Although I agree with you, I wouldn’t be so harsh. I personally respect Cramer’s attempt to make investing more entertaining. What I disagree with him on is his suggestion that paying for financial advice is unnecessary when all you have to do is watch his show. He claims he can coach you on how to make money, thus making financial professionals obsolete!
In the course of my involvement in the investing world, I have learned to appreciate the value of Financial Consultants in several aspects. In my opinion, what Cramer and others confuse is financial advice with market timing ability. A financial advisor is there to help you better plan for your future and help with your investment approach. Not on how to better time market moves.
Sure, an institutional advisor can assist you on improving market timing strategies with more detailed analyst reports and investing tools. But although these are important tools in the fundamental investor's arsenal, an advisor’s ultimate goal is helping supply the investor with additional facts about all aspects of one’s financial reality and help to aid his understanding and all possible options before making his final decisions.
There is no question that financial shows, as well as the internet and other media has reduced the information asymmetry between the do-it-yourself investor and the institutional investors like never before, but at the same time, I strongly believe that there is still a clear (or superior) advantage of having additional facts before hitting the buy/sell button.
More importantly, an investor can find an advisor useful for bouncing his views off an experienced individual, who knows his unique financial situation, and getting comments in return; the investor gets a different perspective. For some, it can also be considered as part of getting additional insights into an idea he has been developing about the markets.
In other words, to me, an experienced Financial Consultant acts as a sounding board to test the strength of one’s beliefs.
So although a TV show, like Mad Money, can be an extremely useful source of information, it is just unfiltered information. This investment advice might not apply to your unique financial situation and it might not be appropriate for your time horizon, risk tolerance or amount of investable assets.
A financial advisor certainly has his place in the investment world to teach a layperson about financial vehicles that may help him decide what might be best for his certain senario.Time horizon , risk tolrance, amount of capital,etc. Myself, I would never act upon advice given by a CFA or an institutional advisor from your general brockage house.Motives are not always aligned with mine. If the advice is coming from a money manager that has skin in the investment he was advising to buy or sell, then I am all ears. Cramer,excuse my expression, is a Snake Salesperson selling his show.The first part of his show is the only part I may catch.As for his investment advice he gives his callers is usually off the track.He will say buy today and sell tomorrow and then say he never said anything.Cnbc promotes him as he "DOES KNOW" and the layperson follows and later finds out he DOESN'T KNOW,,,,,,anyway.... goodluck.
I think we both agree that an investor cannot jump to the end of the historical learning curve by watching Cramer on T.V. or by reading a financial blog.
So whether you decide to stick with a tactical play; the more conventional investment advice of the institutional investor or moving towards a more strategic play; a hedge fund manager that as you say, has skin in the investment, depends on your perspective. Everybody, I think, understands the trade-offs of each.