One of our primary investment advantages at The Motley Fool is our ability to learn about and to learn directly from the most brilliant investors in the world. It's a leading reason why David and I are thrashing the market in our Stock Advisor service. There simply is no community in the world where more investors are helping each other beat the market.

Each month, more than four million investors travel to our sites, sharing their greatest ideas and insights with each other. And in our CAPS service, more than 70,000 investors are making stock picks in direct competition with each other. One of our finest investors in CAPS is Robert MacGillivray, known by the screen name robmac2811, who is in the top 10% of all members.

I recently interviewed Robert to hear his thoughts on the market and to glean some of his best ideas now.

Tom Gardner: Because you're one of the greatest investors in our Motley Fool community, I'd like to know, what are your favorite two stock investments today?

Robert MacGillivray: Manulife Financial (NYSE: MFC), which owns John Hancock. It's a very well run, conservative company. It had some problems with its 6% guarantee annuity, but it has its house in order now. The stock has been on a tear lately. I bought at $14.72 back in the summer. It dropped to $11 and is now back up above $15. It pays a pretty good dividend, and I think it is a $20 stock or better.

My other stock that I like right now is Telstra (Other OTC: TLSYY.PK), an Australia-based company trading down just slightly from where I bought it at $13.70 recently. This is a play on the Australian dollar. And the company pays a 9.8% dividend!

Gardner: Are there any stocks or industries on your "avoid list" today?

MacGillivray: Automobiles. They have too many "legacy" costs. And I stay away from most financial stocks, as I believe the other shoe has yet to drop.

Gardner: Are there any trends that you find particularly compelling or concerning today?

MacGillivray: The U.S. greenback and the trend of our government. We have a spending problem in government, and we have to get our house in order. I have never bought gold before, but I recently picked up some Sprott Physical Gold Trust (NYSE: PHYS) for a little hedging.

Gardner: What's been your worst investment in life?

MacGillivray: Global Crossing. I really believed in the Minnick guy, the founder, Gary Minnick. I thought he was going to fiber the world. I lost a bunch of money in that stock!

Gardner: What one bit of parting advice would you give to stock investors worldwide?

MacGillivray: Buy and hold, but don't be afraid to take some profit off the table.

You can see all of Robert MacGillivray's investment ideas by following this link. And you can see how David and I are using information like this to beat the market by following this link to learn more about Stock Advisor.

Fool co-founder and CEO Tom Gardner does not own shares of any companies mentioned. The Fool owns shares of Sprott Physical Gold Trust ETV. 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.