Remember, Jim Cramer Also Picked Lenny Dykstra

Last Updated Aug 7, 2009 10:45 AM EDT

We began this series on Jim Cramer by looking at his recommendation that individual investors buy individual stocks instead of mutual funds or index funds. We showed why that advice did not stand up to either the historical evidence or logic. But perhaps I was a bit hasty. So let's look at one of the stock pickers Cramer endorsed as "one of the great ones": Lenny Dykstra.

Dykstra, who was nicknamed "Nails," was a popular player for the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets. While he was a very good player, he was never known for being particularly smart. Yet Dykstra became known as a "stock-picking genius" after retiring from baseball. He was even given his own column at TheStreet.com, co-founded by Cramer. As you'll see in the video below, it may have been a little quick to anoint Dykstra as the next superstar stock picker.
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Lenny Dykstra's Financial Career
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It's amazing how Cramer can make a claim that Dykstra "is not only sophisticated, but one of the greats in this business," when Dykstra admitted he doesn't read books because they are too confusing. The denouement to the story is that Dykstra declared bankruptcy on July 7. He listed up to $30 million in debts against $50,000 in assets and had more than 20 lawsuits filed against him. By the way, he also lost his column "Nails on the Numbers" at TheStreet.com.

Now that you have seen the evidence, I hope you're convinced that the only reason to listen to Cramer is for entertainment value. Personally, there are a lot more things I find entertaining than watching someone throwing chains, making weird noises and turning himself into a caricature. At any rate, you certainly should not get your investment advice from him.

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    Larry Swedroe is director of research for The BAM Alliance. He has authored or co-authored 13 books, including his most recent, Think, Act, and Invest Like Warren Buffett. His opinions and comments expressed on this site are his own and may not accurately reflect those of the firm.

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