"I like to go for cinches. I like to shoot fish in a barrel. But I like to do it after the water has run out."
-- Warren Buffett

History seems to show that good investing doesn't necessarily mean picking out complex situations and basing your investment thesis on Nobel-level math. In fact, as the current financial crisis has shown us -- not to mention the Long Term Capital Management hedge fund and many other examples -- too much complexity can often end in calamity.

In an effort to track down some of the companies that may fall into that "fish in a barrel" category, I've turned to The Motley Fool's CAPS community. Using CAPS' stock screener, I looked for companies that have a price-to-earnings ratio below 15, a long-term debt-to-equity ratio below 50%, a return on equity above 12%, and a high rating from the CAPS community.


CAPS Rating
(Out of  5)


Return on Equity

Debt-to-Equity Ratio

Nokia (NYSE:NOK)





Aflac (NYSE:AFL)





Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)





Source: Capital IQ.

These are just three of the results that the CAPS screener spit out; you can run the same screen yourself to see the rest of the companies that made the cut. While the three companies above aren't meant to be formal recommendations, they are a good starting point for further research. On that note, let's take a closer look at each company.

Don't overlook a global champ
When it comes to the mobile-phone market, it seems like there's no shortage of reasons to consider shares of device makers like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) or service providers like Verizon and China Mobile. But what about the largest cell-phone maker, Nokia?

The company's vitals were good enough to land it on today's list, but investors don't seem to appreciate the company, slapping it with a lower earnings multiple while RIMM's multiple reaches 20 and Apple's is darn near 30.

What gives? Nokia's first-quarter earnings may not have been anything to cheer about, but I agree with fellow Fool Anders Bylund that U.S. investors may simply not appreciate Nokia's leadership position in the global mobile-phone market, since the U.S. is such a weak market for the company. But the underappreciated stock of a market-leading company could pay off handsomely as Nokia continues to dominate some of the best growth markets in the world.

It's just ... different
If you're not a specialty insurer like Markel (NYSE:MKL), taking on niche risks like horse mortality, it can be difficult to differentiate yourself in the insurance market. After all, how much different are auto policies from Allstate and Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK-A) GEICO?

Aflac, however, has been able to set itself apart -- and not just by employing a talking duck. By focusing on supplemental insurance policies that fill the gaps left by primary health insurance or government coverage, Aflac has been able to build a very successful business.

It's also worth noting that the majority of Aflac's business is done in Japan, where customers purchase coverage to supplement the national health plan. Japanese customers seem to really dig Aflac, since the customer turnover rate there is remarkably low.

In this market, we can't take anything for a given, so it's comforting that Aflac's dividend appears fairly safe.

Speaking of dividends
It's difficult to find many dividend payers that have payouts you can count on like Procter & Gamble. The maker of must-have products including Pampers, Pepto-Bismol, Tide, Old Spice, and Gillette has been paying and raising its dividend for more than 50 years, and it shows no sign of letting up.

But that's hardly the only reason to like P&G. More than 6,000 CAPS members have given the stock a thumbs-up, versus just 182 who think it will trail the rest of the market. At the end of last month, CAPS member oyramnairb joined the thousands of other P&G fans on CAPS, highlighting the company's ability to continue to sell its products even in a tough economy:

Proctor & Gamble is a solid company with a great understanding of everyday consumer products. This company can market as well or better than Apple, Inc. Look for the new CEO to slowly drop edible brands and pick up Gillette like brands.

Getting down to business
Now the CAPS community wants you. Do you think these stocks make sense? Or is the community off base in its faith? Head over to CAPS and join the 135,000 members already sharing their thoughts on thousands of stocks.

Don't stop here! Be sure to check out:

Apple, Aflac, and Berkshire Hathaway are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Berkshire Hathaway, Markel, and Nokia are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Procter & Gamble is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Procter & Gamble, Berkshire Hathaway, and Markel. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. You can check out the stocks that he is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS page, or you can connect with him on Twitter as @KoppTheFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is chillaxin' because it's too busy to chill and relax separately.