Welcome to week 15 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:


Starting Price*

Recent Price***

Total Return





Harris & Harris












Taiwan Semiconductor
















Source: Yahoo! Finance.
*Tracking began on Aug. 7, 2008.
**Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.
***Yahoo! Finance at close of Nov. 20, 2008.

Anyone else feel like they just went 10 rounds with Muhammad Ali? Forget Detroit. My portfolio, down 15% in a week, needs a bailout, posthaste. I also lost ground to Mr. Market.

Bargain-hunting isn't as easy as it seems, either. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) looks cheap, but it could be a spectacular value trap. Cisco, too -- if you're Rick Munarriz. Here are his three reasons to throw this networker away.

But not all tech news is bad news. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) beat back the bear attack with a better-than-expected earnings report. So did cloud-computing upstart salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM). Nibbling at low-priced tech stocks like these now should lead to a feast of wealth later.

Consider history. David Gardner produced a decade of 20% returns by buying and holding the likes of Amazon.com and eBay in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio. Tom Gardner's "simpleton portfolio" was also a market-beater. With these five tech stocks, I believe that I will achieve similar success.

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

  • New data from researcher iSuppli suggests that Taiwan Semiconductor and its chipmaking peers are in for a very tough 2009.
  • The state of Georgia awarded IBM an $873 million consulting and services contract.
  • Akamai cut approximately 110 jobs, while Amazon announced a competitive, if lightweight, CDN service called CloudFront.

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

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

  • Why the iPhone is poised to keep winning.
  • Obama's candidacy was built on tech. Why can't his presidency be, too?
  • No matter what he says today, Mr. Softy is going to learn to yodel. Bet on it.