Imitation is the best form of flattery, right? Well, when you're learning a new skill, imitation can also be a great way to hone your craft.

If you're learning guitar, you might pick up a book of Jimi Hendrix's licks or download the chords to a couple of Bob Dylan's songs. So when you're trying to become a better investor, it only makes sense to take a peek at what the professional investors are up to.

For the Fools who don't have the time or inclination to pick individual stocks on their own, Shannon Zimmerman at our Champion Funds newsletter has put together a collection of mutual funds that have collectively outperformed their benchmarks by 14.6%. The rest of us can tune in directly to what some of the major funds are holding.

You see, the SEC requires institutional investment managers who manage $100 million or more to show their holdings via quarterly 13-F filings. So this week, I dug up Goldman Sachs' (NYSE:GS) holdings -- and, to make things even more interesting, I cross-referenced its holdings against what players in the Fool's CAPS community had to say about the stocks.

Below are five of Goldman's larger holdings that have also been highly rated by CAPS players.


Market Value of Goldman Stake

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)

$3.3 billion


Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)

$2.4 billion


Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB)

$1.3 billion


Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)

$777 million


Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

$768 million


Sources: SEC Filings, Yahoo! Finance, and CAPS as of June 25.

Now before you jump to it and make any hasty moves, remember that we're looking at what Goldman has done in retrospect. For all we know, since its last 13-F filing, the firm has drastically reduced its holdings in any or all of the above stocks. With that in mind, here are some thoughts on a couple of these stocks to kick off further research.

Oil revisited
If you tuned in last week when we were peeking inside Fidelity's portfolio, then you were privy to some thoughts I had on National Oilwell Varco and the oil and gas industry. It probably doesn't surprise most investors that this week we find energy and energy services playing a big part in Goldman's portfolio.

With the major oil and gas players like Exxon, the rising price of oil provides a fairly obvious boost to the bottom line. Some CAPS players, though, including NicieNicie, "like to think it isn't just the rising price of oil that boosts stock prices." NicieNicie points out the company's leadership position in petrochemicals and the prevalence of Exxon's "On the Go" quick-stop stores as further catalysts to drive the stock forward.

Of course, as I mentioned last week, in order for companies like Exxon to sell oil, they first have to find it and extract it. And that's exactly why Schlumberger is so darn popular. The company is a leader in oilfield technology and information gathering and offers services that help plan, monitor, and support oil and gas exploration, drilling, and production. Through its WesternGeco subsidiary, the company also offers some of the best seismic data services.

CAPS All-Star ari21 notes that companies like Schlumberger have the privilege of being able to stay out of the debate on whether we've hit peak oil or not. He notes that though people can't seem to agree on the peak oil issue, they do tend to agree on one point: "oil [companies] will invest a lot more in technology."

Eager to read more commentary from the CAPS community on these Goldman-owned stocks? Hop on over to CAPS and start interacting with the other 30,000-plus CAPS players. While you're checking out these stocks, you can also find out more about more than 4,700 other stocks currently rated on CAPS.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. Though it may not invest like a pro, the Fool's disclosure policy skateboards like a pro. Rumor has it that it will be prominently featured in the next Tony Hawk video game. Coca-Cola is an Inside Value newsletter recommendation. Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor pick.