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Despite the negativity that sometimes comes with the term hedge fund today, the best investment partnerships have consistently delivered market beating returns for investors. The best investment managers have a way of seeing value where most others do not - usually through intensive research -- and they back it up with a significant financial investment in target companies.

Today, it has become easier not to only follow but also to invest alongside some these highly regarded hedge funds, as managers tend to take ideas to the public arena when necessary. One of the most vocal managers, David Einhorn at Greenlight Capital, was very vocal about his short of

Lehman Brothers

stock, which ultimately became worthless. Einhorn disclosed his new long position in

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report

when it was trading at $250 and he went public with his short of

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

(GMCR)

when it was trading near $100 a share. GMCR shares trade for $20 today.

While Einhorn has made a huge public splash recently, his firm recently made a significant boost in its

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company Report

position. It's interesting to note that Warren Buffett's

Berkshire Hathaway

(BRK.A) - Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A Report

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also disclosed a new position in GM in the first quarter of 2012. GM shares have now fallen to a low of $19, compared with $32 this time last year.

Another hedge fund worthy of watching is Bill Ackman's Pershing Square and his position in

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Report

now that those shares have dropped nearly 40% this year. They were recently trading around $21. You can now buy shares at Ackman prices. Overall, Ackman has had great results investing in retail and real estate. Fixing JCP won't be easy or quick, not even for CEO Ron Johnson, who was the genius behind Apple's retailing success. But JCP owns a lot of its real estate, which is a common theme in many of Ackman's real estate ventures.

Two other stocks prominently featured in some of the better-known hedge funds are

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Lowe's Companies, Inc. Report

. Daniel Loeb at Third Point has made no secret of his disdain for the Yahoo's board and its management. His efforts have gained traction: Yahoo! now has a new CEO and is looking to monetize its assets.

Meanwhile, many view Lowe's as an excellent risk-adjusted way to play a housing recovery. This morning, homebuilder

Lennar

LEN announced earnings results that beat estimates both earnings per share (EPS) and revenues. A 3% yield is not a bad kicker either.

Even if you can't invest directly in the most prestigious hedge funds, it is easier than ever today to invest alongside many of them and benefit from their enormous research capacities.

At the time of publication, Gad had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Sham Gad is the managing partner of

Gad Capital Management

, a value-focused investment firm based in Athens, Ga. Gad has written extensively for

The Motley Fool

and was a securities analyst for UAS Asset Management, a small value investment fund in New York City, in 2007. From 2002-2005, Gad managed assets for the Gad Investment Group.

Additionally, Gad has just released a new book,

The Business of Value Investing: Six Essential Elements to Buying Companies Like Warren Buffett

. He earned his BBA and MBA at the University of Georgia. Gad appreciates your feedback;

click here

to send him an email.