Back in June, our CAPS screening tool -- which utilizes the collective intelligence of our 115,000-member CAPS investment community -- called the demises of Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, and Merrill Lynch. But keeping in mind that ugly stocks can make great opportunities, I wanted to see if our screener would be equally successful in picking attractive financial stocks.

These financial stocks also have:

  • Market capitalizations greater than $1 billion
  • At least 300 active picks
  • Four- or five-star ratings from our CAPS community

Remember, in the first 20 months for which we have data, CAPS' four- and five-star companies outperformed the market with average annualized gains of 7% and 12%, respectively.

Company

Share Price

Market Cap (in billions)

American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS)

$20.93

$4.3

Banco Santander (NYSE:STD)

$15.6

$97.6

China Life Insurance (NYSE:LFC)

$57.00

$39.3

ING (NYSE:ING)

$24.70

$50.1

US Bancorp (NYSE:USB)

$35.06

$59.4

Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of October 3.

Of course, screens are merely a first step in the stock-selection process. Discerning the dappled from the truly hideous requires due diligence.

On Oct. 7, 2008, Fool co-founder David Gardner and his Motley Fool Pro team will invest $1 million in a portfolio designed to help you make money in any market. In the coming weeks, the team, relying heavily on proprietary CAPS "community intelligence" data, will establish long and short positions in a broad range of securities, including common stocks, publicly traded put and call options, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). To learn more about Motley Fool Pro and to receive a private invitation to join, simply enter your email address in the box below.

Ilan Moscovitz has never skydived, nor does he own any of the companies mentioned in this article except US Bank. American Capital is an Income Investor recommendation. The Fool has a daredevil disclosure policy.