Jim Cramer decided it was time to set the record straight Thursday, and told listeners of his
"RealMoney" radio show who he is and who he isn't.
After being compared to both Dan Dorfman, a former
columnist whose reputation has been marred by unethical behavior, and Joe Granville, a now-obscure pioneer in the world of technical analysis, Cramer says that he's nothing like either man.
"What makes me different is that I was a professional money manager for 20 years," said Cramer. "Dorfman was never in the game."
Not only was he a money manager, but Cramer was also one who made enough cash to burn on
and support his family -- a fact that radio personality Don Imus says distinguishes him from the pontificators.
What it comes down to, Cramer said, is whether he makes people money and how entertaining he is while doing it.
Because, Cramer said, being boring will keep him from reaching people who need to hear what he has to say. And if people start losing money, then he's done.
Thursday means it's "Stump Cramer" day, when listeners try to see just how much the stock guru knows.
Cramer was stumped immediately by
Northern Dynasty Minerals
, which he got excited about for its exposure to copper and gold.
But, he warned, no matter how excited he seems, listeners are not to buy a stock until it has been vetted by the
Stocks Under $10 research team.
He was also stumped by
, a small biotech company;
, an interactive music software company for music students and musicians; and
, a company that supplies seeds for Chinese farmers.
But Cramer knew all about the newsprint maker
, thanks to his time as head of the
And he knew about Indian Internet company
, which, at one time had been recommended by the Stocks Under $10 team.
, the company that listeners said they wanted to know more about in a recent
The company had strong December same-store sales, and Cramer believes that its decision to expand its electronics department would open up a huge growth area.
Consumers will buy a television at Costco, he said, because they'll be able to return it without a warranty.
Though Cramer was not recommending that listeners buy Costco stock, he did say that the company could take market share away from
Plus, said Cramer, Costco can buy back a ton of its stock, is an exceedingly well-run company and has room to expand its dividend program.
But Costco is a more expensive buy than
, Cramer said, adding that he would want to see a pullback before getting into Costco.
Cramer told a caller that
will be a great biotech buy in 2006 and that its treatment to stop bleeding during surgery is better than the one currently on the market.
But, Cramer said, approval may not happen this year, so the stock is cooling a bit. He said he would take a quarter position now and step back.
Cramer told a caller who had bought
that he is concerned about the company's labor problems. A strike would be catastrophic, Cramer said, and that's what's keeping the lid on the stock.
With oil prices going back up, Cramer said he would take some profits on both UPS and
Cramer believes that
is a great company and said that he would grab it when it pulls back.
Urban's stock price has been driven up by $1.50 after two analysts upgraded it on the same day, he said.
As for the upcoming
initial public offering, Cramer said that he thinks the brokers will price it well, and he recommended buying on the deal and flipping it to the open market.
This is because he believes that the VoIP market will be a "very cutthroat" industry over the next few years and that he doesn't want too much exposure there.
And even though
$6 dividend makes it an attractive short-term trade, Cramer said that it's worth having it for the long term.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Ameritrade.
James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
Action Alerts PLUS. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by
clicking here. Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click
here. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" at 6 p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click
here to order Cramer's latest book, "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click
here to get his second book, "You Got Screwed!" and click
here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict."