He is most known for co-founding and serving as chairman of TheStreet.com, as well as for hosting CNBC’s “Mad Money.” Jim Cramer receives a $5 million yearly pay for his many positions at CNBC. In addition, he receives a sizeable income through book advances and royalties.
Cramer oversaw the Cramer Berkowitz hedge fund from 1987 to 2001. The fund managed $450 million in assets at its height. It generated a 24 percent annual return on average. Cramer estimated his net worth to be between $50 and $100 million in 2005, according to BusinessWeek.
Because of his 15% ownership position in TheStreet.com, Cramer’s net worth was much higher at the height of the dot-com bubble. TheStreet.com had a market cap of $1.7 billion in 1999, just a few months after going public. Cramer’s 15% investment at that price was valued at $255 million. After the dotcom meltdown in 2005, that stake was estimated to be worth $15 million.
Early years and professional beginnings
James J. Cramer, best known by his stage name Jim Cramer, was born to a Jewish family on February 10, 1955, in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia). His father, Ken Cramer, was the proprietor of International Packaging Products, a business that marketed goods like wrapping paper and boxes to stores and eateries. His mother, Louise A. Cramer, was an artist.
Selling Coca-Cola and ice cream at Veterans Stadium during Philadelphia Phillies baseball games was one of Cramer’s first occupations in the early 1970s. He graduated from Springfield Township High School and went on to Harvard College to pursue a degree in government. In 1977, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with magna cum laude from Harvard. He was active with The Harvard Crimson as its president and editor-in-chief as a student at Harvard, among other extracurricular activities.
Cramer was hired as an entry-level reporter at the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper in Tallahassee, Florida, after graduating from college. Since he just lived a few blocks away, it so occurred that he was one of the first people to cover the Ted Bundy murders at the time. He then worked for newspapers like the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and American Lawyer, as well as for California Governor Jerry Brown. Later, he went back to Harvard to finish law school. He invested in the stock market when he was a law student and paid his tuition with the proceeds of his trading.
Cramer joined Goldman Sachs as a stockbroker in 1984 after earning his law degree from Harvard. He didn’t practice law even though he was admitted to the New York State Bar Association in 1985. His ability to practice law in New York was ultimately stopped in 2009 as a result of his failure to pay the registration fee.
Cramer & Co.
Cramer quit his job at Goldman Sachs in 1987 to launch his own hedge fund, Cramer & Co. (later to be known as Cramer, Berkowitz & Co.). He was paid a fee equal to 20% of the income he made and was able to raise $450 million in $5 million increments. Martin Peretz, Steve Brill, and Eliot Spitzer were a few of the hedge fund’s first investors.
He left the hedge fund in 2001, and his previous business colleague, Jeff Berkowitz, took charge. According to Cramer, his sole year of negative returns from 1988 to 2000 was 1998. He further asserts that over a 14-year period, he generated an average annual return of 24 percent. But several of his findings and assertions have been challenged.
TheStreet.com and Smart Money
Cramer also worked on other initiatives, such as the “editor at large” position at SmartMoney magazine. When he made a $2 million profit buying stocks just before an article having his recommendations in it was published while he was working there, he was accused of using unethical techniques. Additionally, Cramer and Martin Peretz collaborated in 1996 to develop the website TheStreet.com, which provides financial news and financial education. TheMaven purchased the website in 2019 for $16.5 million.
Additionally, Cramer frequently appeared as a guest pundit on CNBC in the late 1990s. In the end, he and Larry Kudlow were given their own show, “Kudlow & Cramer,” which ran from 2002 to 2005. Later, he switched to “Mad Money with Jim Cramer,” which debuted on CNBC in 2005. The program gives viewers the resources and information they need to become better investors.
Cramer is obligated to disclose any positions he may have with respect to the stocks covered on the show as a condition of his participation in the program. Additionally, he is prohibited from trading in anything he has spoken about or discussed on the show for five days after each broadcast. The one-hour radio program he had previously aired, “Jim Cramer’s Real Money,” which concluded in December 2006, served as the inspiration for the program “Mad Money.”
Several books by Cramer have also been written and published. These consist of “You Got Screwed! (2002), Confessions of a Street Addict, and “Jim Cramer’s True Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World” (2005), “Jim Cramer’s Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer)” (2007), “Jim Cramer’s Getting Back to Even” (2009), and “Jim Cramer’s Get Rich Carefully” are some of his books ” (2013).
From 1988 through 2009, Cramer was wed to Karen Backfisch. Together, they are parents to two kids. He weds Lisa Cadette Detwiler, a real estate broker, and general manager of The Longshoreman restaurant in New York City, for the second time. In April 2015, they got hitched. One of the businesses he owns is the DeBary Inn in Summit, New Jersey, which he and four other partners bought in 2009.
Another one is the Bar San Miguel, a restaurant and bar that he and his wife own in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. He has a home in Summit, New Jersey, as well as private residences in Quogue, New York, on Long Island, and a 65-acre estate in the New Jersey countryside. Cramer is a well-known, ardent supporter of the NFL team Philadelphia Eagles. For over 20 years, he has owned season tickets.
A house in Summit, New Jersey, with a history of almost 100 years was purchased by Jim and Karen for $2.375 million in 1999. Jim sold the house to Karen for $1 as part of their divorce settlement. In April 2019, Karen sold the residence for $3.675 million.
Jim spent $4.7 million on another house in Summit, New Jersey, in 2008. In another part of New Jersey, he is the owner of a 65-acre estate.
A $150 million dollar fortune can be attributed to Jim Cramer, an American television personality, best-selling author, and former hedge fund manager.