Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
For almost a decade those eight words were code for a simple precept: "We may be hitting the ball out of the park now, but it may not last." Suddenly, it has a new meaning. It is a message of hope for a lot of fund holders, as in, "Maybe our losing streak will end and things will get better." Today's another one of those days where people who follow mutual funds know that there is vast carnage in the streets.
The moth-to-tech-flame managers had gotten big again in tech because they sensed a bottom after Ciena's good news prompted a couple of sweet days for semiconductors. Now I think they are being slaughtered again. And what a shame! Some, like
, had almost gotten back to even. (Down 4% year to date going into today for the
Twenty fund.) Others, like the
Putnam OTC Emerging Growth (where "Squawk" co-host Dr. Bob "No Panic" Goodman hails from) climbed out of the cellar to be down only 7%. Another day like yesterday and
Strong Growth would have been in the single-digit declines.
had picked up 10%, breaking that down-50%-from-peak tailspin. Even the always unflappable
funds climbed back into the black (except that nasty e-commerce thing -- deep-six that one, Kevie!!).
Ah, but tomorrow you will see a reversal of fortunes of a cataclysmic variety if these prices continue into the close. Today hit the breadbasket of these folks. They still have not made their break from mojo tech, the stuff that has P/Es going up because the earnings are going down faster than the stocks.
I want to be real clear about this. If you are in these kinds of funds and you keep putting money into them, perhaps you ought to call your psychiatrist. There are some terrific medicines out there for people who insist on hurting themselves. (
Johnson & Johnson
have done great work in the category, if you want to play this trend to an extreme.)
Believe me, the folks at the helms of these funds don't take the medicine. They are addicted. They remind me of every fund manager in 1984 who stuck with tech and every fund manager in 1981 that stuck with oil. One-trick Batchmos. You just had another chance yesterday to bail. There might be another one. Then again, there might not be. What the heck are you waiting for?
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 investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column to