Monday , May 21 2018
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In defence of Jim Cramer’s call to sell stocks in October 2008

[embedded content]In retrospect, this seems like terrible advice. Someone who had bought the Wilshire 5000 index of publicly-traded US stocks on October 6, 2008 would today be up about 180 per cent after reinvesting dividends.One man who seems to have listened to Cramer, to his apparent detriment, is Marty Bannon, father of Steve Bannon. From a recent Wall Street Journal profile, with our emphasis:With his children’s security a priority, Marty Bannon began accumulating phone-company stock, which AT&T occasionally made available to employees…he viewed the shares as an inheritance for his children, a lesson in the value of hard work and stability…Then came the 2008 market chaos…Marty Bannon says he lost more than 0,000 because he sold the shares for less than he paid for them.It was a decision he made without consulting a broker or his family, including his two sons with investment backgrounds, who only learned about the sale days after it was finished. The shares subsequently regained much of their value…That Oct. 6, financial analyst Jim Cramer told “Today” show viewers to pull money from the stock market if they needed any cash for the next five years. Steve Bannon says the warning spooked this father.The narrative almost nudges the reader into thinking Jim Cramer is partly culpable for America’s nativist turn.

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