Jim Cramer’s Mad Money: Overview

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at the new investing book from Jim Cramer, Mad Money. This book is surprisingly different from its predecessor, Real Money, in a number of ways. I quite enjoyed the first one; will I enjoy this one, too? Let’s find out!

When I picked up Cramer’s first investment book, Real Money, I fully expected it to be obnoxious and loud, like the book’s namesake. Instead, I was rewarded with a very interesting read – one that packed a lot of information for beginning individual investors into one thin volume. It was a fast and enjoyable read, too, so I was quite happy to give the book a pretty sizeable thumbs up.

Recently, though, Cramer produced a follow-up, entitled Mad Money. From the title and the cover alone, you can tell one big thing that’s changed: Cramer now has a very popular stock picking show on CNBC, and this book is pretty clearly co-branded with the show. What will that do to the content within? Will this be a valuable and interesting stock-picking book, or has Cramer sold out?

A quick glance through the chapter titles gives a very cloudy view at best. Some chapters look really promising (“Selling Stocks The Right Way,” “Ten Lessons From My Bad Calls,” and “Ten Lessons From Success: Some Buy And Sell Rules”); others look like television show brand extensions (“How And Why You Should Watch My CEO Interviews,” for one). I was rather queasy about picking this one up because of this air of television promotional material that surrounds the book, but I was still holding back a glimmer of optimism because I enjoyed his earlier investing book so much.

So, what did I think? Over the next three days, I’m going to look deeply at the contents of this book and try to decide if it’s a useful read for the beginning individual stock picker (like his first book was), or if it is a mere shill for his television show (as the cover and title seem to hint). On Friday, I’ll give a final buy or don’t buy recommendation.

Jim Cramer’s Mad Money is the fifteenth of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.

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