Presidents are measured by what they achieve in their first 100 days in office. Schools have parties for students on the 100th day of the school year. When Jerry Yang returned to Yahoo! last summer, he gave himself 100 days to effect change at the online portal.

Around here at Motley Fool CAPS, we keep an eye on the 100-day mark, too. Some of our best investors -- we call them All-Stars -- have achieved top player ratings after garnering a score of 100 in their first 100 days on CAPS. Analysis has shown that the top-rated stocks have had the best performance over the first year of CAPS tracking, so might we assume that when the best players rate the best stocks, there is a correlation there too?

One of our highest-rated CAPS investors is TheGreatSatan, who holds a 99.99 player rating. A player since September, 2006, TheGreatSatan has 200 active picks on CAPS out of more than 656 stock picks made. Achieving better than 78% accuracy, TheGreatSatan has also attracted more than 260 groupies -- CAPS players who've listed this leading investor as one of their favorites.

Here are a few of the most recent stock selections and how they were rated.


CAPS Rating



Current Score

1-Year Return (Nasdaq: OSTK)






Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD)






Alesco Financial (NYSE: AFN)












Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM)






Circuit City (NYSE: CC)






Thornburg Mortgage (NYSE: TMA)






Source: Yahoo! Finance and Motley Fool CAPS, as of March 12. Current score is the number of points a player is beating (lagging) the S&P500 index from the time of the call.
*Price when call was made.

Hard to imagine that online retailer, and scourge of naked short sellers everywhere, is the best performing stock over the past year with a loss of nearly half its value. Yet several financial stocks and other troubled companies populate his selections, so perhaps it's not so surprising after all. But if the rumor mill is true, Washington Mutual may be the stock to watch in the next 12 months.

Can you bank on it?
As if the Federal Reserve's decision to make available $200 billion for financial institutions to increase their liquidity wasn't enough, rumor had it that either Goldman Sachs or Warren Buffett would inject some cash into the troubled bank. That was a catalyst for WaMu's shares to shoot 18% higher on Tuesday.

That might not be enough, however, to change the minds of CAPS investors. Although two-thirds of them feel that bank will ultimately outperform the market, more than half of the All-Stars who have rated it see it as underperforming primarily because of problems endemic to the bank itself.

New CAPS player andersonbill who reveals himself as a former Washington Mutual employee, finds management culpable for the bank's condition because it doesn't have the necessary regulations in place to prevent problems.

I don't think WaMu is a buyout candidate because they don't have an effective or effiecient internal operation. The retail branches are old school S&Ls without the basic commercial bank requirements such as easy access locations, efficient drive-throughs and large cash vaults. The mortgage portfolio is in the dumpster and credit cards are barely above water. All this leaves very little for an outsider to covet, unless a purchase and breakup were done.

That would seem to agree with the opinion of top-rated All-Star ww2004, who sees the housing mess still weighing heavily on WaMu.

The bad debt/lending issues will drag on for several more months and WaMu will do nothing meanwhile. Housing still hasn't bottomed. Banks may not even have bottomed yet. Even if they have they, will stay down until 2009. 9 months to a year from now I may revise my opinion.

Not everyone agrees that the financial institution's fortunes are as bleak as a bank run. CAPS investor FAOFool toyed with the idea before it was announced that the Fed would work to save the banks, which would redound to Washington Mutual's benefit.

Everyone else is screaming gloom, must be time to get in. Aside from any potential buy-out ([JP Morgan]), the government is working to solve the mortgage-related problems ... normally, this would be a bad sign, but in this case, considering our system, this will help WM, especially at this price.

A 1-in-100 opportunity
Some of the best and smartest players in the CAPS investor intelligence community have deposited their opinion about Washington Mutual, but we haven't heard from you. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky noted, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take."

At Motley Fool CAPS every investor's opinion counts and it's free to sign up, so why not use the opportunity to take your best shot?

Washington Mutual and JPMorgan are both Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. A 30-day trial subscription is free for the asking.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any stocks mentioned in this article. Click to see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.