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bnn market call

John Stephenson is president and CEO of Stephenson & Company. His focus is North American equities.

Top Picks:

Slate REIT (SRT_u.TO)

Bought on January 25, 2016 at $14.30

This is a company following a growth-through-acquisition strategy. The company is building scale through a roll-up strategy of grocery-anchored retail centres in large but secondary markets.

*Short* GoPro (GPRO.O)

Shorted on January 4, 2016 at 19.48

This is a niche offering that is challenged to grow and likely faces secular decline. GoPro must lead the market in editing, automation and speed to avoid facing commoditization.

Cash (third pick)

Past Picks: January 2, 2015

*Short* Lightstream Resources (LTS.TO)

Then: $1.23 Now: $0.22 +82.11% Total return: +82.11%

*Short* Savanna Energy Services (SVY.TO)

Then: $3.47 Now: $1.16 +66.57% Total return: +66.03%

Lazard (LAZ.N)

Then: $50.13 Now: $35.13 -29.92% Total return: -26.62%

Total Return Average: +40.50%

Market outlook:

The volatility in markets lately, while extreme, will likely continue for at least the balance of the year. The unprecedented actions of central banks have created broad distortions in asset prices of all types – from stocks to bonds to real estate. These distortions will take some time to unwind, likely resulting in continued volatility and uncertainty for investors. A cautious approach should be adopted by investors for the balance of the year.