I have to agree with the people who are less than impressed with CONFESSIONS -- Cramer definitely comes off as egomaniacal and crazed. One often wonders about how Karen Backfisch dealt with his absences from family events. I guess she took it like a good trader would and dismissed these absences as part of the job. There's no question Cramer is a brilliant guy when it comes to money, but I admire him for his forthright admittances of personal shortcomings. He is to be respected for "confessing" to having breaking untold numbers of computers and keyboards in a maddening, perfectionist fury, and to missing untold numbers of his childrens' soccer games and plays. He is "spot-on" (I hesitate to use the street's lingo) when he says that his success is due solely to his "hunger" and his haunting memory of sleeping in a car for nine months when he was at the bottom rung of his finances. He says that what makes a good hedge fund manager is the never-ending fear and the constant scramble to be the best -- or lose big. But in the end, I wonder, given the smart-ass tone in which this book is served to the reader, would he do it all over again? Would he conduct business by his mother's bedside up till the day of her passing away? Would he have missed his sister's wedding for a crack at a position at Goldman? Would he have balked at visiting his daughter when she was rushed to the hospital for a bacterial infection? Would he have made all of these mistakes over again just for his current net worth? If it were, as he says, all-or-nothing? If he is right, that the only way to be a good money manager is to live and breathe it to the exclusion of everything else? I suspect the answer is Yes.
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