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John DeGoey is vice-president and associate portfolio manager at Burgeonvest Bick Securities. His focus is on personal finance and ETFs.

Top picks:

BMO Equal Weight US Banks Hedged to CAD Index ETF
This equal-weights U.S. banks and is a good way to participate in the U.S. housing rebound without buying property in the U.S. for 35 bps.

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Vanguard FTSE Canadian High Dividend Yield Index ETF
This gets you the highest dividend payers in Canada, diversified across all sectors, for 30 bps.

iShares MSCI World Index Fund
Offers global diversification (across all countries and sectors) in a single security for 45 bps.

Past picks: Jan. 23, 2012

Vanguard MSCI US Broad Market Index ETF
Then: $26.27
Now: $29.36
Total return: +13.82 per cent

Vanguard MSCI EAFE Index ETF
Then: $25.16
Now: $28.31
Total return: +15.20 per cent

Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF
Then: $24.41
Now: $26.56
Total return: +10.56 per cent

Total return average: +13.19 per cent

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Market outlook:

All those analysts and experts ensure that stock markets work really, really well. That means that it is highly improbable that anyone could reliably profit by trying to exploit any security mispricing. Any mispricing that might appear would almost instantaneously be arbitraged out of existence. In short, because the stock market works very well, stock picking and market timing don't work very well, at all.

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