Scraping together enough coin to win the annual luncheon auction with Warren Buffett is probably beyond the means of most investors. With all proceeds going to charity, last year's winning bidder forked over $1.68 million for the privilege.

Feast or famine
Perhaps we can't afford to break bread with the greats -- but we can peek at their stock ideas through their SEC filings. Here, we'll pore over the reports of some of the top investors and see which stocks they've chosen as their best investments. We'll then check in with Motley Fool CAPS members to see whether they agree.

First, a few caveats ...

  • There's a delay from when the stocks were bought and when these investors file their paperwork, so they might have sold out since.
  • These legends may be hot investors now, but that can change in an instant. Bill Miller was a wunderkind for beating the market 15 years in a row -- until he went cold for three. He came back in 2009, but we don't know what 2010 will bring.

Contrary to popular opinion
In short, Fools, do your own due diligence. But in the meantime, let's take a look at John Paulson of Paulson & Co. Once well-known for his "trade of the century" bet against the housing market, he's now a key figure in the fraud charges filed by the SEC against Goldman Sachs.

  • Fund: Paulson & Co.
  • No. of Stocks Owned: 58
  • Top 5 Holdings: SPDR Gold Trust, Bank of America, AngloGold Ashanti, Citigroup, Boston Scientific
  • Top Sectors: Financials, basic materials

Like a number of the investing legends we've looked at, Paulson's portfolio has a more diversified composition, but his last quarterly report showed that he added 24 new positions. Let's see what CAPS members have to say about a handful of them:


Avg. Price

Current Price

% Chg

CAPS Rating

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S)





Pfizer (NYSE: PFE)





Lear (NYSE: LEA)





Source: GuruFocus and CAPS.

Price is what you pay …
I thought Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse looked out of touch when he first appeared in commercials expressing wonderment at all the neat stuff smartphones could do. We've been using our iPhones and BlackBerries for years, and his amazement that you could check your email on one of them made him -- and Sprint -- seem clueless.  Far better are the current crop of ads touting the flat-rate pricing Sprint offers for voice, data, and text. At least it's not the silly battle-of-the-maps in which Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) are engaged.

CAPS member mitleg is impressed with the turnaround Sprint has engendered, and considers its 4G network a catalyst for the future. Sprint was first to market with a 4G network in 2008, and it's likely to be the first to unveil a 4G smartphone in June. Still, the third-largest wireless carrier has been losing share to its larger rivals as customer churn increases.

Its prepaid business, however, looks fairly solid. It gained 2.6 million net subscribers in 2009, and added another 348,000 in the first quarter. The drawback, of course, is that prepaid customers bring in much less revenue per subscriber, particularly since the addition of Virgin Mobile customers. I'm looking for Sprint to recover from here, and I just might consider one of its flat-rate plans for service, too.

Good medicine
Yesterday's market collapsed as fears of an implosion by Greece unnerved investors everywhere. Gains were few among Dow Jones industrials components, with Pfizer and Merck (NYSE: MRK) just two out of the three stocks in the green. Their mammoth acquisitions last year caused sales to surge. Pfizer's revenue rose 51% year over year thanks to the contribution from Wyeth, while Merck's revenue more than doubled because of its purchase of Schering-Plough. Wal-Mart was the only other stock in positive territory.

CAPS member DellSpa says those acquisitions will continue to improve Pfizer's performance: "Company has good synergy going forward, the mergers will save money and increase their pipeline of new drugs."

Drive on
Lear emerged from bankruptcy in time to take advantage of the auto-industry recovery, particularly since Ford (NYSE: F), one of its largest customers, now enjoys a monthly habit of reporting growing sales.

It hasn't attracted a lot of attention again yet, but 90% of the CAPS members rating the auto-parts supplier indicate it will outperform the broader market averages. Drive on over to the Lear CAPS page and tell us what you think.

… Value is what you get
Become an investing legend yourself -- start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page.

Sign up today for the completely free service and tell us whether these stocks are as good a value as these investing legends think they are.

Pfizer, Sprint Nextel, and Wal-Mart Stores are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Ford is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.