Buy Best-of-Breed Companies
In cars, we buy best of breed. Not even an issue. We pay up for the brand because we know that a brand, a good brand, signifies reliability. It signifies a higher level of service, a quality of ownership that can pay dividends for years.
Why don't so many of us feel that way in the stock market? Why are so many drawn to a Safeway (SWY) or a Kroger (KR), inferior supermarket chains, when Whole Foods Market (WFMI) is clearly the best of breed?
Why did so many people lose money in so many different audio component stores, when Best Buy (BBY) is the only company that delivers sustainable profits in that retail sector?
Why would people want to own General Motors (GM) or Ford (F), just because those stocks are down a lot, when they could own best-of-breed Toyota (TM), which is taking share and making big profits? I know they are drawn by the low dollar amount of the American carmakers, but Toyota is the cheapest and the best, a rare find.
The list goes on and on. Way too many of you are unwilling to pay up for best of breed because you think that you are getting short-changed. There are very few bargains out there in the world of secondary and tertiary players. I believe that when it comes to price-to-earnings multiple, investing in the more expensive stock is invariably worth it because you get piece of mind. That's why I say:
Own the best of breed; it's worth it.
Take Walgreen (WAG) and Rite Aid (RAD). Sure, Rite Aid seems perpetually in turnaround mode and you have to love the cheaper stock. Don't you? Not me; I have to tell you that I think Walgreen is the bargain of those two, because I never mind paying a higher price for the better company.
Forget about it. Buy best of breed. Pay up. You almost never will find yourself regretting it.
Jim 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. Watch Cramer on Mad Money at 6 p.m. & 11p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click here to order any of Jim Cramer’s books including his latest endeavor Stay Mad For Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer). While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by clicking here.
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