TSP funds thrive in April

Following months of strong returns, nine of the 10 funds in the Thrift Savings Plan continued to enjoy modest growth in April.

The S Fund, which invests in small and mid-size companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, had the largest increase in April, rising 4.82 percent. It has made greater gains than any other fund in 2010, growing 15.21 percent, and also has produced the biggest rate of return during the previous 12 months, increasing 50.87 percent.

Other funds also climbed. The C Fund, invested in common stocks of large companies on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, had the second-largest growth in April, rising 1.58 percent, while the F Fund, invested in fixed-income bonds, increased by 1.07 percent, and the government securities, or G Fund, the plan's most stable offering, was up 0.28 percent. Since January, the C Fund has grown 7.06 percent; the F Fund increased 2.90 percent; and the G Fund is up 1.09 percent. During the past year, the C Fund has jumped 38.97 percent, while the F Fund has increased 8.40 percent, and the G Fund is up 3.22 percent.

The I Fund, which invests in overseas companies, was the only fund to lose value in April, falling 2.35 percent. It has fluctuated since the beginning of the year, dropping 5.17 percent in January. The fund's value is down 1.52 percent in 2010, but has grown 34.76 percent during the past 12 months.

All five life-cycle funds, designed to shift investors from a more aggressive portfolio earlier in their careers to more stable investments as they near retirement, made small gains in April. The L 2040 Fund rose 1.05 percent; the L 2030 Fund grew 0.94 percent; the L 2020 Fund was up 0.76 percent; the L 2010 Fund rose 0.51 percent; and the L Income Fund increased 0.50 percent.

Since January, the L 2040 fund has grown 5.44 percent; the L 2030 Fund is up 4.87 percent; the L 2020 Fund has increased 4.07 percent; the L 2010 Fund has risen 2.36 percent; and the L Income Fund inched up 2.23 percent. All five funds have grown during the last 12 months as well: the L 2040 Fund by 33.42 percent; the L 2030 Fund by 29.34 percent; the L 2020 Fund by 24.48 percent; the L 2010 Fund by 12.30 percent, and the L Income Fund by 10.31 percent.

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