Modest Gains for TSP in February

After strong January, momentum slows for investment offerings last month, and international stocks take a dip.

Investment funds in the Thrift Savings Plan had a lackluster February, after starting the year strong in January.

All the plan’s funds posted positive returns for February, except the one invested in international stocks, which dropped 0.99 percent. The I Fund increased 4.45 percent in January; during the last 12 months the fund gained 10.75 percent.

The other funds’ gains last month were modest compared to January’s returns. The C Fund, which had the highest return of the funds in February, increased 1.36 percent, after earning 5.18 percent in January. The fund, invested in common stocks, rose 13.5 percent during the last 12 months.

The S Fund -- which is invested in small and midsize companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index – was up 1 percent last month, compared to 6.96 percent in January. The S Fund was the TSP’s top performer in January. It has gained 14.48 percent during the last 12 months. The fixed (F) income fund actually performed better in February than in January, increasing 0.51 percent last month, and rising 3.27 percent during the past 12 months.

The TSP’s most stable offering, the government securities in the G fund stayed the same, earning 0.13 percent in both February and January. That fund earned 1.47 percent during the last 12 months. The Treasury Department recently made whole the federal pension coffers it tapped during the latest debt ceiling debacle, reinvesting $28 billion back into the G fund.

The lifecycle funds, designed to move investors to less risky portfolios as they near retirement, were all in the black for February, although the returns were not as robust as January. L Income – for TSP participants who have already started withdrawing money – earned 0.27 percent; L 2020 increased 0.41 percent; L 2030 was up 0.49 percent; L 2040 grew 0.54 percent; and L 2050 came in at 0.56 percent.

Lifecycle investments also have performed respectably for the past 12 months, with L Income gaining 3.96 percent, L 2020 up 7.94 percent, L 2030 increasing 9.54 percent, L 2040 bringing in 10.72 percent and L 2050 at 11.78 percent.

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