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: November 2012



Social Security Taxes and the TSP

Were you given the “three-legged stool” metaphor by government recruiters prior to beginning a career with the government?  I was.  During the retirement benefits discussion, I was told that retirement from government would be supported by three legs, which represented a basic government pension, Social Security, and a defined contribution plan (the Thrift Savings Plan).  Military personnel receive essentially the same benefits, although in lieu of matching contributions to the TSP, military personnel receive a higher pension at a younger … more




A Tale of Two C Fund Stocks

As readers know, the C Fund is based on the S&P 500 index and consists of the common stock of 500 largest publicly traded US companies.  The C Fund has declined a bit of late, but nothing like some of the stocks of individual companies in the index. The C Fund hit a high of $18.40 on September 14th, before it started to trend downward ahead of the early-November election.  It then dropped to $17.13 on Friday November 16th, which … more

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Fund Manager Highlights Negative Impact of Taxes on Investments

Bill Gross is the founder and co-chief investment officer at PIMCO, an investment fund company with over $1.7 trillion in assets under management.  His PIMCO Total Return Fund, which is a bond fund, returned 8.37% annually since 1987, higher than the 7.25% return of the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index bond fund (which is similar to the TSP’s F Fund).  The PIMCO Total Return Fund has almost $300 billion in assets under management, which almost matches the size of total TSP … more

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Will Increased Dividend Tax Rates Detrimentally Impact TSP Stock Funds?

Now that the 2012 elections are over, we have some additional certainty in tax policies.  Taxes will likely go up.  These taxes will almost certainly include an increase in both the dividend tax rate and the capital gains tax rate, from the current 15% to 20% for capital gains and up to 39.6% for the dividend tax rate.  Moreover, with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, an additional 3.8% surcharge will be added to capital gains and dividend tax … more

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Previous TSP Audits Discussed Security Related to Serco Services

In addition to its most recent audit on security, the advisory firm KPMG has completed at least seven audits of TSP-related topics in the past four years.  Two audits – both of which at least tangentially discussed Serco – stand out, given the issues related to the Serco information leak reported earlier this year and in light of the July 2012 audit.  And curiously, these two audits that touched upon Serco also appear to be incomplete—they are missing the Agency’s … more

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Multiple Lingering Security Issues Still ‘Open,’ Recent Audit Finds

The audit and advisory firm KPMG conducts periodic audits of the Thrift Savings Plan.  In 2010 it audited the “Lifecycle Funds Process.”  In 2011 it audited the “Withdrawals Process” and later the “Government Securities Investment Fund Investment Operations.”  Each contained results of the audit, along with a list of individuals interviewed, documents reviewed, and the “Agency’s responses” to the findings as an appendix. Most recently, KPMG completed an audit of the “computer access and technical security controls” of the TSP, … more