Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Follow Your Own Investment Path

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Don't take your investing cues from whatever "guru" happens to be on TV, Jim Cramer said on Mad Money  Thursday. Investors need to be their own gurus and decide when it's time to buy and sell.

Cramer was responding to today's comments by billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper that he's now feeling a lot better about the stock market after expressing concerns about those same markets just a few weeks ago. Cramer said he's a big fan of Tepper and is glad he takes time out to let others know what he's thinking. But that doesn't mean investors should hang on his every word.

When celebrity investors come on TV, you're only getting a snapshot of what they're thinking, Cramer continued. These investors are under no obligation to update you when they change their mind. That's why investors shouldn't follow them blindly.

Cramer explained investors need to do their own homework and learn about the stocks they own and why they own them. Investors also need to know about themselves and how much risk they're willing to take and what their goals are.

That way, when anomalies occur, like Rite Aid's (RAD) 10% fall on news the company was having problems with a drug supplier, investors will know whether it's time to head for the exits or buy more.

Confidence comes from knowing what you own, Cramer concluded, and not what other people think about what you own.

Executive Decision: Nigel Travis

For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Nigel Travis, chairman and CEO of Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), the regional to national doughnut shop growth story that also pays a 2% yield.

Travis confirmed that, yes, Dunkin' is coming to California and the west coast. He said people love the Dunkin' brand and have been sending letters and emails and have even been making videos to entice the company to expand faster.

Travis said that in addition to the expansion plans, Dunkin' is also working to speed up service. He said more customers are using the drive-thru services and the company is getting ready to roll out a new sandwich station that will speed orders and increase capacity.

Turning to the company's earnings, Travis noted the winter weather disruptions are now well behind it and people are returning to their normal routines throughout the country. He also said that as coffee prices rise Dunkin' will follow the trend as the market dictates.

Cramer said he continues to like the Dunkin' growth story.

Retailers for Sale

It's been a mixed bag among the retail stocks of late, Cramer told viewers, and nowhere is that more evident than in the handbag makers, aka the accessory retailers. With stocks like Vera Brandley (VRA), Fossil (FOSL) and Coach (COH) reporting abysmal numbers, Cramer dove into two possible bright spots, Kate Spade (KATE) and Michael Kors (KORS).

Investors might not be familiar with Kate Spade, which was formerly known as Fifth & Pacific and before that Liz Claiborne, but Cramer said the new Kate Spade is a streamlined company that is doing a lot of things right. The company derives nearly 75% of its revenue from its retail operations, with 225 stores, and 25% from selling wholesale.

That compares to Michael Kors, which has 288 stores but gets only 48% of its sales from those locations. Kors derives another 47% for wholesale. Why does this matter? Cramer said it's because more retail means higher margins.

Cramer said Kate, the smaller of the two companies, also has more room to expand. When it comes to valuation, however, Kors is cheaper, selling at 19.7 times earnings with a 23% growth rate. That compares to 53 times earnings for Kate.

Cramer said for those willing to take on more risk Kate Spade has the growth, while for more conservative investors Michael Kors may be just the thing. As for Vera and Coach, Cramer said to forget about them.

The 'Secret' Club

In a special interview, Cramer sat down with CNBC colleague Kate Kelly to discuss her new book, The Secret Club That Runs the World: Inside the Fraternity of Commodity Traders.

Kelly characterized commodity traders as a weird group of people with a huge appetite for risk as they trade daily in items that can oscillate wildly from minute to minute. Everything these traders do is legal, she added, but they also have a huge impact on our economy.

Cramer said he was outraged to learn how commodity traders can manipulate the prices of commodity items and act as a tax on everything from aluminum to coffee to oil. Kelly agreed this small group of traders is proving to be problematic for the markets, something even the Federal Reserve is starting to notice.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on American Airlines (AAL), EQT Midstream Partners (EQM), Access Midstream Partners (ACMP), Charles Schwab (SCHW), Exelis (XLS), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Lannett Company (LCI), Perrigo (PRGO), Boston Private (BPFH), US Bancorp (USB), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Celgene (CELG), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) and Biogen Idec (BIIB).

Cramer was bearish on JetBlue Airways (JBLU).

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer offered up some praise for European Central Bank President Mario Draghi for his "by any means necessary" approach to reviving the eurozone. He said Draghi has not only helped to spur Europe's economic engine but he's also managed to preserve the stability and benefits of having a euro in the first place.

Why should this matter to investors? Cramer said it's because for many of our large multinational stocks, Europe represents 20% of sales. With those sales finally starting to see some signs of life, investors will soon see the effects in those companies' quarterly results.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in CELG and USB.

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