Is there a stock that you are truly passionate about?
I see you nodding. It's only natural. Even if we're not supposed to be any more emotionally attached to our investments than we are to the greenbacks in our pockets, it's easy to fall for certain companies.
The rub is that we're never going to agree. We don't all like the same types of music, movies, and food. And we certainly aren't going to come to any form of consensus on stocks that we love.
Two years ago, I decided on an unscientific gauge to score the warm fuzzies. I went to OneShare.com -- a website that specializes in selling framed stock certificates of a single stock -- and ran through the list of the five most popular orders.
How do I love thee? Let me count the odd-lot ways
My measuring stick isn't perfect. I realize that some may favor going with other metrics like trading volume, the number of shareholders of record, or the lowest short interest ratio.
I can respect the different gauges. I like mine because it's not emotionally hollow. If you're so fond of a company that you want to gift it, complete with a personalized plaque, it must be love.
I've decided to revisit the original list. I knew it would be different going in. The stock that topped the list two years ago -- Pixar -- is no longer a stand-alone public company.
Let's take a look at the five most popular stocks according to OneShare:
Pixar's new resting place deserves the pole position. The family entertainment giant trailed only Pixar two years ago. The company has only grown more popular since then.
Since the first list, Disney's theme parks have continued to grow their attendance levels. The Disney Channel has gone on to launch both Hannah Montana and High School Musical. The writers' strike may be hurting Disney's ABC at the moment, but it's actually benefiting the unscripted programming juggernaut that is Disney's ESPN.
2. DreamWorks Animation
The largest independent animation studio has jumped from fifth to second on the love list over the past two years. Armed with hit franchises in Shrek and Madagascar, DreamWorks Animation is now a well-oiled machine, producing a pair of computer-animated feature films every year.
The company may very well have another hit this summer with Kung Fu Panda. Taking a page out of the proven Disney playbook, Shrek: The Musical is going to Broadway later this year.
3. Harley Davidson
You don't think that Harley owners are the type to hang stock certificates on their walls? Are you nuts? Harley also owned the third slot two years ago. Things may have slowed financially since the buzz died down over the company's centennial. The mojo just hasn't been there since the company ditched the corporate HDI ticket symbol for the more fitting HOG string. Sales and earnings actually dipped this past quarter.
Harley is still an awesome brand. It's iconic. Like its signature bikes, it just needs a chance to hit the open road to truly let the market know what it's capable of achieving.
Sam Walton would be proud. I'm actually surprised to see Wal-Mart on the list, because the world's largest retailer didn't crack the top five when I put together my original list in March of 2006. Wal-Mart's stock is trading just marginally higher since then. Growth has slowed. It hasn't been able to catch the cheap-chic allure perfected by rival Target
Wal-Mart's attempts to roll with the trends have typically backfired, whether it's social networking, movie downloads, or DVD rentals by mail. Then again, this is still the country's largest retailer. It still knows how to manage its inventory to deliver the lowest prices to consumers. There's a reason why its icon is a smiley face.
5. General Motors
Whether it's the renaissance at Cadillac or the award-winning turn of the Chevy Malibu, GM is back. Its stock is trading higher than it was at the time of the original list. The same can't be said for Ford.
Want to know what love is? Three of the five "most loved" stocks are actually newsletter recommendations. Disney and DreamWorks Animation are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Wal-Mart is an Inside Value pick. If you want to strike up a romance with either newsletter, they're both letting you play the field with 30-day trial subscriptions.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't expecting wedding invitations, but he does own shares in both Disney and DreamWorks Animation. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.