The first 100 days in office sets the tone for any new president. Similarly, Motley Fool CAPS keeps an eye on how well members do in their first 100 days. Some of our best members -- we call them All-Stars -- achieved scores of 100 on stock selections in their first 100 days. In this column, we'll look at our best members who made some of their best stock selections early on and see which ones they think will be best next.

One of our highest-rated CAPS members is SarahGen, with a 99.83 member rating. A member since August 2006, SarahGen has 200 active picks out of more than 2,500 picks made on CAPS. SarahGen, with 74% accuracy, has attracted 367 "groupies" -- CAPS members who've listed this investor as one of their favorites.

Here are a few of this member's most recent selections and how they were rated.


CAPS Rating
(out of five)



Current Score

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM)





Blue Nile





McDonald's (NYSE:MCD)





Mechel (NYSE:MTL)





Orthovita (NASDAQ:VITA)





Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)





Sequenom (NASDAQ:SQNM)





The Talbots





Titanium Metals





Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN)





Source: Motley Fool CAPS; *price when call was made. Current score is how many points by which a member is beating (lagging) the S&P 500 index from the time of the call.

Let's take a look at what other CAPS members are saying about a few of these stocks and whether they agree with this member's assessment.

Degree of risk
It's the regulators' lot in life to chase ghosts. "Speculators" stand accused of raising oil prices here at home, in the steel and coal industries in Russia, and in, well, just about every industry in Venezuela. Though the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is set to impose tough new rules on energy markets and Hugo Chavez has gone on a nationalization spree that has left few industries in private hands, Russia has actually extended an olive branch to the industries Vladimir Putin scared the profits out of last year.

After some ominous-sounding comments about sending a doctor to the home of Mechel's owner after he failed to show for a meeting, Putin is now the steel industry's defender against foreign protectionism and vows to stimulate domestic demand and promote exports. Investors need to be mindful that Mechel's friend today could easily become its enemy again tomorrow, but the glasnost helped the steelmaker renegotiate at least part of its heavy debt burden, with state-owned Gazprombank backing the refinancing.

Because Mechel has fallen back in favor with the government, CAPS member Kingballer12 believes it will outperform the market, but nancyann77 is more circumspect.

Because of Russian government restrictions this stock has a high chance of losing its chance to swing back into its winning position despite the changes already being made. As one broker wrote "possibly too little, too late"

Even with the S&P 500 breaking through the psychologically important 1,000 mark and the market rising 13% this month, Russian stocks have been flying higher. Companies with the CAPS Russia tag are up, on average, more than 25% over the past 30 days, making it one of the 10 top-performing countries in CAPS.

A generic concern
The recession has created a cottage industry of businesses highlighting their value proposition for consumers. When even high-end coffeehouses are trying to make customers believe they're really a budget menu item, you can be sure the true value-oriented businesses like McDonald's are having an impact.

Same-store sales at the burgermeister have grown consistently, but analysts are concerned that it won't be able to keep up this pace. Without outsized gains, profits will be pressured, and there will be little room for growing margins.

That could spell trouble for McDonald's stock. Since the recession officially started in December 2007, its shares have fallen 8%. It has far outpaced the market, however, which has fallen more than 30%. With stocks having rallied recently, CAPS All-Star GirlScoutDad sees McDonald's as a defensive play.

MCD isn't exactly a "rocket science" pick. Rather, it is a defensive play in what is currently approaching a fully valued, and therefore riskier, market. The secure, hefty dividend, and rate of dividend growth, are added benefits of owning MCD. The menu is getting healthier (albeit gradually) and thus responding to consumer wants.

A 1-in-100 opportunity
Some of the best and smartest members in this investor intelligence community have made their mark, but 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.

As hockey great Wayne Gretzky once noted, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take." At Motley Fool CAPS, every investor's opinion counts. It's free to sign up, so why not use this opportunity to take your best shot?

Akamai Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Titanium Metals is a Stock Advisor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Dupreydoes not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.