And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snowAnother year is about to pass. Remarkably, next month will mark my thirteenth year as a regular on these pages. That's a lot of words, ideas and investment observations. I actually started out writing on TheStreet.com back in the late 1990s when I penned a column called "The Contrarian." At that time, the site was a relatively new concept and a real-time experiment that struggled in its infancy. But it began to flourish even as the economy and markets suffered in 2001. Since I started writing for Jim Cramer, we have not only dealt with the market's ups and downs, but we have shared some of life's experiences together through visits, e-mails, telephone conversations and other personal correspondence. I have defended Jimmy, I have written a piece called "On Jim Being Cramer" and have transformed myself at times into the Anti-Cramer. I have agreed and disagreed with him, all the while with maximum respect for Jim as a businessman, an investor, a friend, an author, a media figure and, most importantly, as a dad. Happily, over more than a decade, I have met numerous other new friends -- both virtually and in person -- from my experience as a member of the community at TheStreet and on Real Money Pro. We have all experienced some terribly emotional times, most notably the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 and the loss of contributor Bill "Budman" Meehan and many of our dear friends. We mourned together. But as painful as that period was over time, we recovered and life went on. We have recently concluded the celebration of Hanukkah, we're preparing for Christmas and the New Year will be shortly upon us, so it's time to revisit my annual tribute to Jim "El Capitan" Cramer's vision. This year's version of my tribute to Jim has more meaning to me than the others, as I just passed my one-year anniversary of surviving cancer. It is the life experiences of this type that makes one even more thankful. A few paragraphs could not possibly communicate the warmest of feelings I have about many of my acquired relationships -- with subscribers, with contributors, with editors, with the management of TheStreet and, of course, with Jim, who lies at the middle of it all.
Stood puzzling and puzzling; how could it be so?
It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? -- Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
In a building on Wall Street ... far, far away. "Young man," exclaimed the analyst,
You're sort of a fright!
You'll never catch winners
On Jim Cramer's site! "The site is too small."
And you might as well know it,
When brokers sell junk,
Here's the place that they throw it. "But listen, young man.
If you sat 50 years
With your worms and your wishes
You'd grow a long beard
Long before you'd catch winners!" "Hmmm...," answered Cramer,
"It may be you're right.
I've written for hours
Without one single bite. There might be no winners.
But, again, well, there might! "'Cause you never can tell
What goes on over time!
This site might be bigger
Than you or I find! "This might be a site, like I've read of in textbooks,
Connected to one of those underground brooks!
An underground river that starts here and flows
Right under 14 Wall! And then ... well, who knows? "It might keep going along, down where no one can see,
Right under the State Highway Two-Thousand-and-Three!
Right under the buildings! Right under the toes Of a honcho named Sozzi, who's hanging out his clothes! "It might keep on flowing ... perhaps, who can tell?
Right under the people in Elisabeth DeMarse's hotel! Right under Brown Brothers, where they're playing croquet!
Then under the mountains and far, far away! "This might be a river, Now mightn't it be,
Connecting Jim Cramer's site with the sea!
Then maybe some winners might be swimming toward me.
(If such things could be, They certainly would be!) "Some very smart strategists might point out the way
To the site where I'm fishing. And that's why I say
If you wait long enough; if you're patient and bright,
Who knows what you'll catch on Jim Cramer's site?! "You might catch a Missing Link (that's my pal Stephanie by name!)
You might catch a 'K-Squared' (that's managing editor Kim Khan!)
You might catch a Widlitz
A long, long drawn-out fish! "You might even catch an (Insider) Monkey named Krishnamsetty
A Norman or Laudani! You even might catch a Shrev(i)e from the movie Diner,
A Redler and an Arms
Two superb technical scribers!
You might catch some winners that would open your eyes!
I won't be surprised if a Tillier appears!
Complete with a collar and long floppy ears! Whoofing along! And perhaps we might chase
A whole lot of right straight to this place! "You might catch a Price -- yeah that Price is usually right (!)
Or an 'I Got The' Balas
With a precision-like tail! You might get hot with a 'Burn Baby' Byrne
Who makes portfolios sail! You might catch some Ironfire's Eric (not Bo!) Jackson Who's a high-stepping winner. You might catch a Danny, that's Red Sox fan and Stone's new dad, my editor! "You might catch a Gad (Zooks!)
With that incredible pen
For producing the models
That winners portend. You might catch a sensible Gayed
An Arnold or a Lang
Or even a Collins (not Phil but a Tim!)
Who is really sporty! "You might catch a Morrow, a Moreno or a Gabriel
Now mightn't you, now!?! You might catch a Stalter
Whose ideas pay for my chow.
Some fish from London.
Like Real Money Pro-- so hot,
Might decide to sign up!
Well they might, might they not? "Or racing up north for a chance to get right,
Full steam ahead for Jim Cramer's site Some lucrative winners
Like my 'fav, 'The Divine Ms. M.'
From beyond Hudson Bay
Might decide to swim down,
Might be headed Jim's way! It's a pretty long trip,
But they might, and they may. "You might catch a Versace (not the designer, it's Chris!)
A Graff or a Jensen "Or even travel 'Downtown' with Josh Brown Well, you might. It depends.
A long-twisting CNBC chatting "Herbela" Greenberg
With a lot of strange bends
And, oddly enough,
With a pen on both ends! "One doesn't catch this kind of winner as a rule,
But the chances are fine in Jim Cramer's pool! "You might find a Ponsi 'Scheme'
An observer with muscle,
Might grab at your bait,
Then would you have a tussle! "To land one so valuable might take two or three hours,
But the next might be easy,
Like Melvin, who likes flowers
Or you might catch a winner
From a stranger place yet!
Like Fitzpatrick, from the world's highest river,
In far-off Tibet.
And a biggie named Dicker
Both spouting their spouts
And all earning a bounty. "You'll probably catch many more writers
Like Ashenberg and Peltier And, oh by the way,
Did I mention an 'Ask Noah?' "Then you'll stop for the day
'Cause there's nothing that's bigger
Than Jim's site, so they say. "Still, of course, it might be
That there is something bigger! Someone like Rev Shark
Rev's a technician so big, if you know what I mean,
That he makes a whale look like a tiny sardine! "Oh, the site is full of a number of oldies,
Like Hoerth, Williams and Malandrino,
J. Collins, Berman and Krill
And Horween - oh! If a subscriber is patient,
He might get many more winners! "And that's why I think
That we all get really bright
As we sit here and read
On Jim Cramer's site!"
This column originally appeared on Real Money Pro at 8:01 a.m. EST on Dec. 23.