Computers have managed to insinuate themselves into our lives these days, but
not many of us remember the early days. MoniResearch Newsletter publisher
Steve Shellans was a pioneer of sorts in the industry; he started to work with
computers in earnest 40 years ago, before manned space flight had even been
achieved. By the early 1970s, he was a pioneer of another sort when he moved
out of New York City, the financial center of the nation, across the country, and
there eventually building the beginnings of the market timer database that
would be the underpinning of The MoniResearch Newsletter. Shellans came
into the public eye in the mid-1980s when Money magazine and USA Today
took note of his monitoring of the market timing industry. STOCKS & COMMODITIES
Editor Thom Hartle spoke to Steve Shellans via telephone interview on June 19, 1997, asking him about the differences between classic market timers and
dynamic asset allocators, why some timing models work better than others, and why
hiring a professional money manager is, in the long run, much easier on a fragile ego.
Letís start with your background.
Sure. My undergraduate
work was at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT), and
after I received my bachelor of science
in engineering, I went to work for Exxon
Math and Systems. That was in 1957. I
interviewed with Exxon, thinking that
there had to be a job there for somebody
in chemical engineering. As it turned
out, they said that they were just forming
a computer department, and would
I like to join them? I was candid and
told them that I had never even seen a
computer before, much less worked
Computers werenít exactly sitting on
everyoneís desks back in 1957.
It was definitely a very different world
than it is today. But that offer sounded
like a great opportunity, and I spent a
year or so learning on the job and finding
out how computers worked. I saw all these bright young kids coming out of college with degrees in computer
science, even back then, and so I decided
that I had better go back to school and get a degree in com-puter science. That led
to my masterís degree.
One of my specialties
was computer graphics, which in turn led to a
new career path.