With the Street buzzing about asset manager BlackRock’s decision to let machines play the market, Jim Cramer defended stock-picking for individual investors, arguing that some stocks are simply too good not to buy out of fear of messing up.
“My point is that some stocks are so obvious, so in your face, that the only way you’d miss out on their gains is if some professional tells you that you’re too dumb to pick stocks, as so many professionals do,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Financial professionals manage hoards of money that can’t be bolstered by owning individual stocks, so they can erode their own success by creating massive, index-fund-like portfolios that don’t perform very well, Cramer explained.
While he is a believer in index funds, Cramer knows that the individual investor does not have piles of money to look after, and in those cases, individual stocks can move the needle.
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“Which brings me back to the strength of tech this year and your ability to spot high quality tech stocks as a do-it-yourself investor,” Cramer said, turning to three obvious winners as examples.
He began with Apple. Its shares are up 24 percent year-to-date and its biggest competitor put out an exploding phone.
“[Apple’s] rally from $93 … up to $144, a fifty buck move, was totally catch-able provided that you didn’t listen to the myriad traders and analysts who repeatedly told you to dump or trade in and out of Apple. I believe you could catch it if you weren’t brainwashed against single-stock risk,” Cramer contended.
Another in-your-face stock repeatedly seeing all-time highs is e-commerce leader Amazon.
The only thing that could have deterred investors from buying Amazon’s skyrocketing shares was Wall Street analysts’ disappointment with the company’s earnings last quarter, Cramer said.
But if you were tuning in to the endless coverage of how Amazon is stifling the brick-and-mortar retail industry or even noticed how much you or people around you use the service, you would be riding the stock to glory, the “Mad Money” host said.
Or take a look at Facebook, a controversial stock that has been on the rise despite negative commentary about users moving to Instagram or Snap killing the social media giant.
“These are people who shouldn’t be buying stocks because Instagram is owned by Facebook,” Cramer said, adding that Facebook killing Snap is much more likely than the reverse.
Alphabet and Netflix are two other buys that Cramer is confident will serve you well regardless of negative rhetoric around Alphabet’s ad placement or Netflix’s weak quarter.
And if the bigger names are not your game, do your homework to find less visible stocks like Apple’s semiconductor suppliers, or the cloud companies supporting big businesses like Salesforce.com, Red Hat, or Adobe.
“Ultimately, the only thing that you need to fear about owning stocks is fear itself, the fear that professionals drum into your head that you’re way too dumb to put two and two together and pick stocks that are behind the phone you love, those boxes at your door, the application you check endlessly, or the shows you watch even if you cut your cord,” Cramer said.
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