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David Baskin.Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

David Baskin is president of Baskin Financial Services. His focus is North American large caps.

Top picks:

Crombie REIT

Crombie is the real estate holding entity for the Empire Group. As such, it generally occupies malls and plazas with a Sobey store as anchor tenant. From its base in Atlantic Canada, Crombie is spreading west across Canada. The recent acquisition of Safeway stores in Alberta and B.C. by Empire will give Crombie a new growth platform.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs is the pre-eminent investment banking firm in the world. The recent highs in stock markets have rekindled the Initial Public Offering market, which will provide significant increases in revenue and profits, including the Twitter IPO, which Goldman will lead.

Canadian Utilities

Canadian Utilities is one of Canada's dividend aristocrats, with a terrific track record of steady earnings and dividend increases. This stock should be a core holding for all Canadian investors for its combination of low volatility, yield and long term growth.

Past Picks: October 10, 2012

Oaktree Capital Group
Then: $39.86
Now: $56.92
Total return: +55.91 per cent

Cisco Systems
Then: $18.31
Now: $22.56
Total return: +26.92 per cent

Canadian Natural Resources
Then: $29.80
Now: $33.09
Total return: +12.79 per cent

Total return average: +31.87 per cent

Market outlook:

North American economies are in a low growth stage, hampered by fiscal austerity in the U.S. Nonetheless, corporate profits remain robust, and in spite of significant increases in stock prices over the past two years, bargains remain. Low interest rates will persist for at least another two years, making price-to-earnings ratios below 18x attractive for high quality dividend paying stocks.