James Crupi Speaker Profile

Celebrity Category:

Business Speakers

In Brief:

James J. "Jim" Cramer is an American television personality, a former hedge fund manager

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James Crupi Booking Fee Range:

$30,001 - $50,000

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James J. "Jim" Cramer is an American television personality, a former hedge fund manager, and a best-selling author. Cramer is the host of CNBC's Mad Money and a co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com, Inc.

Cramer is of Jewish, Italian, Polish and Irish descent, with grandparents who held Amish and Jewish religious beliefs. He was born in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.[2] One of his first jobs was selling ice cream at Veterans Stadium during Philadelphia Phillies games.[4] Cramer went to Springfield Township High School in Montgomery County.[5]

He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a B.A. in government.[4]

Cramer started investing in the stock market during his time at law school.[2] Early on in his career, Cramer began promoting his holdings by leaving stock picks on his answering machine, impressing The New Republic owner Martin Peretz, who gave him $500,000 to invest; Cramer earned Peretz $150,000 in two years.[6]

His track record helped Cramer obtain employment in 1984 as a stock broker in Goldman Sachs' Private Wealth Management[11] division. Cramer's success in this position led him to found his own hedge fund, Cramer & Co. (later Cramer, Berkowitz, & Co.), in 1987. The fund operated out of the offices of hedge fund pioneer Michael Steinhardt's Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co., and early investors included Eliot Spitzer (a Harvard classmate, one of his oldest friends, and former Governor of New York),[12] Brill, and Peretz.[13]

A year later, Cramer married Karen Backfisch-Olufsen, a trader with Steinhardt's firm.[citation needed] Cramer's fund had one down year from 1988–2000 while he ran it, in 1998, a year that was disastrous for many in the industry. Cramer, Berkowitz finished down 2–3% and they did not charge a management fee that year to their clients. In 1999 the fund returned 47%; in 2000 28%, beating the S&P 500 by 38 percentage points.[6] Cramer retired from his hedge fund in 2001, finishing with a 24% average annual return over 14 years and having "routinely [taken] home $10 million a year and more."[6] The fund was taken over by his former partner Jeff Berkowitz after Cramer's retirement.

Cramer claimed to be worth $50 to $100 million in October 2005. He owns stakes in TheStreet.com, Inc. and controls his charitable trust, though he does not discuss which charities receive the profits of his trading.[6]

In 1996, Cramer co-founded TheStreet.com with The New Republic editor Martin Peretz, one of his hedge fund's original clients. Cramer is currently a market commentator and adviser to the TheStreet.com, as well as its second largest shareholder. Cramer also manages a charitable trust stock portfolio which is tied to TheStreet.com through a subscription service called the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. Cramer currently works on a new project, MainStreet.com. An earlier similar project, TheRoad.com, did not yield the success Cramer had anticipated, although even TheStreet.com stock has declined over 90% since its first day of trading after its IPO in 1999. In 2009, Cramer earned $461,276 from The Street.com according to the company's Proxy statement.[1] He is the company's second largest shareholder and largest individual shareholder.[1]

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