Keeping your portfolio above water in these markets is no easy task. Companies can be too easily whipsawed by the whimsical musings of the Treasury Department or the Fed, making investors who've successfully navigated these rough waters rare indeed. A steady track record of staying afloat is even more impressive.

The All-Stars in our Motley Fool CAPS investor-intelligence database have found themselves particularly adroit at consistently steering their picks through these turbulent markets. CAPS has successfully marked the performance of the best stocks for more than two years now. Let's examine some recent picks from this community's longtime investing mavens. If these All-Stars have been able to maintain their top status through bull and bear markets alike, their opinions on stocks for the months and years ahead might be worth watching.

CAPS Member

Member Rating

Member Since

Recent Stock Pick

CAPS Rating
(5 max)

Call

mace60

99.86

12/4/06

Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE)

*****

Outperform

mckx00

99.86

10/11/06

Direxion Financial Bear 3X (NYSE:FAZ)

*

Underperform

kevday

99.86

9/25/06

Monsanto (NYSE:MON)

****

Outperform

indyjoneses

99.81

10/4/06

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL)

****

Outperform

phineas333

99.79

12/9/06

El Paso (NYSE:EP)

****

Outperform

Rowing against the current
Some very smart Fools, along with some very rich executives, are counting on Oracle to lead them to wealth. With almost half of its business coming from North America, and many of its customers ranking among the Fortune 1000, Oracle often finds itself competing with IBM (NYSE:IBM) for database-management business. Big Blue was able to generate expanding margins in this competitive industry last quarter, even as sales took a small hit.

However, CAPS member NoTimeForKarma feels that Oracle, the segment leader, remains the one to beat:

Oracle continues to make good business decisions and good technology decisions. They are the de-facto database application for major DB applications. They are continuing to add additional application suites to their offerings and are breaking new ground left and right. They are sized good enough to weather any start-up issues they might have with these new ventures.

Sprouting growth
Even though its products help stave off starvation by increasing the yields of food crops, seed maker Monsanto draws frequent criticism for its gene-manipulating ways, along with other agribusiness giants like Bunge (NYSE:BG) and Cargill. Despite the noise, Monsanto reported quarterly profits that grew by 50%, as strong demand in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America -- before credit dried up -- powered sales higher.

Top-rated CAPS All-Star SpecGrinch admires any company that can turn out such a good earnings report, even as the rest of the world seems to drift toward losses:

Think about this. Horrible bear market with disappointing earnings all over the place except Monsanto and their forecast is mind boggling. Even in a Bear market people want to make money and that means the few good stocks will see strong upside. Probably the best place to park money this year along with [Terra Nitrogen] and some Biotech stocks. Ags and Biotech are the safest sectors and the best stocks in those sectors will see the money come pouring in.

Ahoy there!
Whether you're new to the markets or you've been investing for years, it pays to start your own research on these stocks on 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. Then tell the CAPS community whether you think these old salts still have the wind in their sails.

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.