Comments sent in by readers on proposed changes to interfund transfers within the TSP were unusually harsh. Similar comments may have been sent in directly to the TSP board as well. A new Federal Register notice finalizes a final rule limiting TSP trading activity. The official notice is blunt in addressing the comments opposing the changes. Here is the outcome but watch for future changes as well.
Riding through the ups and downs of the stock market can be exasperating. Is this a good time buy more of the TSP stock funds or a good time to sell them?
The F fund in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is sometimes the Rodney Dangerfield of the TSP funds–It doesn’t get any respect. The G fund is the safe haven; the I fund is used by market timers to try and juice up their returns, the S fund is good for fast growth as we are coming out of a recession and the C fund is the old stock market standby that most people think of when they want to put some of their retirement funds into stocks. But what is the F fund good for?
A recent notice in the Federal Register is the latest step by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to clamp down on frequent trading in TSP funds. The notice makes the argument that the restrictions are necessary to protect the interests of the majority of TSP investors whose financial investments are being put at risk by the actions of those trying to time the market and forcing all TSP participants to accept additional financial risk they did not anticipate. A press release from a group opposed to the changes states that the cost of trading for each TSP shareholder has declined despite the market timing activities of some TSP participants.
The stock funds for the TSP are all down in February. This means that most of the stock funds are down for four straight months and down for six of the last nine months.
As stock market volatility continued in January, TSP interfund transfers soared. The F fund had the second highest amount of trades on record for the fund.
Your TSP stock funds have dropped dramatically in the past several months. Here are several points to keep in mind as you watch your retirement fund shrink.
TSP returns for the month of January reflected the faltering stock market as all of the TSP stock funds showed negative returns for the month of January. Here is a summation of what happened in significant market moves from 1929 – 2001 to help you put the current market turmoil into perspective.
Some readers are checking their TSP portfolio balance and they get upset. That is understandable as all of us prefer to see our investments go up. Before taking immediate action, take a deep breath and see how your investments have done over the past several years.
Panic selling of stocks has gripped overseas markets. The TSP stock funds may take a big dip as the American stock markets open after the long weekend. Can your TSP stock funds fall further than they already have? Here is an historical point of reference.