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April Brings A Smile To Most TSP Investors

The I fund continues its torrid pace with a return of 4.83% for one month and a return of 33.58% for the past twelve months.

The TSP returns for April are in and most TSP investors will be cheered by the results.

All funds, with the exception of the F fund, are up for the past month.

The international stock fund is far and away providing the best returns for April: 4.83%. For the past twelve months, the I fund has returned 33.58%.

The S fund only had a positive return of 0.34% for April but it is up 30.54% for the past twelve months.

The C fund had a strong performance in April as well. It was up 1.35% for the month and is up 15.40% for the past twelve months.

The F fund is showing the strain of higher interest rates. It is down 0.19% for the month but has a small positive return for the past twelve months with a gain of 0.76%. (See Is the TSP’s F Fund a Risky Investment?)

The G fund did about the same as usual: slow and steady with a positive April return of 0.44% and a return for the past twelve months of 4.52%.

Here is a quick summary:

Fund C S I F G
12 Month Return 15.40% 30.54% 33.58% 0.76% 4.52%
April Return 1.35% 0.34% 4.83% (0.19%) 0.44%

Here are the returns for the lifecycle funds:

L2040 1.75%
L2030 1.62%
L2020 1.47%
L2010 1.18%
L Income 0.74%

Astute readers will want to take note of the returns for the L funds.

The best performing fund had a return of 1.75%. That is considerably less than the 4.83% return for the I fund for the month of April although relatively few TSP participants are likely to put all or most of their investments into this fund.

However, the L funds provide diversification among the five options available to TSP investors. Even conservative investors that are nearing retirement may have had trouble matching the 1.18% return of the L2010 fund (for those with a target retirement date of 2010). Some TSP investors nearing retirement put all or most of their money into the G fund.

With a monthly return of 0.44% for the G fund in April, investors nearing retirement may want to look closely at the returns of the L Funds and decide if you should consider diversifying your investments.

In short, TSP investors have a reason to smile as the returns of their retirement investments are continuing to provide a positive return. Enjoy it while it lasts as this continuing bull market in stocks may be wearing thin in coming months.

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