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Jim Cramer Is At It Again ...

... speaking before thinking and pontificating on a subject he knows very little about.

Before we get to another Jim Cramer "moment" let me state that I have no personal axe to grind with him, and in fact, as a former contributor to TheStreet.com, I am indebted to Jim Cramer for giving me a start and some credibility in the financial publishing business. I don't know the man, and I doubt he is even aware of my existence. I think he is genuine about helping investors, but I guess his downfall is that he must be a entertainer first and an analyst second. It is a tough job.

Where I take umbrage with Mr. Cramer is in the following CNBC "Mad Money" segment shown on March 3, 2009. Cramer calls technical analysis "hocus pocus", "voo doo" and "mumbo jumbo".

Gee, now I know why I don't get it right all the time. I was practicing "voo doo". I should have paid more attention to fundamentals. Not!

While I am not here to defend the art/ science of technical analysis, I believe folks have difficulty with TA because they expect it to be a science, but they really practice it like an art because they haven't done the homework to find what works and what doesn't. In my opinion, using tools and indicators that work fair at best will yield fair results. Using tools that you have no idea how they work is definitely a recipe for disaster. I suspect a lot of people use TA in this fashion.

The study of price movements (i.e., technical analysis) is the purest form of fundamental research. After all, everything that is known about an equity or an asset should be reflected in the price. Technical analysis also lends itself to rigorous analysis. One can easily quantify -if they do the homework - the significance of certain price movements. This doesn't mean that TA is always right, but it can easily improve the odds for success.


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