You don't have to catch every move to get rich in this game. Take this gold move. Sure, it would have been great had I said, "You know what, I am jumping on this gold train because it is pulling out of the station." Maybe I would have gotten a few kudos from readers and the emails would certainly read better. Perhaps someone could have made some money with it. You have to understand, though, I am a percentage player. Here is my thinking.
For 15 years, people have been jumping on every gold move and playing the stocks. During that period I have shorted almost every gold move and made excellent money. So I am not predisposed to jump. Every gold move has been a false move for that period. In fact, there are far fewer gold stocks than when I started in this business because so many of them have gone out of business.
That doesn't mean it was right not to buy. It would have been right to buy. But the one thing I know about this site and my writings is that, if you are going to recommend something to buy, and then recommend that you sell it, as I would have if I had praised gold, many people won't sell. That means when gold starts going down I will be a goat to those who bought
a goat to those who didn't!
This reasoning was the lesson of last year. You can't ever say you like something and then change your mind without people being furious at you. I accept that even as I think it is harsh. What's amazing is that you can't even change your mind
it has gone up. People are still angry at me for going negative on
after it went up 100 points in one day! To me it was pure greed that would keep you in at that point, and that's not a reason to stay long.
Periodically I will miss a move others will catch. So be it. Unless, however, I have an edge or at least a sense that the odds are with me -- as they weren't in this gold move -- I won't be the guy who calls it.
C'est la vie.
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. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column to