Monday, October 13, 2008

Cramer is to Trading as Parker is to Wine

They both drive you to the markets, they both compel you to partake in it's offers, they both leave you unsatisfied with what you bought therefore proving that both their opinions are overblown.

I know, I know, says she ignoring her muse, I will make enemies with this one; but I just can't keep mum about how their palates are flawed and misleading.

I am not saying that they haven't contributed well to their respective industries because indisputably they have; Parker much more so than Cramer although Cramer has been on the public scene for about 10 years only compared to Parker's 40.

What E. Robert Parker did for the wine industry cannot be easily measured, the publicity he provided enabled the industry to grow multi fold; what was once an elite-like club, became a Nascar race in popularity, and for that Parker can claim, and should be given, a lot of the credit. His palate has been disputed, however, by many over the years and I'm told he's still not welcome in Burgundy. He wasn't very welcome in Napa for a long time either since he claimed that California Cabernets will never be able to compete with Bordeaux. I also think that the overly oaked California Chardonnays and now the heady Zinfandels and Pinots coming out of many California wineries are a result of his big bold fruit forward loving palate. I understand that he's now after the Rhone style wines (long neglected he says) and I am finding much the same path. HELP! Please continue to neglect them Parker and leave it up to Graham and Lynch. Of course, his comments make a lot of money for many, so who am I to judge those palates. Just trust that I will only support those that please mine, and it's not 14.6%+++ alcohol bomb, thank you!

What Jim Cramer did for traders is well.. let's see. Having not read his books, I cannot comment. Watching his show in the beginning with Larry Kudlow and later alone, I can. He should be given credit for educating those who are novices in the market and about investing. I give him credit for telling people to do research, and what to look for in the prospectus and advising many how to enter the market, taking baby steps. I am sure a large part of contribution to the booming online platform markets and brokers can be attributed to him. CNBC having no competition, most traders/investors listen to that channel. But I will take exception to his instant remarks as to what is a buy/sell/hold/ investment, and his irresponsible recommendations overall to many unsuspecting listeners, who I'm sure got burned immediately and over time. His claim that he does not have an effect on market trades is downright wrong. Many of us over the years knew what would happen once Cramer uttered his recommendations and took advantage of those swings. For him to claim no responsibility is a dangerous denial or overblown modesty. I just can't picture Cramer as being modest so it has to be the former.

Not taking resposibility for his effect on the markets is bad but what's worse is when he touts or snubs a stock to later erase what he had said and claim the reverse. Witness last Friday's AAPL comment, that he made (being earwitness as I was listening; I just tuned into CNBC as he got on "Stop Trading" segment, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who heard) saying that the only reason AAPL was still holding up is because the bulls were propping it up.. but he said it will be not long lived and "who would want to own AAPL at these levels anyway". AAPL was trading around 95 at the time and within a minute of his over the air comments, AAPL retraced to near 91, where it again bounced and pushed up to near 100 then to close at 97.15. Wonder how many holders of AAPL sold on his comments out of fear and panic. I wonder how much he cost those holders especially seeing where AAPL opened today and where it retraced. And to top it all, today, Cramer claims his comments Friday did not say to sell but to buy and that he's been a long time supporter of AAPL. (Did I mention that AAPL was upgraded today by Bernstein and featured in Barron's over the weekend?) Why did Cramer change his tune and deny his comments? HELP! Of course his comments made losses for many and gains for others, but I'll only support those stocks that please my own sense and it's not Cramer's mine field list, thank you!

As is said, no one can tell you which is the best wine for you .. that is up to your experience, your personal taste and palate. Likewise, no one can tell you which will be the best trade for you.. that is up to your experience, your personal taste and tolerance.

If nothing else, Friday, today, nee this year should prove that no guru is flawless and no guru out there can claim to be correct all the time and no guru should claim to make you the best trader, investor or wine connoisseur because that job is up to you. As you practice, you learn and as you learn you adjust your choices to your ability.

Do we need gurus, mentors, educators and advisers? Yes we do; but like in college, if you believe and recite everything your professor tells you, you are not learning you are merely being brainwashed. All too common now days, unfortunately.