Keeping your portfolio above water in these markets is no easy task. Companies can be too easily whipsawed by the whimsical musings of the Treasury Department or the Fed, making investors who've successfully navigated these rough waters rare indeed. A steady track record of staying afloat is even more impressive.

The All-Stars in our Motley Fool CAPS investor intelligence database have found themselves particularly adroit at consistently steering their picks through these turbulent markets. CAPS has successfully marked the performance of the best stocks for more than two years now. Let's look at some of the recent picks of this community's longtime investing mavens. If these All-Stars have been able to maintain their top status through bull and bear markets alike, their opinions on stocks for the months and years ahead might be worth watching.

CAPS Member

Member Rating

Member Since

Recent Stock Pick

CAPS Rating
(5 Stars max.)

Call

BravoBevo

99.98

9/20/06

XL Capital (NYSE:XL)

*

Outperform

d1david

99.97

9/16/06

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)

**

Underperform

mikotian

99.97

11/25/06

MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE:WFR)

****

Underperform

LurkyLurky

99.97

9/14/06

FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL)

**

Underperform

turbotrager

99.96

9/28/06

Hansen Natural (NASDAQ:HANS)

****

Outperform

Rowing against the current
Books are dead. Long live e-books! There's something convenient and comfortable about the size and heft of a printed tome that no unwieldy laptop can ever replace. That might explain the growing popularity of Amazon.com's Kindle, which reportedly will be sold out for the second Christmas in a row. While Sony (NYSE:SNE) has stepped up with its own electronic book reader, Kindle had the benefit of gaining talk-show host Oprah Winfrey's support. CAPS member Phillipcroy now views the Kindle as the iPod of books:

Amazon was a steal at about 36 a share, its run up a bit now but I still think its got more to go. For the 2nd year straight the Kindle is totally sold out for the Christmas season, and this year the wait goes until March due to the "Oprah Phenomenon." Who are buying these Kindles? Hardcore readers that will basically be buying all their books through [Amazon] who has very little cost involved in electronic books. I believe that the Kindle is the future, and Amazon will be the leader. This device could be the Ipod of books. The downside on the stock is very limited compared to the huge upside.

MEMC Electronic Materials might want to watch where it's stepping. It's got one foot in the chipmaking sector, which recently saw Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) sail into stormy seas, and the other in the increasingly flammable solar industry. CAPS member fdgaley admits the silicon wafer maker has been a bit brittle lately, but still believes that a picks-and-shovels approach is the best way to invest in the solar industry:

This one has been clobbered. However, it is a good bet to go with the saddle maker, not the racehorses. This is MEMC's angle on solar energy, making the silicone wafers. They need lots of [research] and [development] to keep their competitive edge.

Ahoy there!
Whether you're a grizzled sea dog of the stock market, or just now setting sail, it pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page. Then share your views with the CAPS community on whether these old salts still have the wind in their sails.

Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Amazon.com is a Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of and covered calls on Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey also owns shares of and covered calls on Intel, but does not have a financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy wonders where it put its sea legs.