Oil was up -- way up. Then oil was down -- way down. In fact, the ride that oil has taken investors on makes Six Flags' Kingda Ka look like a game of patty cake. Now, thanks to OPEC production cuts, hostilities in the Middle East, and an ever unpredictable Russia, oil has been heard to be stirring from its hospital bed.

The potential that rumors of oil's death have been greatly exaggerated would be great news for everyone in the oil patch from small exploration companies, to independent drillers, to the big boys like BP (NYSE:BP). BP's stock has certainly felt the plunge in oil prices -- after peaking at nearly $78 per share earlier in 2008, it plunged as much as 52% before recovering slightly recently.

On CAPS, BP is a five-star rated stock, with over 2,300 members deeming it an outperformer. None of these CAPS members, however, have been right on point when it comes to BP like Erieside. Erieside has made two outperform calls on BP, one between early 2007 and mid 2008, and another this past fall. Both calls were correct and scored 46 points for Erieside

Erieside is one of CAPS' All-Stars -- members with a rating of 80 or greater -- and has managed a stock-picking accuracy of 69% while racking up 161 points. BP hasn't been the only great call on Erieside's scorecard. Here's a look at a few of the other prescient picks:

Company

Date Picked

Call

Points

CAPS Rating

Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD)

12/21/07

Outperform

54

****

Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU)

10/19/06

Outperform

42

***

Ctrip.com

9/22/06

Outperform

41

****

Data from CAPS.

So what is this investor looking at these days? Here are a few recent calls on CAPS:

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating

Harris & Harris Group (NASDAQ:TINY)

11/7/08

Outperform

*****

Cemex (NYSE:CX)

11/7/08

Outperform

*****

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)

10/9/08

Outperform

****

Data from CAPS.

While not all of these picks may pan out, they could be a good place to start some further research. I decided to take a closer at Harris & Harris.

Could TINY score Big?
Valued currently at just over $100 million, venture capital investor Harris & Harris is certainly not a big company, but it's not tiny either. The companies that this Rule Breaker pick invests in are much smaller, but the ticker refers to what those companies do. Harris & Harris focuses on investing in "tiny technology" -- specifically, miniaturization technologies such as nanotechnology and microelectromechanical systems.

Unlike like other business development companies like American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS) and Prospect Capital, which sport high dividends, Harris & Harris is more concerned with reaping big capital gains when the companies it invests in hit the public markets through IPOs. Of course, therein lies the problem. With the worldwide capital markets shut tightly, it is nearly impossible for Harris & Harris to cash in on its investments right now. At the same time, private investors and banks may hold back on providing new cash for Harris & Harris portfolio companies.

CAPS members think that now might be exactly the time to check out this VC investor, though, especially as the market price has now fallen below the company's net asset value. Over the summer, gse46 joined the Harris & Harris fan club, saying:

When a common place household item that uses Nano Tech becomes popular and has brand name recognition the Buzz Of Nano will be heard yet again and this company is poised to take full advantage of that. It's almost akin to a drug company with many new drugs in its pipeline in phase2/3 tirals... just waiting to smash open into the market.

More recently, CAPS All-Star ValuePEG highlighted the company's strong balance sheet in a bullish pitch: "50% cash / 50% nano-tech pre-IPO's w/ ZERO debt, will jump after financial markets open up."

But here's the important question: what's your take on Harris & Harris? Will it continue to be weighed down by brutal financial markets or will it break out of its funk? Get in the action by clicking over to CAPS. CAPS is absolutely free and already has over 125,000 stock pickers chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

More 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.

Harris & Harris and Baidu are Rule Breakers picks. Ctrip and Buffalo Wild Wings are Motley Fool Hidden Gems selections. Prospect Capital is a Hidden Gems Pay Dirt pick. Cemex is a Stock Advisor and Global Gains recommendation. American Capital and Pfizer are Income Investor selections. Pfizer is also a Inside Value pick. The Fool owns shares of Pfizer, Cemex, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned, but is keeping a close eye on some of them through his CAPS portfolio. The Fool's disclosure policy is looking forward to the days of nanorobots that can wage pitched battle on stomach viruses.