With the stock market continuing to head lower, you need all the help you can get to protect your investments from catastrophic losses. That's why we recently decided to turn our attention to dangerous stocks that could burn your portfolio.
Unfortunately, there's no shortage of those stocks around right now. But to find out which ones pose the biggest threat to your wealth, we looked to our Motley Fool CAPS community for guidance, and we asked you to vote. Let's look at which companies you thought were most likely to set off smoke alarms in this bear market.
Death by credit crisis
Honorable mention goes to a pair of financial stocks, Wachovia
Yet even though many believe it's only a matter of time before these businesses destroy shareholder value, others think the crisis has been overblown and see potential for a strong recovery. Who's right? Time will tell.
Third place goes to SulphCo, with its so-far unrealized business model of removing sulphur from lower-priced heavy-grade crude oil. As they consider production delays, declining output, falling oil prices, and aborted deals with larger producers, CAPS members are predicting continuing challenges for shareholders.
Our second-place choice was electronics seller Circuit City
But as bad as Circuit City's losses have been, you can still measure them in millions. For truly huge losses, you have to go to the heart of the manufacturing sector.
And now, our "winner"
The top pick for the stock most likely to burn your portfolio is car giant General Motors
Want to learn more about which stocks to buy -- or avoid? Try out Motley Fool CAPS for yourself. It won't cost you a dime, but the info it gives you could save you thousands.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has seen his portfolio get burned, but not by these stocks. He doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value and Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Fool's disclosure policy won't burn you.