These Tech Stocks Will Make Me Rich

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Welcome to week 136 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers.


Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return

Akamai $22.23 $37.60 69.1%
Harris & Harris $6.22 $5.35 (13.9%)
IBM $122.97** $164.27 33.6%
Oracle $22.37** $34.02 52.1%
Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM  ) $9.35** $12.21 30.6%
AVERAGE RETURN -- -- 34.30%
S&P 500 SPDR $120.04** $133.15 10.92%
DIFFERENCE -- -- 23.38

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

You win one, and then you lose a lot more. That's been the story of my battle to best Mr. Market since December, and last week was no exception. My tech portfolio gave back 83 basis points in a week that was good for most stocks, none more so than small caps.

The Russell 2000 advanced 2.78% for the week and is now up 8.05% for the year, CNBC reports. None of the other indices came within a percentage point of matching the Russell's performance, but all did well. The Nasdaq ended up 1.7% while the S&P 500 added 1.42% and the Dow increased 1.28%.

Better-than-expected employment data drove Friday's gains and allowed all four indices to finish the week on a high note. Unemployment fell to 8.8% as nonfarm payrolls rose by 216,000, according to Labor Department data. American industry is hiring again.

Increases in big-ticket purchases may be helping to add jobs. Automakers Ford (NYSE: F  ) and General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) each posted double-digit sales gains for March, while Chrysler moved 31% more vehicles during the month.

The week in tech
But it was the innovators that most enjoyed the week's rally. Shares of e-commerce specialist GSI Commerce (Nasdaq: GSIC  ) soared 51% after eBay agreed to acquire the company for $2.4 billion in cash to better compete with rival (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) , which was busy figuring out how to better compete with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) .

On Tuesday, the e-tailer unveiled a Web-based music-streaming service called Cloud Player. The promise? Upload or purchase any DRM-free track and play it directly from inside a browser page. Amazon's version of, in other words.

Cloud Player is also part of a broader online storage offering called Cloud Drive. Those who sign up get 5 gigabytes of space free. Buy an album and you're upgraded to 20 gigs of capacity. Either way, Amazon seems determined to play host to every piece of digital content users own by creating a locker for their purchased e-goods.

In less encouraging news, Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) chief research and strategy officer, Craig Mundie, told an audience in Sydney that he couldn't decide whether large-format tablets would "remain with us." Translation: The iPad may already be dead. Or irrelevant. Anything but the screaming success that the data says it's already become.


Don't expect this to go well, Fool. By treating tablets as the Bigfoot of the tech world rather than the disruptor that they are, Mr. Softy is ignoring a basic truth of tech investing: Disruptive innovation is capable of unleashing billions in stock market wealth.

Look at David Gardner. He produced a decade of 20% returns in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio by betting on a collection of innovators and then holding them 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.

Checkup time!
Now let's move on to the rest of today's update:

  • Taiwan Semiconductor fell slightly after an analyst at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch cut his ratings on all of Asia's major contract chip manufacturers. His reasoning? Supply-chain disruptions triggered by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last month, Forbes reports.

There's your checkup. See you back here next weekend for more tech-stock talk. In the meantime, don't forget to keep up with my tech portfolio by adding all five stocks to your watchlist.

General Motors and Microsoft are Microsoft Inside Value picks. Akamai is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple,, eBay and Ford are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position in Apple and a diagonal call position in Microsoft. Motley Fool Alpha LLC owns shares of Microsoft. 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, Apple, 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. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools don;t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Ford, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle and has written Apple puts. The Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is tech-tastic.

Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (10)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2011, at 3:18 PM, ronbeasley wrote:

    That "decade of 20% returns" was from mid-1994 to mid-2003. Of course, the next 8 years, up to the present, is conveniently ignored. A registered adviser wild be in violation of SEC rules for using such misleading hype. Tim Beyers used to be a value investor. Now he is a fast-talking salesman for Motley Fool products. How sad.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2011, at 4:26 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>That "decade of 20% returns" was from mid-1994 to mid-2003. Of course, the next 8 years, up to the present, is conveniently ignored.

    No, it isn't. You're ignoring that 1994-2003 was the entire life of the real-money Rule Breakers portfolio.

    Also, let's be clear about something. I've never been a dyed-in-the-wool value investor. Instead, I hunt for misunderstood tech stocks with the capacity to grow outrageously. It's a strategy that's served me well for a number of years now.

    If you're going to criticize me or the Fool, please do so using facts. We can't take you seriously otherwise.

    Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2011, at 5:05 PM, LohnRanger wrote:

    Keep up the good work Mile High! If you've only got one hater, better try to get that to 10 before the end of the year! Haters hate, it's what they do.. you can't get mad at them for doing their job, it means your doing your job well.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2011, at 6:52 PM, jayvon1 wrote:

    Why do they only report on the TBTF banks? IBCP just increased it’s dividend to 6% that’s a great upturn compared to some of the other banks dividend of a penny. Independent Bank is currently rated as one of the top Banks in the Regional Banking Industry based on estimated Forward Earnings. If you look at the projected earnings for the current fiscal year Independent Bank has the highest forward earnings yield in the Regional Banks Industry at 35.2%. The forwards earnings yield is often useful to compare the performance of a stock's return versus owning a stock within the same industry or other yield-based assets such as bonds

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