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Most TSP Funds Take a Tumble in August

Only two of the Thrift Savings Plan’s portfolios ended last month in the black.

Most of the offerings in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program lost ground in August, reflecting widespread market volatility.

Only two funds in the Thrift Savings Plan grew last month: the government securities of the G Fund, which increased 0.18%, and the fixed income bonds in the F Fund, which grew 2.6%. So far in 2019, the G Fund has increased 1.65%, while the F Fund has grown 9.11%.

The common stocks of the C Fund lost 1.59% in August, bringing the fund's 2019 growth down to 18.32%. The international (I) fund was down 1.77% last month, bringing its gains this year to 10.04%.

The small- and mid-size businesses of the S Fund saw the worst performance in August, losing 4.19%. So far this year, the S Fund has grown 16.34%.

All portfolios in the TSP’s lifecycle (L) funds, which shift to more stable investments as participants get closer to retirement, finished August in the red. The L Income Fund, designed for people who already have begun making withdrawals, lost 0.12%; L 2020, 0.24%; L 2030, 0.96%; L 2040, 1.22%; and L 2050, 1.46%.

So far in 2019, the L Income Fund has grown 4.78%; L 2020, 6.04%; L 2030, 10.21%; L 2040, 11.83%; and L 2050, 13.17%.