Put five Fools in a room, ask them how they invest, and you'll likely get five different answers. Some like growth, others value, or small caps, or dividends, or … well, you get the picture.

Yet, while our styles differ, we all want excellent, engaged managers running the companies we own. We like it even more when these managers are also owners -- investors like you and me who, in trying times like these, are willing to buy as others sell. That's why I write this column weekly.

The week's buying
So which rich executives are buying now? Have a look, courtesy of our friends at Form 4 Oracle:


Closing Price 10/21/08

Total Value Purchased

52-Week Change

BE Aerospace (NASDAQ:BEAV)




Best Buy (NYSE:BBY)




Prospect Capital (NASDAQ:PSEC)




Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD)




United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI)




Sources: Fool.com, Yahoo! Finance, Form 4 Oracle, SEC filings.

A better prospect for your portfolio
Rarely does a stock jock like me get excited about funds. I'd much rather build a portfolio than buy one. Most of the time, anyway. Count Prospect Capital among the exceptions.

Prospect isn't exactly a fund. Rather, it's a business development company that holds a portfolio of investments in debt and equity. Foolish colleague Jim Gillies provided an apt description of the business when recommending the stock to Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt subscribers:

To get an idea of the types of deals Prospect works out, think of it this way: You're a small company that produces gas (the petrol type, that is), and you need more money to grow your business. Prospect can provide you with debt and equity financing directly, or it may partner with a private equity group to do the same. As an alternative, it could buy controlling ownership of your business. Aside from that, Prospect is also prone to grabbing equity interests in investee companies, which (hopefully) end up producing dividends and capital gains.

Instruments vary. Prospect will sometimes take equity. More often, it'll invest debt and collect very large yields. Senior secured notes it holds for Worcester Energy Partners pay 12.5% annually, for example.

Notice the wording. We're talking about secured notes, debt that's backed by hard assets owned by the energy companies in which Prospect invests. Rigs and drilling equipment, for example; a far cry from the surprise-in-every-box credit derivatives that helped drive Merrill Lynch (NYSE:MER) into the arms of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).

That's a strong position made stronger when combined with a fat, sustainable dividend that yields 13.1% as of this writing. I'm happy to own shares of Prospect Capital. Our 120,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community is equally bullish:


Prospect Capital

CAPS stars (5 max)


Total ratings


Bullish ratings


Percent Bulls


Bearish ratings


Percent Bears


Bullish pitches


Bearish pitches


Note: Data current as of Oct. 22, 2008.

"This is nuts. They are trading at far below book value with an insane (if the keep it going) dividend yield," wrote CAPS investor scraccag earlier this month. "Is there something I am missing or is this one of the best babies we can find in all the yucky bathwater?"

Insider buying suggests the latter. Over the past week, CEO John Barry has committed roughly $1.7 million to Prospect shares on behalf of the company's investment advisor, Prospect Capital Management.

Confused? Stay with me. Prospect is the company that holds a portfolio of assets but those assets were selected by an advisor, Prospect Capital Management, which Barry controls. So ... by investing $1.9 million, Barry is betting on the quality of the portfolio he and his team have built. I can't think of a more bullish sign.

There's your update. See you back here next week when we dig through more insider filings in search of the next home run stock.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers, thanks to the market meltdown, is ranked near the bottom in CAPS. He also writes for Rule Breakers. Get access to all of Tim's Foolish writings here.

Tim owned shares of Prospect Capital, a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt pick, at the time of publication. Best Buy is a recommendation of the Inside Value and Stock Advisor services. Bank of America is an Income Investor pick. The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy. It has a credit-worthy disclosure policy.