Which TSP Fund Performed Best for 1st Quarter of 2019?

Which TSP fund has the best return for the 1st quarter in 2019? Here are all of the TSP returns for the month of March, year-to-date and the past 12 months.

American stocks have racked up their biggest quarterly gains in almost ten years. The stock surge was fueled, at least in part, but a belief that central banks would hold interest rates at low levels.

Fund With Best First Quarter Returns

In the first quarter of this year, the S fund is out in front of all of the core Thrift Savings plan (TSP) funds with a return of 15.99%—despite a disappointing return in March.

The C fund has also had a very good return for the first quarter of the year (13.65%). And, in more good news for investors, the C fund also had the best return for the month of March of any of the other TSP funds (1.95%).

Fund With the Best 12 Month Returns

No doubt, some investors were concerned when their C fund investment was down 4.14% in 2018 when fear about a possible economic downturn sent global stock markets around the world heading down. But, as usually happens over time, the market has rebounded, and those that left their investments alone are now in the black with a very good overall return. The C fund has a 12-month return of 9.48%—the highest return for this time period among all of the TSP funds.

Here are the returns for all of the TSP funds for the past month, the year-to-date and for the past 12 months.

Monthly and 12 Month TSP Returns

G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.23% 1.93% 1.95% -1.03% 0.71%
YTD 0.67% 2.95% 13.65% 15.99% 10.09%
12 Month 2.92% 4.63% 9.48% 5.13% -3.64%


L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month 0.52% 0.61% 0.87% 0.96% 1.02%
YTD 3.18% 4.25% 7.96% 9.40% 10.65%
12 Month 3.59% 3.73% 4.33% 4.46% 4.54%

TSP Facts

The TSP reports that hardship withdrawals returned to a normal level post shutdown. There were 7,282 hardship withdrawals in February compared to 12,936 in the previous month, a decrease of 44%.

Interfund Transfers in February 2019

There was a surge of money leaving the G fund in February, almost $1.3 billion. Money was also transferred out of the C fund ($104 million) and the I fund ($182 million). The S fund gained the most with an inflow of $975 million. Another $194 million went into the F fund and $406 million was transferred into the lifecycle funds.

How Do You Compare to Other TSP Investors?

How do investors in the Thrift Savings Plan invest their money? Here is the latest breakdown.

Fund Percentage
G Fund 32.5%
F Fund 3.6%
C Fund 28.3%
S Fund 10.6%
I Fund 4.3%
L Funds 20.6%


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