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David Cockfield is senior vice-president and managing director of Northland Wealth Management. His focus is on Canadian equities.

Top picks:

Crescent Point Energy Corp.
This fast-growing Canadian company is focused on oil and dominant in the Bakken oil play in Saskatchewan and North Dakota. Crescent Point has been very active in acquiring smaller oil companies and adding to its already large land position. It is highly ranked for its excellent operating record. Growth through acquisition has meant dilution of the shares but the company continues to pay an excellent dividend, presently 7.0 per cent.

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Sprott Gold Bullion Fund Series F
The Sprott Gold Bullion Fund offers investors the means to own gold bullion directly rather than purchasing a gold mining stock. The fund is hedged to the Canadian dollar.

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
A Canadian-based world-class engineering and construction company, SNC-Lavalin has offices across Canada and in 35 countries. The company provides a wide range of services including engineering, procurement, construction, project management and financing. Recent scandals involving payoffs to acquire business has resulted in the stock trading down to multiples well below its peers. Significant and profitable new business deals have been added to the SNC project backlog. The dividend yield is currently 1.95 per cent.

Past picks: Jan. 20, 2012

Bell Aliant Inc.
Then: $27.94
Now: $26.10
Total return: +0.27 per cent

iShares Advantaged U.S. High Yield Bond ETF
Then: $20.55
Now: $21.49
Total return: +12.79 per cent

Sprott Gold Bullion Fund
Then: $14.39
Now: $14.14
Total return: –1.72 per cent

Total return average: +3.78 per cent

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Market outlook:

The TSX has finally penetrated the 12,500 level after four unsuccessful attempts. With a background of low interest rates, better than expected earnings and economic reports, continued Federal Reserve monetary stimulus and the "fiscal cliff" behind us, equity markets should continue to rise. For the TSX, the 13,000 level may prove to be the next resistance point.

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