Welcome to week 6 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:


Starting Price

Recent Price

Total Return





Harris & Harris (NASDAQ:TINY)












Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM)
















Source: Yahoo! Finance close of 9/11/2008.

The Wall Street Panic of 2008 is still pummeling my tech portfolio. The good news? We Rule Breakers investors have seen this sort of carnage before.

And we'll see it again. Tech stocks were getting crushed late last year over concerns that spending on new hardware, software, and chips would sharply decline in 2008. So far, those concerns have been mostly unfounded. Nevertheless, increased competition and general economic malaise have taken a toll on many techies, including Akamai.

All I can do is be patient and take comfort in knowing that it's durable gains that matter most -- like when David Gardner produced a decade of 20% returns by buying and holding the likes of Amazon and eBay in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio, or when Tom Gardner selected a "simpleton portfolio" to hold for a decade, with market-crushing results. I think these five tech stocks will produce plenty of durable gains.

This week's checkup
If there's one thing I've learned in a decade of investing it's that those who quest for long-term returns do best when they closely watch the companies they commit capital to. It's in that spirit that we check in weekly with my top techies. This week's update:

  • Taiwan Semiconductor said that August sales rose 6.2% to $972 million, its smallest annual gain in 11 months, Reuters reports. The good news? TSMC is outperforming peers; United Microelectronics saw its August sales decline 22%.
  • Akamai provided more details about its technical advantages in a recent interview and looks to be one of the big winners from Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) "Let's Rock" event.

There's your checkup. See you back here next week for more tech stock talk.

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

Apple, Amazon, and eBay are Stock Advisor selections. Akamai and Harris & Harris are Rule Breakers recommendations. Try either of these market-beating services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 21,059 out of more than 115,000 participants in Motley Fool CAPS, also writes for Rule Breakers.

Tim had positions in Akamai, Harris & Harris, IBM, Oracle, and Taiwan Semiconductor at the time of publication. The Motley Fool owns shares of S&P 500 depository receipts and has a tech-tastic disclosure policy.