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Thrift Savings Plan funds make few, if any, gains in October

Three basic funds post tiny increases and two fall into the red.

October was a lackluster month for the Thrift Savings Plan, with three of the basic funds posting barely perceptible gains and two ending the month in the red.

International stocks in the I Fund remained the strongest performers in October, gaining just 0.85 percent. The fund has risen 6.41 percent during the past 12 months, however. The government securities (G) fund finished October up 0.12 percent and gained 1.53 percent for the past 12 months. The fixed income bonds in the F Fund earned 0.20 percent for the month and 5.33 percent for the past 12 months.

The C Fund, invested in common stocks on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, and the S Fund, which is invested in small and midsize companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, both ended October in the red. The C Fund had losses of 1.86 percent while the S Fund lost 1.31 percent. Both stocks still have posted solid performances during the past 12 months, with the C Fund gaining 15.32 percent and the S Fund, 13.11 percent.

All five of TSP’s life-cycle funds, which move participants to less risky portfolios as they near retirement, finished October in the red. The L Income Fund, for employees who already have started withdrawing money from their TSP accounts, fell 0.11 percent, but has increased more than 4 percent during the past 12 months. L 2020 was down 0.45 percent for October; L 2030 fell 0.60 percent, L 2040 fell 0.71 percent and L 2050 fell 0.80 percent.

All life-cycle funds have posted positive returns during the past 12 months. L 2020 increased 8.03 percent, L 2030 gained 9.51 percent, L 2040 is up 10.58 percent, and L 2050 rose 11.44 percent.

The TSP was closed for transactions Oct. 29-30 due to Hurricane Sandy, and beneficiaries were unable to conduct transactions until the afternoon of Oct. 31.