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TSP Has a Slow March

Two of the basic TSP funds ended the month in the red and no offerings had big gains.

March was a mediocre month for the federal employee Thrift Savings Plan. None of the funds in the 401(k)-style retirement plan boasted huge returns, and two of the main offerings were in the red, along with all of the lifecycle funds.

The best performer for the month was the S Fund, invested in small and midsize companies. That fund gained 1.24 percent for the month and is up 5.39 percent for the year so far.

Fixed income bonds in the F Fund and government securities also stayed in the black for March, though barely. The F Fund increased 0.47 percent for the month and 1.68 percent for 2015; the G Fund gained 0.16 percent in March and 0.47 percent for the year.

The C Fund, invested in common stocks, was down the most last month, losing 1.57 percent. But it was still up 0.97 percent for the year.

International stocks in the I Fund were down 1.43 percent for March but had a much more positive performance for the year to date, increasing 5.7 percent over that span.

The lifecycle funds -- designed to move investors to a safer portfolio as they near retirement – all lost ground last month. L Income – for those who have already started withdrawing money – lost 0.07 percent; L 2020 was down 0.44 percent; L 2030 fell 0.58 percent; L 2040 was down 0.64 percent; and L 2050 lost 0.76 percent.

The picture looked better for the year to date. L Income was up 1.03 percent for 2015; L 2020, 1.91 percent; L 2030, 2.34 percent; L 2040, 2.66 percent; and L 2050, 2.96 percent.  

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