Beneath the mad entertainment of Jim Cramer ("The mad man of Wall Street," Cover Story, Oct. 31), there is a serious and wise student of stocks. He is remarkably conservative in trying to protect the investments of his audience, most of whom come off as naive cult worshippers. One must listen very carefully and pause before plunging. Cramer is a huge plus among the freebooting pirates of Wall Street.
Cramer's refreshing honesty regarding some of his bad stock recommendations (as demonstrated on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur) gives him a human touch and professional credibility. And besides, his theatrics and energy liven up an otherwise dour subject (money). I just hope he does not suffer a heart attack during Lightning Round.
Your assertion that Cramer's "Picks of the Week" are up 7.1% ignores the fact that these recommendations represent only about 1% of the stocks he gives advice on during his program. He has made some disastrous recommendations. If he really wants to certify his stockpicking abilities, I challenge him to participate in his own "Mad Money Challenge" contest to see how he does against the rest of us.
In the same issue of BusinessWeek, "Beware of seers" (Personal Business Plus, Oct. 31) suggests investors should rely on strategies that do not use forecasting -- or in Cramer's case, no hunches or impulses. Securities indexes outperform the experts 80% of the time; the 20% of individual managers who do better do not repeat their stellar performance the following year. You cannot make money forever on Wall Street by attempting merely to outwit the next guy.
Earl J. Weinreb
Forest Hills, N.Y.
"Leader of the packs" (Marketing, Oct. 31) provided an accurate depiction of Philip Morris USA Inc.'s (MO) efforts to thank Marlboro adult smokers with a variety of programs and events. However, some see buzz marketing as synonymous with "guerrilla" or "stealth" marketing, which may include paying an individual to promote a product without disclosing the employment relationship to prospective consumers.
No aspect of Philip Morris USA's marketing, including our efforts to support the Marlboro brand, has been in the slightest way covert. At all our events, including those in your article, our representatives identify themselves as working on behalf of Philip Morris USA or one of our brands. And all correspondence to those on our age-confirmed adult smoker database is clearly identified as coming from Philip Morris USA or one of our brands.
Philip Morris USA
In "Boeing (BA) roars ahead" (News: Analysis & Commentary, Nov. 7), your writers have accurately spelled Qantas Airways. However, the person who designed the chart wasn't as lucky. In 1920, in Outback Australia, an airline was born. It was called Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd. (QANTAS). We pronounce the acronym "Kwontas," but spell it Qantas.
Qantas Airways Regional Headquarters