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This program last aired Sept. 14, 2015.
After telling investors, "There's always a bull market somewhere" every night for over 10 years, Jim Cramer dedicated his show to explaining to Mad Money viewers exactly what the show is designed to do, how to use it and how it has changed over the past decade.
"The show has changed over time," Cramer said. In the beginning, Mad Money was largely a show about stock picking, with Cramer opining on dozens of specific investment ideas every evening. But that changed after the Great Recession of 2008. Today, Mad Money is less about picking stocks and more about teaching investors about how the market works so they can make judgments on their own.
Cramer said he's still a big fan of stocks as an asset class, but he also acknowledges investing in individual stocks is not for everyone. There's certainly nothing wrong with buying an index fund if you don't have the time or inclination, or even the stomach, for the market's day-to-day gyrations.Don't Invest Like Pop
So why talk about individual stocks at all when most people choose to just put their money in mutual funds of index funds and let the "pros" do all the work? Cramer said it's because we will always be tempted to own individual stocks to save or augment out paychecks. But doing it incorrectly can cost you.
That was certainly the case for Cramer's dad in the 1960s when the friend of a friend convinced Pop that a stock by the name of National Video was the "next big thing." After making an initial investment, then investing more and more as the stock soared, Pop eventually lost it all when National Video cratered.
How could this happen? Cramer said it's because Pop didn't know anything about National Video, didn't know how the company was really doing and didn't even follow the stock itself all that closely.
Tips are for waiters, not investing, Cramer concluded. Homework, on the other hand, is for everyone. If you can't do the homework, don't invest in individual stocks.