The market can certainly be a crazy place. We got word this week that US Airways (NYSE:LCC) was looking to acquire Delta, and the prospect of consolidation in the cutthroat industry sent even the pink-sheets airline stocks significantly up. Far superior businesses such as Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), however, disappoint with their earnings reports and get dunked like there's no tomorrow.

The craziness can be frustrating, sure, but it's also the only reason that individual investors like you and me have the opportunity to make a mint in the market. Seriously. Because the time to think about buying stocks is when they're falling too far for no good reason.

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 the Fool's own Philip Durell preaches 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

AirTran Holdings (NYSE:AAI)


Microsemi (NASDAQ:MSCC)




Simpson Manufacturing (NYSE:SSD)


Tuesday Morning (NASDAQ:TUES)


It should be noted that Richard Aster was buying shares of AirTran earlier this year, and Wally Weitz was doing the same with Simpson Manufacturing. While there are things to like about each of these stocks, it should be said (and so I'm saying it) that these are not recommendations. Instead, they're ideas that CAPS has generated, which 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 and 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. Starbucks is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool'sdisclosure policy assures you that no stocks were harmed in the penning of this article.