Host of CNBC’s Mad Money, Jim Cramer became a millionaire at just 28 years old, but he wasn’t thrilled with the way he was portrayed in the media.
Stephen Cramer, who had high-profile financial jobs before he retired at the age of 67, says that money shouldn’t be what’s most important in life.
When he first began his career in 1984, Cramer’s goal was to make a fortune and be successful at the pinnacle of capitalism.
“I made $750,000, and then $1.5 million in the next,” Cramer says. “I was ecstatic. Goldman did that for me.”
Proud to have made a million dollars, Cramer visited his parents to share the news. But he didn’t get the reaction he was looking for, particularly from his mom, an artist and cancer survivor, who was dying of cancer at that time.
“She was so proud of me and yet she’d ask what it took for me to be a millionaire, knowing that my mother is no man-eater. I felt like it was always about the money with her, but she had one last lesson for me: ‘Are you figuring this out — did your love for money always begin there?’ And I said, ‘Mom, yes, in fact yes. It was always about the money.’
Jim Cramer doesn’t believe his mom was talking about the stock market
“Don’t be proud if you write something great. Don’t be proud because you made money,” his mom would always remind him after he school. “Be proud if you are an artist. It’s ok to take pride in your own work.”
Jimmy remembers, “My dad was so excited when he found out I could bring in a steady income, as if money itself had some sort of value.”
Her mother replied by saying, “If this is what it’s all about, then I was a failure.”
Adam Cramer recalls his mother telling him to focus on his writing after he succeeded. “She said when you become successful, stop working”, Cramer told me.
Cramer is a prolific author who says he will write one book, and then has written around 12 books. He also does daily stock updates for the CNBC Investing Club.
And in 1996, he co-founded TheStreet.com, a financial news website. Before becoming the host of “Mad Money,” the show first aired in 2005, to offer viewers knowledge and tools to empower them to be better investors.
“For 20 years of my life I wrote 3,000 words per day,” Cramer says. “I think what she would be proud of was my writing skills. My dad was proud that I made money in the market.” However, money isn’t everything,” he says.