Warren Buffett recommends investing in great companies at good prices, and never letting them go. That's why companies like Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Washington Post (NYSE:WPO), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) have been part of his portfolio for a long time.

I can't argue with his philosophy or his investment returns. And here at The Motley Fool, we believe that buying and holding terrific stocks is a great way to generate market-beating returns. But it's not the only way.

Sometimes, special situations pop up in the stock market. Before Buffett changed his mantra, he made a killing finding all kinds of mispriced opportunities. In fact, he invested in American Express (NYSE:AXP) following the "salad oil scandal" long before he invested in it because of its powerful franchise.

At The Motley Fool, we believe in diversity. That's why we love our message boards, CAPS, and special situations. To spice things up a little bit, we want to share our thoughts about these unique opportunities, which can sometimes generate excess returns.

Seth Jayson's wife turned him on to Guess? (NYSE:GES). Now he thinks comebacks and turnarounds in retail offer unique opportunities.

Equity as an option
Jim Gillies looked at a stock from a different perspective, and he was surprised by what he saw.

Deep discounts
I'm digging deep in my value-investing toolbox to study a classic special situation, Ben Graham's net-net.

Nate Parmelee examines why spinoffs are a turn-on, highlighting how many good businesses have come from Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE).

We've put together a nice blend of ideas in the pot, and we can't wait for the flavors to combine as it simmers. As they say, variety is the spice of life.

Do you consider yourself a special-situations investor, or are you interested in learning more about these opportunities? Tell us about your interests in our very brief Special Situations Investing Survey. Your comments will help us develop future content to fit your needs.

Coca-Cola is a great company and a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. But lead analyst Philip Durell also likes a good special situation now and again. To see which ones he's recommended at Inside Value, sign up today for your free 30-day trial.

Retail editor and Inside Value team member David Meier learned about evaluating great companies and special situations at Wake Forest. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He is currently ranked 675 out of 25,209 investors in The CAPS rating service, and you can view his TMF profile here. Sara Lee is a former Income Investor selection. The Fool takes its disclosure policy very seriously.