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Invest for long haul to avoid short-term risk

by Sakuragun Chan

CNBC’s Jim Cramer implored younger investors on Monday to stay in the market for the long term, despite recent turbulent events, including the forced liquidation of positions held by multibillion-dollar family office Archegos Capital Management.

“We don’t want it to be 2000 when we lost a quarter of the people who were in,” Cramer said on “Squawk Box,” referring to the bursting of the dot-com bubble and a sense of disillusionment among those who lost money. “It just can’t be like that.”

A wave of young people during the coronavirus pandemic has been buying stocks for the first time, and Cramer acknowledged they may not want to take advice about navigating tumultuous trading from longtime Wall Street figures.

“But the only thing that we really have for them is history, and they need to hear it: Stay in the game. Don’t get blown out,” said the “Mad Money” host, whose Wall Street career began in the mid-1980s at Goldman Sachs. He later managed a hedge fund before becoming a financial journalist, reporting on the stock market’s ability to create long-term wealth and the risks of short-term trading to retail investors.

After running higher for weeks, ViacomCBS and Discovery, along with multiple Chinese internet stocks, came under intense selling pressure late last week — partly connected to forced sales by Archegos, founded and run by Bill Hwang, a former equity analyst at Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management.

On Monday, two investment banks — Switzerland’s Credit Suisse and Japan’s Nomurawarned of “significant” financial hits in connection with the Archegos situation, although the firms did not call out the fund by name.

Archegos is hardly the first fund to end up on the wrong side of a trade, Cramer said, noting that some took big losses during the Reddit-fueled trading frenzy involving GameStop.

“I think a lot of the non-boomers should be asking themselves, ‘Well, what did you think happened with GME? What did you think happened? It’s the same thing as what happened to this fund,” Cramer said, referring to how another hedge fund, Melvin Capital, was caught in a short squeeze that sent GameStop soaring before later collapsing. Many retail investors were left with big losses after buying at the top.

“It is regarded as sinister by this younger cohort, and they’ll go home and what a shame but they’ll go home. They don’t stick around. They’re short timers. It’s really a shame because they got smoked.”

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