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: March 2013

Mar


28

Military Retirement and the TSP

It was around this time of year several decades ago that my father began a conversation with me about my future.  I was a high school junior, and like many high schoolers, I had vague plans about traveling, eventually getting through college, and then doing just whatever might come my way. That’s when he talked to me about joining the military.  He had been in the Army by that point almost twenty years.  As upperclassmen in high school, we were … more

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Mar


19

Study Recommends Keeping Status Quo for TSP Fund Offerings

Are you satisfied with the investment options in your TSP account?  Then you will agree with a recent “Investment Option Review” report conducted by Hewitt EnnisKnupp for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB). On the other hand, if you are looking to further diversify beyond what the TSP has to offer, you may have to wait a while longer. The review compares the funds offered in the TSP to private sector “peer” plans and to the ten largest public sector plans. … more

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Mar


18

FINRA Investor Alert and the F Fund

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an “investor alert” last month discussing the risk of bonds in a potential rising interest rate environment, particularly long-term bonds. As TSP investors know, the F Fund is based on the “Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Index,” which is a total U.S. bond market index fund.  Thus, FINRA’s investor alert relates directly to F Fund investors. Perhaps the most important paragraph of the alert was the following: “Currently, interest rates are hovering near historic … more

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Mar


17

A Rising Retirement Age?

The discussion in Congress and the White House on retirement contributions and minimum retirement ages are not unfounded.  We are living longer and healthier, while the number of taxpayers projected to support the growing population of retirees is falling relative to what it was in the mid-1900s when many of the programs took their current shape. Given the changes in lifespans and worker-retiree ratios, adjustments have to be made. Europe is facing a similar situation.  Populations there are growing older, … more

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Mar


16

The TSP and Facebook

Interested in investing some of your TSP savings in Facebook?  Or would you rather avoid it like the plague? In either case, take a look at the S Fund.  Facebook is the sixth-largest holding in the S Fund as of February 28th.  The S Fund is based on the U.S. Completion Total Stock Market Index, and as the name suggests, the publicly traded companies in the U.S. (like Facebook) that are not included in the C Fund – which is … more

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Mar


12

TSP Issues Warning on Third-Party Apps

The TSP issued a warning earlier today about third-party apps, particularly ones that request TSP account information.  While a TSP app could eventually be developed perhaps as early as this year, TSP has yet to launch one. The TSP warning reads: Warning: Third-Party Mobile Applications — There are a number of mobile applications that reference the Thrift Savings Plan and may prompt you for your TSP account credentials. These applications are NOT sponsored by the TSP. The TSP cannot endorse … more

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Mar


11

The Wisdom of TSP Crowds

When it comes to asset allocation among the TSP funds, it is interesting to take a look at where others are putting their money in aggregate. According to official statistics, the TSP reached $330 billion in total assets at the end of 2012, which was 10% higher than in January when the TSP first surpassed $300 billion in assets.  This growth includes additional contributions through the year (participants contributed a net total of around $12 billion in 2012), and the … more

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Mar


10

Maybe 150 Isn’t So Far-Fetched After All…

According to the UK’s Mail Online, “Drugs that could combat ageing and help people to live to 150-years-old may be available within five years.”  Read the full article here. Maybe living to 150 in our lifetimes isn’t so far-fetched after all…!

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Mar


05

Number of Roth TSP Participants, Investments Grow Steadily

The number of TSP participants contributing to the Roth TSP – first available to federal workers in May 2012 – grew to 101,000 at the end of 2012, according to official TSP statistics. There were over 4.6 million TSP participants as of the end of 2012.  TSP participants contributing to Roth TSP accounts therefore represented about 2.4% of the overall participation rate. In total, Roth TSP accounts held $129.6 million at the end of December. The average Roth TSP fund … more

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Mar


04

Charitable Gift Annuities as Alternatives to the TSP-Sponsored Annuity

A new annuity rate was posted to tsp.gov on Friday.  The rate rose slightly from 1.75% in February to 2% this month.  The 1.75% annuity rate, first reached in August, was the lowest on record. The slight increase in annuity rate reflects the slight rise in interest rates over the past two months.  The mid-February U.S. Treasury 10-Year Note offered a median yield of 2.01%, for example. But already in the past week, rates have begun to fall again.  The … more

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Mar


02

Sequestration and Your TSP Account

With the official start of the sequester, TSP administrators on Friday released a two-page fact sheet, “Sequestration and Your TSP Account.” The fact sheet discusses four topics: -       How will a furlough affect my TSP contributions? -       Should I terminate my TSP contributions? -       Should I consider a financial hardship withdrawal? -       Should I take a loan? The fact sheet can be accessed on the TSP site here.

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