Yes, Jamie Dimon, we live in dangerous times. Good thing we stayed in the market anyway


Early on Oct. 13, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon delivered some perhaps prophetic words: “This may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades.” The S & P 500 closed the prior session at 4,349. Over the past nine weeks since then, the index has gained roughly 9%, as of Monday morning trading. I’m sure some of you sold on Dimon’s words, which accompanied a strong third quarter for the bank. He is, after all, the most important banker on Earth, with sources far greater than almost anyone. On Nov. 29, Dimon reiterated at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit: “It’s dangerous,” again citing the geopolitical strife caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel. The S & P 500 finished that day at 4,550 — an increase of 3.7% from Friday’s close of 4,719. In fact, Dimon has been saying some variation of this “dangerous” theme for some time now. We chose not to ignore them. You can’t ignore the sirens of a man you respect. But on the other, you can’t tailor your investment thesis to it — no more than the crypto people can tailor their investments to when Dimon said on Dec. 6 at a Senate Banking Committee hearing: “If I was the government, I’d close it down.” Bitcoin has lost 5.6% since then, trading around $41,300 on Monday morning. However, bitcoin year-to-date has surged 148%. .SPX YTD mountain S & P 500 year to date Yes, we do have a dangerous world. We have faced an Evil Empire in the Soviet Union that threatened us constantly, as then-President Ronald Reagan made sure we knew in the 1980s. In 2002, President George W. Bush told us about an Iran, Iraq, and North Korea Axis of Evil — each capable of launching weapons of mass destruction. There’s an Axis of Evil once again with Russia, Iran and China. At any given time since the end of World War II, with the exception of a period between 1945 and 1950 when the Korean War began, we have been involved in conflicts that could trigger a nuclear war. These are all dangerous times. I have a list as long as my arm about dangerous times — and I think that at any given point, I can name a dozen worse moments than right now including the time when the sky was blackened over my head as a little boy when the Willow Grove Naval Air Base emptied its tarmac and sent all of its planes down to the Florida panhandle during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Think about all of the times that you could have sold based on those worries. Think about how hard it would have been to get back into the market. Or, think about how a young Warren Buffett started buying his first stocks in the early 1940s when it wasn’t clear we could win World War II. Did he take heed of the news? Or did he take heed of the companies and presumed that things would work out because we are a great country that would not be defeated in war? Or, think about investing in the mid-1970s after we were defeated in the war against Vietnam. Not only was it dangerous overseas for us, with our undoubted weakness, but we had turmoil in the White House. Then-President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 following Watergate. .SPX ALL mountain S & P 500 long-term performance With less than 10 trading days left in what’s been an incredible 2023 on Wall Street, we’re getting to hold our final CNBC Investing Club Monthly Meeting of the year. Club members can watch live at noon ET on Tuesday. I simply want to remind you that there were so many moments in 2023 when you might have sold. If we have done one thing very right, we chose to draw the line between our investments and the news quote of the day. We factored it in — just like we factored in the numerous times that the once-sagacious Mike Wilson from Morgan Stanley told us to sell, or that it was a rally in a bear market. However, what we relied on was ourselves, our view, and we were not swayed by voices that lack accountability to you, our Club members. When we cede accountability and when we choose to rely on others who are not there to hold our hand once we take action, we fail you. We fail ourselves. Please understand that the best thing we do is hold ourselves accountable. I know it because when we are wrong it is so hard to own it. But we do. When we are right? We don’t talk about it much. But here it is — just as dangerous of a world, if not more dangerous, than the countless times Dimon said it was this year — and, we listened but we took our own actions accordingly. (See here for a full list of the stocks in Jim Cramer’s Charitable Trust.) As a subscriber to the CNBC Investing Club with Jim Cramer, you will receive a trade alert before Jim makes a trade. Jim waits 45 minutes after sending a trade alert before buying or selling a stock in his charitable trust’s portfolio. If Jim has talked about a stock on CNBC TV, he waits 72 hours after issuing the trade alert before executing the trade. THE ABOVE INVESTING CLUB INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO OUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND PRIVACY POLICY , TOGETHER WITH OUR DISCLAIMER . NO FIDUCIARY OBLIGATION OR DUTY EXISTS, OR IS CREATED, BY VIRTUE OF YOUR RECEIPT OF ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE INVESTING CLUB. NO SPECIFIC OUTCOME OR PROFIT IS GUARANTEED.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, testifies during the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing titled “Annual Oversight of Wall Street Firms,” in Hart Building on Wednesday, December 6, 2023. 

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Early on Oct. 13, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon delivered some perhaps prophetic words: “This may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades.” The S&P 500 closed the prior session at 4,349. Over the past nine weeks since then, the index has gained roughly 9%, as of Monday morning trading.

I’m sure some of you sold on Dimon’s words, which accompanied a strong third quarter for the bank. He is, after all, the most important banker on Earth, with sources far greater than almost anyone.

On Nov. 29, Dimon reiterated at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit: “It’s dangerous,” again citing the geopolitical strife caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel. The S&P 500 finished that day at 4,550 — an increase of 3.7% from Friday’s close of 4,719.



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