TSP funds recover more slowly in August

All 10 of the Thrift Savings Plan's investment funds posted smaller gains in August than they did in July, though they continued their recovery from last fall's losses.

The government securities, or G Fund, considered the TSP's most stable option, rose 0.28 percent in August as it did in July. The fund's value is up 1.93 percent since the beginning of January, and 3.13 percent, compared with the same time last year.

Some of the more volatile funds posted significant gains in August, and have grown substantially this year, but still have not recovered from major losses in late 2008. The I Fund, which invests in overseas companies, posted the highest gains in August, growing 4.87 percent. That fund has grown 22.69 percent since Jan. 1, but it's value is still down 14.2 percent since the start of 2008.

Similarly, the S Fund, which invests in small- and mid-size companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, again had the second-largest gains in August, rising 3.85 percent. The fund's value is up 21.71 percent in 2009, but down 19.78 percent compared with the previous year.

The C Fund, which invests in common stocks of large companies on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, had the third-largest August growth, rising 3.62 percent in value. The fund has risen 15.15 percent in 2009, though its value is down 18.18 percent since this time in 2008.

The F Fund, which invests in fixed-income bonds, has made the most significant gains during the past year, rising in value 8 percent since September 2008 and 4.64 percent since Jan. 1. In August, the fund's value grew 1.03 percent.

The life-cycle funds, designed to pursue aggressive gains early in an employee's career and shift to a more conservative mix of investments as employees near retirement, all made modest gains in August. The L 2040 Fund rose 3.41 percent; the L 2030 Fund grew 3.02 percent; the L 2020 Fund rose 2.57 percent; the L 2010 Fund grew by 1.3 percent; and the L Income Fund, for the workers who are closest to retirement, grew 1.07 percent.

All five life-cycle funds have grown compared with their value on Jan. 1, but only the L Income Fund's value is greater than it was a year ago. This year, the L 2040 Fund has risen 16.35 percent; the L 2030 Fund has grown 14.67 percent; the L 2020 Fund is up 12.61 percent; the L 2010 Fund has grown 6.70 percent; and the L Income Fund is up 5.72 percent.

During the past 12 months, the L 2040 Fund has declined 11.98 percent; the L 2030 Fund has fallen 9.61 percent; the L 2020 Fund's value is down 7.04 percent; the L 2010 Fund fell 2.05 percent; and the L Income Fund is up 0.66 percent.

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