Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Buy or Don’t Buy?

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Jim Cramer’s Real Money. Cramer has made a huge name for himself in stock picking punditry and he claims to reveal his methodology in this book. Is it worth reading? Let’s find out.

I won’t be shy about it: I really enjoyed this book. If I were to rank the books I’ve read so far in this series, this one would be a strong #2. Not only was it enjoyable reading, it was also informative and it didn’t talk down to me as a reader, even though I’m not an individual stock investor (yet).

Yet I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone. Why? Let me quote a comment left by a reader recently when discussing individual stock picks:

Maybe it’s just me, but owning just 10 stocks still seems pretty risky to me. I prefer the “Coffehouse Investor” approch. Owning 7 different low-cost index funds seems a much sane approach, especially if you aren’t starting with a lot.

Simply put, individual stock investing isn’t for everyone. Cramer himself says as much when he basically tells people to invest an hour per week per stock in research. If you don’t have the time to put into individual stock investing or you are uncomfortable with the risk, individual stock investing isn’t for you.

That said, buy this book if you’re interested in individual stock investing; otherwise, skip it. Cramer has written a book laden with interesting and worthwhile information. It’s readable, yet it goes at such a frenetic pace that you can open to any random page, start reading, and feel as though you learned something useful. Most books as information dense as this one border on unreadable, but Cramer keeps everything quite lively by mixing together anecdotes with the actual informative points.

But there’s one reason above all that this book succeeds: Cramer’s passion for the stock market almost oozes out of every paragraph. His raw enthusiasm for picking stocks comes through loud and clear in this book, much as it does in his personal appearances, and it’s enough to make me really interested in individual stock investing.

You can read the other parts of this review of Real Money by using the following links:
Advice to Beginning Investors
Building a Ten Stock Portfolio
General Trading Advice
Buy or Don’t Buy?

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

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