Which TSP Fund is Up More Than 20% in 2019?

One TSP fund is up more than 20% so far in 2019. Here is how all TSP funds are performing and how TSP investors allocate their investments.

The S&P 500 stock-market index (the index on which the C Fund is based) has ended the third quarter of 2019 with a 19% gain for the year. This is the best performance for the index since 1997.

And, great news for investors in the Thrift Savings Plan C Fund, the C Fund is up 20.54% in 2019.

The performance for stocks this year often revolves around politics. The market goes up or down based on headlines about the status of trading policies with China, speculation about actions by the Federal Reserve, and uncertainty about the stability of the political situation in the United States as Democrats continue to pursue investigations and impeachment against President Trump through his first term in office.

The overall success of the stock market this year appears to be based in part on America’s economy continuing to be strong compared to other developed countries.

TSP Returns

All of the TSP stock funds had positive returns in September. The C Fund is leading all other TSP funds for the year with a return of 20.54%. The F Fund has the best returns over the past 12 months with a return of 10.32%.

Among the lifecycle funds, the L Income fund has the best return over the past 12 months with a return of 3.02%. The L Income Fund came out ahead of the G Fund for the past 12 months as the G Fund has a return rate of 2.57%.

Latest TSP Returns for Month, YTD and 12 Months

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

  G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.14% -0.54% 1.87% 1.06% 2.87%
YTD 1.79% 8.51% 20.54% 17.57% 13.21%
12 Month 2.57% 10.32% 4.24% -3.77% -0.94%

  L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month 0.51% 0.63% 1.28% 1.50% 1.69%
YTD 5.32% 6.71% 11.62% 13.50% 15.08%
12 Month 3.02% 2.71% 2.54% 2.33% 2.04%

Interfund Transfers by TSP Investors

In August, all of the underlying TSP stock funds had negative returns. The C Fund went down 1.59%, the S Fund was down more than 4% and the I Fund was down 1.77%. The F Fund had the best return of the month at 2.60%.

And, in August, TSP investors withdrew almost $2.3 billion from the C Fund, $1.70 billion from the S fund and $683 million from the I Fund. At the same time, the F Fund received $1.25 billion in transferred investments and the G fund gained $3.64 billion in inter-fund transfers.

As can be seen with the September returns, the three underlying TSP stock funds rebounded with solid returns in September while the F Fund went down and the G Fund produced the smallest return of any TSP Fund with the exception of the F Fund which had a negative return.

TSP Asset Allocation by Investors

The G Fund is still the most popular fund for TSP investors with 32.6% of all TSP assets. While the G Fund often has a relatively low rate of return, it is frequently considered to be the safest TSP fund as it has always gone up – often less than the stock funds have gone up – but it has never had a year with a negative rate of return.

Here is how TSP investors allocate their investments in the Thrift Savings Plan as of August 31, 2019.

Fund Percent of Investments
G Fund 32.6%
F Fund 4.1%
C Fund 28.5%
S Fund 9.7%
I Fund 4.1%
L Funds 21.1%
Total 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