"We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." -- Warren Buffett

Out of the quadrillions of quotations quarried from that most loquacious of quotationists, this one holds a special place in Foolish investors' hearts. Are you looking to "buy low" so as to later "sell high?" If so, your best chance of getting that initial low entry price comes when panicked sellers are unloading their shares at whatever price is on offer.

In today's column, we search the ranks of Wall Street's motivated sellers, noting which stocks they're most frantic to unload. Therein may lie the makings of a contrarian investor's shopping list. But don't just take my word for it. Before you decide to go in through Wall Street's out door, check your thinking against the collective intelligence of Motley Fool CAPS investors.

Today's contenders include:

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating

Ivanhoe Mines  (NYSE:IVN)

$9.79

****

Flanders (NASDAQ:FLDR)

$4.60

*

Standard Pacific (NYSE:SPF)

$8.95

*

MGIC Investment  (NYSE:MTG)

$28.05

*

Hovnanian (NYSE:HOV)

$10.56

*

Visteon (NYSE:VC)

$5.02

*

Companies are selected from the "Institutional Ownership Down Last Month" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. Price decline and current pricing also provided by MSN Money on the same date. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

The problem with pessimism
The problem with going against the grain on Wall Street is that when professional traders get pessimistic (as they seemed to last week), their grim outlook can become a self-fulfilling prophecy -- at least in the short term. The more desperate institutions become to abandon a stock, the lower the price they'll accept to get rid of it. And as their "ask" prices drop, the "bid" prices of buyers will fall in tandem, creating the very price decline that they feared in the first place.

Until the selling stops.

In through the out door
It's anybody's guess when this latest market downdraft will stop. But until it does, savvy investors have a chance to get greedy, snapping up some bargains from fearful sellers (if bargains they truly be). Alas, investors aren't at all certain those bargains exist anymore. Investors give bottom-of-the-barrel marks to literally every company on today's list, with one exception: Ivanhoe Mines.

What kind of small-f fool would invest in a revenue-less Canadian gold prospector? London's Rio Tinto (NYSE:RTP), for one -- it owns a 10% stake in the company. And 116 out of 124 Foolish CAPS players polled seem to agree. Let's see what they have to say about the company:

The bull case for Ivanhoe Mines
CAPS All-Star HoustonMatt introduces us to the company:

Ivanhoe Mines is an international mining company with operations focused in the Asia Pacific region. Ivanhoe's core assets are its world scale Oyu Tolgoi Copper and Gold Project and the Nariin Sukhait Coal Project in southern Mongolia, and mineral rights that it holds or controls in Mongolia, where additional coal, copper and gold discoveries are being evaluated. Ivanhoe also is exploring for copper and gold in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia and in the Cloncurry District in Queensland, Australia.

Fellow All-Star sandvig adds:

Non omne quod nitet aurum est-Not all that glitters is gold. It's copper. They have had their hands full in trying to get their gigantic mine in Mongolia up and running. I am taking a gamble that it is about to come to fruition in the next year or so. If it does not come to fruition, they still have other stuff.

How big is the potential upside here? CAPS newcomer smorg01 postulates:

This is one of the biggest potential Copper/Gold Mines in the world. It is in Mongolia 50 miles from China the biggest user in Copper in the future. They have a giant buddy helping them out in Rio Tinto (also a buyer in a takeover) This stock is so undervalued. Currently 5 Billion should be $13 Billion before they build the mine and $40 Billion after they build the mine in 2008.

All that said, an investment in Ivanhoe at this early date can't be characterized as anything more than rank speculation. As already mentioned, the company has no revenue. Not declining. Not minimal. None. And without revenue to offset the cost of its business, literally everything it does results in a loss. Cash-wise, the firm burned through $270 million over the past year.

Investing in Ivanhoe therefore requires investors' faith that revenue will ultimately appear, in sufficient quantities to offset the firm's capital investment requirements. Or, perhaps, that Rio Tinto will offer to bail current investors out for a greater price than Ivanhoe's shares fetch today.

Could either scenario work out? Sure. But will it? You tell me.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 433 out of more than 65,000 rated players. The Fool's disclosure policy needs milk, eggs, tinfoil, toothpicks, and a jar of capers.