22 Record Highs in 3 Months: TSP Returns 10%+ for One TSP Stock Fund

So far, 2024 has been a great year for TSP returns. All TSP Funds, with one exception, are showing a positive return in 2024.

Strong TSP Returns in 2024

Many Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) investors were hoping for a good return on their investment in 2024 building on the run-up in stocks late in 2023. In 2022, the C Fund lost 18.13%. 2023 was volatile, but the C Fund still finished the year with a return of 26.25%.

Every TSP Fund had a positive return last year. The G Fund’s lowest return in 2023 was 4.22%, while the F Fund was up 5.58% for the year.

46.7% of TSP Investor Allocations Now in Stock Funds

That strength in stocks continues so far this year. At the end of March, the C Fund was up another 10.55% for the year. Except for the F Fund, every TSP Fund has a positive return for the year-to-date. The F Fund is down 0.74%.

As a recent FedSmith article highlighted, TSP investors have reacted to the positive stock market returns by allocating more of their investment dollars into stock funds. At the end of February, 46.7% of TSP dollars were allocated by TSP investors into the TSP stock funds (the C, S, and I Funds).

The C Fund is again the largest TSP Fund with 33.5% of TSP allocations going into this successful Thrift Savings Plan Fund.

TSP Returns for March 2024 and Year-to-Date

FundMonthYear-to-Date Return
G Fund0.38%1.05%
F Fund0.87%-0.74%
C Fund3.22%10.55%
S Fund3.33%6.92%
I Fund3.36%5.95%
L Income1.15%2.82%
L 20251.39%3.43%
L 20302.16%5.38%
L 20352.33%5.79%
L 20402.50%6.22%
L 20452.65%6.58%
L 20502.79%6.95%
L 20553.26%8.38%
L 20603.26%8.38%
L 20653.26%8.37%
Source: TSPDataCenter.com

TSP Facts

At the end of February, the TSP had $877 billion in total assets, with $58 billion in Roth assets. At the end of December 2023, the TSP had $845 billion in assets. At the end of 2022, when stocks were still in the doldrums, the TSP had less than $726 billion in assets.

In the latest satisfaction survey, the TSP reports that the participation satisfaction score is now 92.17%. In May 2022, the percentage of those reporting satisfaction with the TSP was 89.02%.

Stock Market Performance, Volatility

While world chaos abounds, the stock market has been a sea of calm recently. When weakness appears in the market, it has not lasted more than a few sessions. Investors have been buying stocks when they go down, sending the S&P 500 stock market index to 22 all-time closing highs in three months.

There are a few reasons for optimism. Corporate profits have been strong. Hope for significant progress in different arenas using artificial intelligence and expectations that the Federal Reserve may start cutting interest rates have given investors plenty of reasons to buy stocks.

Will the relative calm continue in the stock market? Here is one observation from Barron’s:

Nor does low volatility mean a period of market angst is just around the corner. Periods of calm, with short blips of angst, can last for years, as they did in the mid-1990s and in the years before the 2008-09 financial crisis. And with the economy and corporate earnings showing resilience amid higher rates, bond volatility normalizing, and correlations low, volatility could remain low for quite some time—and perhaps head even lower…

Enjoy the current calm in the market, the positive returns, and the lack of volatility while it lasts!

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