The public wants the truth about performance, not the lies, the excuses and the mistakes. And the public hates those who hide behind value as an alibi for poor performance. Your mail says that in spades.
For me, the most cogent piece of email I got since this whole debate began is from a reader who just got his
, which contains the
attack on my performance by David Dreman, the Mr. Value of
Smarter Money: Join the discussion on
Message Boards. If you recall, Dreman took me to task for falling behind the
average with my 30% return after all fees for the past five years. Dreman says that given my disdain of the fundamentals, I should have done better. He blasts me because he questions my tax efficiency.
Well, lo and behold, Mr. Dreman has a record, too, and this reader, who had just fired Dreman as a manager, had the goods. Get this:
Kemper-Dreman High Return Equity fund returned a minus 18% (adjusted for sales charge) last year, and our reader still had to pay very hefty taxes as Dreman apparently took lots of capital gains even while he was racking up big losses. This, during a year when
averages were up. Dreman has a problem with my tax efficiency last year? What's worse than losing big money and then paying taxes on it to boot?
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