Federal Employee Investing: Best TSP Fund in 2017

Which TSP fund has had the highest return for the first six months of 2017? The S fund is on top of all other funds for June.

Which of your TSP funds is providing the best return in 2017?

So far, that would be the I fund with a return of 14.10%. Nothing else comes close. The second place fund for 2017 is the C fund with a year-to-date return of 9.34%.

Over the last 12 months, the S fund comes out on top with a return of 21.67%. The I fund is not far behind with a rate of 20.65%. The C fund is third with a return of 17.92%.

The most popular fund in the Thrift Savings Plan, the G fund, has returned 1.17% so far in 2017 and has a return of 2.06% over the past 12 months. The G fund has the lowest return of any other TSP fund so far in 2017.

TSP Returns for June, YTD and Past 12 Months

Here is a summary of the returns for all of the TSP funds for the month of June, so far in 2017 (YTD) and for the past 12 months.

G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.19% -0.09% 0.62% 2.33% -0.18%
YTD 1.17% 2.48% 9.34% 7.41% 14.10%
12 Months 2.06% -0.03% 17.92% 21.67% 20.65%
L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month 0.26% 0.35% 0.46% 0.52% 0.58%
YTD 3.07% 4.959% 7.01% 8.01% 8.93%
12 Months 5.22% 8.92% 12.61% 14.53% 16.40%

For the first half of 2017, the leading stock market averages (the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500) each rose 8%. As noted above, the C fund returned 8.67% for TSP investors. The C fund is based on the S&P 500 index.

Obviously, the U.S. was not alone in seeing stocks go up. Stock benchmarks around the world had the big gains over the first six months. That is why the I fund is up 14.31% so far in 2017.

The broad stock rally is largely due to stronger corporate earnings and an improving economy in some countries. Europe has generally been the beneficiary of stronger economic conditions. Whether this trend will continue throughout the year is the big question to which no one has a definitive answer.

With the exception of investors who think they have a crystal ball to reliably predict short term domestic and international stock returns through the end of the year, some diversification is often the best approach to adding to future retirement income.

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