This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolios Series.

Most investors don't keep tabs on their companies' fundamental value. That's a mistake. If you take the time to read past the headlines and crack a filing now and then, you're in a much better position to spot potential trouble early. Better yet, you'll improve your odds of finding the underappreciated home run stocks that provide the market's best returns.

We can help you keep tabs on your companies with, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Here are three stocks from my watchlist.

1. CAPS Weekly Top Stock Idea: ChinaCache (Nasdaq: CCIH)
Each week, I cull a top stock idea from the pitches made on CAPS, the Motley Fool's 170,000-member free investing community. ChinaCache, a pick from last month, caught my eye, since it had fallen from where it was picked over general fears of Chinese stocks.

Similar to U.S. firms Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM), Level 3 Communications (Nasdaq: LVLT), and Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW), ChinaCache makes money by using its network of servers to speed up web page delivery for its customers. As more users in China begin to use the Internet, the opportunity facing ChinaCache is huge. To see the pitch selected for CAPS' Weekly Top Stock Idea, click here. If you want to follow my weekly picks you can subscribe to the series' RSS feed or follow on Twitter: @CAPSTopStocks.

2. Cree (Nasdaq: CREE)
Cree manufactures LEDs, the very small, intensely bright lights now popping up all over. The LED market has been taking off lately, as consumers discover the benefits of LEDs: They use a tiny trickle of electricity and last for years. Cree and competitor RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD) have risen in part thanks to China's efforts to establish new standards for use of LED lighting on public streets. Previously, the companies' stock had fallen amid worries of slowing growth. Even so, LEDs have been a booming market, and they could be a good wave to ride.

3. Veeco Instruments (Nasdaq: VECO)
Veeco makes equipment used to manufacture solar cells and LEDs. Recently, analysts have been worried that the Chinese solar market is slowing, which would hurt Veeco's sales going forward. Veeco appears to be more confident in its future direction, since it recently announced a $200 million buyback. At 10 times earnings, Veeco is worth taking a look at.

My Foolish bottom line
If you're looking for more information on these companies, keep checking in on my Rising Star portfolio in the coming weeks as I look further into each of them.

This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolios series, where we give some of our most promising stock analysts cold, hard cash to manage on the Fool's behalf. We'd like you to track our performance and benefit from these real-money, real-time free stock picks. Click here to see all of our Rising Star analysts (and their portfolios).

Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account:@DanDzombak. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

Akamai Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.