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Benj Gallander of the Contra Guys.Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail

Benj Gallander is president, Contra The Heard Investment Letter. His focus is contrarian investing.

Top Picks:

Cathedral Energy Services (CET-TSX)

Like the vast majority of stocks in the drilling field, Cathedral has taken it on the chin. Recent actions have seen them leave Venezuela behind, wisely cut their dividend and reduce capital spending. This firm should be one of the survivors when this sector improves. Initial Sell Target - $10.34

Alacer Gold (ASR-TSX)

It is rare to find a company in the gold sector with a huge wad of cash ($347-million U.S.) and zero debt. Add in a mine with all-in sustaining costs of around $800 per ounce. Initial Sell Target - $6.44

First United (FUNC-Nasdaq)

This bank did not dilute during the recession. It is selling at about two-thirds of book value, has good financial ratios and will likely reinstate a dividend before the end of next year. It used to pay $0.20 a quarter. Initial Sell Target $21.24

Past Picks: April 4, 2014

AgJunction (AJX-TSX)

Then: $0.94; Now: $0.78 -17.02%; Total return: -17.02%

Flextronics International (FLEX-Nasdaq)

Then: $9.26; Now: $12.34 +33.26%; Total return: +33.26%

Capstone Infrastructure (CSE-TSX)

Then: $3.98; Now: $3.67 -7.79%; Total return: -2.18%

Total return average: +4.69%

Market outlook:

The swoon in oil and gas prices, while a kick in the butt to some geographical domains is an overall plus for the global economy. Perhaps North American governments will wise up and increase their gas taxes to aid their debts/deficits; the one in the U.S. has not gone up since 1993, when Hillary Clinton's husband was newly instated as president.