As an investor, it doesn't pay to follow the crowd.

In this series, though, we highlight a possible exception -- the collective wisdom of our CAPS community. Read the next section if you're unfamiliar with our methodology. Skip it if you want to go straight to the results.

Why this crowd is different
Jumping into a stock because your rich neighbor did, because you heard about it from your friend's uncle who used to work on Wall Street, or because CNBC has been talking about it nonstop is a recipe for disaster.

If there's one thing I've learned as a stock analyst, it's that any stock can be gussied up to sound like a world-beater. If there's a second thing I've learned, it's that being a smart person doesn't make you a good investor.

In the hands of a smart person with good communication skills, the never-were and never-will-be stocks sound like tickets to instant fortune. The ancient Greek philosophers made the distinction between rhetoric and knowledge. The former is convincing; the latter is true.

That's why we factor in track record in our Motley Fool CAPS community. We invite everyone to give stocks an outperform (akin to a "buy" call) or underperform rating (akin to a "sell" call) in CAPS. We then use those opinions to calculate a rating for each stock -- from one to five stars (five being the best). But -- and this is a big distinction -- we give more weight to the opinions of folks whose picks have performed well in the past.

The most popular computer-related dividend play
So, with that methodology as prelude, I present to you the top four- and five-star-rated computer hardware, software, and services stocks that yield 2.0% or more that have garnered the most outperform ratings by CAPS members. I used a minimum market capitalization of $100 million and only looked at stocks trading on a major U.S. exchange. Remember, stocks are rated on a five-star scale by our CAPS community, so four- and five-star stocks are consensus outperforms.

Company Name

 Market Capitalization (in millions)

P/E Ratio

Dividend Yield

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Outperform Picks

International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM)






Quality Systems (Nasdaq: QSII)






Automatic Data Processing (Nasdaq: ADP)






Broadridge Financial Solutions (NYSE: BR)






OPNET Technologies (Nasdaq: OPNT)






Source: Motley Fool CAPS. NM = not meaningful.

Famed investor Bill Miller recently called IBM "the most remarkably mispriced name in the market." A lot of our CAPS members tend to agree on the upside of IBM's stock. Its competitor in the IT consulting space, Accenture, is also looking pretty darn reasonable right now. It doesn't pay a dividend, but it's a four-star stock. I own shares myself, but full disclosure, I may be biased because I used to work there.

Which is your favorite computer-related stock? Or are they all overrated? Make your thoughts known in CAPS by clicking here.

Anand Chokkavelu owns shares of Accenture. Accenture is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Quality Systems is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor choice. Automatic Data Processing is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Broadridge Financial Solutions. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.