Thursday, July 5, 2007

Jim Cramer and Generation Y: The Perfect Storm

Why are so many college aged students and those in Generation Y crazy about 52 year old, balding, former hedge fund manager Jim Cramer? When Jim Cramer's CNBC "Mad Money" show goes on a college roadtrip, he is often greeted by a great number of screaming, adoring college fans.

According to a Boston Globe Article, Joanna Weiss says that "Cramer has a penchant for madcap props -- he has eaten cereal drenched in soda pop and worn diapers to drill in a point -- and he presides over a busybox of noise machines, pushing buttons like a crazed suburban father. His bulging-vein energy, along with his ability to move markets with yelped suggestions, has drawn the ire of Wall Street traditionalists."

In the same article, Joanna Weiss mentions that Jim Cramer's 22 year old nephew Cliff Mason, helps Jim Cramer make the Mad Money show hip and appealing to Generation Y, a generation that is 2nd in number only to the Baby Boomers.

But there is more to Jim Cramer's appeal to Generation Y. Jim Cramer is benefiting from the Perfect Storm.

In a 2006 Gen Next Survey, the top two goals in life for those in Generation Y is "To Get Rich", and "To be Famous." 81% of all those in Generation Y who responded listed "To Get Rich" as their first or second goal in life. Compare this to those 26 years and older, who ranked "To get rich" as their first or second goal in life 62% of the time.

When asked about their most important problems in life, 30% of Generation Y in the survey listed "Money/finances/debt." To those 18-25 years old, this ranked as their top problem in life (school/education was their second choice). Compare this with those 26 years and older who ranked "Money/finances/debt" as their first problem 27% of the time, and "Health", or "No problems" 15% of the time.

When asked about who they admire, Generation Y admired a "Teacher/Professor/Mentor" 12% of the time (compared to 2% of those 26 years and older), and Entertainers 14% of the time (compared to 11% of those 26 years and older).

When we put all this together, we have the perfect storm. We have Jim Cramer, who has the credibility to make people rich (having a very good record during his time as a Hedge Fund Manager) and also has the energy and presentation skills of an entertainer. We also have Generation Y, who want to get rich, get famous, and whose top problem in life is money, finances and debt. Jim Cramer offers Generation Y an entertaining show that educates, and this coincides very well with Generation Y's goals to be rich and famous, and their admiration of teachers and entertainers.

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