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Confessions of a Street Addict Paperback – June 6, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 252 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's hard to think of anyone more intense or opinionated, or who wears as many hats as James Cramer. In Confessions of a Street Addict, the man who first made a name for himself on Wall Street successfully managing his hedge fund--and then became famous on Main Street with his manic appearances on CNBC--tells the improbable story of his career as journalist, Wall Street pundit, Internet entrepreneur, and television commentator. For the most part, Cramer manages to avoid the self-congratulatory hype that mars so many books of this ilk; in fact, what makes Confessions so compelling are the shots that Cramer takes at himself, be it his now infamous capitulation during the stock market panic of October 1998, when he wrote a piece for TheStreet.com advising readers of an impending crash just as the market began to rebound, or the callous way he treated so many around him in pursuit of the next trade. Here's an informative, honest, and rollicking read for fans of CNBC, TheStreet.com, or anyone who has ever lost sleep thinking about their portfolios. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards --This text refers to the Unbound edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Cramer, famous for appearing on CNBC as the "wild excitable guy [with]... a big mouth and lots of passion talking authoritatively about how you could make money by getting on the Net," recounts his turbulent dual career as hedge fund manager and media pundit. Cramer tells of his lifelong obsession with the market, beginning with childhood scenes of poring over daily stock listings. The story kicks into high gear once he starts juggling his law school course load so he can spend as much time as possible trading (over the phone, in the pre-Internet '80s). After that, the narrative's pace never relents from depictions of Cramer's early days at Goldman Sachs through the launch of his own fund, which led to magazine columns, a near-constant presence on TV, and TheStreet.com. Cramer's description of the financial news Web site's launch is ruthless, not just toward the executives whose scheming and mismanagement, he says, undermined TheStreet.com's success, but toward himself for hiring them and temporarily destroying his long-standing friendship with publishing fixture Marty Peretz. Cramer is equally self-recriminating about the effect his fanatical trading had on his personal life, but clearly still loves to linger over every major deal of his career (and a lot of the minor ones), even perhaps especially if they blew up in his face. This is a lively, informative portrait of the highest levels of finance and media in the last decade.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Unbound edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743224884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743224888
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rick Spell VINE VOICE on September 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book after reading Maier's account of working at Cramer's hedge fund, "Trading with the Enemy". While Maier's book is not an in-depth detailed book, it projects Cramer as an egotistical tyrannical trader. Reading this book for a comparison, you can believe both sides of the story. Cramer recounts many of the same stories and they are remarkably similar but from different perspectives. For example, they both wrote about the birthday party where Cramer became extremely intoxicated and puked on the guests. Maier describes this as another example of Cramer's poor manners and ego. Cramer describes the bad day he had had and where he was mentally that had him over drink and embarrass his family. If anything, I was surprised that an egomaniac like Cramer could admit to any shortcomings. Many "Masters of the Universe" can't.
Cramer doesn't strike me as a charismatic guy. But you have to be impressed with where he started and where he ended up. Maybe his tactics were questionable. But to compete in the money arena with the fortunes at stake, it is impressive that he was able to even be on the field and favorably compete at least for a few years.
There are two significant relationships in the book I feel compelled to mention. First the investor who Cramer met who not only invested but recommended investors. This also turned out to be the relationship that Maier knew to get his job. A partnership was formed to set up TheStreet.com and somehow in the personnel problems of the venture, Cramer had a falling out with his favored investor that appeared to eventually leading to the shutdown of the hedge fund. You can sense from hearing Cramer's side that there is another side to the story.
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Format: Hardcover
Jim Cramer is not a saint. He is impatient, domineering, egotistical, and almost certainly there are other unflattering things you could say about him. Yet he is a true rarity in my mind because he tells you he is all of those things repeatedly in his own autobiography. He does a fantastic job of honestly outlining the major events of his life. He acknowledges the things he has done well but spends far more time detailing his excesses and failings as well as being generous in giving credit for his success to others.
What makes this book so interesting is that it is neither a tearful apology nor a chest-thumping self congratulation. Cramer matter of factly details his journey to success as well as the toll it took on his personal life including his utter insensitivity in dealing with his family.
The passages dealing with His wife alone are worth the price of the book. The woman is nothing short of amazing both as the "Trading Goddess" that truly lives up to her name as well as the woman who puts up with a workaholic husband that is virtually never around when she needs him.
All in all, this is a fascinating book that anyone would do well to read.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not mad about Jim Cramer and I guess I'll never be. His brash, arrogant, loudmouth way of commenting on different business or even political issues on tv, whether it's on "Mad money", "Kudlow and Cramer", "Squawk box", "Good morning, America" or any other television show he's ever been on can get on my nerves sometimes. As a matter of fact, it's not so much his comments rather than his behaviour, his body language and his way of making a point that grate on me.

But he is one of the very few investors/traders that I have ever heard say "I was wrong about this stock or this company, and I don't have any problems admitting it", and I give him credit for that. The guy seems, if not honest, at least sincere to me. And I guess brashness, arrogance, sincerity, his loud mouth and the fact that he craves public attention make of Jim Cramer a highly colourful, flamboyant character. I'm always interested in what he has to say, even if I don't agree with him: sometimes, when he's on tv, the guy can be downright funny in his own way!

And so, not very enthusiastically I picked up this book and began reading it on a rainy weekend. Contrary to some of the readers who have posted reviews here at Amazon.com, I didn't really expect to learn any valuable trading methods or technical stuff, since the book's title is "Confessions" and not "Methods". No, as a matter of fact, when I think about it, I did learn something original. Cramer's idea of visiting department stores to find the next big thing and asking the right questions to the store clerks was very amusing to me.

This turned out to be a very honest, sincere and interesting book indeed. I was amazed by a few things in particular though:

1-Dedication, hard work and brains do pay in life.
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Format: Paperback
Jim Cramer. The name comes up again and again. Thestreet.com pulses with his rants, CNBC prominently features him, and even sites like the venerable Motley Fool write articles about him. What's the story? Is he a wild hack, or a shrewd investor and advisor?

This book answers some of those questions, and answers a whole lot more. It starts when he graduates from college, and follows him through journalism, law school, and through the investment world, culminating when he hangs up his hedge fund at the peak of success. He didn't get too far from the lifestyle though, as you can tell from his omnipresent, uh, presence.

I didn't like him going in, but the book made me look at him in a new light. There are so many lessons, and so much truth in this book that I have to give it my highest recommendation. Even if you don't agree with Cramer's analysis and investing style, you should read this book! I'm a religious listener to his Real Money podcast, and though it makes Ben Graham roll over in his grave, this guy has done it all, and genuinely wants to help people make money. That's at least partially because I think he wants recognition as a guru- he makes money from thestreet.com, but he doesn't need it. If all he wanted was money, he'd still be at his hedge fund.

If this book teaches nothing else, it proves that the average person sitting at home has no hope of competing with hedge funds as a day trader. They have too much info and control too much money. You have no chance of beating professional (i.e. Wall Street)day traders at their game. Not that there aren't other ways of beating the street- it's just that you are inevitably scooped if you ever think you're making a move on folks when it comes to trading (vs. investing).

And, it's a good story. This book gets the seal of approval.
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