Our country's third-quarter GDP growth was anemic, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is struggling to grow sales, and productivity numbers are expected to come in below expectations. As a result, stocks have suffered.

Time to go to cash, right? Wrong. The time to think about buying stocks is not when they're rising, but when they're falling. Seriously.

Is that contrary? Maybe. But it's certainly profitable. To invest successfully, it's absolutely crucial to separate your emotions from your financial decision-making. Indeed, fortunes are made by the investors who succeed in buying great stocks while they're down.

Meet the masters
The names behind this strategy include Buffett, Munger, Weitz, Olstein, and many more. It's also the strategy preached by the Fool's own Philip Durell at Motley Fool Inside Value. But you don't need to be a master investor or an Inside Value subscriber to be a value investor. All you need is patience, a willingness to be contrary, and some good ideas.

We probably can't help you with your patience or your contrarian spirit, but here are five ideas from Motley Fool CAPS, a brand-new community-intelligence database that asks investors to rate stocks. In turn, every investor is ranked, as is every stock. So as more people participate and more time passes, we hope to be able to determine the best investor and the best stock in America -- and potentially the world (though, admittedly, we'll have to roll this thing out of beta testing before we can start talking about global domination).

And now for the stocks ...
These are stocks that, despite being down more than 20% over the past year, have received a five-star rating from our pool of individual and professional investors.

So without further ado:


One-year return

Huttig Building Products (NYSE:HBP)


Labor Ready (NYSE:LRW)


Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD)


Spectralink (NASDAQ:SLNK)


Tarragon (NASDAQ:TARR)


It should be noted that value guru Mason Hawkins was recently buying Pioneer Natural Resources. While that's certainly an endorsement of that stock, it should be said (and so I'm saying it) that these are not recommendations. Rather, they're ideas that CAPS has generated and that I'm offering up in the name of further research.

After all, when you go digging for dirt cheap stocks, it's absolutely crucial to do your due diligence. If you'd like to get started doing just that, come see what our CAPS investors are actually saying about these companies. To do so, just click here to join the free beta test of CAPS today.

Tim Hanson does not own shares of any company mentioned. Wal-Mart is an Inside Value recommendation. The Fool'sdisclosure policyassures you that no stocks were harmed in the penning of this article.