Don't 'go away' too early

If you sell out now, you could miss some solid performance. Plus, it's still too early in the year to be worried about your results for all of 2013.

By Jim Cramer Mar 8, 2013 9:50AM

thestreet logoImage: Investment building blocks (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)Heard it Thursday for the first time: "We've been here before, we've been up a lot and then given it all back come May."


To which I say, sure, but the key isn't to fear May. It is to make as much money as you can by the first quarter's end so you can take something off the table of sizable proportions before we enter the second quarter, a period that truly has been subpar for the market.


I discussed this issue with Stephanie Link after "Mad Money at the Half" -- a show that has been electrifying, I might add -- and how those who are selling now because they fear May (selling in March and going away, so to speak) might end up missing the performance they need to make before they go into hibernation.


I have always been fascinated in the concept of when to start caring about performance and when not to. Karen Cramer taught me that you shouldn't even look at your run in the first quarter. You had to try to shoot the lights out, knowing that if you failed, you have the whole rest of year to make it back.


Also see: How to spend your tax refund


I always have to ask what planet so many of the managers I listen to and read are from. How little do they really know about the business of performance? Don't they know that you have to take more risk as the beginning of the year -- meaning that if you're bullish, you have to go for some beta?

How can they be so conservative? Are they just willing to tell their investors, "Hey, I didn't believe it"? Or, "Look, it was all the Fed, so I couldn't trust it"?


Boy, my investors never gave a damn about my excuses. They wanted performance no matter what. That's what so confuses me. Some of these managers already have to hope for a huge sell-off to catch up with the averages, and most seem ill-prepared to even buy on an individual stock dip.

You almost never hear someone say, "I said I was waiting for a drop in PetSmart (PETM), now I got it and it checks out, so I am a buyer." No, the stuff that gets dipped is the stuff they don't want. They're really hoping for a market-wide sell-off, and then when we get that, they will hate stocks for whatever caused the sell-off!


I think the time to take risk is when you still have time to make up for the damage. The time is still now.

If you really shoot the lights out, you can take the spring off! If you don't, then you better hope everyone does sell in May, because otherwise it just might be too hard to catch up.





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 stocks mentioned.



More from

Mar 8, 2013 12:48PM
"It's still too early to sell."

Just to be clear, this statement is coming from the same guy who told us all to buy Lehman Bros about 10 minutes before they collapsed.

Mar 8, 2013 10:16AM
It ain't May yet and if this is the results of sequestration, let's shut the government down now.
Mar 8, 2013 11:17AM
MSN: "US Household Wealth Regains Pre-Recession Peak." Now THAT"S Media Misinformation (flat out lying) "At It's Peak." I can't believe they can get away with such propaganda...
Mar 8, 2013 10:59AM
It must be nice living in fantasy land.Boss,The plane,the plane!
Mar 8, 2013 12:08PM
Black Friday 1929 stock market crashes- limps along until finally bottoming out in 1932.  From 1932 to 1937 stock market climbs from low of 42 to 190, then suddenly begins to drop, by 1939 its back to 98- nearly a 50% loss and continues to fall until 1942 when wartime production puts people back to work and sends unemployed men off to die.
Well, we've climbed back up from 2007 to new highs based on what?  Europe  Hanging on by their fingernails, US jobs now based on part time employment at minimum wage, Chinese speculation and banking bubble about to pop.   We've used up our war card, so what will we do now- raise an army of conscripts to patrol our borders for room and board?
Mar 8, 2013 11:02AM

All is BS ... pure and simple.  The "markets" and the "pundits" mean absolutely nothing.  Let the "devaluation" in the dollar continue! Yeah, sure the unemployment rate dropped and "housing" is the determinate...give me a break.  More "layoffs" coming to pad the same "stockholders" wallets.  What a joke!

Mar 8, 2013 11:30AM
I told the wife it might be about time to knock her up so we can have some cheap milk for our cereal in the morning.I need some extra money for stocks because Jim said go all in.
Mar 8, 2013 11:18AM

So now we're supposed to be focused on a one year time frame?  Is that what these broker types now mean by "Long Term?"  Or do we only hear that one after the crash and we're left holding the bag?

This market may continue higher but the atmosphere is getting a little thin. The higher you go, the steeper the climb.

Mar 8, 2013 11:25AM

Limo Pat;


Has it crossed your mind that the $  might be the loser in this scenario?


After which, just let you imagination run wild. 

Mar 8, 2013 12:15PM
Up Up and Away in My Beautiful .... My Beautiful ... BaaaaaaLooooooon
Mar 8, 2013 12:35PM

Reality check folks. What goes up like a rocket, comes down like one. Now is the time to look at some moderate profit taking before the slide begins. When it does, it is then a matter of how far it will fall before the next climb. That is buying time.


Gee, I hope for once I can get it right. It's buy low and sell high...right?

Mar 8, 2013 12:31PM
I'm a republican and realize that companies have been holding onto their money for quite a while.  They are now spending money, investing and growth is now taking hold.  Sure I would rather a republican be in office to take credit but it is what it is.  Growth is here and many are missing out.  I'm making money!
Mar 8, 2013 11:14AM
Sorry Cramer. You have about as much credibility as a fortune cookie. The only reason you and many others consider themselves "expert" stock traders is because you all came into the stocks game in the 1990s when the government took over managing the stock market. A monkey could have picked winners since 1990. The government controls these markets completely and they will never let them go down.
Mar 8, 2013 11:34AM
Commentators like Cramer are great for getting conversations going but the comments made in these forums are where I get ideas from. You still have to do the research yourself. Recently I myself find (because of recent events)  Latin American funds intriguing. I have been into gold for the last 4 years and have been very disappointed over the last year and a half. It was great while it lasted. I also notice after all the negativity that went down in Europe, that their stocks have been gaining the entire time, sound familiar?
Mar 8, 2013 1:50PM

People need to wake up and realize this Country is in BIG trouble!


This market is taking off because we're entering Hyperinflation. It's that simple!


 The Federal Reserve and the Government has been INTENTIONALLY lying about inflation data but Now their lies can no longer be covered up. You just can't keep printing money like mad and not have it go somewhere...


Healthcare, Gas and Oil, Food , Housing costs are all SOARING! But wages are still stagnant!


This isn't going to end well!


Mar 8, 2013 1:52PM

Don't let Jim Cramer, be your "only guide"; Sometimes he's right, sometimes wrong..They all are..

But at least you are here reading and sharing ideas...?

That's how you learn.....Good or Bad.


You that have never made a mistake in Judgement, should certainly "cast the first stone."

Mar 8, 2013 11:09AM
I did notice an ear of corn was $.79 at the market the other day. Be patient on that gold.  It is in the cards.  I see Cupcakes and Ice Cream for the future now and I am usually wrong.  I was told many years ago government can't help themselves but retire debt through inflation.  And man that train will certainly be a rollin down that track. As most of us can't really believe how this market h****uted it will be probably be just as amazing how much inflation we will see.  But JMHO
Mar 8, 2013 12:53PM
This isn't a rally. It's terrorism. The same people who brought us to ruin in 2007 and then got bailed are doing it again. Who believes data? Every normal person knows their own circumstance and knows it's not stable or balanced. Youth are quitting shoddy shyster jobs, ethical middle-aged can't get into the jobs they are qualified to do, billionaires are going insane buying and selling like celebrities and our government doesn't work or work for us. Pretty sure Bernanke looked over his notes, noticed he put a decimal point where one shouldn't have been and the corrected formula scared the crap out of him. It should occur to most now, that this week alone was far more than the $85 billion Bernanke has been pumping into his banks. In France's Revolution Period... they at least had the sense to destroy the currency plates and presses by this point. Even though they recognized the inevitability and futility, it did no good, they still lost it all and cut the heads off all the Inflationists and stock jobbers.
Mar 8, 2013 3:39PM

The number 1 sign of the appending apocalypse...... ABS complimenting Re-Tog on a post........ run for your lives and for the love of god SELL SELL SELL!!!!! 

Actually would be great to see more of this on this site, good stuff to both of you. 

Next week I am taking profits and moving into a more defensive position.  Better to cement previous gains then to lose them trying to time the market chasing the last 1%.

Mar 8, 2013 10:44AM

Well now is the time to do what....??

I'm not going anywhere unless it's in a box..

I'm fine right now, as long as it's got wheels..

And i think the Market still has Legs..


Wish these Guys would mention inflation more often...

And help pump up Gold/silver a little.

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