TSP rebounds in November

All the funds were in the black last month despite fiscal cliff fears.

All the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan experienced modest gains in November, despite concern over the impending fiscal cliff.

November overall was a much better month for the TSP than October. International stocks in the I Fund continued to be the TSP’s strongest performer, posting a return of 2.41 percent last month. The fund is up 14.04 percent since January and has increased 11.72 percent during the past 12 months.

The C Fund, invested in common stocks on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, gained a slight 0.57 percent, after posting negative returns in October. The fund has increased 15.03 percent since the beginning of the year and 16.22 percent in the last 12 months. The S Fund, also in the red in October, rebounded in November, rising 1.53 percent. The S Fund is invested in small and midsize companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index; it has increased 15.42 percent during the past 12 months and 15.46 percent since January.

Congress and the White House currently are in a stalemate over negotiations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Various tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2012, the government is scheduled to hit its debt limit this month, and automatic across-the-board spending cuts will affect federal agencies beginning in January unless political leaders can strike a deal to avoid or defer them. The market has been in a holding pattern in anticipation of an outcome.

The stable government securities (G) fund had the weakest performance in November, growing just 0.11 percent last month and down slightly from its 0.12 percent increase in October. Fixed income bonds in the F Fund eked up 0.16 percent in November. Since January, the G Fund has risen 1.35 percent, while the F Fund has gained 4.43 percent.

All TSP’s five life-cycle funds, designed to move investors to less risky portfolios as they near retirement, finished November in the black, an improvement over October’s negative returns. The L Income Fund, for employees who already have started withdrawing money from their TSP accounts, rose 0.34 percent, L 2020 was up 0.77 percent last month, L 2030 gained 0.93 percent, L 2040 posted a positive return of 1.06 percent, and the L 2050 increased 1.19 percent.

During the past 12 months, the L Income is up 4.49 percent, L 2020 has increased 9.24 percent, L 2030 gained 11.07 percent, L 2040 is up 12.44 percent, and L 2050 rose 13.64 percent.

(Image via McIek/