Former Merrill Lynch tech analyst Henry Blodget’s latest “Bad Advice” column is a lament over the current state of the financial mainstream, in which hapless day traders listen to Jim Cramer and plug away at E*Trade accounts to disappointing returns (or so he figures).
Blodget does have an impressive resume when it comes to bad advice. Blodget was ousted from his last day job for manipulating research to boost Merrill IB clients and barred from the securities industry.
That stock picks of pop-financial “experts” are not the most sound investment is hardly a new point, and is often times more effectively made with dart-throwing monkeys than someone who gets tasered if he comes near the Merrill Lynch bull (although if we could taser dart throwing monkeys, I would watch that in a heartbeat, and Fox needs to give me credit when they air this).
Cramer’s TV-picked portfolio did perform poorly against the S&P 500 last year, but so did almost everything else, and Blodget does concede that his ire springs from what is essentially a tale of two Cramers, that:
Reviewing the list of common Mad Money show segments (Stump the Cramer, Am I Nuts?, Pimpin' All Over the World) and sound effects (squealing pigs, a wrecking train, a toilet flushing, a screaming man falling out a window and then crashing on the ground), I realized that, yes, I was taking Jim Cramer waaaaaay too seriously, that his nonstop comedy routine about being a brilliant and respected investor and making everyone rich is just shtick, and that there couldn't possibly be a Mad Money viewer who actually believes that he provides intelligent advice.
The reality TV incarnation of Cramer is in stark contrast with Cramer the Harvard Law School graduate, arguably successful hedge fund manager and serious columnist, but not Cramer the total nutjob.
Pay No Attention to That Crazy Man on TV – [Slate]
Stock-Picker Showdown: Blodget vs. Cramer – [DealBook]