“Snapshot” of Your Recent TSP Returns

The last four weeks have not been kind to TSP stock fund investors.

The month is about half-way over. How are your TSP investments doing?

Stock market investors had a disappointing month in April
and, so far at least, the last several weeks have not been kind either. Here is a quick snapshot of how your TSP funds have performed from the period of April 12 – May 17.

G +0.46%
F +1.15%
C -1.02%
S -1.4%
I -4.36%

And, while the stock market has generally been up the past two days, investors in the S and I funds have not always seen share prices of their funds rising along with the market.

If nothing else, the rapid fluctuation in the market recently may influence some investors to ensure their investments are diversified between the several different funds.

There are always problems for investors to worry about. In the current market environment, some investors are concerned that the current bull market is nearing the end of its run. Others are worred about whether a "housing bubble" exists and will lead to a quick crash of housing prices in some local real estate markets. Still others are worried about the problems some large companies are experiencing with their pension funds as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation starts to run up bigger deficits as it takes over pension funding for some companies and others may soon follow. For nervous investors, one reason may be as good as another to predict a decline in stock prices.

As a result, there is apt to be a "flight to safety" as investors often prefer to invest in larger companies that pay dividends at this stage of the market.

Other investors are putting more of their money into the G fund and the F fund. The G fund is the "safe fund" in that it never goes down. Of course, it also misses the large run-ups in the stock market which generally enable investors to make money above and beyond the rate of inflation over longer time periods. And, as you can see from the charts in the TSP corner, the rate of return for the G fund can vary dramatically depending on interest rates in different economic environments.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47