True penny stocks are a minefield, but small-cap copper beauties can be one way to easily double your money.

There are also the companies whose shares trade at the other end of the price spectrum. I call 'em "three-digit stocks," though if they're anything like Berkshire Hathaway, they can trade in the four-, five-, and six-digit range, too.

While a penny stock might not be a good buy simply because it's cheap, a three-digit stock shouldn't scare you away just because it carries a hefty price tag. Handsome is as handsome does, so we check in with the Motley Fool CAPS community to see which ones the investor-intelligence database sees as having the best chance of succeeding.

Below are a handful of these high-priced high fliers, and we'll take a look to see whether investors think they can maintain their lofty valuations.


3-Digit Price

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

Return on Capital, Trailing 12 Months

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS)




Google (NYSE:GOOG)




International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)




iShares S&P 500 Index (NYSE:IVV)




White Mountain Insurance (NYSE:WTM)




Sources: Motley Fool CAPS and Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Highfalutin honeys
Sure, Google has made investors a lot of money over the years, but CAPS All-Star member ProfyB thinks it simply stands to reason that the search engine won't realize similar returns in the future:

Why do I think Google is going to have a hard time to grow? It's simple mathematics, the bigger you are the more you need to make to obtain the same rate of growth. A company worth 1 billion dollars only needs to increase [its] value by 1 billion dollars to double your investment. Google has to increase [its] value by 100 billion to double your investment. Needless to say, it's easier to make 1 billion than it is to make 100 billion. Now I'm not saying Google stock is a terrible investment, but [its] size limits the return it will provide to investors.

What's more, having such a commanding presence in the marketplace means that Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing search engine can cut into Google's share by doing little more than showing up. According to comScore, Bing's market share inched up to 8.9% in its second full month of operation while Google fell by 0.3% to 64.7% of searches.

The root of all evil
Where Google's motto is "Do No Evil," Goldman Sachs, Citigroup (NYSE:C), and their investment-banking ilk have been evil's very personification in this market meltdown. But just because many of their practices have been execrable, that doesn't mean we should let emotion get the best of us. You might not be able to finagle the same deal Warren Buffett squeezed out of Goldman, when he purchased perpetual preferred bonds with a hefty 10% dividend and warrants to buy more, but the company still has a healthy glow to it.

Right after repaying the $10 billion TARP bailout money it got, Goldman reported profits of $3.4 billion for the second quarter and has a bonus pool of $11.3 billion set aside for compensation. If there's risk here, it's the firestorm of outrage that will hit the fan when those bonuses are announced. Yet as highly rated CAPS All-Star Capsperson notes, Goldman Sachs is really the only game in town:

Love 'em or hate 'em, they are going to get the job done. They attract the best talent nationally and globally. Long term hold.

That computes
Following Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, IBM appears that it will come out ahead. It was rumored to have been a bidder for the programming language and software developer, but it never followed through, and Oracle won with a $7.4 billion offer. Will that have been a steep price to pay as Oracle integrates Sun into its culture? If the acquisition causes Oracle to remake itself in IBM's image, clients might just decide that going with the real thing is the better option.

CAPS member Alzo10 enthuses that IBM's vaunted way of cultivating talent makes its long-term growth prospects a lock.

With IBM's ability to earn cash, and their amazingly run company, I believe that IBM will be the winner in whatever technology direction they choose to go. They have the means to acquire or build from within, and the willingness to change course if something isn't working. This is corporate Darwinism at its best.

Count to 10
These three-digit stocks might be on their way to even higher valuations. That's why it pays to start your own research in 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.

Want help finding your own three-digit darlings? Join Fool co-founders David and Tom Gardner at Motley Fool Stock Advisor as they search the market for stocks enjoying not only a triple-digit price tag, but the potential to double, triple, and even quadruple in value over time.

Join Stock Advisor free for 30 days and get immediate access to all of David and Tom's proprietary research. There is no obligation to subscribe. Already a subscriber? Log in at the top of this page.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.