In his special introduction to the stock market 101

"RealMoney" radio show, Jim Cramer said he gets tons of email every week from people asking how to get into, and buy and sell in, the stock market.

Opening a stock account is very similar to opening a checking account, Cramer said. You have to fill out forms and decide what level of risk you are comfortable with.

Risk opens up a lot of venues, whereas if you are more conservative, you have limited opportunities.

"I say check the risk box," Cramer said.

Put as much money in your account as you want to put into stocks, but don't borrow money, he stressed.

Once people open an account, they must decide whether they are confident enough to manage their own money or if they need someone's help doing so, he said.

Here, Cramer said, people can play it either way.

Cramer said he likes to tell people that they should have three reasons to buy a stock and be able to articulate them.

"When a stock goes down, which it often does, you have to be ready," he said. If you don't know what the stocks does, you will flip out and end up buying high and selling low, he said.

"There are many things you can do with your money," Cramer said. You can put it under your mattress, put it in a bank or a bond, or invest it in real estate or gold. Or you can put it in stocks, he said.

But history is a good guide for the future, and there is no period is the last 20 years where stocks have been beaten. That's why Cramer says it's best to save money in stocks.

People should split their revenue streams into two: one for retirement, which perhaps could be put into a mutual fund; and the other as a discretionary stream, which people can manage themselves, he said

Put more in the retirement stream than the discretionary one, Cramer advised.

And as people get older, Cramer suggested shifting into a more conservative gear.

"Take as much risk as you can when you're younger," he said. "You can't start over as you get older."

Also, keep a manageable number of stocks, so you have the time to allot one hour of homework per stock every week, he said.

Cramer said he can't own more than 25 stocks for his charitable trust,

Action Alerts PLUS, even though he is a banshee for this business.

"I love it, so I have 25 hours a week to do my homework on my 25 stocks, but you may not," he said.

In addition, make sure to pick stocks of companies you know so that when your stocks go down you won't freak out, he said. And last, pick the stocks you know from different sectors, he said.

To see the most recent edition of The RealMoney Radio Recap in its entirety, please click here. This recap is published every day around 3 p.m. ET.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of He contributes daily market commentary for's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for and, 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

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