"Cramer, however, has been something of a lightning rod, having faced an onslaught of criticism for writing about companies whose stock he trades for his hedge fund."
news wires yesterday...
Here we go again. Can I tell you something? Do you know that there has never been "an onslaught of criticism" from anyone but journalists regarding my writing about stocks I trade? Do you know that no reader has ever once complained to me about it? That the only complaints I ever hear are from members of the card-carrying fraternity called journalists who despise my ability to write and trade?
After all we've gone through to establish the first credible business brand since
-- and the first one that was designed for everybody, not just 60,000 of the world's top traders -- the old line media companies still want the legacy of this company to be my writing about companies that I trade.
How quaint. How totally off-line. How out of touch. I have some news for the ivory-towered big boys. Go to
. Go to
. Go to
. You know what you'll find?
Millions of People who write and trade. Literally millions.
OK, they don't call themselves journalists. They're commentators. So am I. I'm using diary form. They're using chat form. But it's all about the same thing: writing and talking about the stocks we trade.
I keep going through those securities acts written in 1933 and 1934 that regulate our industry, and the theme of those acts is not "no talking and writing about stocks." If that were the case, no brokerage house could be in business. No money manager could ever talk out loud. The theme of those acts is twofold: Disclose ownership and don't commit fraud.
Until this medium, if you wanted to talk about stocks to others you either worked in a brokerage house or you spoke through reporters. Now everybody can talk about stocks. And they do. They love it. I know from our call-ins (you have to watch this weekend's
show, there's a great call-in segment). I know from the boards. I know from my interaction with thousands upon thousands of readers.
There is only one group of people that is outraged by this revolution: those editors and reporters at the old-line media companies who have the most to lose if they can't protect their monopoly over the right to write about stocks.
I have bad news for the ink-stained crowd. What makes me a "lightning rod" isn't that I trade and write about stocks. Heck, the people at the
were the ones to first propose that I do that when we started Smarter Money! How deliciously ironic! I'm a lightning rod because I believe that we don't need the old world's cloistered rules and closed club to make us money. I'm a lightning rod because I like to strip all the jargon away and reveal the fact that most money professionals aren't any better than their at-home, armchair rivals. I'm a lightning rod because I believe in doing it yourself. And most important, I'm a lightning rod because, unlike these journalists who rant about me, I believe in leveling the playing field so we can all learn, play, enjoy, invest and trade better. So we all can take control of our own finances and be better clients and investors and traders.
As our epitaph got written repeatedly this week by the organizations that are most threatened by what we're succeeding at doing -- creating a new world where you are the client, not the advertiser, and in which we are all working together to try to make more money -- I kept thinking, hmmm, I don't feel dead yet. I always thought I would feel it if it happened.
Nope, not yet. Maybe not ever. Because the concepts of doing it yourself and getting it right, the concepts that were and are our bedrock, aren't going away. They're just getting stronger every day. And that's why we are a lightning rod. And that's why the only epitaph that will be written will be theirs, not ours, and it won't be written by me, but by all of us as we figure out what this new world looks like together.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Yahoo!. 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