Welcome to week 12 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

$14.38

(35.3%)

Harris & Harris (NASDAQ:TINY)

$6.22

$5.00

(19.6%)

IBM (NYSE:IBM)

$129.05

$92.97

(27.9%)

Oracle

$22.75

$18.29

(19.6%)

Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM)

$10.34

$8.26

(20.1%)

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

(24.50%)

S&P 500 SPDR (AMEX:SPY)

$126.73

$96.83

(23.59%)

DIFFERENCE

--

--

(0.91%)

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Last week's wish to "catch a wave" came true. Great results from Akamai and not-terribly-disappointing results from Taiwan Semiconductor were my surfboard, and nervous investors were the wax. They're turning to volatile, cash-rich techies as a recession hedge. Apple rallied 16.8% last week, for example.

But not all tech stocks are safe. Some, like Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), are downright scary. These are the stocks that (a) lack meaningful competitive advantages and (b) participate in crowded markets.

Top investors choose instead to bet on the best businesses and, in doing so, produce superior returns -- 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.

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

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

More tech-tastic Foolishness:

Amazon, Apple, 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 is getting killed in CAPS right now. Thankfully, his real portfolio is doing better.

Tim had positions in Akamai, Apple and Apple LEAPs, 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.

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