Gil Blake: The Master of Mutual Fund Timing

Imagine turning $100 into $86,380 in 11 years, with 134 months out of 139 being successful. If you think it’s an impossible feat, guess again- because this is exactly what financial guru Gil Blake did! A celebrated American trader and mutual fund timer, Gil has carved a niche for himself in the high-stakes finance world.

Now it’s time for you to discover the man behind the success, unravel his strategies, and learn how to infuse them into your own trading plan. And with a career that spans over three decades, Gil Blake offers a wealth of subject material for us to learn from. Follow the footsteps of the ‘Master of Consistency’ himself and edge closer to financial freedom!

Key Takeaways

  • Gil Blake is a respected American trader and fund manager known for his mutual fund market timing strategy.
  • With a career spanning over 30 years, Blake has demonstrated strong market acumen and has become a growing figure in finance.
  • His outstanding performance and consistency have gained him recognition and a feature in Jack Schwager’s “New Market Wizards”.

Gil Blake: His Formative Years and Background

Gil Blake, a New York native, was born with an insatiable thirst for knowledge on July 14, 1945. From the get-go, he showed promising signs of becoming a future finance whiz.

Even Blake’s nursery teacher marveled at his extraordinary precision in clay work, painting, and carpentry. She noted that young Gil enjoyed piecing together tiny elements to form a grand masterpiece. His fascination with mathematics was evident, a testament to his love for intricate details.

Blake’s fiery intellect and pursuit of perfection later earned him a place at Cornell University, an institution renowned for its academic rigor.

But after earning his degree, Blake swapped textbooks for torpedoes, serving as a naval officer aboard a nuclear submarine for three years. This stint in the military didn’t just instill discipline and resilience in him; it forged these traits into the bedrock of his future trading strategy.

However, Blake eventually left the Navy and chose to sharpen his intellectual sword at Wharton Business School. His academic prowess shone through, and he graduated with the highest honors. With a world-class education under his belt, Blake was primed to conquer the finance and trading world.

Gil Blake’s Trading Career

After graduating from business school, Blake dedicated three years to crunching numbers as an accountant for Price Waterhouse. He then climbed the corporate ladder, serving as the chief financial officer for Fab-field Optical for nearly a decade. Trading? It didn’t even cross his mind.

But then, in 1978, a friend sparked a flame. He presented Blake with a stack of municipal bonds and asked for his opinion. As Blake studied them, he uncovered an intriguing pattern.

This discovery sparked his introduction to the world of nonrandom market behavior in municipal bond funds. Suddenly, the financial world wasn’t just numbers and spreadsheets—it was an exciting opportunity for success, and Blake’s interest was ignited.

Eventually, Blake launched Twenty Plus, a management firm designed to help others grow their profits. The name isn’t just for show – Twenty Plus has consistently delivered returns that never dip below 20%. Even in Gil’s worst year, 1984, the company boasted a return of just under 24%.

And naturally, Blake’s trading prowess caught the attention of Jack Schwager, author of the acclaimed book, “New Market Wizards.” Featured among other successful traders, Blake’s insights and trading strategies have earned him admiration from traders around the globe.

But it doesn’t end there! In 1988, Blake entered the competitive arena of the U.S. Trading Championship, a battleground for the nation’s top traders. He clinched second place, and then, from 1989 to 1993, he dominated the competition, securing the coveted first-place title for five years in a row.

Market Performance

Now let’s crunch some numbers to understand better the trading performance of Gil Blake and his management firm!

Over 12 years, Blake achieved a mind-boggling average of 45% annualized return. At one point, he even boasted an impressive streak of 65 months without a single loss, crowning him the Joe DiMaggio of trading. Undeniably, Gil Blake’s approach has hit the mark!

But what’s the secret sauce behind Gil Blake’s extraordinary success in trading?

A Look Into Gil Blake’s Trading Strategies

Let’s dive deeper into the mind of this market wizard and uncover his winning strategies.

Mastering Mutual Fund Timing

Gil Blake is best known for his brilliant mutual fund market timing. This ingenious approach capitalizes on historical pricing trends of mutual funds, exploiting the gap between a fund’s net-asset-value (NAV) closing prices and the closing prices of its underlying assets.

Through careful timing, you can seize upon pricing anomalies in mutual fund markets. Of course, mastering the art of mutual fund timing demands an analytical mind and the ability to decipher prevailing market trends.

Tracking Crucial Market Trends

Luckily, Gil Blake has ingeniously harnessed the power of short-term trend-following systems. His approach is grounded in technical analysis, which reads the market’s pulse and spots profitable patterns. It’s like having a crystal ball that reveals the stock market’s next move, empowering you to ride the crest of a profitable wave and jump ship before it crashes.

And you, too, can become a trend-spotting wizard! Start by decoding the market’s secret language. Is the price chart whispering an upward climb, a downward spiral, or a steady horizontal path?

Next, call upon your trusty sidekicks – technical indicators. These are the tools that will confirm your trend suspicions. For instance, if the price is above the moving average, it’s likely signaling an upward trend.

Then, it’s time to dive in! Plunge into the trade when the trend is upward, but exit when prices start trending down. Never hold onto a trade for too long, or you’ll be stuck offloading at less-than-stellar costs.

Take a look at Blake’s holding periods as an example; they’re remarkably short, typically ranging from just one to four days. This reminds us that trading is all about knowing when to walk away!

Trading Municipal Bonds Like a Pro

Gil Blake also harnessed his deep understanding of municipal bonds, or “munis,” to craft a winning strategy. These bonds are debt securities issued by state and local governments, and they fuel projects like infrastructure, schools, and hospitals.

After scrutinizing two years of historical data on munis, Blake noticed an 83% likelihood that any price rise or fall would trigger another day of a price move in the same direction. This revelation was highly lucrative; the bonds’ movements were no longer a mystery, but a predictable pattern, waiting to be unraveled and capitalized on.

And as a savvy trader, you’ve got the golden opportunity to unlock the potential of municipal bonds by diving deep into their historical data trends. This treasure trove of knowledge will arm you with the foresight to forecast future price shifts and know when to buy and sell, just like Gil!

Avoiding Overdiversification

As a dedicated fund manager, Blake skillfully navigates a spectrum of trading instruments, from money market funds to sector funds, to balance risk and boost returns.

But while diversification can be a sturdy safety net, Blake confesses he’s not a fan of overdoing it. He believes you can achieve stellar diversification just by making the right number of trades annually. In his interview with Jack  Schwager, he explains that if the odds are 70 percent in your favor and you make fifty trades a year, it’s unlikely you’ll end the year on a down note.

Developing the Right Market Mentality

According to Gil Blake, market psychology is another vital aspect of trading. It’s the lifeblood of traders and investors who yearn for enduring success. And in the ever-shifting financial landscape, you must be agile and adaptive, ready to adjust your strategies in tune with the market’s rhythm.

But that’s not all! Understanding the role of fear and greed in the market’s movements is also crucial. Blake reminds you to choose discipline as your dance partner, sticking to choreographed steps to avoid emotionally-charged missteps. Blake himself has mastered this dance, taming his emotions to shield his trades from risk.

But above all, you must embrace confidence and self-assurance in your abilities. Blake’s firm’s unique fee structure reflects his own self-reliance, taking 25% of gains while shouldering 25% of all losses. And once you’ve honed your technical analysis skills combined with some basic statistics, you, too, can banish any self-doubt!

Following the Five Trading Rules

Finally, Gil Blake has shared his five golden rules to sum it all up and help you navigate the markets successfully:

  1. Find your groove in trading vehicles, strategies, and time horizons that align with your personality.
  2. Spot the nonrandom price behavior, despite the market’s usual randomness.
  3. Believe that your findings are statistically valid (confidence is key!)
  4. Establish trading rules to protect your profits.
  5. Stick to the rules (it’s challenging, but it’s crucial!)

Gil Blake promises that following these rules will transform you into a successful trader, celebrating more wins than losses.

How to Apply Gil Blake’s Trading Strategy Today

Of course, navigating today’s financial seascape with Gil Blake’s trading strategy can be both a thrilling ride and a tricky puzzle. The mutual fund industry has morphed dramatically, throwing a few curveballs our way.

For instance, traders face an uphill battle when it comes to reaping profits from mutual funds arbitrage; market bigwigs swoop in and seal the gap in seconds. Plus, trading has become more regulated over time, with the 2001 pattern-day trading rules serving as a prime example.

Nevertheless, there’s a wealth of opportunities to weave Gil’s strategy into the fabric of today’s market. It’s all about crafting a plan and rigorously backtesting it to confirm its statistical significance.

So exactly how do you fine-tune Gil Blake’s strategy to conquer today’s market?

Do Your Research and Technical Analysis

Luckily, Blake’s emphasis on research and technical analysis in trading is a timeless strategy!

First, cherry-pick the best mutual funds or ETFs to trade. Consider essential factors like volatility, liquidity, fees, and diversification. Next, identify the edge by picking an asset, finding its nonrandom pattern, and using this data to time your trade just right. And last but not least, you should tweak the parameters and indicators to suit the market climate and your personal style.  

For instance, when the market’s as unpredictable as a bull in a china shop, you should stretch out your moving average timeline. Or, if you’re a trader who likes to play it safe, you might lean towards using less leverage.

Mix New and Old Trading Techniques

But don’t stop there! Combine Gil Blake’s strategy with other tactics to supercharge its performance. For example, consider pairing his strategies with momentum mean reversion techniques.

The mean reversion approach hinges on the belief that an asset’s price will return to its average over time. You can seize lucrative trades by pinpointing these fluctuations and buying low and selling high. This method can beautifully complement Gil Blake’s trend-spotting approach, crafting a well-rounded trading strategy that leverages both market quirks and steady trends.

Embrace New Trading Technology

And don’t forget to put your trading strategy through the ringer with backtesting and evaluation. Programs and programming languages allow you to backtest trades and track market trends, providing powerful tools for data analysis and simulation. Use this software with Blake’s trend-tracking strategy to execute smarter trades.

In a nutshell, to conquer today’s market with Gil Blake’s trading strategy, you need to be nimble and seize new opportunities. By picking the right instruments and rigorously backtesting your strategy, you can rev up its effectiveness and hit the jackpot.


In conclusion, Gil Blake’s remarkable transition from navy officer to market maestro is a testament to his trading genius and groundbreaking tactics. His timing, trend tracking, and portfolio diversification provide a treasure trove of insights for traders hungry for financial victory.

Even amidst the mutating landscape of the mutual fund sector and the heat of market rivalry, Blake’s timeless wisdom still packs a punch today. For those itching to dive deeper into Blake’s trading universe, Jack Schwager’s “New Market Wizards” is a goldmine of wisdom. It’s your ticket to harnessing Blake’s teachings to turbocharge your financial prowess. Happy trading!

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we wrap up, let’s dive into some burning questions you might have about the enigmatic Gil Blake!

Who is Gil Blake and what is he known for?

Gil Blake is a successful trader and hedge fund manager featured in Jack Schwager’s iconic book, “New Market Wizards.” His innovative trading tactics and unwavering financial returns have inspired many traders.

What are the key principles of Gil Blake’s trading strategy?

Develop a trading system based on data and trends.
Identify non-random price behavior while remembering that markets are mostly random.
Ensure the statistical validity of your findings.
Develop clear trading rules.
Follow these rules, even in volatile market conditions.

Has Gil Blake inspired any well-known trading strategies?

Gil Blake’s emphasis on market timing, trend identification, and disciplined rule-following are among his most remarkable contributions to trading.

Where is Gil Blake now?

Today, Gil Blake is an independent and successful trader who no longer accepts client funds (with two of his friends being exceptions).

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