Welcome to week 22 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 (NYSE:TSM)




Average Return












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

Once again, the gulf widens. My tech portfolio improved slightly; Mr. Market improved more. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't at least a little frustrated. Aren't most investors nowadays?

Still, I was expecting better. This was tech's big week. The iFaithful descended on San Francisco for the annual Macworld trade show, while the rest of the tech world trekked to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) held center stage at both events, as they usually do. Apple blew it by failing to even mention Snow Leopard, its latest edition of the Mac OS. Microsoft showed off Windows 7 but provided few new details -- not that it needed to. Windows 7 already looks like the upgrade to XP, a never-say-die OS that chief information officers were hoping Vista would replace.

Yet the week's biggest winner could be Palm (NASDAQ:PALM), which yesterday answered critics like me by unveiling a new Web-based mobile operating system called -- wait for it -- WebOS and a new smartphone that it dubbed the Pre. Palm's stock zoomed 34% following a mid-day press conference at CES. The rally continues into today, with the stock up more than 30% during early trading.

Well done, sirs. Crow, meet mouth.

If there's a lesson to be had here, it's that today's panic is often tomorrow's opportunity. 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!
Now, let's move on to the rest of today's update:

  • Earlier today, Taiwan Semiconductor reported a 55% drop in December sales. A sluggish global economy has crimped demand. Analysts see continued weakness through the first quarter, Reuters reports.

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

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

Apple is a Stock Advisor selection. Microsoft is an Inside Value pick. Akamai and Harris & Harris are Rule Breakers recommendations. Try any of these Foolish services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and stock positions in Akamai, Harris & Harris, IBM, Oracle, and Taiwan Semiconductor at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool.

The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is tech-tastic.