As an investor, it doesn't pay to follow the crowd.

In this series, though, we highlight a possible exception -- the collective wisdom of our CAPS community. Read the next section if you're unfamiliar with our methodology. Skip it if you want to go straight to the results.

Why this crowd is different
Jumping into a stock because your rich neighbor did, or because you heard about it from your friend's uncle who used to work on Wall Street, or because CNBC has been talking about it nonstop is a recipe for disaster.

If there's one thing I've learned as a stock analyst, it's that any stock can be gussied up to sound like a world-beater. If there's a second thing I've learned, it's that being a smart person doesn't make you a good investor.

In the hands of a smart person with good communication skills, the never-were and never-will-be stocks sound like tickets to instant fortune. The ancient Greek philosophers made the distinction between rhetoric and knowledge. The former is convincing; the latter is true.

That's why we factor in track record in our Motley Fool CAPS community. We invite everyone to give stocks an outperform (akin to a "buy" call) or underperform rating (akin to a "sell" call) in CAPS. We then use those opinions to calculate a rating for each stock -- from one to five stars (five being the best). But -- and this is a big distinction -- we give more weight to the opinions of folks whose picks have performed well in the past.

The top 10 software underperform calls
So, with that methodology as prelude, I present to you the 10 one- and two-star software stocks with the most CAPS community member underperform ratings. (I used a minimum market capitalization of $100 million and the proviso that must be listed on a major U.S. exchange). Remember, stocks are rated on a five-star scale by our CAPS community, so one- and two-star stocks are consensus underperforms.

Company Name

 Market Capitalization (in millions)

52 Week Price Change %

Price-to-Earnings (TTM)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Underperform Picks

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM)

$14,347

113%

202.7

*

594

DivX (Nasdaq: DIVX)

$255

40%

128.2

*

162

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT)

$6,643

54%

74.8

**

130

Ants Software

$116

120%

N/M

*

102

Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC)

$11,027

(8%)

14.3

**

96

Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL)

$2,005

31%

N/M

**

88

Quantum Solar Power

$320

341%

N/M

*

84

Systemax (NYSE: SYX)

$447

(11%)

8.7

**

82

Unisys (NYSE: UIS)

$976

(5%)

3.4

**

75

CA

$9,443

(19%)

12

**

73

Source: Motley Fool CAPS. N/M= not meaningful.

It's a mixed bag for this group in terms of stock performance over the past year. It's the same with trailing multiples. Unisys, for example, has a puny trailing P/E ratio of 3.4 (its forward P/E is 8.3). Yet, the CAPS community isn't impressed.

More CAPS members think the high-multiple Salesforce.com is an underperform than any other software-related stock. Do you think it deserves this lack of love? Make your thoughts known in CAPS by clicking here. Or just go there to do further research on one of these popular stocks.

For the flip side – the top software stocks -- click here.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any company mentioned. Salesforce.com is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy.