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 proved 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

vonwao

99.90

6/7/06

Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW)

*****

Outperform

EnochRoot

99.84

7/03/06

Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW)

***

Outperform

mindmuse

99.84

9/13/07

Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL)

**

Underperform

bbmaven

99.82

9/6/06

American Oriental Bioengineering (NYSE:AOB)

****

Outperform

DemonDoug

99.82

1/8/07

Ryland (NYSE:RYL)

*

Underperform

Rowing against the current
Traditional Chinese medicine has a history longer than that of many civilizations, and both American Oriental Bioengineering and Tongjitang Chinese Medicines (NYSE:TCM) are trying to capitalize on it. Indeed, American Oriental has been trying to establish its products as the go-to brand for its consumers, so when it purchased a convention and training facility in Beijing, it had a lot of investors scratching their collective heads. It took a bit of teasing out, but the company finally revealed that there were tax considerations behind the move that will be very beneficial to the company going forward.

However, the episode also revealed two cultural chasms that need to be bridged. On the one side was investor distrust with opaque maneuvers by foreign companies leading them to sell off the stock. In the aftermath of Indian IT outsourcing giant Satyam Computer Services admitting it had cooked its books for years, investors were jittery about any seemingly abnormal action. On the other side, though, is a lesson for foreign companies to learn as well: They need to be more forthcoming in their disclosures. While business may be conducted a certain way back home, once they venture forth into the world capital markets, they need to account for how their international shareholders will view things.

CAPS member Murkyl views the hubbub as an opportunity to gain an entry point to a company that knows how to play to its home country advantage:

After the recent pull back [American Oriental] looks pretty inexpensive. Clarification on their huge purchase in Beijing helps remove some of the recent uncertainty in the stock. The quick status change to a technology company with the accompanying tax benefits will help the companies bottom line. In China, to do business you need connections and it seems that [American Oriental] has some of those in their pocket.

A real scholar
Despite showing strong earnings, online education outfit Apollo Group was hit with a lawsuit that serves to dredge up a reminder of the time when the entire for-profit education industry flunked the grade. Various educators were being investigated, and the FBI raided the offices of ITT Educational Services (NYSE:ESI). The industry put the episode behind itself and graduated to better accounting, but CAPS member fmahnke finds there are still enough reasons to have Apollo left back:

Had to take a short position in this one today for the following reasons: 1. Classic double top technical formation on the back of a solid quarter. 2, Overpriced online programs face increasing competition from traditional colleges likely to offer lower cost, higher quality programs. 3 Large stock sale by board member 4, Questionable business practices identified in a very good report by Citron outlining many good reasons that this stock is overbought 5. My belief that the educational component of the stimulus package is the most susceptible to reductions.

Ahoy there!
Whether you're been in the markets for years or are new to them, 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 have the wind in their sails.

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American Oriental Bioengineering is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. Atwood Oceanics is a Stock Advisor pick, and Satyam Computer Services is a former pick. The Fool owns shares of American Oriental.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.