"At one point, I was down $80,000 and he didn't give up on me," said Cramer. The fund operated out of the offices of hedge fund pioneer Michael Steinhardt's Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co., and early investors included Eliot Spitzer (a Harvard classmate and one of his oldest friends), Cramer's fund had one down year in 1998, a year that proved disastrous for many in the industry.
Cramer, Berkowitz finished down 2-3% and they did not charge a management fee that year to their clients.
Solely based on the performance of the stock market, Cramer created the Obama Accountability Index (OAI).
The OAI consisted of six stocks: Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Caterpillar (CAT), General Electric (GE), General Motors (GM) and JPMorgan chase (JPM).
In 1999 the fund returned 47%; in 2000, Cramer's fund finished up the year 36%, compared to -11% for the S&P 500 and -6% for the Dow Industrials.