All of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan turned up in June. The biggest gains were for the I fund with a return of 7.08%. That is good news for shareholders of this fund although the fund is still down 13.51% for the past 23 months.
The C fund also had a positive return going up 4.13% for the month. It is up 5.55% for the past 12 months.
For the lifecycle funds, the biggest winner for the month was the L2050 fund which gained 4.27%. It is down 0.76% over the past 12 months. The biggest winner over the past 12 months among the L funds is the L Income fund which has gained 2.09%.
Market Timing? TSP Participants Transfer $1.5 Billion Into Fixed Income Funds
During May, TSP participants apparently decided stocks were getting risky again. Investors in these funds transferred more than $1.5 billion into the G and F funds, perhaps because stocks fell in price the previous month. (See TSP Funds Fall in May) $520 million was transferred from the C fund and another $454 million was moved from the S fund in May.
TSP Participation Rates
The percentage of FERS employees participating in the Thrift Savings Plan is going up. 86.4% of FERS employees are now participating in the TSP. The participation rate falls to 67.4% among CSRS employees. Back in 2008, the number of CSRS employees participating in the plan was about 70% and this percentage fell to about 62% in 2009 before going back up.
It isn’t possible to determine from available data if most of these folks transferring money from the TSP lost money by selling fund shares after the funds dropped during those years and moved money back into the TSP when stocks started heading up again. Unfortunately, that is a common reaction by all investors who react to seeing their assets drop in value which results in a bigger loss as they lost money by selling at a time when stock prices were low and bought back into the market after prices started going back up.
All TSP Funds Up in 2012
On a bright note, all TSP funds are higher in 2012 than they were at the end of 2011. The biggest gains in 2012 have been in the C fund (9.21%) and the smallest gains are in the G fund (0.79%). The more volatile I fund is up 3.25% for the year-to-date.
For the lifecycle funds, the news is also good as all of these funds are also up so far in 2012. The biggest gains are in the L 2050 fund (7.05%) and the smallest gains are in the L income fund (up 2.37%).