TSP funds finish April with mixed results

More than half of Thrift Savings Plan funds finished April in the red after posting mostly positive returns in 2012.

The I Fund, invested in international stocks, lost the most in April, dropping 1.87 percent. The fund, often troubled in 2011, experienced a small uptick in March and posted positive returns in both February and January of this year. The I Fund has posted losses of more than 12 percent in the past 12 months.

TSP’s S Fund, which is invested in small and midsize companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, posted a loss of 0.71 percent in April. The fund was down 1.24 percent in the past 12 months but up 13.64 percent so far in 2012.

The C Fund, invested in stocks on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, lost 0.62 percent in April after climbing 3.3 percent in March and 4.34 percent in February. Both the F Fund, which is invested in fixed-income bonds, and the G fund, comprised of government-backed securities, ended April in the black, up 1.12 percent and 0.15 percent, respectively.

All the TSP’s life-cycle funds ended April in the red, except for the L Income Fund, which is for federal employees who have reached their target retirement date and already have started withdrawing money. Even that fund was nearly flat in April, with 0.01 percent growth, after rising 0.54 percent in March and 2.73 percent this year.

The L2020 lost 0.38 in April; it has increased 6.52 percent since the start of 2012. The L 2030 lost 0.52 in March but has gained more than 8 percent so far this year. The L2040 lost 0.63 percent in April but has gained more than 9 percent in 2012 overall. The L2050 has posted a 0.78 loss for the month; it has gained more than 10 percent so far but has posted a loss of 0.73 in the last 12 months. The life-cycle funds are designed to move TSP enrollees into less risky portfolios as they near retirement.

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