Ignore the risk-on, risk-off clowns

When mindless losers dump stocks in Europe-inspired sell-offs, you can pick up bargains.

By Jim Cramer Jul 23, 2012 10:38AM

If you have to sell all of your stocks every time Spanish bonds reach a milestone, you'll be in and out so many times that I doubt you'll be able to make any money. That's why I've been so critical of the risk-on, risk-off nonsense. It makes you think that somehow selling is right when the crisis asserts itself and then buying is right when the crisis ends. I am gratified that I'm hearing less and less about risk-on, risk-off, because it tells me the journalists are no longer falling for hedge fund speak and are actually trying to help people make money.


How do you do that?


You use these Spain- or Italy- or Greek-inspired sell-offs to pick up the stocks being dumped by the risk-off clowns, or whatever you want to call the mindless losers. Typically because they haven't done the homework, which is arduous and not fun, these folks operate on the S&P 500 ($INX).


Their footprints create the bargains. For example, I am convinced Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is going to start bringing out the value of its brands and divest the flotsam and jetsam that were piled on by the "genius" that was former CEO William Weldon. JNJ is a big S&P name, so the risk-off sillies will be blowing out JNJ without much forethought.


If you look at what Eli Lilly (LLY) is doing with Alzheimer's drugs, you know that a breakthrough could be ahead. The stock gets crushed on days like Monday, so it's a logical place to go.


Remember, just a week ago Coca Cola (KO) told you it was hedged, and it also gave you downbeat guidance for the euro, which is coming true. The quarter was terrific. There was no reason to believe that it would come down hard again. But the S&P 500 ($INX) traders should give you that reason.


It was less than a week ago that Honeywell (HON) outlined incredible strength and gave you a long-term case for why you can buy the stock based on aerospace, refining and auto trends. That kind of stock gets crushed on days like Monday.


So does Wells Fargo (WFC). Here's a bank that has used the crisis to pretty much take over the mortgage market wherever there are strapped banks. It is making money on every loan and is lending only to people who put down some real money and have a job. But it's a bank, so these risk-off types will allow you to buy the stock in the low $30s, even after that terrific quarter.


Finally, there are all the U.S. housing plays that have roared ahead on lower rates and a developing home shortage as the banks have run off their foreclosed properties. They have sudden moves down, courtesy of Spain, Greece or Italy, and the moves have been terrific entry points.


Keep these kinds of situations in mind. They work because there are such intellectual laziness and so little homework being done by so many people. When you look at these micro strategies, you should think "small ball." The big funds either hit home runs or strike out.


My ideas get you on base. You then move the runner over. Maybe he steals a base. You get a sacrifice fly and, next thing you know, you are on the board. Do it enough and you are a consistent winner. As for the fence swingers, almost all of them are consistent losers. They just get all of the headlines, because when they do connect, it goes into the upper deck.


Good highlight film. Lousy investment strategy.



Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust and has no positions in the stocks mentioned.



More from TheStreet.com

Jul 23, 2012 2:12PM

Who can trust the market right now?

Jul 23, 2012 12:26PM
We have had a mindless run-up in the market based largely on QE and the expectation of more QE. At some point the market will need to factor in the reality of the U.S.economy and the Global economy.
Jul 23, 2012 2:34PM

the clown is calling the clowns clowns...........for once he is right in that they are clowns

but they are just hapless clowns while cramer is a criminal clown............cramer said he didn't mind paying up for chipotle because his " work" showed it was best of breed..............you guessed it..

2 weeks later it GAPPED DOWN MORE THAN  $90..................another pump and dump or just a know nothing clown?

Jul 23, 2012 1:47PM
I see wakeupnow is editing someone elses column because he sucks so bad he doesn't have his own column. Is it "column envy"????
Jul 23, 2012 4:48PM
I have some advice. Double your money by folding it once and putting in your pocket!!!
Jul 23, 2012 4:00PM


If this guy says buy you know it is a dog!

How can he call anyone a loser.

Jul 23, 2012 5:49PM
you know he is partly right-when the market manipulators scare investors into selling at even or a loss they come right behind and pick up the shares cheap until the next so called crisis starts the cycle all over again--the best thing to do if you can stand the gyrations is hold until the dust settles and not give in to panic selling.......
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