Welcome to week 20 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:

Company

Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return

Akamai

$22.23

$14.51

(34.7%)

Harris & Harris (NASDAQ:TINY)

$6.22

$3.86

(37.9%)

IBM (NYSE:IBM)

$128.33**

$80.52

(37.3%)

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL)

$22.75

$17.32

(23.9%)

Taiwan Semiconductor

$10.34

$7.50

(27.5%)

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

(32.26%)

S&P 500 SPDR (AMEX:SPY)

$125.26**

$86.66

(30.82%)

DIFFERENCE

--

--

(1.44%)

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

One week, you're up. The next, you're down. Such is life in the stock market and for my tech portfolio, which once again trails Mr. Market. He received a fat dividend check last week -- enough to push my techies to the back of the line.

Color me unsurprised. Dividend investing is a winning strategy, proven by more than a century of research. I'm certainly a believer; both Taiwan Semiconductor and IBM pay dividends.

Trouble is, I'm not likely to see a check soon. Taiwan Semiconductor returns capital to foreign investors only once annually. Big Blue won't cut checks to investors before February, if history holds.

Tech is experiencing serious turbulence in the meantime. Baby Breaker Kosmix.com is changing the game in search, which has some Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) investors nervous. (Probably more than they need to be, though.) Then there's Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which seems determined to become Silicon Valley's slumlord millionaire by selling the iPhone at your local Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).

So be it. History shows that today's panic is tomorrow's opportunity. Fool co-Founder David Gardner produced a decade of 20% returns by buying and holding disruptive winners in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio. Tom Gardner's "simpleton portfolio" was also a market-beater. I believe that, with these five tech stocks, I will achieve similar success.

Checkup time!
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.

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.