn't book some profits after this run?
This is not a sell call. This is not some bear talking, telling you, "I hate it -- it is all crazy" call. I have been in it to win. I don't have to justify my bull credentials. I wear them on my sleeve, tattooed to my forehead, on my jammies, etc.
This "book something" thought is purely in response to the hundreds of nice emails I have gotten from so many of you sharing in 1999's good fortune. I fully expect this market to keep ramping. But if it doesn't, we will be ashamed if we didn't take a little off the table. It would be as if we won the lottery and then said, "Nope, don't cash it -- let that ticket ride next week." You would think the individual who did that had lost his head. Don't mimic it in the stock market.
Remember, with all of this talk of
Red Hots and
B2B and all of the other levitators out there, one thing hasn't changed. There are bulls, there are bears, and there are pigs. While the latter don't get slaughtered as often as they used to, there is no sense in being a total hog. Even the best ones take something off now and then. After yesterday, taking something off doesn't seem like such a wacky idea. You have earned it!
Insider trading and bank stocks. People always seem so shocked when somebody gets nailed for insider trading. It should be the other way around. The government is so sophisticated now that I would think that if you trade on insider information, you should expect to be caught. Do you think the government is stupid? Do you think that people who buy ahead of takeovers in a specific area aren't immediately flagged? They are. Don't kid yourself. The radar screen is big and deep and everybody is on it. ... Hey, check me out on "Fox & Friends" this morning. Wild show.
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James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Yahoo!. Cramer's fund also may be long or short certain stocks in his B2B rotisserie league or Red Hot index. 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