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Harry Long
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Harry Long is the inventor of Structural Arbitrage and Hedged Convexity Capture and is the Managing Partner of ZOMMA, the world's most innovative strategy index creator. Mr. Long is a globally recognized expert on the research and development of quantitative investment strategies. The ZOMMA IP... More
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  • The Contrarian: Episode I (SURW)

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    Disclosure: Long SURW
    Tags: SURW
    Nov 26 1:10 PM | Link | Comment!
  • How Have I Done as a Contributor?
    October 26th is my birthday, and traditionally this time of year, I take stock of my life, and the year's enthusiasms. I have been very lucky to write for SeekingAlpha and to make many good friends from this community. Some of my very favorite messages are from people who read an article I wrote, gained something from it, and were able to do their own research, or consult with their financial advisor, and make money from an idea which I presented.

    For better or for worse, contributors should "Give an account of thy stewardship" to the gentle reader. All too often, people who write about stocks do not keep score. The gentle reader has a right to an honest estimate of the value, or lack thereof, that a writer is providing. Growing up, I remember that very few writers did their homework, and even fewer had profitable ideas. I always promised myself that I would be different!

    Here is how I did a quick back-of-the-envelope performance calculation.

    I. I took the first article in which I presented an idea as the main author, rather than co-author.

    II. Then, I took the closing price of the individual stock on the day I wrote the article. If it was a weekend, I used the closing price of the first market day after the article was written.

    III. I ignored any benefits from dividends in the performance calculation and rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent.

    IV. I have included links to the article where the stocks were first recommended so the gentle reader can verify the numbers for him or herself. (and if I embaressingly have made any errors, please alert me! I am sleep deprived).

    V. I have not included any of my macro calls in this article, but will attempt to do so in future articles. Usually, my discussions of ETFS, commodities, or indices were tangential to a policy discussion, so I did not include them, since I rarely made any bone fide macro recommendations. Articles on stocks that were counted in the performance list generally had a clear investment thesis, rather than being part of an article on public policy, or macro currents.

    I am pretty gratified with the win/loss ratio and the greater reward from the winners than the risk from the losers:

    7/01/2008     Closing price $18.50
    10/25/2010   Closing price $26.98
    Change  +45.8%

    1/28/2010     Closing Price $28.32
    10/25/2010   Closing Price $26.48
    Change  -6.5%

    3/5/2010       Closing Price $3.42
    10/25/2010   Closing Price $5.69
    Change +66.4%

    4/16/2010     Closing Price $46.20
    10/25/2010   Closing Price $69.06
    Change +49.5%

    4/20/2010     Closing Price $16.30
    10/25/2010   Closing Price $23.64
    Change +45%

    6/10/2010 "The Best Insurers in America"
    SUR    change +19.5%
    NATL  change +15.6%
    PGR   change + 7.6%
    RLI     change + 5.7%


    6/21/2010     Closing Price $21.87
    10/25/2010   Closing Price $27.93
    Change +27.7%

    9/28/2010     Closing Price $6.75
    10/25/2010   Closing Price $7.35
    Change +8.9%

    Honorable Mention, an instablog on USMO. SeekingAlpha didn't pick it up as an article, but I was very proud of our analysis in the white paper which is linked on

    It's been an honor to write for SeekingAlpha and to serve the gentle reader. Stay tuned!

    Disclosure: Article is a recap of past investment theses.
    Oct 25 10:01 PM | Link | 1 Comment
  • Ebix's Expanded Stock Buyback Authorization Could be a Catalyst for Share Price Appreciation
    There are few better catalysts for stock price appreciation than expanded share buybacks. Coupled with Ebix's excellent growth, its board's authorization of a tripling of the authorized buyback amount from $5 million to $15 million could be an excellent catalyst. (

    It's great to see management teams and company boards that put their money where their mouth is when it comes to an undervalued stock. It has been clear that Ebix management has seen their stock as undervalued for some time now, and an expanded buyback authorization is yet more tangible evidence of a commitment to increasing shareholder value.

    In addition, the buyback may create upward pressure on the stock as shorts simultaneously have received a blow to their thesis, and buying pressure increases the share price.

    All management behavior is a form of signaling. The increased buyback authorization signals shrewd management and perhaps (just perhaps) a willingness to increase buyback authorizations in the future.

    Disclosure: Long Ebix
    Tags: EBIX
    Jun 14 12:32 PM | Link | 3 Comments
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