Who Is Jim Cramer?

Jim Cramer is the host of "Mad Money" on CNBC

Jim Cramer is a former hedge fund manager, TV host, and personality of CNBC's "Mad Money," and he runs the CNBC "Investing Club". He is also the co-founder and chair of TheStreet.com, Inc.

As of 2022, Cramer is estimated to be worth around $150 million.

Key Takeaways

  • Jim Cramer had creative parents. His mother was an artist, and his father was an entrepreneur who owned a company that sold wrapping paper, boxes, and bags.
  • Cramer attended Harvard University where he earned a Bachelors's degree in government in 1977, graduating magna cum laude.
  • He received his Juris Doctor degree at Harvard Law School in 1984.
  • As a novice reporter in Tallahassee, Fla., Cramer covered the Ted Bundy murders.
  • Cramer ran a hedge fund from 1987 to 2000 that purportedly had only one year of negative returns.
Financial pundit Jim Cramer

 Noam Galai / Getty Images

Early Life and Education

Jim Cramer was born Feb. 10, 1955, in Wyndmoor, Penn., a suburb close to Philadelphia. His parents were hardworking and creative individuals. His mother was an artist, and his father was an entrepreneur who owned a company that sold wrapping paper, boxes, and bags to retailers.

Cramer sold ice cream at Veterans Stadium during local Phillies games as a young man. In 1978, Cramer began working as a reporter. He covered the Ted Bundy murders in Tallahassee, Fla., where he worked for a Democrat and the (now defunct) Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Cramer was robbed many times in Florida and was even forced to live in his car.

Cramer attended Harvard University, where he earned a Bachelors's degree in government in 1977, graduating magna cum laude. His journalism experience began in college when he became the President and Editor in Chief of the Harvard Crimson. He continued his education at Harvard Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1984.

While in law school, Cramer began investing in the stock market and even promoted his stock picks. His track record of successful stock picks landed him a stockbroker job with Goldman Sachs.

Notable Accomplishments

In 1987, Jim Cramer took his knowledge of the stock market and started his own hedge fund company, Cramer & Co. Cramer, ran his fund from 1987 to 2000 and had only one year of negative returns. He eventually retired from his hedge fund in 2001, posting an overall annual average return of 24% from 1987 to 2001 and yielding an average of over $10 million per year over the entire 14-year period.

The CNBC show "Mad Money," which Jim Cramer is most well-known for hosting, aims to teach people how to think like professional investors rather than telling them what to think.

While still at his hedge fund, in 1996, Cramer co-founded TheStreet.com, a website that provides commentary and advice on the stock market. Cramer is the second-largest shareholder of the company, and, at one point, the company reached a market cap of $1.7 billion. As of August 2019, however, Maven acquired TheStreet.

In 2005, Jim Cramer signed on to be the host of the CNBC show "Mad Money," for which he is most well-known. The show's goal is to teach its viewers how to think like professional investors and not to tell people what to think. The show's popularity has risen consistently over the past 10 years, making it one of the most popular investment shows on CNBC.

Cramer's success on "Mad Money" has allowed him to host and appear as a guest on multiple investment shows across various broadcasting companies. In addition, Cramer has been a guest on prominent shows unrelated to investment finance, such as "Arrested Development," "The Tonight Show," and "The Daily Show."

Net Worth

According to Money, Inc, Jim Cramer has a total estimated net worth of $150 million as of 2022. The bulk of his net worth came from his success as a hedge fund manager, but his success did not stop there. Using his experience as a hedge fund manager, Cramer increased his net worth through a diversified strategy of multiple income streams.

The market cap and cash flow from his ownership of TheStreet.com have boosted his net worth, as has his notoriety and success as the host of "Mad Money." "Mad Money" has maintained Cramer's strong influence within the investment finance realm. He is a leading personality for stock market advice.

Publications

Jim Cramer has written several books on money and investing. Published by Simon& Schuster, they include Stay Mad for Life, Confessions of a Street Addict, You Got Screwed, Real Money, and Mad Money, a book named after the CNBC show of the same name.

Special Considerations

Cramer once said, "I've lost tremendous amounts of money in various markets, and I think that that's something that makes you better at my job, not worse."

The quote is a good example of the type of person Cramer has become through his experience as a hedge fund manager and as an on-air investment adviser. If an investor is in the game long enough, they are bound to lose money. But what the investor does with that learning makes them a success or failure.

"I will stand up for what I believe and for what I have always believed," Cramer also said. "Every person has a right to be rich in this country, and I want to help them get there." This embodies Cramer's mentality when he provides advice on his show "Mad Money."

Still, Cramer is not without his share of critics and controversy. In 1995, he was accused of manipulating stock prices after writing about several smaller companies he held shares in, which ultimately resulted in a $2 million windfall after his viewers helped increase the values of those stocks. This led some to accuse Cramer of having a conflict of interest when promoting shares he owns. personally or for his funds.

Other critics have pointed out that Cramer's track record of picking stocks on his TV show and other public outlets has not been stellar. Researchers that have analyzed Cramer's picks in detail find that since inception of the portfolio and since the start of Mad Money in 2005 (when the portfolio was converted into a charitable trust), Cramer’s portfolio has greatly underperformed the S&P 500 total return index both on an overall returns basis and in risk-adjusted return based on the Sharpe ratio.

Jim Cramer's Picks vs. S&P 500
Jim Cramer's Picks vs. S&P 500.

What Show Does Jim Cramer Host?

Jim Cramer is the host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and runs CNBC's "Investing Club".

Is Jim Cramer Wealthy?

Jim Cramer has a net worth of around $150 million as of mid-2022.

What Is the Investing Club With Jim Cramer?

The Investing Club with Jim Cramer provides investment advice and market picks and insight to members who sign up for his emailing list.

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Did Jim Cramer Go to Harvard?

Yes. Jim Cramer earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1977. He also served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, during his senior year. He later earned a J.D. at Harvard Law School in 1984.

The Bottom Line

Jim Cramer has become one of the most recognized money managers and financial gurus on TV and in the media. His long-running show Smart Money attracts the most viewers on the CNBC station and Cramer has earned a name for himself as an aggressive, no-nonsense investor. He has reportedly been successful with the investments that he manages for his own funds; however, his stock picks disseminated to the public on-air have tended to underperform the broader market.

Article Sources
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