David Driscoll is president & CEO, Liberty International Investment Management Inc. His focus is global equities.
Gemalto NV (GTO NA)
Gemalto makes security software for e-identity documents, chip payment cards, network authentication devices and wireless modules. It serves the telecommunications, financial services, e-government and information technology industries. The stock trades at 14 times this year's earnings, similar to its long-term growth rate.
Last purchase: March 15, 2016 at €63.71.
Fomento Economico Mexicano (Femsa) (FMX-N)
Fomento produces Coca-Cola beverages, holds a stake in Heineken NV and owns and operates convenience stores, gas stations and pharmacies throughout Latin and South America. The company has been allocating capital on gas stations and pharmacies to wean itself off its slower-growing beverage business. Their growth story should continue and help move the stock price higher in the coming years.
Last purchase: May 19, 2016 at $87.23 (U.S.).
Novo Nordisk NV (NOVOB DC)
Novo Norisk is the leading global insulin maker that is also making breakthroughs with new types of therapies to help diabetics lose weight and may even help in Alzheimer's treatments. They also produce human growth hormone medicines and clotting medicines for hemophiliacs. Unlike other pharmaceutical firms, Novo Nordisk has little debt and has grown its dividend and share price in double digits for the past two decades.
Last purchase: March 15, 2016 at 384.90 DKK.
Past Picks: April 4, 2016
Paddy Power Betfair PLC (PPB.ISE)
Then: €122.20 Now: €122.65 Total return: +0.37%
Atrion Corp. (ATRI.O)
Then: $398.92 (U.S.) Now: $401.52 TR: +0.65%
Jardine Matheson (JARD.SI)
Then: $55.85 (U.S.) Now: $56.38 TR: +0.95%
Total Return Average: +0.65%
Following the completion of the latest quarterly earnings, the stock market has rallied on the anticipation that interest rates aren't expected to rise in the U.S. Unfortunately, this has only caused valuations to be extended further. The S&P 500 Index trades at a price/earnings ratio (P/E) of 24.1 times (before extraordinary items), while the S&P/TSX Index trades at 53.3 times earnings and the Euro 600 Index trades at 28 times earnings. Market tops are usually found at 23 times earnings.
To me, the most prudent strategy is to be invested but still hold 10 per cent to 2 per cent in cash. That way, if the market rallies, you'll participate and if the market corrects, you have cash available to take advantage of equity sell-offs. For new clients, we start by investing half the cash and buying more gradually to eventually reduce the cash to the 10 per cent to 20 per cent cash level.