How Did Jim Cramer Make His Money? Jim Cramer is best known for his CNBC show Mad Money. The show focuses on investment news and advice that viewers can potentially use to find new trade ideas.
He has also had an interesting life that includes attending Harvard and standing out as one of the Fed’s harshest critics during the Great Recession.
Jim Cramer Early Life
Jim Cramer was born near Philadelphia in 1955. His father, N. Ken Cramer, owned International Packaging Products, a Philadelphia-based business that sold packaging supplies to retailer stores and restaurants.
Jim showed an early interest in the stock market. He started studying the market in fourth grade and continued through high school.
Where Did Jim Cramer Go to College?
Jim Cramer attended Harvard, where he earned a bachelor’s in government. He graduated magma cum laude, which means he was in the top 20% of his class. Magna cum laude is the second-highest achievement for graduates, following summa cum laude, which goes to graduates in the top 10% of their class.
Cramer had the privilege of working as president and editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson.
After working as a reporter for a few years, Cramer returned to Boston to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Cramer renewed his passion for investing while attending law school. He earned enough trading stocks that the profits paid for his tuition.
His investing prowess also caught the attention of publisher Martin Peretz, who offered him a book deal and gave him $50,000 to invest. Cramer turned the investment into $150,000.
Cramer passed the New York State Bar exam, but he never practiced law. Instead, he started his investment career with Goldman Sachs.
How Did Jim Cramer Get Famous?
Jim Cramer got famous by combining his skills as a reporter and investor. He built his reputation through publications like SmartMoney magazine, where he worked as an editor at large. In 1996, he and Perertz started a financial news and investment website called TheStreet.com. They later sold the property for $16.5 million.
Cramer started to become popular among the general public when he became a CNBC guest commentator. Over a few years, he built connections and a fan base. In 2002, CNBC asked him to co-host a show called America Now with Larry Kudlow. The show aired as Kudlow & Cramer from 2002 to 2005.
During the early 2000s, Cramer hosted a radio show named Jim Cramer’s Real Money. The show evolved into the CNBC hit Mad Money With Jim Cramer. The show started airing in 2005, but Cramer continued hosting his radio show until 2006.
Mad Money put Cramer at the center of CNBC’s financial and investment reporting.
Jim Cramer Mad Money
Mad Money With Jim Cramer is an investment speculation television show started by CNBC in 2005.
The show features several short segments presented by Cramer, calls from viewers, and occasional guests over one hour.
Cramer uses a hyperactive persona that makes the content entertaining and educational. He spends most of the hour on his feet, moving around the studio as cameras follow him. Cramer also uses several stunts and visual themes to communicate the significance of some events. For example, he has:
- Thrown yellow and red penalty flags when companies act unethically.
- Decapitated plastic toys in the shapes of bulls and bears.
- Cooked plastic bulls in a rotisserie oven.
Cramer has a set of large buttons that he smashes during his performance. Pushing the buttons activates sound effects that encourage the audience to follow his advice.
Some segments have become regular parts of Mad Money. Returning segments include:
- Danger Zone, when Cramer explains why he doubts a stock will perform as well as expected.
- Pick of the Week, when Cramer describes a stock he has studied in depth and believes has exceptional potential.
- Mad Cow Disease, when Cramer behaves like a “mad cow” and headbutts his array of large buttons.
- Am I Nuts?, when Cramer talks to a member of the viewing audience about a specific investment and offers advice.
- Lighting Round, a segment that appears on every episode. Audience members call the show to ask Cramer about a stock. Cramer gives his opinion quickly and goes through as many questions as possible until a buzzer rings, signaling the end of the segment.
Jim Cramer Epic Meltdown 2008
Jim Cramer had what has been described as an “epic meltdown” when it became obvious that the global economy was entering the Great Recession in 2008.
During the rant, he accused Chair of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke of being an “academic” who has no idea what’s really going on in the market.
During his rant, he smacked a desk frequently and yelled statements including:
- “He has no idea how bad it is out there! He has no idea!” (Referring to Bernanke)
- “My people have been in this game for 25 years and they’re losing their jobs and these firms are going to go out of business! Nuts! They’re nuts!”
- “This is a different kind of market and the Fed is asleep!”
- “Bill Poole is shame! He’s shameful! He aught to go read the Accredited Home document at least I read the darn thing!” (Referring to William Poole, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who retired in 2008)
- “You can’t get a darn loan if you’re rich like me!”
- “We have Armageddon.”
Is Jim Cramer Rich?
According to Jim Cramer’s 2008 epic meltdown, he’s rich. In all seriousness, though, Cramer has done very well for himself.
His investments and work as a reporter have made him a multimillionaire. While he doesn’t have nearly enough money to count as one of the country’s richest people, he’s very comfortable.
How Did Jim Cramer Make His Money?
Jim Cramer has made money as an investor, hedge fund manager, TV host, radio host, and author.
The bulk of his wealth likely comes from the hedge fund he managed between 1987 and 2000. The hedge fund only experienced one negative year, so he could have easily generated millions in returns for himself and other investors.
Cramer acknowledges that he has made significant mistakes in his career as an investor and that he has “lost tremendous amounts of money in various markets.” He believes that these mistakes taught him how to do his job better because he learned essential lessons
Jim Cramer Net Worth
Sources report that Jim Cramer has a net worth of about $150 million.
Jim Cramer Stock Picks
- Amazon (AMZN), the popular e-commerce site that also generates remarkable revenues through its AWS cloud-based services.
- DoorDash (DASH), which recently arranged a partnership with Amazon.
- Danaher (DHR), a global conglomerate with three essential platforms: environmental and applied solutions, life sciences, and diagnostics.
- CVS Health (CVS), a retail pharmaceutical chain that has pivoted toward the healthcare sector in recent years.
- Costco (COST), a multinational big-box retailer with a membership-only audience.
- Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO), a worldwide corporation with brands including: Patheon, Unity Labs Services, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, and PPD.
- PerkinElmer (PKI), a global corporation with interests in diagnostics, life sciences, industrial testing, and food.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.