You've been screwed.
You've been bludgeoned, skewered, crushed, mutilated by the stock market. Every day you read about another corporate scandal: loans to CEOs that didn't have to be repaid, accounting "irregularities," profits that never existed. You think the stock market must have been rigged. And you're right.
You were betrayed by the stock promotion machine -- the mutual fund managers, the brokers, analysts, strategists, and stock gurus who brainwashed you into buying and holding and believing that stocks, like parents, always come through and bail you out in the end.
So now what do you do? Where do you put your money? You can't just leave it in the bank or stuff it under the mattress.
For fourteen years Jim Cramer ran a hedge fund that compounded money at a rate of 24 percent annually after fees, and then he got out at the end of 2000. He knows that there are ways to make money, smart ways that don't require you to own stocks blindly. There are other investments that won't send you to the poorhouse.
This book will tell you what went wrong, who the bad guys were, and what you have to do to restore your financial health. You can't just close your eyes. Ignoring Wall Street isn't the answer. Cash alone isn't the answer. This book has the answers.
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Simon & Schuster
November 04, 2002
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Excerpt from You Got Screwed! by James J. Cramer
Chapter One: What Happened
"Stocks for the Long Run...Buy and Hold...Next stop, Dow 36,000...Stocks as the only asset class worth owning...Tech Blue Chips...Stocks always come back...Don't ever sell...Selling's for losers...Why not put Social Security into stocks, after all they are the safest investments..."
Ahh, that litany, that rock-solid litany of reassurance about equities. Is there a soul on the planet who didn't suffer from the multiple brainwashings that the media, the academics, the brokerage houses, and the mutual funds mercilessly beat into our heads for a decade Amazingly, after trillions were lost, we still have no regrets, no apologies, nary a mea culpa from those who heartlessly led us to the financial slaughter that outranks even those of the nightmare generations 1973-1974, and, alas, 1929-1934 -- that's right, the Great Depression. These one-note charlatans would, even after every penny of life savings had been lost, still recite their bogus mantras meant to take our eyes off the ball, and our wallets, even as they suffered not a penny for their admonitions. They haven't learned a thing about the havoc they have wrought. They are still out there shilling their wares, except now they are saying that the stock market is even more undervalued than before. Dow 36,000 You better hope they've perfected cryogenics by then. That's the only way you will live to see it.
This book is meant not as an epitaph to your hard-earned savings, but as an epitaph to their cynical reassurances and pseudo-scientific claptrap. This book should serve as an antidote to their sweet nostrums that have separated you so viciously and silently from your money. In short, they thought that if they got you in, you would never get out, and they would make fortunes off you before you figured out what the heck happened to your nest egg. The charlatans wrote their assurances of ever-higher stock prices when the market skyrocketed daily. Now that it has nosedived, their illogic seems deceitful if not downright larcenous.
Oh sure, the temptation to demonize seems far-fetched to some, particularly those who need stocks to go higher to make a living or have a successful venture. But as someone who has worked in the money business for more than three decades, and compounded money in his own fund at 24 percent after all fees, someone who has seen it all and done it all when it comes to stocks, I can tell you that exorcising demons may be the only way to assure you that it doesn't happen to you again.