S TSP Fund on Top for Past 12 Months and YTD

Which TSP fund had the best returns in July? Which fund has had the highest returns for the past 12 months and the year-to-date?

In July, the stock market performed well for investors. The Dow Jones average was up 4.3% for the month. The S&P 500 (the index on which the C fund is based) gained 3.1% during the month and the Nasdaq went up 1.6%.

Best Performing TSP Funds in July

In July, all of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) funds had positive returns.

C Fund on Top for July; S Fund on Top for Past 12 Months

The C fund came out on top with a return of 3.72%. The S fund is leading all funds for the past 12 months with a return of 17.46%.

For the year-to-date, the S fund is also on top of all TSP funds with a 7.91% return. The C fund is second with a return of 6.45% for the year-to-date (YTD).

Here are the latest performance data for all of the TSP funds. For more historical information about the annual rate of return for each fund, visit TSPDataCenter.com. The rate of return for each fund by month for each year is also available at TSPDataCenter.com.

TSP Fund Returns for July 2018, Year-to-Date and Last 12 Months

G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.25% 0.04% 3.72% 1.64% 2.45%
YTD 1.62% -1.52% 6.45% 7.91% -0.04%
 12 Month 2.59% -0.66% 16.21% 17.46% 6.80%


L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month 0.79% 1.12% 1.91% 2.21% 2.48%
YTD 2.12% 2.47% 3.39% 3.74% 4.06%
 12 Month 4.59% 6.24% 9.11%  10.34% 11.47%

How to TSP Participants Allocate Their Investments?

The highest long term returns are with stocks instead of bonds. The downside to this general description is that there are times when stocks fall and bonds do not. For example, from 2001-2003, stocks dropped significantly. The C fund went down for three years straight:

  • -9.14% in 2000
  • -11.94% in 2001
  • -22.05% in 2002

For these same three years, the G fund went up:

  • 6.42% in 2000
  • 5.39% in 2001
  • 5% in 2002

No doubt, G fund investors were feeling good about their decision to put more money into the G fund and less into stocks. Of course, there was an unusual event in the midst of this downturn in stocks (World Trade Center bombing). Events such as airplanes flying into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are unusual but they do happen.

But, for 13 out of the next 15 years, the C fund finished ahead of the G fund—in some years by a substantial amount.

Since most of us do not pretend to be able to forecast the future, there is generally thought to be less risk in diversifying investments.

Here is how TSP investors have allocated their assets in the TSP as of June 30, 2018:

Fund $ in Billions Percent
G Fund $173.8 38.8%
F Fund $20.0 3.6%
C Fund $160.1 28.8%
S Fund $61.8 11.1%
I Fund $27.6 5.0%
L Funds $113.4 20.4%
Total $556.7 100%


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