A well-crafted watchlist is critical to smart investing: It can help you find attractive buying opportunities, and it can save you from rushed, emotional decisions by slowing down the process. The Fool now offers MyWatchlist.com, your customized hub to follow the performance and Fool news and commentary about the companies you're watching.

But what to put on your watchlist? In today's entry in our ongoing series, the Fool's resident socially responsible investor, Alyce Lomax, shares a pair of companies that she's added to her watchlist and one that has since made the jump to her Rising Stars portfolio.

One to watch
Even in the midst of a recession, teens need to look cool. That's why cash-strapped parents appreciate mall-based retailer Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO), whose trendy fashions serve as an acceptable middle ground for teenagers and the people who buy their clothes.

Beyond its advantageous cool-yet-affordable position in today's economy, Alyce likes the company's sturdy balance sheet with nearly $300 million in cash, which sets the company up as a defensive play. And compared to its competitors -- especially those such as Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) that charge more for the right to be cool -- Aeropostale's stock looks pretty cheap, trading at just 10 times earnings. If discretionary spending continues to tighten in a troubled economy, this one's worth picking up.

Two to watch
India's largest automaker, Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM), grabbed Alyce's attention recently when its shares jumped more than 10% in intraday trading in the wake of the company's earnings report. The automaker was able to capitalize on a strong sales environment, bringing in profits of slightly more than $500 million on revenue of approximately $6.5 billion to beat analysts' estimates. Revenue was 37% higher than a year ago, while the bottom line jumped tenfold. Beyond the numbers, Alyce liked the concept of making cars available to the massive Indian audience at a relatively low price.

Alyce is waiting for a pullback from the share price's recent heights, but she'll definitely be watching.

And one she bought
As she wrote when she made it her first Rising Stars selection, "My real-money portfolio's all about social responsibility, so it's fitting that my inaugural buy recommendation should have had corporate social responsibility at its heart for quite some time. This month's pick is Timberland (NYSE: TBL)."

The company best known for its rugged boots has social responsibility in its DNA, creating its own Green Index to rate the environmental impact and sustainability of its products, giving employees paid time off to perform community service, and generally acting as good stewards of the environment. And with shares trading at just 14 times forward earnings and earnings expected grow at 14%, the price had moved into a range that she felt was financially responsible as well.

And that's exactly why it pays to watch. You can make smarter investing decisions with your own version of My Watchlist, new and free from the Fool. Click below to start following one of the stocks mentioned above:

Timberland is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Aeropostale and Timberland. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.