TSP Funds Can’t Shake Off August Woes in September


The performance of the Thrift Savings Plan or TSP funds was atrocious in August, but that was understandable given the drag caused by the China market crisis in the latter half of the month. But the fact that TSP funds linked to the market slid further down for the month of September indicates how badly the stock markets were impacted in August.

Congress didn’t help during the second half of September either, by leaving the issue of a federal government shutdown hanging until a few hours before the Oct 1 deadline. The net result of the China hangover and the fresh pain caused by Congress was that only the G Fund and F Fund managed gains for the month of September. All the others were awash in red.

Specifically, the G Fund gained 0.18% in September, adding to the 0.18% gain in August. The G Fund, which is invested in U.S. treasury bonds, has gained 2.07% in the last 12 months, and showed a 1.51% gain for the year-to-date. All very impressive, but also an unfortunate indicator of how badly the other funds linked to stock indices are faring.

The F Fund likewise racked up an impressive gain of 0.75% in September, more than making up for the 0.11% loss in August. The F Fund has gained 1.44% for the year-to-date, and 3.39% in the last 12 months.

TSP Funds Invested in Stocks Slide Further in September

The C, S and I funds that are invested in domestic and international stock markets were wiped out across the board, tanking hard in September and adding to the sea of red ink the funds have been awash in through most of this year.

C Fund – Down 2.47% for September and 5.24% for the year-to-date. Performance over the last 12 months has been a net loss of 0.54%.

S Fund – Down 4.80% for September and 5.98% for the year-to-date. Performance over the last 12 months has been a net gain of 0.17%.

I Fund – Down 5.02% for September and 4.33% for the year-to-date. Performance over the last 12 months has been a net loss of 8.39%.

The L (Lifecycle) Funds, which are a mix of the core TSP funds, obviously didn’t do that well either in September, and all the L funds ended the month further down from August, as you can see:

L Income – (0.51%); L 2020 – (1.67%); L 2030 – (2.26%); L 2040 – (2.67%); L 2050 – (3.09%)

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