Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hope Jim Cramer Has a Defined Benefit Plan

A video of Jim Cramer from CNBC's Mad Money has been making the rounds on the Internet following the historic collapse of Bear Stearns.

A lot of people are now vilifying Cramer for his bad (understatement) advice, but it isn't really fair to pick out one mistake and project it to everything the man has done. Especially in light of claims now being investigated by the SEC.

Today, the LA Times reported that the SEC is looking into claims that traders who benefited from the collapse intentionally spread rumors to cause market panic.

I know this isn't a blog for financial advice, but I think this is a perfect reason why all Americans should strive for a defined benefit plan for retirement.

The bigger issue is that people like Cramer are on television every day making the financial world look easy. People who promote defined contribution retirement plans point out that over time the stock market comes out ahead.

Of course someone in their late 50s who was heavily invested in the fifth-largest securities firm in the country would probably disagree with those claims after the Bear Stearns fiasco.

It is easy to tell everyone who lost large chunks of their retirement that they should have been smarter. But, how can you expect people to make informed decisions when even so-called experts such as Cramer struggle?

It is insane that more and more employees are being pushed toward a retirement system that punishes those who make the wrong decision based on the best information they have available to them.

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