Welcome to week 4 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.

Good news: I'm still winning. But 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. (They'd better. Combined, Akamai, Harris & Harris, IBM, Oracle, and Taiwan Semiconductor account for more than 25% of our portfolio's current value.)

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

  • Akamai continues to be under assault. This time the culprit is an upstart called Conviva, which raised $20 million in a second-round of funding. I'd be more impressed if there wasn't so much irrelevant bluster cooked into the announcement.
  • Oracle hired a new Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Epstein, this week. Why do I care? Because company co-president Safra Catz had been handling the job since November of 2005.
  • And a late update: Last week, IBM unveiled a new consulting practice called Green Sigma. Networked sensors and data analysis software will be used to monitor emissions and find savings for clients. Big savings, in fact; IBM claims $310 million in reduced costs from an in-house Green Sigma pilot program.

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

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