Which TSP Fund Went Up 23% So Far in 2019?

TSP investors will be pleased with their investment returns in October. One of the more popular funds is up more than 23% so far in 2019.

October Has Bad Rap for Stock Returns

October is often thought of being a month in which the stock market goes down. But, while there have been some spectacular stock market drops in October, the average return for stocks in October is positive. No doubt, what influences the thinking of investors is the record stock market drops of 19.7% in 1929 and 21.5% in 1987. October has an average return of 0.58% over the past 40 years.

Best TSP Fund Return in October

October was a good month for stock market returns this year. The I Fund was the top performer with a monthly return of 3.6%. It is up more than 17% so far this year.

The C Fund was up 2.16% for the month. The C Fund is up more than 23% so far in 2019 and leads all of the TSP funds in the year-to-date returns.

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 FundF FundC FundS FundI Fund
12 Month2.46%11.50%14.31%9.07%11.48%
 L IncomeL 2020L 2030L 2040L 2050
12 Month5.21%5.89%9.28%10.45%11.36%

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) has reported statistics resulting after the start of the Additional Withdrawals Project (AWP) went into effect in September allowing TSP participants to have more access to their accounts.

Single Payment Total-Account Transfers-Out of the TSP decreased by 47%, Partial Withdrawals increased by 333% and Age-based Withdrawals increased by 254%.

TSP Statistics

On the Monday after deployment of the project, the contact center received more volume than any previous peak day. This resulted in a blip in service levels across the board. The average number of calls per day increased by nearly 2,000 calls immediately following the AWP.

TSP Participants and Average TSP Balances

As of September 2019, here are the number of TSP participants in major categories and the average TSP balance for each group.

Number of
Uniformed Personnel1,349,406$27,790546,994$9,968

TSP Interfund Transfers in October

The G Fund took in considerably more money than any other underlying TSP stock fund in October. More than $1.9 billion was transferred into the G Fund. All other funds saw a different trend. $836 million was transferred from the C Fund; $999 million from the S Fund; and $72 million from the I Fund. $87 million was transferred into the lifecycle funds.

The stock market is running up on the first day of November after a strong jobs report from the Department of Labor. We wish all TSP investors best wishes for another month of solid TSP returns in November!

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