There's no doubt that 2010 has been a rough year for investors. First the BP oil spill, then the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, followed by bad payroll reports and stagnant unemployment. The robust recovery we saw in 2009 has almost all but disappeared, replaced with an up-and-down market that can seem unnerving at best, and simply irrational at worst.

As you can imagine, investors have been heading for the equity doors and into the bond room. Billions of dollars have gone into bonds or bond funds so far this year, and unfortunately, much of that money has come at the expense of equity funds.

Academics and investors alike have pointed to the last decade as proof that buy-and-hold investing is dead, and that the equity premiums we once saw are only a present-day myth. In my opinion, that's just crazy talk. Of course now is an easy time to call it quits on investing -- the market is volatile, there's lots of uncertainty, and it seems like all the news and recent headlines have been nothing but negative.

But give up on investing? I don't think so.

Nevertheless, it is seriously worth the time to evaluate your portfolio in order to see what stocks are going to keep you up at night, and which ones may let you sleep soundly. In this series, I've identified the top seven metal and mining stocks that have extreme volatility, are trading way below their 12-month highs, yet still have the coveted five-star ranking of our 165,000 strong CAPS investing community.

 

Sector

3-Year Beta

% Below 12-Month High

Anooraq Resources (NYSE: ANO)

Precious metals & mining

3.46

49.4%

Denison Mines (NYSE: DNN)

Coal & consumable fuels

3.02

35%

General Steel (NYSE: GSI)

Steel

2.90

55.5%

Thompson Creek Metals (NYSE: TC)

Diversified metals & mining

2.83

39.8%

China Precision Steel (Nasdaq: CPSL)

Steel

2.72

53.9%

Metalline Mining (NYSE: MMG)

Diversified metals & mining

2.70

51.6%

Sutor Technology (Nasdaq: SUTR)

Steel

2.68

59.2%

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Sept. 1.

Our crowd of foolish investors has a pretty good track record of identifying stocks that can outperform the market, and five-star stocks often follow that path pretty well. However, these seven stocks have taken investors on a roller-coaster ride that may not ultimately be worth it.

Make sure to do your own due diligence and check out whether these metal and mining stocks have what it take to bounce back, and if you've got the stomach to handle the volatility.

Have a strong opinion on one of these companies? Sound off in the comments below!

Jordan DiPietro owns no shares. General Steel Holdings is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.