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June 30, 1998

Back to Nature for Retired' Buy-Side Trader Grolimund

By John A. Byrne

Allan Grolimund retired officially in 1990, ending a brilliant 40-year Wall Street career as the senior trading manager at the Delaware Management Company in Philadelphia.

So then what did he do? He fulfilled a life-long fantasy.

The Queens, New York native moved to Shohola, a sparsely-populated lakeside community at the foothills of the Poconos in Pennsylvania and recharged his Wall Street career amidst the rustling of deer and the chirping sounds of crickets.

Grolimund, the Wall Street pro, has never stopped working, nor has he slowed since starting in 1948 as a teletype operator at Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York.

Retirement Heaven

Now, at an age when his contemporaries are basking in retirement heaven, Grolimund, who's 69, has other passions besides endless rounds of golf, never mind trout fishing, in his beloved Poconos.

Sure, his feet are most definitely planted in rustic Sholola, a 90-minute drive from New York's George Washington Bridge, but his heart is still somewhere in the esoteric reaches of technical research.

"I know it sounds like every trader's fantasy to be out of the rat race, calling your own hours, being minutes if not seconds away from year-round recreation," explained Grolimund, as a mocking-bird sang in the background, "but you would be wrong if you didn't think I still like the action on a trading floor."

After retiring on a non-compete agreement with 28 years of service at Delaware and watching the assets of its group of mutual funds mushroom from $300 million to $25 billion Grolimund started his Fair Market Profile (FMP), a technical research advisory for buy-side and sell-side institutional traders and individual investors.

Adirondack-Style Home

FMP's Sholola office is Grolimund's timber-framed, Adirondack-style home, originally built back in 1928. The surrounding woodlands replace the hard concrete of Philadelphia.

Grolimund uses a list of 200 large-cap and medium-cap stocks for selecting a continuous FMP model portfolio of no more than 30 of the best upward-trending picks. Grolimund maintains the FMP model portfolio has appreciated 230 percent in the past five years, compared with a gain of 150 percent for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

"We stress that price is the best indicator. Sounds simplistic, but you would be amazed at how most technicians are distracted by the newest or most convoluted analysis technique," said Grolimund, as a barn owl circled silently above his Sholola home and office.

"We tell our subscribers that there isn't anything sacred about our model," Grolimund added. "A superior configuration could probably be devised. We would love it if someone did. But our goal is to teach people how to pick their own positions wisely, using the techniques we have developed."

By day, Grolimund is usually glued to his computer screen or on the phone to affiliated offices in New York and New Jersey. Sometimes, he walks in the surrounding woodlands.

If a deer greedily eyes his wife's vegetable garden, Grolimund won't be bothered.

Aw shucks, he is likely to say, that's life in the fast lane.