2 TSP Funds Up 11% and 17% So Far in 2019

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By on March 1, 2019 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
Bar chart showing a strong upward trend with the numbers 2019 in front of it depicting stock market gains in 2019

Best Two-Month Start for Stocks in Decades

Based on the two leading indices for stocks, the stock market ended in February with its best two-month start for a year in three decades.

The C fund is up 11.48% so far this year. The S fund is up 17.20% for the year-to-date. The S fund has never had a return in February that equaled or exceeded 4.98%. (The S fund started in 2000.)

The S fund also had the highest rate of return in February (4.98%) and it also has the highest 12-month return (6.96%).

Monthly and 12 Month TSP Returns

G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.20% -0.06% 3.21% 4.98% 2.55%
YTD 0.43% 1.00% 11.48% 17.20% 9.32%
12 Month 2.93% 3.32% 4.66% 6.96% -5.05%


L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month 0.80% 1.06% 2.00% 2.36% 2.68%
YTD 2.64% 3.62% 7.02% 8.36% 9.53%
12 Month 2.97% 2.76% 2.62% 2.47% 2.34%

TSP Facts

January hardship withdrawals went up 25%. This is probably due to the partial government shutdown. Requests for new loans were stable though.

Average Balances

CSRS participants have the highest average balance in the TSP ($146,642) but only 314,193 employees compared to 3,396,291 FERS employees in the TSP.

Here are the breakouts:

Total Participants Average Balance # of Roth Participants Average Roth Balance
FERS 3,396,291 $138,933 531,665 $12,952
CSRS 314,193 $146,642 9,982 $19,905
Uniformed Services 1,334,581 $25,602 534,192 $8,487

Interfund Transfers

January was a great month for the stock market.

TSP participants withdrew $924 million from the G fund in January. They also withdrew $67 million from the F fund and $26 million from the I fund.

On the positive side, TSP investors transferred $289 million into the C fund; $557 million into the S fund; and $171 million into the L funds.

2019 is off to a great start for TSP investors. It is very unlikely this rapid rate of growth will continue. No one can predict with certainty what the short-term results will be in the stock market. But, with the significant year-to-date returns, it is possible a correction could occur at any time. Hang on to your hats—we may be in for a volatile year in stocks!

© 2020 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.


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