If you subscribe to the "bigger is far from better" mantra that the folks over at the Fool's Hidden Gems newsletter repeat to themselves as they go to sleep at night, you won't be at all surprised that li'l Amerisafe (NASDAQ:AMSF) is near and dear to the hearts of CAPS players.

In The Motley Fool's CAPS investing community, more than 30,000 investors have come together to pass judgment on more than 4,700 stocks. Back in April, my Foolish colleague Rich Smith took a look at the top finance stocks and found Amerisafe perched at the top. Now, almost three months later, we find Amerisafe still the top dog by an outperform ratio of 180 to one.

So what other financial stocks are CAPS players making googly eyes at? I thought you'd never ask. Below are the top 10 highly rated financial stocks as judged by the investors on CAPS.


Market Cap



$345 million

Workers' comp insurance

Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC)

$57 billion

Life insurance

Bank of Ireland

$20 billion


Corrections Corp of America

$4 billion

Property management


$825 million

Diversified finance

Tower Group

$755 million

P&C insurance

Jones Lang Lasalle (NYSE:JLL)

$3.6 billion

Property management

XL Capital (NYSE:XL)

$14.6 billion


SeaBright Insurance (NASDAQ:SEAB)

$358 million

Workers' comp insurance

Knight Capital Group (NASDAQ:NITE)

$1.8 billion


Of course, this elite group of 10 shouldn't be considered a set of formal recommendations. That said, it could be a good jumping-off point for some further research.

Headlines, schmedlines
You may notice that the stocks on this list are not the same financial stocks you read about in the headlines of The Wall Street Journal all the time. No Goldman Sachs, no Fortress Investment Group, and though Blackstone hasn't had too much time on CAPS yet, I don't expect it to be making this top 10 list, either.

If you have a particularly keen eye, you might have also noticed that the insurance industry is taking up a heck of a lot of real estate on the list. With top pick Amerisafe and SeaBright representing workers' comp, Manulife in on life insurance, Tower Group doing P&C, XL on reinsurance, and PICO bringing some run-off insurance businesses into the mix, we've got quite the motley crew of insurance companies. Maybe it's time to check out the tags section of CAPS and investigate a few of the groupings of companies in the insurance industry.

Parting thoughts
It seems both the Hidden Gems crew and the Fools on CAPS agree: The best opportunities out there aren't from stocks that everyone's favorite Money Honey has on the tip of her tongue. So once you've checked out the stocks on this top 10 list created by your fellow Fools, start turning over some rocks and come share what you find on CAPS.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy has never once been caught with its pants down. Of course, it doesn't actually wear pants ...