In today's ­first round match-up of The Motley Fool Better-Buy Tournament, Markel squares off against General Electric in a battle to determine which stock is the better buy now. The 64-company tournament pits two Motley Fool analysts against each as they make the case for their stocks, with the winner determined by you, the readers.

Motley Fool insurance analyst David Hanson thinks Markel (NYSE:MKL) should move on to the next round because of the company's outstanding history of writing profitable insurance policies. CIO Tom Gayner is another reason the stock has a bright future. Gayner invested the company's capital into stocks, bonds, and other ventures. Despite this, David believes Markel's stock is trading as if its best days are behind it -- a notion he strongly disagrees with. David thinks Markel can continue to be a compounding machine that rewards shareholders. 

General Electric (NYSE:GE) looks to be an ideal play for today's hot and frothy market, according to Motley Fool analyst Blake Bos. Investors are presented with stable recurring revenues, cash flows, and a 3.4% dividend. Combine that with the upcoming spin-off of GE Capital and General Electric's growth initiatives, and the future looks good for the company. In today's arguably expensive market, it looks to be a nice conservative investment for the long term. It's not sexy and exciting, but it shouldn't get you in trouble, either.

Watch these analysts square off in the video below, then vote for a winner. Then check out the other companies in the Motley Fool Better-Buy Bracket

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Cast your vote in the poll below the video!

Blake Bos has no position in any stocks mentioned. David Hanson owns shares of Markel. The Motley Fool recommends Markel. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company and Markel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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