Scraping together enough coin to win the annual luncheon auction with Warren Buffet is probably beyond most investors' means. Last year's winning bidder forked over $1.68 million for the privilege, with all proceeds going to charity.

While most of us can't break bread with Buffett or other value investing greats, we can peek at their stock ideas through their SEC filings. Here, we'll pore over top investors' reports to see which stocks they've chosen as their best investments. We'll then check in with Motley Fool CAPS members to see whether they agree.

Obviously, when you're piggybacking on the masters, a few caveats apply:

  • There's a delay between buying a stock and filing its corresponding paperwork. A great deal at the time of purchase may look less enticing now.
  • "Legend" status is hard-won, but easily lost. Bill Miller was a wunderkind for beating the market 15 years in a row -- until he went cold for three more. He came back in 2009, but we don't know what 2010 will bring.

With that in mind, make sure you do your own due diligence before you buy into any of the stocks we'll discuss here.

Soros Fund Management
No. of Stocks Owned: 686
Top 5 Holdings: SPDR Gold Shares ETF, Petroleo Brasileiro, Hess, Monsanto (NYSE: MON), Citigroup
Top Sectors: Energy, Financials, Consumer Discretionary

George Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management, which has an equity position valued at nearly $9 billion. Soros is a well-known and controversial investor, dubbed "the man who broke the Bank of England" following his currency bets against the  pound. He's written 10 books, including The Alchemy of Finance, and his Quantum fund was one of the world's first hedge funds.

In short, Soros has proved himself one smart investor. His investing philosophy looks at global trends to anticipate changes in currencies, sector swings, and economic whims. He's called gold the "ultimate bubble," even as his fund bought SPDR Gold Shares ETF (NYSE: GLD), making it his top holding as of the end of last year.

Unlike many of the investing legends we've looked at, Soros's portfolio is highly diversified, and while he can be secretive, some of his best ideas appear below. These five companies represent completely new additions to his portfolio at the time of the filing; some amounted to significant purchases relative to the size of the portfolio.

Stock

Avg. Price

Recent Price

% Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Citigroup

$4.04

$3.89

(3.7%)

 

Bunge (NYSE: BG)

$62.02

$60.48

(2.5%)

*

Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC)

$19.77

$17.63

(10.8%)

***

AutoNation

$18.53

$18.30

(1.2%)

**

Dollar General

$23.04

$25.03

8.6%

 

Source: SEC filings.

Naturally, we want you to look a bit closer at these stocks before buying. You can get low-priced appliances in the dent-and-ding section of your home-remodeling superstore, but their quality might not be so good. Same thing here: Make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with the company before you plug it into your own portfolio.

Price is what you pay
Obviously, gold remains a big component of Soros's purchases, as the billionaire helped create the same bubble he would later castigate. In addition to the gold ETF and Kinross Gold, Soros also established positions in Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) and Golden Star Resource (NYSE: GSS).

Several CAPS members agree with Soros when it comes to Kinross. DarthMaul09 thinks its alignment of mining properties makes it well-situated -- for the most part:

It's always risky have a stake in Russia, but if the gold sell off is short lived, the bounce back up may be quick enough to gain significant profits within a year, making the long-term exposure to Russia small.

It seems Soros has a similar affinity for agriculture, with bets on genetically modified seed maker Monsanto and ag-products provider Bunge. The latter will exit the fertilizer business after selling its assets to Vale (Nasdaq: VALE). Some 92% of CAPS members rating Bunge agree with Soros, marking the company to outperform the broader averages.

Value is what you get
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.

Sign up today for the completely free service, and tell us whether these stocks are as good a value as these investing legends think they are.

Monsanto is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Petroleo Brasileiro is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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.