These Tech Stocks Will Make Me Rich

Welcome to week 142 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 $33.95 52.7%
Harris & Harris $6.22 $5.10 (18.0%)
IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) $122.42** $169.92 38.8%
Oracle $22.33** $35.19 57.6%
Taiwan Semiconductor $9.35** $13.59 45.3%
AVERAGE RETURN -- -- 35.28%
S&P 500 SPDR $120.04** $134.04 11.66%
DIFFERENCE -- -- 23.62

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

After five days on the road, it's nice to come home to another victory over Mr. Market. My tech portfolio added 33 basis points in this contest to see who can create the most value for investors. (Soon, I'll be asking whether I should re-up for another three years with five new stocks -- stay tuned for details, or weigh in using the comments box below.)

The indexes pitched, rolled, and yawed like an out-of-control aircraft during the week, only to end up having not moved much. The Dow took the biggest hit, down 0.34% following a Senate inquiry into the practices of beleaguered banker Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) , which ended the week down more than 5%. The S&P was the other loser, down 0.18%.

Where large caps failed this week, small caps and tech succeeded. The Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.03% while the Russell 2000 added 0.28%, CNBC reports. CKX (Nasdaq: CKXE  ) helped lead the rally, up more than 27% after Apollo Global Management bid $511 million to acquire the company that owns rights to images of legendary rock and roller Elvis Presley and the popular American Idol franchise.

The week in tech
As all this was going on, and while Microsoft was spending $8.5 billion to acquire Skype, my Motley Fool Rule Breakers teammate Karl Thiel and I were in Silicon Valley meeting with companies on and off our scorecard -- though our primary focus was covering Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) I/O developer conference. Three things struck me:

  • Android, which was the focus of the opening keynote, is the most important Google product right now. Chrome is a distant yet still-important second.
  • Developers don't care about the war of words between Google and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) . The majority I saw during I/O and at the Googleplex had Macs to go along with their Android tabs and smartphones.
  • Google hasn't figured out a way to kill Facebook. Not yet, anyway. Neither of the two keynotes at I/O focused on social features of The Big G's services.

Facebook is nevertheless paranoid. This week, Dan Lyons of The Daily Beast wrote a story that describes how the social network has hired PR firm Burson-Marstellar to orchestrate a secret smear campaign against Google. Two ex-journalists -- including former CNBC Silicon Valley bureau chief Jim Goldman -- were involved. Call it a stark reminder of the thin line between change-the-world audacity and blind arrogance.

As investors, we want the former. We want entrepreneurs who dare to dream big and execute even bigger. History tells us that these are the Fools who lead technology shifts that create billions in new 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.

  • Akamai and Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD  ) teamed up this week, announcing a partnership to share and cooperatively deploy each other's technologies to customers who want to accelerate data delivery from their internal networks out into the public cloud and back again. Integration work should be complete by the first half of next year.
  • On Monday, IBM graciously hosted me at its Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley. Big Blue let me poke around for three hours, but I could've stayed three days. I moved atoms, learned how semiconductor manufacturing informs water desalination, and got an inside look at how venture capitalists use IBM to vet Big Ideas. All in all, it was a confirming visit; I remain convinced that no company is doing more to invent the future than IBM.

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 these stocks to your watchlist today:

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended Google, Microsoft, Akamai, and Riverbed Technology, as well as a bull call spread position in Apple and a diagonal call position in 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, 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. 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, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is tech-tastic.


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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 May 15, 2011, at 6:37 PM, bottomfisherman wrote:

    Akamai stock has lost 33 percent of its value since December 2010. So am hoping you are shorting it to get rich.

  • Report this Comment On May 15, 2011, at 9:32 PM, rickklemm wrote:

    Suggest that You might want to add SQNS to your list as they exit their IPO quiet period this week and are featured at the LTE conference in Amsterdam on tuesday and wednesday.

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2011, at 8:10 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @bottomfisherman,

    >>Akamai stock has lost 33 percent of its value since December 2010. So am hoping you are shorting it to get rich.

    No, I'm not. I'm sticking with a good business that's done very well for me and for Rule Breakers.

    Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

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