TSP Funds Struggle to Deliver Good Results in Down Markets
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Funds attempt to match the progress of the underlying stock market indices for each fund. It should not come as a great surprise to investors that if the stock markets are down in general, these funds will largely follows suit. In 2015, the stock markets struggled and failed to put in a positive performance, which has led to a poor performance of TSP accounts accross the board…
2015 Performance of the TSP Funds
With the S&P 500 benchmark index down .7% for all of 2015, U.S. stocks notched their worst yearly performance since the Great Recession days of 2008. Most of the TSP funds which are heavily correlated to these stock market indices fared little better. Some of them did worse even. The C Fund managed to buck the trend, but several of the others failed to outperform. The S Fund proved to be the biggest loser in 2015. This fund made up of small cap stocks fell a disappointing -2.92%. Foreign stock investors in the I fund did a little better, but still saw their account values drop. This fund slid by -.51%. Hopes for a TSP Fund Santa Claus rally similarly proved ill founded in 2015. Only the G fund managed a positive December. All of the other Thrift Savings Plan Funds saw declines in what is often the best month of the year for the overall stock markets.
Despite these TSP Fund losses, the C Fund continued its multiple year trend of making positive gains. This S&P 500 index based fund increased by 1.46% for the year. Most, if not all, of these gains came from the paid out dividends that are added back to the fund value. This marked seven years in a row of consecutive gains for this fund since the disaster of 2008 when the C Fund lost nearly 37% of its total value.
Bond and fixed income TSP funds were also positive. Their returns are not based on the stock market, which gives them the opportunity to make money in good and bad markets. The government bond G fund lived up to expectations of a positive return. It yielded 2.04% in what proved to be the best 2015 annual return of all the TSP funds. The Fixed Income F Fund looked lackluster by comparison. Though positive for the year, it returned a more meager .91%.
About the TSP Funds
Each of these TSP Funds has a different index and segment of the market for which it attempts to capture the performance. The G Fund is different from the others in that it has a separate management company than the other funds. L Funds are based on specific time horizons for the fund objectives.
Who Manages the TSP Funds
Naturally the results of the performance of each of these funds ultimately depend upon who is managing them. In the case of the TSP Funds, the FRTIB Executive Director has selected a well known and respected investment company to handle the F, C, S, and I Funds. The assets are selected, bought, invested, and managed by BlackRock Institutional Trust Company. Even a quality company like BlackRock has a hard time delivering positive results when the benchmarks they are tracking are down for the year.
Get Your Free PDF Report on How to Protect, Diversify and Grow your Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) Now
If you are dissatisfied with your TSP's returns, or worried about the future of the economy, you need to request this free PDF report. It contains some information on TSP retirement accounts, why they are underperforming and how to effectively use precious metals as a way to diversify, protect and grow your savings in difficult/unpredictable economic and geopolitical landscapes.