If you think finding true value in the stock market is a simple process, I have a bridge to sell you.

Although markets aren't as efficient as some university professors may want to tell you, they generally do a pretty good job of pricing stocks. So although there are some good deals out there, you'll have to break a bit of a mental sweat if you want to make sure you're putting a true value stock in your portfolio.

Fortunately for us, we have the 96,000-plus members of The Motley Fool's CAPS community voting on which stocks deserve a look and which ones you can ignore. To gather some ideas, I've dug up a handful of companies valued at less than twice their book value -- a measure that value investors typically use.


Tangible Book Value Multiple

1-Year Stock Performance

CAPS Rating (5 Max)





Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM)




The Travelers (NYSE: TRV)




Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY)




Pacific Sunwear (Nasdaq: PSUN)




Source: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's), Yahoo! Finance, and CAPS.

Even though these stocks all carry value-like multiples, the CAPS community doesn't think that all of them are worthy of your investment dollars.

Walking the stock runway
KB Home, Washington Mutual, and Pacific Sunwear all have some blemishes. For starters, Washington Mutual grabbed a lot of headlines recently for its $7 billion capital raise and preannouncement of a terrible first quarter. With massive dilution on the way and a first-quarter loss of $1.1 billion, WaMu does not look like a promising prospect. We can't even count on its dividend, which it just cut from $0.15 to $0.01 per quarter.

For those ready to call a bottom on the housing market, KB Home might be an option. But relmor summed up the consensus view on CAPS when stating: "No need to build homes for years. How can they draw new revenue streams?"

And though there's a bit more support for Stock Advisor pick Pacific Sunwear, the community thinks there are better options out there.

Sorry, fellas. The community has voted all of you off the island.

Down to the final two
The Travelers is a fine choice. It's stable, it's trading at a single-digit price-to-earnings ratio, and it's expected to grow by more than 9% per year over the next five years. However, Travelers' property and casualty insurance is no match for the allure of Yamana's gold.

With the U.S. economy on the rocks and inflation starting to creep up, many investors have fled to the shiny comfort of gold. They reason that gold will hold its value as recession knocks down equities and inflation eats away at the value of cash and fixed-income securities. And although some investors have gone after the actual gold bars, many have stocked up on shares of gold producers such as Yamana and Goldcorp (NYSE: GG).

One of CAPS' top players, camistocks, has long been bullish on Yamana and wrote the following in early 2007:

Central banks are increasing the money supply like crazy. ... Inflation = increase of money supply. To quote Richard Russell: In Australia, the M-3 money supply is running 13% over last year. In the Euro-zone, M-3 is up 9.3%. In Britain, M-4 is up 13%. ... In the US, M-3 has been reconstructed to show that it's up 10.7%. Buy Gold and gold stocks!

Make your vote count!
Do you agree that Yamana could be America's next top value stock? Head over to CAPS, and let the rest of the community know what you think. While you're there, you can log your vote for the other stocks that you think should be in the running.

More CAPS-lovin' Foolishness:

Pacific Sunwear is a Stock Advisor recommendation. WaMu was an Income Investor pick. You can try out either Foolish service free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy tried its hand at modeling for a while, but it couldn't turn left and didn't have Blue Steel to fall back on.