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David Baskin.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

David Baskin is president of Baskin Wealth Management. His focus is on North American large caps.

Top Picks:

Google Inc. (GOOGL-Nasdaq)

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Google was recently purchased and is currently a buy for new clients. The preeminent internet search company and provider of mobile phone software is sitting on a mountain of cash and is now trading at a significant discount to its historic price/earnings multiple. Concerns over adapting and monetizing advertising for mobile devices appear overblown to us.

National Bank of Canada (NA-TSX)

National Bank has been sold off by about 15 per cent in spite of very solid earnings for the past quarter and fiscal year. Concerns over exposure to Canadian oil explorer/producers are at the least premature and appear unjustified at this time. The dividend and low price/earnings multiple make the current price very attractive.

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU-TSX)

Suncor Energy has been sold off about 25 per cent since late summer. As a vertically-integrated company with refining and retailing operations, Suncor is less sensitive to crude prices than the explorer/producers. With very deep proven reserves, investors get a complete package at a discount price. We see very little chance that the dividend will be cut.

Past Picks: January 9, 2014

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU-TSX)

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Then: $37.29; Now: $35.71 -4.24%; Total return: -1.74%

Progressive Waste Solutions (BIN-TSX)

Then: $26.02; Now: $34.87 +34.01%; Total return: +36.25%

BCE Inc. (BCE-TSX)

Then: $45.27; Now: $52.61 +16.21%; Total return: +22.14%

Total return average: +18.88%

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Market outlook:

The dramatic drop in oil prices has crowded out the good news from the American economy. Employment growth is at the strongest level in 8 years, there are no signs of inflation and corporate profits continue to grow. Lower energy costs will boost profits for companies in many sectors with major gains for transportation, aviation and manufacturing. With the S&P 500 down 5 per cent in the last two weeks there are some excellent blue chip stocks available at good prices. With 10 year U.S. treasuries yielding just over 2 per cent, dividend paying stocks are a better alternative than bonds.

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