Don’t rule out a strong 2022 stock rally after 2021’s gains

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday urged investors to keep an open mind heading into 2022, contending that the stock market’s sizable advance in 2021 does not automatically rule out the possibility of strong gains this year.

“Things can and do go right. It can be different this time. Sometimes you have to suspend your short-term skepticism to make long-term money,” Cramer said.

“Will hope spring again in 2022? Can’t be sure,” the “Mad Money” host acknowledged. “But the bottom line? Unless we realize that it happened before, just last year, we won’t be ready for the opportunities it’s going to create if it happens again.”

Cramer’s comments came after Wall Street recorded a positive first trading session of 2022, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 posting record closing highs.

All three major U.S. equity averages notched double-digit gains in 2021, led by the S&P 500’s nearly 27% move higher. The Dow and Nasdaq advanced 18.73% and 21.39% in 2021, respectively.

As investors navigate the new year, Cramer said it’s important to remember that many stocks in 2021 defied bearish expectations and may do so again in 2022. Cramer mentioned Tesla, Apple and Nvidia as three examples of stocks that performed well in 2021 despite doubts about their ability to keep rallying.

“Normally when you hear ‘hope springs eternal,’ it’s meant in the most derogatory way possible, like you’ve got to be an idiot to believe anything good could happen,” Cramer said. “But I’d rather be an idiot who makes money than a genius who misses out on great opportunities.”