Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Three top stock picks from Contra The Heard’s Benj Gallander

Benj Gallander of the Contra the Heard investment letter.


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

Top Picks:

Extendicare (EXE.TO) Purchased in 2014 at $7.01
Demographics dictate that companies in this sector will have an expanding base of clientele. That means that if they are well managed, they should do well. It pays a lovely dividend.

Story continues below advertisement

Rona Preferred Share A ( Purchased in 2015 at $16.21
Rona's same store sales are up, the bottom line has improved and the dividend was increased. The company has been performing strongly however the price of the preferred shares has been hurt with other reset preferreds.

Jinpan International (JST.O) Purchased in 2015 at $3.86
This is effectively an arbitrage play. There is a takeover offer by top management at $4.50. Last year they offered $8.80 a share but the deal fell through. This one has a better chance of success with a reasonable potential of a higher price than the $4.50.

Past Picks: October 8, 2014

Harmony Gold Mining (HMY.N) Buy Price - $2.42; Sale price -$0.70
The company has been running into severe headwinds so it was decided to take a tax loss to write it off against our recent 464-per-cent gain on Fidelity Southern, which was before dividends and a bump from the exchange rate.

Then: $2.13 Now: $0.80 -62.50% Total return: -62.50%


Then: $1.64 Now: $2.42 +47.56% Total return: +47.56%

Story continues below advertisement

Cash (third pick)

Total Return Average: -4.98%

Market outlook:
It would not be surprising to see a major blowout in the next few years. In many respects, both the Canadian and global economies are in more dangerous places than in 2008. The debt load of Canadians' is an accident waiting to happen and the recent reductions in the interest rate will likely prove much more harmful than helpful as it gives people a false sense of security.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to