Stock Picks

Ross Stores Is a 'Gold Mine', Plus 2 More Picks: Pro

What Works: Socially Conscious vs. Sin Stocks

Discount retailer Ross Stores is an "above the ground gold mine" for investors, said George Schwartz, president and CEO of Ave Maria Funds, which is a "socially responsible" investment group.

"It's a phenomenal company selling at 15-times earnings and growing between 10 and 15 percent per year," Schwartz said in a "Squawk Box" interview on Wednesday.

"I always say this company looks like a off-price retailer but it's an above the ground gold mine because it's so highly profitable," he explained, adding that the stock is "under valued in the marketplace." Ross shares have gained 10 percent this year.

(Read More: Confidence Back? Several Retailers Top Sales Forecasts)

Schwartz also likes Emerson Electric, which has gained nearly 7 percent year-to-date. It's a well-managed company with good profit margins and a track-record of raising its dividend, he said.

Payroll service provider Paychex—up 13 percent in 2013—was another stock on Schwartz's like list. "The company is going to benefit from higher interest rates when they arrive, and I think that might be sooner than most people expect, because they have a great float."

"Warren Buffett is a big fan of free float," he continued. "This company has it. They're not earning money on that free float at the moment with zero interest rates. They will make a lot of money when interest rates go up and if employment ever picks up again, which is hopefully going to happen."

(Read More: Warren Buffett Watch)

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere; Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC