Some stocks simply have such great potential that "everyone" knows they're a good buy today. Yeah, we wish.

If we knew beforehand that American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) was going to return more than 3,300% over the past decade, we'd have mortgaged the house to the hilt. If we'd had the inside scoop that Hansen Natural was a 29,000% winner in that time period, we'd have mortgaged your house, too!

In fact, if investing were so easy, we'd all be millionaires. It's easy to see after the fact which companies have been the winning investments. What we need is a way to know beforehand which companies will become the next Microsoft or Wal-Mart, growing tens of thousands of percentage points in value over the years. But there hasn't been a way.

Until now, that is.

More than 50,000 professional and novice investors have rated stocks on Motley Fool CAPS, and we can check in on their opinions about which stocks will beat the market and which will lose to it. While it's often a tug-of-war between the bulls and the bears, we've identified dozens of stocks that members of CAPS have unanimously chosen to outperform the market.

That's no small feat. Thousands upon thousands of companies have been rated, and convincing arguments can, and are, made on both sides. For example, Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Dolby (NYSE:DLB) is a top-rated stock that's gotten a rating from more than 1,100 CAPS investors. Yet while 1,080 of them think the stock will beat the market, that still means there are more than two dozen CAPS investors who don't.

So when you come across a stock that everyone thinks is going to outperform, you've got something special, and we as investors ought to take notice.

Here are a handful of those "obvious" investments.



CAPS Rating (Out of 5)




BluePhoenix Solutions (NASDAQ:BPHX)



Macrovision (NASDAQ:MVSN)



Enstar Group (NASDAQ:ESGR)



Nuveen Investments (NYSE:JNC)



As always, none of the companies on this list should be considered as formal recommendations, but rather as starting points for further research. What we've done is narrowed your workload by focusing on the companies that CAPS investors are universally expecting to beat the market.

NATCO's natty outlook
CAPS players are presumably backing the continued high demand for oil and gas with their support of NATCO, a small-cap manufacturer of oil and gas separation and decontamination equipment. Although results for the quarter that ended in March came in a few pennies beneath estimates, management has reiterated full-year profit forecasts signaling expected 17% growth. Add in significant insider purchases and you have confidence building here.

CAPS All-Star wgillen also notes those insider holdings and suggests looking at long-term trends in the industry:

Have a look at NTG. Their products will be needed for quite some time to come. Their price has been depressed by the recent events surrounding oil, leaving the stock trading well below its 52-week high. Nearly 60% owned by insiders with relatively good returns and great earnings growth, this company is expected to grow at great rates.

Let's hear from you
How about you? We'd love to hear what you think about these companies or any others you think are worthy "obvious" winning investments. If you want to add your two cents, sign up to join the Motley Fool CAPS community, which is 100% free.

American Eagle Outfitters and Dolby are recommendations of Motley Fool Stock Advisor. A 30-day free trial subscription gives you the chance to dress up your portfolio with a look at all of the stock selections, which together are currently beating the market by 38 percentage points.

Microsoft and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value picks.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey owns shares of Dolby but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.