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125,000 Investors Help You Beat the Market

By Matt Koppenheffer - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 7:55PM

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Thousands of investors pool their brainpower on Motley Fool CAPS.

"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 (NYSE:CEG) and the Lehman High-Yield Bond ETF a thumbs-up, sharing some thoughts on the latter:

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 (NYSE:CMG) underperforms. When it comes to Chipotle, tenmiles was primarily taking a technical stand: "Just a short-term technical call on this recent hot tamale-seller at $66 for expected 8-10% retracement."

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 (NYSE:PM). When it comes to Dr Pepper, chk999 is positive, but has no interest in guessing on the near-term vicissitudes: "This looks pretty cheap now. What happens in the short run? Who knows! In the long run this looks profitable."

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 (NYSE:JPM) and others may have been handed billions of taxpayer dollars, but they don't seem too keen to share exactly what they're doing with that money. Get the full story on TMFDeej's blog.

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.

Finally, if you're looking for a laugh, GS751 may have the medicine. Head over to this CAPS member's blog for a taste of economics around the world.

Stock pickers' delight
And for the stock pickers out there, articles throughout the week on 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 (NASDAQ:CSCO), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Core Laboratories, and a whole bunch more that don't start with "c."

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 (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Sadia -- that are worth a look. You can check out the rest of what Rich came up with in 5 Top Stocks at Half Price.

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 (NYSE:COP) and ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT).

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:

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.

Sadia is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation, as is Chipotle Mexican Grill. JPMorgan Chase and California Water are Income Investor picks. Endurance Specialty and Costco are Inside Value selections. Chipotle Mexican Grill is also a Rule Breakers pick and the Fool owns some of the B shares. Costco and Activision Blizzard are Stock Advisor selections.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Endurance Specialty, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy has never once been caught with its pants down. Of course, it doesn't actually wear pants ...

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Stocks Mentioned

Costco Wholesale Corporation Stock Quote
Costco Wholesale Corporation
$532.20 (-1.41%) $-7.62
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Stock Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
$120.14 (1.48%) $1.75
Cisco Systems, Inc. Stock Quote
Cisco Systems, Inc.
$45.90 (-0.26%) $0.12
ConocoPhillips Stock Quote
$100.36 (4.56%) $4.38
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Stock Quote
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
$1,631.09 (-1.64%) $-27.20
ArcelorMittal Stock Quote
$25.39 (-1.01%) $0.26
Activision Blizzard, Inc. Stock Quote
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
$80.51 (-0.49%) $0.40
Constellation Energy Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Constellation Energy Group, Inc.

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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