Rounding off the first quarter of 2013, investors in US Equity Markets have been rewarded strong returns. The S&P500 closed at an all-time high and continues to be chugging along despite international headwinds. Locally, Canadian markets have offered modest gains which are being bogged down by the commodity space. Internationally, Italy struggles with a new debt offering and European markets remain humbled as investors continue to worry about Cyprus, despite having reached a bailout package. Investors in Japan have seen strong double digit returns supported by Prime Minister Abe’s willingness to implement fresh stimulus should economic conditions begin to worsen. As we look ahead stock picking will become vital to the individual investor’s success as bargain opportunities diminish amidst a stock market propped up by government stimulus and bullish sentiment.