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Benj Gallander of the Contra Guys. (Tibor Kolley/The Globe & Mail)
Benj Gallander of the Contra Guys. (Tibor Kolley/The Globe & Mail)

EQUITIES

Three top stock picks from Contra The Heard’s Benj Gallander Add to ...

Benj Gallander is president of Contra The Heard Investment Letter. His focus is contrarian investing.

Top Picks:

United Security Bancshares (USBI-Q)

This small Alabama-based bank pays a dividend of 2 cents quarterly. At one point, it paid 30 cents quarterly. The current stock price is under $10 and further recovery is likely. It used to trade above $30.

Market Call Tonight: Top Picks from Contra the Heard's Benj Gallander (BNN Video)

Innodata (INOD.Q)

This is the second time that I have owned this stock. The first time, it was bought at $2.50 and sold at $6.44. The balance sheet features a reasonable amount of cash and nominal debt. Insiders own about 5 per cent.

First United Corporation (FUNC-Q)

FUNC sells for less than book value and did not dilute the share count during the recession. I suspect that the company will likely reinstate a dividend before the end of next year. It used to pay 20 cents a quarter. A double in share price is not out of the question as the stock used to trade above $25.

Past Picks: Sept. 18, 2015

Extendicare (EXE-T)

Still Holds.

Then: $8.05 Now: $9.15 13.66% Total return: 20.03%

Rona Preferred Share A (RON.A-T)

Still Holds.

Then: $13.87 Now: $23.99 72.96% Total returnR: 73.80%

Jinpan International (JST.O)

Sold in April on the takeover at $6.00.

Then: $3.76 Now: $5.94 57.98% Total return: 57.98%

Total Return Average: +50.60%

Market outlook:

While there have been minor bouts of volatility over the past year, I suspect that it will ramp up dramatically over the next year. Investors should be aware of this, but not necessarily wary. Volatility can be a friend if one reacts selectively and does not get swayed by the noise.

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