Frank Gretz of Shields & Company by Thom Hartle
Frank Gretz wears many hats for Shields & Company - technician, broker, money manager and market letter writer (not to mention appearing on CNBC in his capacity as a technical analyst) - but he also undertakes the challenge of managing his firm's trading account. Over time, he has developed a trading philosophy designed to keep his trading on an even keel and profitable. How does he do it? Stocks & Commodities interviews Gretz on his trading methods and trading philosophy.
Frank, how did you get started in the business?
I got interested in the stock market while I was in college. I didn't know if I wanted to be a broker or an
analyst or whatever, but I decided that the place to find out what the stock market was all about was New
York City. I started at Merrill Lynch in 1967 and I joined the training program, which was fundamentally
What did you do?
Part of the training program was in portfolio analysis, which was reviewing stocks that the clients held on
a fundamental basis. I was very interested in the market for my own money and I was doing some trading
the way I had through college. I noticed that when I was buying stocks, they did very well when the
market went up and they didn't do so well when the market went down. So it struck me — smart, right?
— that the overall trend of stock prices seemed to have a lot to do with my success in making money in
the stock market and was also largely responsible for my losing money in the stock market.
When was this?
Back in 1968, which was really a pretty good market for stocks, but nonetheless, I noticed that when
stocks went down, so did mine. So I became interested in just what made the market trend. I was very
fortunate because at Merrill Lynch, there was a guy named Bob Farrell heading the technical analysis
department, which is now called the market analysis department.
So you transferred over?
I became kind of a trainee in that department. That was very good for me. I was there with Bob for about
six years, and I have great respect for Bob Farrell. I learned a lot from Bob and from being exposed to the
broad array of technical analysis that was offered in there. I stayed there for about six years and then I
became an independent investment advisor, worked for myself literally, managing money and writing a