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Top three stock picks from ScotiaMcLeod’s Greg Newman

Greg Newman is senior wealth adviser and associate portfolio manager at the Newman Group, ScotiaMcLeod. His focus is Canadian dividend stocks and protection strategies.

Top Picks:

Magna International Inc.

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Benefit from a continued rebound in auto sales, European exposure, margin expansion, a softer loonie, and an excellent balance sheet to fund opportunities, buy backs and dividend growth. Buy this name while it still trades at a discount to its peers.

Bank of America

Benefit from the trend of rising loan growth, higher deposits, firmer net interest margins, lower expenses and stock buybacks while this world class name still trades just over its tangible book value

Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF

Europe is emerging from recession and their stocks trade at a wide discount to the U.S. Benefit from the catch up and enjoy a 2.75-per-cent dividend along the way.

Past Picks: January 21, 2013

Power Financial Corp.

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Then: $28.66; Now: $35.63; Total return: +29.84 per cent

Manulife Financial Corp.

Then: $14.44; Now: $21.91; Total return: +56.45 per cent

Magna International Inc.

Then: $54.44; Now: $94.87; Total return: +77.54 per cent

Total return average: +54.61 per cent

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Market call:

With the global economy brightening, 2014 could be the year we begin to see the hand off from Central bank assisted growth to private sector growth. 2014 could also bring a softer Canadian dollar and narrowing heavy oil spreads. At the same time, stock market valuations are no longer cheap . Buy companies that trade at compelling valuations with dividend growth that are levered to these events.

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