CNBC's Jim Cramer To Talk at University of Iowa
University of Iowa senior Alex Cullen walked by a television set as his older brother was watching a noisy guy bounce around on the screen, decapitating bobbleheads and talking about the stock market. It attracted his attention and he started watching Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" on CNBC. Three years later, when Cullen sent Cramer a video he posted on YouTube asking him to bring his "Mad Money Back to School Tour" to Iowa City, Cramer said yes.
Cramer will speak to a few classes Wednesday. A show will be taped in the Iowa Memorial Union for broadcast at 5 p.m. CST. Cullen, a 22-year-old finance major from Downers Grove, Ill., is president of the Financial Management Association, a 200-member student group that brings professional speakers to campus and helps students explore the job market.
"He's the guy that got me interested in investing and in the stock market," Cullen said of Cramer.
The TV host said more people than ever are focused on the economy and the markets, which gives him a broader potential audience to attract. Cramer said he tries explaining to students the realities of a global economy and that there is no easy way out of a recession and the current home mortgage and banking crisis.
"These people have that luxury of being able to sit it out and without a lot of money, they can learn what they want to do and maybe buy a share of stock or two of a company they really believe in and get it together," Cramer said. "It's really a joyous time of investing, when you're their age, because you can be wrong and you'll have a paycheck to make up the wrongness, so to speak."
He said that although taking his show on the road to college campuses is a huge undertaking, it emphasizes the importance of financial education, which he said has become a focus of his program. It's important now because more people than ever have direct interest in the stock market. Millions of U.S. workers and retirees have 401(k) accounts and other retirement funds invested in stocks. Trillions of dollars have been lost in this year's market downturn.
Cullen said the buzz on campus about Cramer's visit has been tremendous and that the 1,000 tickets for the show's taping were quickly snatched up. (Associated Press story—also appeared in Boston, Chicago, and Rapid City)