Welcome to week 108 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers.


Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return





Harris & Harris








Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL)




Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM)








S&P 500 SPDR








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

Mr. Market keeps rallying, but my tech portfolio is rallying more. For the first time in the history of this contest, I'm up more than 30 percentage points. Four of the five stocks on my scorecard are now in positive territory.

Can the rally continue? That's a tougher call, but I like what I see in the data that Foolish colleague Morgan Housel culled. He found that when you adjust payout ratios, stocks have outyielded bonds only twice before in modern history: from 1940 to 1944, and from 1947 to 1955. Investing in either period and holding for a decade would have doubled your money. At least.

The message? Now may be the time to invest in Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR), Windstream (NYSE: WIN), and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), the three top-yielding stocks in the S&P 500.

The week in tech
Silicon Valley isn't usually where you'll find big yielders, yet now may also be a good time to get invested in tech if you aren't already.

My colleagues and I have been piecing together a 10-stock portfolio you can confidently hold for years. You'll find tech well represented in the list, including Microsoft and Dolby Labs (NYSE: DLB). As for Mr. Softy, Morgan argues that the stock is shamefully undervalued, considering it represents what's by far the world's top seller of office-productivity software. Foolish colleague Rich Duprey makes a similar argument for Dolby: Its audio equipment is everywhere that audio matters.

Meanwhile, Sirius XM (Nasdaq: SIRI) has yet to become as pervasive as CEO Mel Karmazin would like, yet we continue to see reasons for Sirius investors to be optimistic. At this week's Bank of America Media, Communications, & Entertainment Conference, Karmazin pointed to the company's $8 billion in tax-loss carryforwards and forthcoming improvements in the underlying platform.

Obviously, the platform upgrade is the more important of these developments. Although it isn't due till next year, Sirius XM is making serious enough progress to merit a second look, my Foolish friend and Rule Breakers analyst Rick Munarriz argues. He's right. History shows that owning a diversified portfolio of disruptors can create massive amounts of wealth over the long term.

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:

  • Oracle is on a roll. Last week, the company hired former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd to run point on hardware sales. This week, the database king blew away estimates in reporting a 25% increase in software sales. Per-share profit came in at $0.42, or $0.05 better than analysts expected, Reuters reports.
  • Taiwan Semiconductor CEO Morris Chang predicted that his company will double the chip market's average performance next year, by boosting revenue and profit by roughly 10%. He offered the estimates during a groundbreaking ceremony for TSM's new solar plant, says Reuters.

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

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