2015 was not a stellar year for investors. The volatility and tumult in the markets is reflected in the returns for the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) funds.
The biggest loser for the year: The S fund with a return of -2.92%. Foreign stocks also did not make investors happy with a yearly return of -0.51%.
With the exception of the G fund, all of the TSP funds were also down in December. The G fund provided a monthly return of 0.18. It also had the best returns for 2015 with a positive return of 2.04%.
Overall, U.S. stocks had their worst annual performance since 2008. The S&P 500 index fell 0.7%. Despite this, the C fund, the TSP fund based on the S&P 500 index, finished the year in the black with a return of 1.46%, at least in part because dividends are added back into the fund. The result is that the C fund finished 2015 with seven straight years of gains. 2015 had the lowest gain for this fund since 2008, the year in which the C fund lost almost 37% of its value.
Here are the results for all of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan for December and the yearly return for 2015.
|G Fund||F Fund||C Fund||S Fund||I Fund|
|L Income||L 2020||L 2030||L 2040||L 2050|
Some TSP investors will look back to 2008, which was a disastrous year for the stock market, for guidance on how to prepare for 2016. In 2009 there was a large bounce back that was largely unexpected. The C fund, for example, made a big come come back and went up almost 29% in 2009 after losing almost 37% in 2008, followed by another six years of positive returns. Many analysts do not see a similar result for stocks in 2016.
Here is how an article summarizing expectations for 2016 stock returns from the