Two TSP Funds Up More than 20% in 2019

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By on August 1, 2019 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
3D blue arrow with a dollar sign in the middle of it pointing up overlaid against a financial line graph depicting financial gains from a rising stock market

All of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) have provided investors with a positive return so far in 2019. All but one fund (that one fund is the I Fund) also have a positive return for the past 12 months.

Fund With Best Return in Past 12-Months

The fund with the best return over the past 12 months is the F Fund with a return of 8.14%. That is unusual, particularly in a period of low inflation, but stock and bond investments do not always rise or fall as expected.

In 2018, the F Fund returned 0.15%. But, back in 1995, the F Fund had a return of 18.31%—the highest annual return this fund has ever had.

Track Record for the G Fund

The fund with the lowest return over the past twelve months is the G Fund with a return of 2.75%. The G Fund is the most popular fund among TSP investors and often thought of as the safest fund in the TSP line-up.

For example, in 2018, the G Fund had a return of 2.91% while the underlying stock funds all had a negative return. The price to be paid though is that while it never has had a negative return, it is not unusual for the G Fund to lag behind the most volatile stock funds. Over a 10 year period from 2009 – 2018, the G Fund had the lowest compound return (2.30%) while the stock fund returns ranged from 6.48% (the I Fund) to 13.67% (the S Fund).

All TSP Fund Returns for Month, YTD and 12-Months

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

  G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.18% 0.21% 1.44% 1.64% -2.09%
YTD 1.46% 6.34% 20.23% 21.43% 12.03%
12 Month 2.75% 8.14% 7.97% 2.11% -2.97%

  L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month 0.19% 0.21% 0.21% 0.22% 0.22%
YTD 4.91% 6.30% 11.27% 13.20% 14.86%
12 Month 3.46% 3.36% 3.77% 3.79% 3.74%

TSP Investor Fund Allocation

Here is how TSP investors have divided their investment money as of June 30, 2019. The G Fund, as usual, is the most popular with 32.1% of investments and the F Fund has the lowest allocation with 3.8%.

G Fund 32.1%
F Fund 3.8%
C Fund 28.7%
S Fund 10.1%
I Fund 4.3%
Lifecycle Funds 21%

Interfund Transfers in June

In June, stocks had their best June return since 1938. The C Fund had a return of 7.04% and the S Fund was up 6.08%.

Perhaps this return was a red flag for TSP investors. In June, investors transferred $489 million into the G Fund and $439 million into the F fund. Also in July, they transferred $325 million from the C Fund, $644 million from the S Fund and $39 million from the I Fund so they may have missed out on the better stock fund returns in June.

© 2019 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

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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

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