This video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which industrials editor/analyst Isaac Pino and senior analyst Anand Chokkavelu, CFA, discuss topics across the investing world

Heading into the Final Four of the Motley Fool Madness series, Bank of America and Caterpillar go head-to-head. Anand and Isaac present the case for each of these highly leveraged, cyclical companies, specifically looking at whether a catalyst will drive their stocks higher for shareholders in the year ahead. For Bank of America, the future looks a lot brighter than it has in quite some time. The company got off more or less scot-free in a major lawsuit and passed recent stress tests, while investors seem optimistic that the economy will lift the entire sector in 2012. On the flip side, the construction market is beginning to improve, particularly with regard to Caterpillar's stake in mining equipment. A team of Motley Fool analysts weigh in on the stocks and determine which one looks more promising for the year ahead.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.