Based on the aggregated intelligence of 145,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, specialty insurer Markel (NYSE:MKL) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Markel's business, and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Markel facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Glen Allen, Va. (1930)

Market Cap

$3.2 billion



Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$1.82 billion


Chairman/CEO Alan Kirshner (since 1986)
CIO Thomas Gayner (since 2001)

Compound Annual Tangible Book Value Growth (Over Past 5 Years)



$1.7 billion / $951 million

Other Highly Rated Insurance Stocks

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B)
Chubb (NYSE:CB)

CAPS Members Bullish on MKL Also Bullish on

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

CAPS Members Bearish on MKL Also Bearish on

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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

On CAPS, 97.8% of the 2,717 members who have rated Markel believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include symie5 and athenamike.

Just three weeks ago, symie5 summed up Markel with an oft-used comparison: "Fantastic management, pay structure, and proven (mini-Berkshire) business strategy. Love this as a long term play."

In an earlier pitch, athenamike expands on the stock as a wealth-building machine worth watching:

Excellent insurance underwriting and excellent investing make Markel a great long term growth company. The insurance market is hardening and future investment returns, although bumpy in the short term, should look much better. I expect book value growth of around 10-15% per share and a future price to book of 1.5x to 2x versus current 1.2x.

What do you think about Markel, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Markel, Berkshire, and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Berkshire is also a Stock Advisor selection, as is Netflix. Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor choice. The Fool owns shares of Markel and Berkshire. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.