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Three top stock picks from Northland’s David Cockfield

David Cockfield is managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. His focus is on Canadian equities.

Top picks:

BMO Low Volatility Canadian Equity ETF

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This Canadian ETF has been designed to provide investors a means to participate in a portfolio of low beta Canadian stocks. Beta measures the sensitivity of a security to market movements. The top 10 holdings are in the financial, retail and utilities sectors. The beta of the portfolio is 0.65, yield 2.20 per cent and the management fee is 0.35 per cent.

Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF

This U.S. ETF seeks to track the performance of the Nasdaq U.S. Dividends Achievers Select Index. The index emphasizes U.S. stocks with a record of growing dividends year over year. Largest weightings of investment by sector are consumer goods, industrials, consumer services and oil and gas. The yield on the ETF is 2.01 per cent and the annual expense ratio is 0.10 per cent.

iShares North American Tech ETF

This U.S. ETF seeks to track the performance of U.S.-traded technology-related stocks as represented by the S&P North American Technology Sector Index. The top five holdings are Apple, Microsoft, Google, IBM and Cisco Systems. Management annual fees are 0.48 per cent.

Past Picks: December 13, 2012

Pacific Rubiales
Then: $22.96
Now: $18.37
Total return: -17.55 per cent

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Crescent Point Energy
Then: $36.98
Now: $40.10
Total return: +16.51 per cent

Bank of Nova Scotia
Then: $56.83
Now: $63.05
Total return: +15.60 per cent

Total return average: +4.85 per cent

Market outlook:

The S&P/TSX composite index, after performing very well in October, has gone sideways subsequently. The 13,500 level appears to be a resistance level. However, U.S. budget and debt ceiling problems are apparently being dealt with more seriously this time around. The Federal Reserve seems unlikely to begin tapering until March, 2014. In this more benign environment equity markets should continue higher.

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