Monday, November 26, 2007

Booyah! Welcome to “Cramerica”: Mad Money Jim Cramer

At 6:00 weekdays, something happens in my household that reminds me of “The Outer Limits” TV show that I used to watch as a kid. The show’s intro went something like this:

“ There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission… For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... “

And then I hear shouts of BOOYAH coming from my TV set, in addition to wailing babies, bull sounds, bear sounds, BUY! BUY! BUY! and SELL! SELL! SELL!

Yes, there is nothing like watching CNBC’s Mad Money, hosted by Jim Cramer. It’s part business show, part sideshow. Jim’s goal is to help everyday people like you and me to make money. He has an uncanny way of bringing the complicated world of the stock market to the masses in a way that is understandable, fun, and usable. Many business shows have the same boring stock charts, the same boring talking heads, and the same boring stock market drivel. (The exception is the new Fox Business Channel, which is worse, since frankly it seems to have no real substance.) This is definitely not the case with Mad Money.

With Jim Cramer’s show, you get a fast-paced hour filled with timely information that’s relevant to what’s happened that day – and what Jim thinks is ahead. Sometimes Jim has business guests like the occasional CEO, and every now and then he takes the show on the road to colleges and does the show live. While Jim’s show is always filled with energy, the live shows really crank it up a notch or two. It’s hard not to get involved.

Of course, the best part of the show, in my opinion, is The Lightning Round, where Jim takes calls and gives on the spot commentary based on the callers stock pick. This is when Jim’s sound effects panel gets a heavy workout, telling callers to buy, sell, cry (hence the crying baby sound), plus a host of other sounds that punctuate his comments. Jim says he gets no advance notice on what stocks the callers will question, and there are times – but not often – that he’s stumped. Of course, The Lightning Round features the ubiquitous “booyah” greeting from the callers to Jim, including the enjoyable “familial booyah” where parents get their kids to join in to the shout out.

I won’t pass any judgment on the accuracy or success of Cramer’s picks. I don’t track his performance, but I also don’t track the performance of other analysts or talking heads on business TV. Any time anyone gives you investment advice, you should always look at that advice carefully before making any investments of your own.

Jim has written several books, including “Jim Cramer's Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich”, “Jim Cramer's Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World”, and the soon to be released “Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer)”. The latter is on my husband’s Christmas list and I’ll be at the store to get it when it’s released (December 4).

If you’re interested in investing and want meaningful information delivered with a lot of excitement, check out Mad Money. It’s on CNBC, weekdays at 6:00 PM ET (it usually repeats later in the evening). Booyah!

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