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Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even Hardcover – Unabridged, October 13, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 187 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Television commentator (CNBC’s Mad Money, New York magazine columnist, Jim Cramer’s Real Money, and more) Cramer, whose name—and brand—is synonymous with stock-market advice, is perfect at taking the pulse of the public as we arise (phoenixlike) from the ashes of the worst economic recession since the 1930s. His latest book presents rules for trying to recover from losses; many of the rules feature stories about individual stocks to buy, such as Eli Lilly, Caterpillar, and five regional banks. Other rules center on strategies, ranging from the purchase of dividend-producing stocks and gold to such philosophical foundations as know your fellow shareholders and bull markets are all about leadership. All the rules are infused with Cramerisms and straight-shooting prose that, indeed, might evoke a few winces and grimaces from readers. On the other hand, remember that his brashness and opinions earn him multimillions a year. --Barbara Jacobs

About the Author

James J. Cramer is host of CNBC’s Mad Money and cofounder of TheStreet.com. His many books include Confessions of a Street Addict, Jim Cramer’s Getting Back to Even, Jim Cramer’s Mad Money, Jim Cramer’s Real Money, Jim Cramer’s Stay Mad for Life.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Simon and Schuster Hardcover Edition October 2009 edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439158010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439158012
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By AmazonJavaJunki TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First a caveat, Jim Cramer seriously annoys me. I rarely ever watch his show (especially after the notorious "melt-down") and less frequently read his books. However, as a college instructor and business writer, I read a lot of business books and make a point of keeping up with what is in the popular press since it tends to come up in daily questions etc...admittedly, I was also curious how well a book claiming to help people "Get back to Even" was going to do in the ratings...it's certainly a modest proposal at best and a constant reminder of financial pain at worst. Much to my surprise, Cramer actually mentions this early in the text so score one for Cramer!

The book is easy to read with a purely conversational tone; those that enjoy Cramer will feel right at home while those such as myself will still manage to get through it without constant irritation like listening to him on television. There is an abundant use of examples to explain any all all technical terms no matter how simple or complex but they do not (usually) insult the readers intelligence but rather enhance the reading nicely. The author assumes the reader has minimal prior exposure and takes little for granted so even novice investors or those that have always had their portfolio managed by someone other than themselves will not need to read with references in hand.

Now, as to the core of the concepts covered in the book itself. Cramer begins by presenting 8 new rules which are more or less "common sense" but well worth repeating given the typical lack of financial savvy of most "investors".
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Format: Hardcover
For prospective purchasers, hopefully you read the reviews to items before you buy them. In the case of this book, Getting Back to Even, I want you all to know that you can safely ignore the vague, uninformative, and unhelpful reviews left by some members (who probably haven't even read the book). You should not be purchasing this book unless you know something about the author, Jim Cramer. He has a daily show here in the US, every week day at 6PM EST on CNBC where he discusses stocks and their companies. If you have aren't familiar with Mr. Cramer, don't buy this book. Buy his earlier books. Though they are not cataloged or described as a series, the different books focus on different aspects of investing. They all provide general investing information, but it loosely breaks down like this (I am not listing all of his books, just the ones I've read):

Real Money: One of his earlier books, it explains his methodology in an overview fashion. This is where I would recommend starting.

Mad Money: This book follows Real Money and goes into more detail on many aspects of Real Money, such as his prescribed homework for your stock picks.

Stay Mad for Life: This book focuses more on investing for retirement, so it's not as suited to younger folks such as myself (25/male). But it is still a great guide with a ton of great information on preparing yourself for retirement at almost any age.. except perhaps if you're already retired!

Getting Back to Even: Despite what some of the sensibility-impaired critics have implied or outright accused, Cramer never suggests that he is infallible, nor does he ever give you the illusion that if you do what he tells you that you will never lose money.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked this book better than some of Cramer's past books on amateur investing and trading. The first few chapters provide a long-winded explanation of how economic recovery inevitably follows recessions, and Cramer explains how he learned lessons from past market declines. He also repeats his past message of 'buy and homework,' meaning that buying a stock requires a commitment of an hour a week of reading about the company, economic outlook and industry trends. He again cites the virtues of diversification.

This book may only have a shelf life of four or five months to take advantage of his recommendations, but he tells readers to put money into cyclical stocks that will snap back in the early stages of a recovery, such as Caterpillar, J.P. Morgan, Visa and Hewlett-Packard, among others. He provides a short list of regional banks that he says have strong balance sheets and will be well positioned to take over weaker financial firms. The chapters on options are somewhat oversimplified. He basically recommends buying deep-in-the-money calls on stocks you think will rise in the near future--of course, finding those stocks is the biggest challenge for any amateur investor.

Some of the best advice I ever got from any investment books is knowing when to sell, which often divides winning traders from losers. For that, I would recommend the book "What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars." It's an autobiographical account of a Chicago futures trader who discovered that he never was a real trader, only a buyer of long positions that happened to make money during a bull market.
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