"Investors helping investors beat the market." That's how The Motley Fool's CAPS community describes itself, and 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 while the behind-the-scenes CAPS rating algorithms rank CAPS members and stocks, making it easy to find the best-performing stock pickers and the community's favorite stocks.
But with almost 3 million stock recommendations on nearly 5,400 stocks, not to mention those 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 of the best of the community over the past week.
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 are adding reams of great new insights.
Has TMFDeej found a chart that shows where the market may be headed? If nothing else, he thinks it's a chart that you don't want to miss. The way I see it, there certainly is a historical propensity for equity markets to go through bullish and bearish periods, but it has been a hard fought, if not downright futile task for market technicians and market timers to nail down the turning points of these cycles. But that doesn't mean that we can't take something away from Deej's chart.
In another part of the CAPS blogosphere, weiwentg has done what most investors fear most right now -- endorse a bank stock. While Bank of America
And speaking of bank stocks, in a recent blog post, iamamartin stacks up the ultimate bank disappointment -- Citigroup, if you didn't already guess it -- against one of the ultimate lemons outside of banking -- Ford
The best of the best weigh in
The top 10 players on CAPS don't keep their spots by being complacent, and there have been plenty of new picks over the past week for us to check out.
Starting from number 10, TDRH was working his green thumb over the past week, and besides rating both ExxonMobil and Chevron
Ninth-ranked StatsGeek was quiet on the reasoning behind recent picks but weighed in on a variety of different stocks from Apple
Up a few more spots at number five, tenmiles found the thumbs up as the way to go over the past week. State Street grabbed another outperform rating courtesy of tenmiles, as did Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick Dynamic Materials. Regarding Dynamic, tenmiles wrote: "Just a deep value play at $13.60; end markets are obviously weak, but niche player seems to discount most of the troubles at current valuation for investors with at least 3 year horizon."
Want more? You can quickly track down the full portfolios of CAPS' top members.
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. On Tuesday, Rich Duprey offered up "5 Stocks Approaching Greatness," a search for up-and-coming companies like StemCells and Eagle Bulk Shippers using CAPS ratings. That same day, Rich Smith took a look at a handful of stocks like Wells Fargo
And finally, Morgan Housel chimed in with "5 Cash-Rich Companies Being Given Away," a peek at stocks like NamTai Electronics that are sitting on Scrooge-like piles of cash.
You can go your own way
But of course, all of this just scratches the surface of CAPS, and there's no right or wrong way to use the wealth of information that members have contributed. If nothing above caught your fancy, you can always just click on through to CAPS and blaze your own trail.
More CAPS Foolishness:
Nam Tai Electronics is a Global Gains selection. US Bancorp is an Income Investor selection, whereas Bank of America is a former choice. Amazon and Apple are Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.
Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America and US Bancorp, but he doesn't own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. The Fool’s disclosure policy has already made fun of Matt for owning Bank of America, so don't feel like you have to.