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Jennifer Radman.

Jennifer Radman is vice-president and senior portfolio manager at Caldwell Investment Management. Her focus is U.S. large caps.

Top Picks:

Robert Half International (RHI.N)
Robert Half is a temporary and permanent staffing and consulting company focused on providing high-skilled labour to medium-sized businesses, mainly in the U.S. Its major staffing silos include finance & accounting, audit & risk management and technology. Given their skilled nature, these areas have much tighter labour conditions than the overall U.S. economy. Wage inflation in these areas has started to improve, which benefits Robert Half, and the economy has enough uncertainty that temporary staffing remains robust. Robert Half is a very well managed business with high teens / low 20s roe over a long period. Twenty per cent of the balance sheet is in cash with no offsetting debt and operations spin off attractive cash flow. Revenue growth over the last twelve months is 11 per cent.

Whirlpool (WHR.N)
Whirlpool manufactures consumer appliances under the Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid brands. It is benefiting from strong U.S. consumer spending in home-related items and has much room to grow margins from operational efficiencies in its recently signed JVs in Europe and China. While these latter two markets are struggling with growth, Whirlpool almost doubled earnings per share with minimal top line growth after it acquired Maytag in 2006 and subsequently rationalized the manufacturing footprint.

Cisco Systems (CSCO.O)
The company's valuation suggests there is still a fair amount of fear that Cisco's products face secular decline to software-defined networking. Cisco has recognized this threat and acted with a sense of urgency to adapt. Its margin performance and growth trends suggest it is executing successfully. We believe the fear continues to subside, unlocking meaningful upside in Cisco's shares.

Past Picks: August 29, 2014

Parkland Fuel (PKI.TO)
Then: $20.67; Now: $22.37; +8.22%; Total return: +12.91%

Onex (OCX.TO)
Then: $63.31; Now: $74.66; +17.93%; Total return: +18.30%

Varian Medical Systems (VAR.N)
Then: $85.02; Now: $87.01; +2.34%; Total return: +2.34%

Total Return Average: +11.18%

Market outlook:
Markets have been volatile as they try to digest the many moving parts to the global economic and corporate earnings picture. These include instability of European geo-politics, severe declines in energy and other commodity prices, significant foreign exchange movements, high emerging market debt levels, and most recently, challenges in executing the shift in China's growth strategy from infrastructure to consumer led growth. Looking forward, we increasingly see growth as a scarce commodity and expect it to start commanding a higher premium. We have already begun shifting our portfolios to those companies that can grow, and have greater confidence in our strategy of being very selective in the parts of the market we expose our clients to. This is very different from much of the product we see in Canada, which tends to 'hug' market indexes.