Some stocks simply have such great potential that "everyone" knows they're a good buy today. Yeah, right.

If we knew in advance that Adobe Systems would return around 700% over the past decade, we'd have mortgaged our house on it -- and yours, too! It's easy to see which companies have been winning investments after the fact. We need to know beforehand which stocks will grow tens of thousands of percent in value over the years. That's where Motley Fool CAPS comes in.

The more than 80,000 professional and novice investors in CAPS rarely agree on a stock's prospects. Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Disney (NYSE: DIS) is a well-respected, top-rated stock, but only 2,051 of the 2,212 CAPS players to rate it believe it will outperform the market. So when you come across a stock on CAPS that everyone thinks will outperform, you've got something special. Here are a handful of those "obvious" investments.

Company

Bulls

All-Star Bulls

Price

CDI (NYSE: CDI)

46

16

$21.02

Chimera Investment (NYSE: CIM)*

35

7

$17.08

Employers Holdings (NYSE: EIG)

38

10

$17.04

Royce Focus Trust (Nasdaq: FUND)

30

10

$8.84

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Energy (NYSE: IYE)

70

34

$135.47

Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo!, and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Price reflects yesterday's close.
*Chimera Investment had its IPO on 11/16/07.

As always, none of the companies on this list should be considered a formal recommendation -- just starting points for further research. We've simply used CAPS to narrow down your workload.

A new class of opportunity
In Greek mythology, the Chimera was a fire-breathing monstrosity, composed of body parts from a lion, goat, and dragon. It terrorized the land until slain by the hero Bellerophon, riding his winged steed Pegasus. We might be able to twist that fable enough to make it an apt description for a new real estate investment trust (REIT).

Chimera Investment, which came public just two months ago, initially intends to concentrate on purchasing residential mortgage loans from high-quality originators. Residential mortgages, mortgage-backed securities, and various collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) have all been ravaged by the fires of the subprime mortgage meltdown and the ensuing credit crunch. Chimera is going to need the agility of a goat, the bravery of a lion, and the ferocity of a dragon to navigate these dangerous passes. But focusing on the top picks from the best lenders seems like a way to profit handsomely if things go well, while avoiding getting singed too badly if troubles continue for a while longer.

CAPS player PatienceGrasshpr thinks Chimera will pass under the radar for a while because of its association with a depressed real estate market. Yet when you look closer and see what it actually plans to do, you understand that this is a special beast.

I researched this one pretty carefully because at first glance you'd think a real estate company going public in this market would be a sure loser. But this company actually came into existence to buy the good home loans off banks that have to unload their entire loan portfolios to keep their shareholders happy. Also, apparently the guy in charge of this new company has some good credentials in the home-loan business. And I think he's timed his entry into this market perfectly. So that's three good reasons to buy.

The REIT will be managed by a subsidiary of Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY), itself a firm that specializes in mortgage-backed securities. Despite the housing crisis and the carnage it wrought on share prices for those in the industry, Annaly was able to increase its own share value by more than 30% in 2007. It also owns a 10% stake in Chimera.

Let's hear from you
How about your take on these or other "obvious" winning investments? Is this the chance to fire-proof your portfolio with the next "buy now" stock? If you want to add your two cents, sign up to join the Motley Fool CAPS community, which is 100% free.

Annaly Capital Management is a recommendation of Motley Fool Income Investor. Everyone thinks you should try the 30 days of free stock picks available with a trial subscription. Disney is a Stock Advisor selection.

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.