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Understand the Full Story Before Buying

Getting ahead of the curve means nothing if you don't know what you're getting into. Talk about it on our message boards.
Author:

Optical Coating Lab

(OCLI)

, I was a day away from learning about you.

Cramer's Latest: Join the discussion on

TSC

Message Boards.

Yep, last night Matt.com Jacobs put a list on my desk of stocks he wants me to learn so we can get long.

At the top of the list is Optical. Darn homework. Darn, I need to understand what it does. Dang insistence on knowing more than the chart and the symbol!

Yeah, it is like that in this market. Some of these stocks, by the time you research them, the moment is gone. But I can't kick myself too hard.

Last year I plunged into the CLECs at the top and got killed. I wrote about it extensively, under the heading

ICG Communications

(ICGX)

, and I can't afford to get in until I understand the story -- or else I will look just like that deer who stared at me at 3:45 this morning as I made my way to Interstate 78.

Internally, the temptation is to just jump on the next name on the list.

But you can forget about that. It was

Ditech

TheStreet Recommends

(DITC)

!

Random musings

: That call on last week's show to get long the

E*Trades

(EGRP)

of the world worked out pretty well. I am still long, but I let some go today cause it was such a homerun.

Tell that to

Comcast

(CMCSK)

if you didn't get the call to buy these. Not to mention

Cox

(COX)

. What do they have against you making money? What are they, the government?

I don't think so.

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