"Investors helping investors beat the market." That's how The Motley Fool's CAPS community describes itself. To date, there are more than 125,000 CAPS members doing just that. Day in and day out, CAPS members share their thoughts on thousands of stocks; behind the scenes, CAPS' rating algorithms rank members and stocks alike, making it easy to find the best-performing stock pickers and the community's favorite stocks.
But with almost 3 million recommendations on nearly 5,400 stocks, not to mention 125,000 member portfolios and a countless number of member blogs, the big question is where to start. Though there's no right answer, I thought I'd kick off your travels with some highlights from the community over the past week.
The best of the best weigh in
The top 10 players on CAPS don't keep their spots by being complacent. Most have been pretty active over the past week, sticking their thumbs both up and down. EverydayInvestor, the No. 2-ranked CAPS member, gave both Constellation Energy
OK, maybe it is not the bottom, but I am willing to bet that junk bonds will offer a good return on investment for those who invest now. At current yields, over 20% of the companies in a junk bond portfolio would have to go bankrupt each year for the portfolio to lose money. Large investors of course should pick and choose, avoiding bonds issued by private-equity backed companies. For smaller investors, the JNK ETF may be worth considering. It currently has a 19.99% SEC yield.
Although fifth-ranked tenmiles gave KV Pharmaceutical a thumbs-up, he was really working the red thumbs last week, rating HSN, Brinker International, California Water Service, and Chipotle
Meanwhile, chk999, who currently sits just outside the top 1%, found a few places to get positive, slapping outperform calls on Endurance Specialty Holdings, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Cerner, and Philip Morris International
Want more? You can quickly track down the full portfolios of CAPS' top members by checking the top of the membership list.
Let's blog it out
CAPS' blogs are a great way for members to share broad-market thoughts or get more in depth on a particular stock idea or investment theme. Every week, members add reams of great new insights in this part of the community.
TMFDeej penned one of the most popular blog posts of the week, exploring the government's handling of the TARP so far. JPMorgan Chase
TMFEldrehad, one of the most popular CAPS members, found that this week, he was "lacking anything regarding investing that's either meaningful, helpful, insightful or humorous to blog about." So he decided to "just list a few of the things that have been occupying my mind this week... things that have me scratching my head, gnashing my teeth, reflecting with solemnity, and smiling with joy." Pop into Eldrehad's headspace and share some of his thoughts.
Stock pickers' delight
And for the stock pickers out there, articles throughout the week on Fool.com have been highlighting some interesting stock ideas based on CAPS community data. A recent "can't miss" in this vein was The Best Stocks for 2009, where Fool writers presented some of their favorite ideas for 2009, including Cisco
Rich Duprey, meanwhile, asked why investors don't get more excited when stocks go on sale. He dug through the stocks that have been pummeled, coming up with five -- including Activision
And finally, Morgan Housel used the CAPS screening tool to come up with some 5-Star Stocks Begging to Be Bought. He managed to assemble a high-quality list, but also took a closer look at why CAPS members are excited about ConocoPhillips
You can go your own way
Of course, this all just scratches the surface of CAPS. There's no right or wrong way to use the wealth of information that members have contributed. If nothing above caught your fancy, just click on through to CAPS and blaze your own trail.
Further CAPS Foolishness:
- Great Call on Capital One! What's Next?
- America's Next Top Value Stock
- 5 All-Star Stocks Fighting the Tide
On Jan. 12, 2009, Fool co-founder David Gardner, Jeff Fischer, and their Motley Fool Pro team will accept new subscribers to their real-money portfolio service. Motley Fool Pro is investing $1 million of the Fool's own money in long and short positions in a range of securities, including common stocks, put and call options, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). They also incorporate proprietary CAPS "community intelligence" data into their research. To learn more about Motley Fool Pro, and to receive a private invitation to join, simply enter your email address in the box below.