Penny stocks are one way to double your money, though it's fraught with risk, but there are equally shiny opportunities trading at the other end of the price spectrum, too. I call 'em "three-digit stocks," yet if they're anything like Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) they can trade in the four-, five-, and six-digit range, too.

penny stock might not be a good buy simply because it's cheap, and a three-digit stock shouldn't scare you away just because it carries a hefty price tag. Handsome is as handsome does. Let's check in with the Motley Fool CAPS community to see which of the high-priced stocks below earn the greatest confidence from our investor-intelligence database:


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

3-Digit Price

Return on Capital, TTM (Nasdaq: BIDU)




Biglari Holdings (NYSE: BH)




Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS)




Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's; Motley Fool CAPS; NA = not available.

But just because these stocks are purring is no reason to jump into them blindly. Catching a tiger by the tail -- or a knife falling from on high -- can end up leaving you scratched and bleeding. That's why we recommend you use this list as a launch pad for your own research and analysis.

Highfalutin' honeys
Investing with a conscience requires dedication, because what might one day look like a socially responsible company could turn into one that is complicit in suppressing the rights of a people. And so those looking to invest in the Chinese growth miracle must be careful. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which has tried to live by a "don't be evil" mantra, was more than willing to censor Chinese search results and impede the ability of individuals searching out freedom-oriented results. Yet even Google couldn't abide by the strictures for very long and closed down its Chinese site.

As a state-owned telecom, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) was probably never a top choice for socially responsible investing to begin with, but the Chinese government's decision to use it and the Xinhua News Agency to provide a heavily filtered search engine that doesn't allow meaningful results for search terms such as "Dalai Lama" means it will be picking up where Google left off.

Yet doesn't have to worry much that the government's attempt at providing search will materially impact its own dominance. With Google out of the picture and an estimated 75% share of the search market to itself in China, it's never run afoul of the Chinese censors either. Baidu will likely remain the first choice people turn to when doing searches there, though CAPS member MOVIE52 would prefer to time entry points into the stock:

If China isn't growing what is?? Wait for this last breakout to subside a little then play tight spreads for decent gains. Try the Jun-140 Calls @ $7.35 for some frosting on that cake

Does a company's willingness to carry water for an oppressive regime carry any weight with your investing decisions? Let us know on the CAPS page or in the comments section below.

A mirror image
Does a high stock price encourage long-term investors? By the same token, does an astronomically high price tag keep investors for an even longer haul? If you follow the reasoning of Sardar Biglari, that's exactly what it means.

Biglari, CEO of Biglari Holdings -- formerly Steak n Shake -- gave the rationale for a 1-for-20 reverse stock split as wanting to encourage long-term investors in the stock. Now that it's trading north of $400 a share, Biglari wants to initiate another reverse split, this time 1-for-15, that would push the stock price to around $6,500 a share, and he's using the same argument: to "continue to attract long-term owners whose purpose is to prosper in concert with the Company's progress."

Biglari also wants to create a B class of shares, and with that move it wouldn't be unnatural to compare Biglari Holdings with Berkshire Hathaway, and Biglari himself with Warren Buffett. For many investors, though, regardless of where the stock is trading, that comparison falls well short of the mark.

CAPS All-Star kristm is also skeptical, commenting that Biglari himself is intentionally forcing the comparisons:

It's very intentional. The ticker, trying to buy insurance companies. But look at the core business. Steak n Shake isn't what it used to be and Western Fizzlin never was anything to write home about. I'm not sure how they're making any money right now, outside of trying to unload company O&O stores to franchisees.

You can add Biglari Holdings to the Fool's free portfolio tracker, and are free to draw your own conclusions on the Biglari Holdings CAPS page.

Triple-digit titans
If Biglari really wants to be Buffett, then bold bets like the Oracle took on Goldman Sachs in 2008 would truly set him apart from the pretenders. Buffet's decision back then to invest in Goldman and General Electric was predicated on his belief that the troika of Bernanke, Paulson, and a government ready and willing to prop up the country with massive infusions of tax dollars was all he needed to know it was going to turn out OK. While the politics of it were lousy, as investing insight, it was genius.

While my own feelings lie in the passion expressed by CAPS member JackSparra, the reality of the situation is undoubtedly closer to the tangled web noted by BullFighters:

Having Warren Buffett involved in the stock ( with the Obama connection and government), you cant go wrong.

Add Goldman Sachs to your watchlist to see whether good will ever truly triumph over evil.

Count to 10
These three-digit stocks might be on their way to even higher valuations. That's why it pays to start your own research in 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.

Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Baidu and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. The Fool owns shares of Biglari Holdings, China Mobile, and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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.