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

If we knew in advance that Adobe Systems would return nearly 800% over the past decade, we'd have mortgaged our house on it -- and yours, too! It's easy to see which companies have been winning investments after the fact. We need to know beforehand which stocks will grow tens of thousands of percent in value over the years. That's where Motley Fool CAPS comes in.

The more than 79,000 professional and novice investors in CAPS rarely agree on a stock's prospects. Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Aflac (NYSE:AFL) is a well-respected, top-rated stock, but only 487 of the 500 CAPS players to rate it believe it will outperform the market. So when you come across a stock that everyone on CAPS thinks will outperform, you've got something special. Here are a handful of those "obvious" investments.

Company

Bulls

All-Star Bulls

Price

Return on Capital, TTM*

iShares MSCI Sweden Index ETF

125

65

$31.20

2.4%

Altra Holdings (NASDAQ:AIMC)

46

13

$16.68

11.6%

NGP Capital Resources (NASDAQ:NGPC)

44

15

$15.93

4.3%

Inter Parfums (NASDAQ:IPAR)

38

13

$18.19

10.3%

ChinaCast Education (NASDAQ:CAST)**

25

11

$6.58

5.3%

Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo!, and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Price reflects yesterday's close.
*Trailing 12 months
**At the time of writing, ChinaCast had no underperform calls. However, it received its first one late on 12/30/07.

As always, none of the companies on this list should be considered formal recommendations -- just starting points for further research. We've simply used CAPS to narrow down your workload.

A new class of opportunity
Like Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL) and Corinthian Colleges (NASDAQ:COCO), which provide distance-learning opportunities here in the U.S., ChinaCast is an education provider to China's institutions, government agencies, and corporate enterprises. As with many businesses associated with the world's most populous country, the growth prospect initially appears quite large, and it's attracting numerous competitors. ChinaEdu recently went public, and New Oriental Education (NYSE:EDU) joined the market slightly more than a year ago, garnering the attention of the analysts at Motley Fool Global Gains.

Top-rated CAPS All-Star davidengi07 likes the long-term posture of ChinaCast, because of its relationships with the government and the school system. Here are some highlights from his top bull pitch:

1) China's a VERY big country,
2) There's a growing disparity between China's "nouveau riche" and its poorer people, which tends to produce educational inequalities as well in most if not all countries that experience this problem...

Hence plenty of opportunities for success here. Also, the financials look pretty sound. And the recent move to the Nasdaq has clearly [piqued] interest in the stock...

The bad news (for me, anyway) is that I have little idea what the competition looks like in the distance learning sector in China. That's always a factor, obviously. But their existing ties with the government and the school systems should provide some leverage.

Let's hear from you
How about your take on these or other "obvious" winning investments? Is this the chance to educate yourself for profits from the next "buy now" stock?  If you want to add your two cents, sign up to join the Motley Fool CAPS community absolutely free.

Aflac is a recommendation of Motley Fool Stock Advisor. Everyone thinks you should try the 30 days of free stock picks available with a trial subscription. New Oriental Education is a Global Gains selection.

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