JJC's Favorite Fishbowl

It's difficult and embarassing to tell the world what you're up to. But the trader loves it.
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What makes everything so contentious, of course, is that this game is about money. When I decided to put myself in this fishbowl four years ago, I did it for better or for worse. I figured I had a good enough record and enough confidence to tell it like it is.

On a day like today, for example, I leave myself wide open when I admit that

I threw a favorite stock into the volcano. Let me count the ways:

    I reveal that I am superstitious, a true flaw for the rational thinkers out there. I share with you my desperation and my understanding that everybody has to form his own bottom. I expose myself as someone who is ... let's see, how about ... human?

None of these three qualities is becoming in a profession that is supposed to be bloodless, clinical and precise. But I know the truth. It isn't. It is about the emotion and fear and greed of the people

behind the curtain

. Before

TheStreet.com

you only saw the people who scared cowardly lions and scarecrows into thinking they had no courage or brains about their money.

Now you know better. If I didn't feel that my naked, real-time writing made you into a better client or broker -- I would quit today. It is a huge pain in the butt, and often quite embarrassing.

And I wouldn't give it up for all of the money in the world. Because it gives purpose to the whole enterprise at this stage in my life.

Thanks for listening.

Random musings:

In another time and

another place, I asked you to fill out this poll. Here it is again, with the choice you asked to be included:

Are you:

Committing less to the market than last year?

Enticed by these higher cash returns?

Committing the same amount as ever?

Can't commit, because my capital has been vaporized!

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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.