The I fund (international stocks) came out ahead of all other Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) funds in March. The I fund had a rate of return of 2.85% in March.
This fund is also up 7.35% for the year-to-date and 12.12% for the last 12 months. While the I fund has been a laggard compared to the other TSP stock funds in recent months and years, it is now leading all of the other TSP funds for the year-to-date as well as the leading fund in March.
This turnaround is why some investment advisors urge diversification among different types of stocks. While foreign stocks do not always go in a different direction from domestic stocks, there are times when international stocks fare better. Having some investment funds in the I fund is advantageous in months such as March where this has occurred.
The G fund is the fund with the most assets for TSP investors. As usual, it had a positive return for March (0.20%) and returned 1.92% over the past twelve months. The G fund is also the fund with the lowest rate of return of any TSP fund in the first quarter of 2017. (Also see Are You One of the TSP Millionaires?)
Here are the returns for all of the TSP funds for March, the year to date and for the past 12 months.
Latest Rates of Return for All TSP Funds
|G Fund||F Fund||C Fund||S Fund||I Fund|
|L Income||L 2020||L 2030||L 2040||L 2050|
Factors Driving Stock Prices
According to the Wall Street Journal, the S&P 500 (the index on which the C fund is based), has just completed the least volatile quarter since 1967. This may mean that investors are waiting to see how proposals impacting the economy play out in Congress. There is uncertainty over whether the Trump administration will be able to move out with pro-business economic agenda. Companies that usually grow with the economy, such as large technology and internet companies, fared better in March and in the first quarter than financial stocks and industrial companies.
The political uncertainty was highlighted in March with the inability of Congress to pass a new health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as Obamacare).
Also, stocks around the world went up quite a bit in the first quarter of 2017. That, of course, is why the I fund has done so well in 2017 with a year-to-date return of 7.35%