Thrift Savings Plan Funds All Positive in 2009

Virtually all of the Thrift Savings Plan funds had a positive return in June. The exception: the I fund which is still down more than 31% in the past twelve months.

The federal employee Thrift Savings Plan returns for June 2009 are now in.  All but one fund had a positive return in June. This is the fourth month in a row for favorable returns from the Thrift Savings Plan. (See last month’s summary: Three Successive Months of Gains For the TSP)

The best performing fund in June was the S fund–although none of the funds had a breathtaking return for the month. The only fund with the losing month was the I fund which lost 1.08%. The I fund is also down 31.21% for the past twelve months.

And, in a result that may be even more important to TSP investors, the funds are all up in their year-to-date returns for 2009. Here are the quick results for the underlying TSP funds:


Fund G F C S I
June Return 0.27% 0.54% 0.24% 0.73% -1.08%
YTD Return 1.36% 1.95% 3.30% 7.85% 6.60%


Here are the results for the lifecycle funds for the month of June and the year-to-date:


Fund LIncome L2010 L2020 L2030 L2040
June Return 0.26% 0.24% 0.14% 0.12% 0.09%
YTD Return 2.60% 2.82% 4.40% 4.85% 5.14%


The second quarter of the year was a good one for stocks in general.

The low point for stocks was on March 9th. Since that time, through the end of June, the C fund has gone up 37%; the S fund has advanced 45% and the I fund is up 47%.

But, before breaking out the champagne, consider how the stock funds have fared for the past 12 months (including the recent upturn in stocks in recent weeks). When you see these figures, the effect is sobering. The underlying stock funds are still down dramatically for this time period.

For stocks to move up significantly in the second half of the year, there will have to be evidence that the nation’s economic activity will be higher by the end of the year. Corporate profits will have to match forecasts to continue to go up through the rest of the year just to maintain current stock prices. In other words, despite the big drop in stock prices over the past 12 months, it is not assured that the recent gains will continue until there is some evidence that companies are making money again. That may happen but the market is likely to be choppy until investors have more assurance that the profits are going to go up.

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