Thrift Savings Plan investors were undoubtedly disappointed in the stock returns from January as all of the underlying TSP stock funds and all of the L funds were down for the month.
But February looked much better with every TSP fund showing a positive return for the month. In fact, February was the best month for the Thrift Savings Plan stock funds since last November.
It was close for the I fund. International stocks have not fared too well so far in the year. This fund was up 0.06% for the month and is still down 5.11% for the year-to-date. This performance is, in part, because of problems in Europe as Greece has been considered to be close to defaulting on its sovereign debt. and Spain reported its seventh straight quarter of a decline in its Gross Domestic Product.
The uncertainty of the economy here and abroad has resulted in considerable volatility in the stock market averages. There were eight triple-digit swing days in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in February.
The best fund for investors so far in 2010 is the S fund with a positive return of 2.35%. This fund is also up 67.44% in the past twelve months.
Here are figures and a chart that will make all Thrift Savings Plan investors start planning their retirement.
A word of warning: The first year of stock returns after a recession usually does much better than the second year. Don’t expect your TSP portfolio to jump as much in 2010 as it did in 2009.