It drives CNBC’s Jim Cramer crazy when people say that stocks are dangerous and overvalued “at this point in the cycle.”
“I put air quotes around that phrase because whenever people say it, I feel like they’re trying real hard to put the stock market in the context of some sort of game,” the “Mad Money” host said on Tuesday. “It’s the ninth inning, it’s the fourth quarter or whatever time frame that resonates as well as the obvious meaning, which is something like, ‘We haven’t had a recession yet, but we’re about to, and if that’s the case, stocks are way too expensive.'”
What irritates Cramer most is that he sees plenty of bubbles out there, but the stock market is not one of them.
One such example is bitcoin, the wildly popular cryptocurrency used by traders hungry for its rapid-fire gains and by companies to pay off hackers using ransomware.
In the meantime, wealthy citizens in Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Brazil are purchasing bitcoin as a way to get money securely away from the “failing regimes,” Cramer said.
“So you have this currency that’s been bid up to $8,000 by people anxious to move their money without government scrutiny for whatever reason,” Cramer said. “A year ago, one bitcoin was worth $750. You mean to tell me that’s not a bubble? You think that’s a safe place, a reasonable approximation of value versus the stock market?”
Cramer also called attention to the Leonardo da Vinci painting that sold for over $450 million, breaking all-time art auction records.
The sale was a prime example of too much money being poured into too little product, the “Mad Money” host argued.
“This one was either a ridiculous outlier or the new benchmark of wealth in the world,” he said. “Either way, a painting is not something that generates income and this particular painting may be a fake. Isn’t that the definition of overvalued?”
Perhaps the most overvalued portion of the market Cramer found was junk bonds, which are low-yield, high-risk, fixed-income investments with credit ratings of BB or lower (by the Standard & Poor’s standards).
And then there’s the stock market, where Cramer saw only three stocks that truly eschew the boundaries of traditional valuation: Netflix, Amazon and Tesla.
But Cramer said that Netflix’s valuation could still be driven higher by the entertainment giant’s distribution network and that the market hasn’t caught up with Amazon’s still-undervalued web services arm.
“Tesla remains a free association situation where anyone can put any value on it,” Cramer acknowledged. “But in the last six months, we’ve gone from having three cult stocks that were impossible to value on the fundamentals to having just one. That’s reassuring.”
So as certain areas of investment explode in value, Cramer maintained that stocks are one of the few portions of the market where prices actually run true.
“Look, the stock market does not exist in a vacuum,” the “Mad Money” host said. “And as long as everything else is totally crazy and bubblicious, stocks are looking good. I don’t care where we are ‘in the cycle,’ I care where we are in the supermarket of investing, and right now, stocks are the only aisle with real and obvious value.”