Finding new stock ideas is challenging for all investors, but it's particularly difficult for new investors who may have a limited understanding of key financial metrics and accounting.

Sure, stock screens are great, but they're only as good as their users' input. If, for example, you don't know what "return on equity" or "price to book" means, a screener is of little use.

It's about to get easier
With this thought in mind, we at the Fool combined the investing knowledge of our top analysts and data from our Motley Fool CAPS screener to come up with four preset model screens -- Value, Dividend, Small Cap, and High Growth.

Each screen employs its own methodology, but each looks only for four- and five-star CAPS stocks. That's important, because we've found that these highly rated stocks have outperformed the market as a group by 12 and 7 points, respectively, from November 2006 to July 2008.

Here's a closer look at what each preset screen looks for and some of the companies they currently reveal.

Value: Stocks that the market has beaten up, but which possess promising fundamentals.

Company

CAPS Rating

Research

BP (NYSE:BP)

****

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Chubb (NYSE:CB)

****

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Dividend: Stocks that pay a reasonable regular dividend to shareholders.

Company

CAPS Rating

Research

Chevron (NYSE:CVX)

****

Read more!

Southern (NYSE:SO)

****

Read more!

Small Cap: Smaller companies with promising growth and fundamentals.

Company

CAPS Rating

Research

WellCare Health Plans

****

Read more!

optionsXpress (NASDAQ:OXPS)

*****

Read more!

High Growth: Companies with strong earnings-growth prospects.

Company

CAPS Rating

Research

Quicksilver Resources (NYSE:KWK)

*****

Read more!

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI)

*****

Read more!

Now it's your turn
We can't promise that all of these stocks will turn out to be winners, but we think they're at least worth further research. To see the other stocks our preset screens are revealing today, check out the CAPS screener for yourself. CAPS is 100% free, so enjoy your stay on us!

Todd Wenning wonders when the airlines will begin charging passengers for the pressurized air. He owns no shares of any company mentioned. Southern is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. optionsXpress and Activision Blizzard are Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Fool's disclosure policy is always free.