Welcome to TSP Strategies

Welcome to TSPstrategies.com! This Web site is dedicated to exploring the benefits of saving and investing in the Thrift Savings Plan.

The companion book, TSP Investing Strategies: Building Wealth While Working for Uncle Sam, lays out a simple set of strategies for long-term, buy-and-hold investors to consider while investing in the TSP. This Web site and accompanying blog will build on those concepts, while focusing on new investing options and developments related to the TSP.

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Monthly Archives: October 2012



How Much ‘Star Wars’ Do You Own?

In a surprise announcement today, Disney said it is buying George Lucas’s Lucasfilm Ltd and its “Star Wars” franchise for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. Lucasfilm was wholly owned by George Lucas, so until now, the only way to own any of the Star Wars franchise was to buy the movie trilogy or hexology – or any of the myriad cartoons, video games, and other random merchandise – at the store. Once the sale of Lucasfilm is completed (and … more

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The TSP and Independence

When I was a reservist in the mid-1990s, I witnessed an unexpected event:  A fellow soldier in my unit was approaching his 12th year in the military – a stint on active duty followed by a few years in our reserve unit – and it was time to re-enlist.  The only thing was, he didn’t want to. He was an E-7, Sergeant First Class, in a critical skill (he was a linguist).  He was offered a nice bonus – not … more

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Increase in 2013 Contribution Limits for TSP, IRAs, and HSAs

The IRS recently announced an increase in the 2013 contribution limits for the Thrift Savings Plan and for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). The contribution limit will rise from $17,000 this year to $17,500 in 2013.  The $5,500 catch-up contribution limit for those 50 and over will remain the same in 2013. For IRAs, the $5,000 contribution limit this year will rise to $5,500 in 2013. As noted previously, the 2013 limit for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) has also increased, from … more

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Greece Effectively Dropped from I Fund

Given all the troubles in Europe – and particularly in Greece – one of the more frequent questions that comes into this site is how much of the I Fund is invested in companies located in that country. The TSP’s I Fund seeks “to match the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International EAFE (Europe, Australasia, Far East) Index.”  According to MSCI’s definition of the EAFE index, the index currently invests in 22 countries, including Greece. While the TSP does … more

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Falling Expenses Make Outside Investments More Competitive with TSP Funds

TSP administrators should beware: private-sector funds are becoming price-competitive with the TSP as their expense ratios fall to within reach of those of funds in the Thrift Savings Plan. The TSP historically has had several features to recommend it compared to investing in other accounts.  Foremost are the tax-advantaged nature of the TSP funds and the extremely low expense ratios compared to funds offered by outside companies. However, the selection of funds in the TSP is limited compared to the … more

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