Last week, the question was asked: Has investing legend Bill Miller lost his mind? With the credit crunch rampantly wiping out value in financial institutions, Miller says he foresees the market's leaders emerging from that very sector.

Home valuations are sinking, builders are panicked to the point of bankruptcy, and their enablers, the mortgage companies, are seemingly not far behind. Says Miller, "I think the greatest gains over the next five years will be made in those securities people are panicked about today. For specific names, consult the 52-week-low list."

Crazy stuff, and this from a guy who -- although he beat the market averages for 15 years in a row -- is now poised to lose to the index for the second time in two years.

They say there's a fine line between genius and insanity, but as my Foolish colleague Chuck Saletta has pointed out, Miller lands firmly on the side of genius. Stocks in these industries are so beaten-down now that they offer incredible values to investors who are willing to ignore the media's doomsday scenarios Here are some names from industries that Miller sees excelling in the future, but which now trade near their 52-week lows.


52-Week Low

LT Growth Est.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)



Circuit City (NYSE:CC)



Countrywide Financial (NYSE:CFC)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Financial, housing, mortgage, and consumer goods have all taken a beating, and many stocks in those fields are at all-time lows. We don't know which names Bill Miller is buying, but we can expect to see a number of picks from these sectors in his portfolio next time.

We might also find those stocks in the portfolios of their respective executives. It's not just the analysts who are seeing these beaten-down stocks as potential growth investments. The CEOs, board members, and assorted insiders who best know their companies are buying their shares, too., a website that tracks insider transactions, recently noted that insiders in many of these same industries are scooping up shares at bargain prices. For example, Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) experienced 17 insider buys and just one insider sell. In contrast, in the previous 12-month period, there were three insider-sale transactions for every one insider purchase. It's a similar situation at Wilshire Bancorp (NASDAQ:WIBC), real estate company Grubb & Ellis (NYSE:GBE), and real estate investment trust Equity One (NYSE:EQY).

We've often noted that insiders can sell their stock for many reasons. Yet as another famed money manager, Peter Lynch, once remarked, they buy it for only one reason: They think the stock is going to go up.

Sure, there's blood in the streets in these sectors, not to mention panic. But when the insiders are buying up shares, and some of the best investing minds think they've found the sector where tomorrow's market leaders will emerge, individual investors should take notice.

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Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.