2009: The Year In Tech

Welcome to week 72 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:

Company

Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return

Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  )

$22.23

$25.72

15.7%

Harris & Harris (Nasdaq: TINY  )

$6.22

$4.67

(24.9%)

IBM (NYSE: IBM  )

$125.82**

$132.57

5.4%

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  )

$22.58**

$24.93

10.4%

Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM  )

$9.81**

$11.28

14.9%

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

4.30%

S&P 500 SPDR

$122.43**

$112.52

(8.09%)

DIFFERENCE

--

--

12.39

Source: Yahoo! Finance.
*Tracking began on Aug. 7, 2008.
**Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.

And here's how the portfolio did during 2009:

Company

Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return

Akamai

$15.74

$25.72

63.4%

Harris & Harris

$4.23

$4.67

10.4%

IBM

$85.66**

$132.57

54.8%

Oracle

$18.27**

$24.93

36.5%

Taiwan Semiconductor

$7.80**

$11.28

44.6%

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

41.94%

S&P 500 SPDR

$90.86**

$112.52

23.84%

DIFFERENCE

   

18.10

Source: Yahoo! Finance.
*Tracking began on Jan. 2, 2009.
**Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.

The year in tech
What was this year's biggest tech story? My vote goes to Twitter. In September, the microblogger confirmed that it had received $100 million in new funding at a $1 billion valuation, confirming a prediction I had made in February.

Yet as much as Twitter dominated 2009's headlines, there was plenty of other big tech news. Here are a few more of the year's notable stories, listed in no particular order:

And that's just the short list. I could also mention the arm-waving over Apple's so-called iTablet, or the emergence of Web video, or the rise of netbooks, or Mr. Softy's plan to open retail stores. The tech landscape shifted like sand in 2009, and it should continue shifting next year.

That's why patience and diversification are the keys to tech investing gains. Look at David Gardner. He produced a decade of 20% returns in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio by betting on a broad portfolio of innovators, and holding for the long-term. Tom Gardner's "simpleton portfolio" was also a 10-year winner. I believe that, with my tech portfolio, I will achieve similar success.

There's your year in tech, Fools. See you back next week to kick off the 2010 edition of my e-portfolio. Happy New Year!

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

Akamai, Google, and Harris & Harris are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Microsoft is also a Motley Fool Options recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the market-beating Rule Breakers stock picking team. He owned shares of Akamai, Google, Harris & Harris, IBM, Oracle, and Taiwan Semiconductor at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool owns shares of Oracle and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is tech-tastic.


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