Common stocks lead April TSP earnings

Common stocks in the Thrift Savings Plan made the strongest gains for April, though they still trailed behind the plan's international investments for yearlong growth.

The C Fund, which tracks Standard & Poor's 500 Index of stocks in the largest domestic companies, gained 4.43 percent last month, far outperforming the others. That increase brought the C Fund's 12-month total growth to 15.23 percent.

The international investments represented in the 401(k)-style retirement plan's I Fund had the second-best showing last month, posting gains of 3.76 percent. But the I Fund outperformed the other funds in terms of growth for the year, with 12-month returns of 18.99 percent.

The S Fund, which invests in small- and mid-sized companies by tracking the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, grew 2.51 percent last month, for a 12-month gain of 11.67 percent.

The fixed-income bonds in the F Fund had minimal gains for April, coming in at 0.53 percent. The fund's 12-month earnings stood at 7.37 percent.

Finally, the government securities (G) fund -- which is the most reliable TSP option, with a guaranteed small but steady growth -- earned 0.42 percent last month for a yearlong 5.03 percent increase.

TSP participants can also invest in five life cycle funds, made up of a mix of the underlying basic funds. The L funds shift participants' investments from riskier to more conservative blends as they age. L funds with riskier allocations posted the strongest gains for April.

L 2040, intended for employees with a target retirement date around the year 2040, gained 3.28 percent. The L 2030 Fund earned 2.95 percent; the L 2020 gained 2.58 percent; the L 2010 increased 1.76 percent; and the L Income, designed for employees with planned retirements in the very near future, grew 1.08 percent.

The L funds with riskier allocations also earned more over 12 months. L 2040 gained 14.27 percent, L 2030 grew 13.11 percent, L 2020 gained 12.04 percent, L 2010 earned 9.63 percent and L Income made 7.30 percent.

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