Jim Cramer enjoyed a long and, presumably, successful career on Wall Street as a hedge fund manager before thrusting himself in front of millions of viewers as host of CNBC's Mad Money, his daily stock-picking television train wreck. In the show he discusses the finer points of a handful of stocks by throwing furniture, jamming buttons on a sound board and generally emulating the physicality of an electro-shock therapy session.
Although the hedge fund industry is enshrouded in secrecy, it seems unlikely that it's populated by thousands of Jim Cramers. For one, an industry staffed by animated blowhards like Cramer would probably start generating more money from ticket sales than investment returns and convert itself into a white-collar circus.
This would be an awesome reality show.
Hedge fund managers, with millions of dollars riding on their investment positions and their compensation schemes tied to fund performance, are essentially in the business of dealing with pressure and we're assuming they don't deal with that pressure by flailing around the room and screeching out of their window.
Hey, maybe that's what happened: the pressure got to him. So when Jim Cramer prattles off stock suggestions on Mad Money by shooting buckshot at a dictionary and gauging which three letters took the most damage, maybe it should be interpreted less as "professional investment advice" and more "one man's personal descent into madness."
Or, more likely, the reason he left the high-flying world of hedge fund management to commit 30 minutes of road rage in front a camera every day is because he's not all that interested in picking stocks for a living. There's more glory in being a televised abrasive asshole than a mega-wealthy abrasive asshole - just ask Donald Trump.