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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Category: Updates

Jun


18

How To Avoid Investment Scams – a Convicted Felon Comes Clean

Bernie Madoff perpetrated one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, with losses totaling between $50 and $65 billion.  He was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to 150 years in prison. In a recent interview from prison, Madoff shared how not to be taken in by a Ponzi scheme.  When asked where investors should put their money “with the least amount of risk for fraud,” Madoff answered: “The best chance for the average investor is to put money in an … more

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Jun


12

My Extended Medical Hiatus: A Reality Check on HDHPs/HSAs

I went on paternity leave a few months ago following the birth of our son.  Even before his birth, my wife and I had already visited the hospital facilities over a dozen times to check on his in-utero development, meet with potential pediatricians, check on things like car seat adjustments and to take CPR training.  I thought the birth of our son would be the only medical event of the year for us, but I was wrong. Within weeks of … more

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Jun


03

Additional TSP Site Security Warranted Following Hacking Incident

It is a truism in Washington that if an agency or politician needs to publicize negative news, it issues a press release on Friday afternoon just as everyone is headed home for the weekend.  The recently reported TSP hacking incident was certainly negative news, and TSP administrators posted their most recent update on Friday afternoon.  While the posting appeared on the site at just after 3 p.m. EST, still during business hours and not quite late enough to avoid garnering … more

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May


30

How Much Apple Do You Own?

With the incredible success in recent years of the iPhone, iPad, MacBook computers, iTunes, etc. etc., Apple has grown to become the largest company in the world.  The price of Apple’s stock has more than doubled over the past two years, from around $250 in mid-2010 to about $580 today.  At one point in early April, it reached an all-time high of $644.  The company is worth $541 billion, compared to the second-largest U.S. company, Exxon, which is worth $373 … more

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May


09

Say Good-Bye to the TSP-50

In a sign of how far the TSP website has come over the past ten years, TSP administrators on May 7th announced the discontinuation of the TSP-50 “Investment Allocation” form.  Many long-time investors probably remember that for many years, this was the main form used to change one’s contributions and request an interfund transfer.  Now that these functions are easily accessible on the TSP.gov website, this form has become obsolete. Here is the most recent version of the form TSP-50:

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May


08

TSP Now Allows Roth TSP Contributions…for Some

Many federal government agencies began taking requests from employees to switch their future contributions to Roth TSP accounts this week. Unfortunately, some TSP participants – especially those in defense-related work – have to wait until as late as October to begin Roth TSP.  The Defense Finance and Accounting Service announced on April 13 that Defense employees would have to wait until October in some cases to switch their personal contributions to the Roth TSP.  The DFAS announcement came a day … more

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Apr


19

Would DoD Ever Match Service Members’ TSP Contributions?

In February 2010, the Office of the Secretary of Defense issued a “Report to the Congress” titled Cost and Impact on Recruiting and Retention of Providing Thrift Savings Plan Matching Contributions.  The report was a little-noticed product of the June 2009 Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act, which empowered TSP administrators to establish a Roth TSP and separately called for the consideration of a TSP “mutual fund window”. A provision in the 2009 Act also included a “Sense of Congress” stating … more

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Apr


11

TSP Administrators Announce Implementation Date for Roth TSP

TSP administrators announced that the implementation date for the Roth TSP will be May 7, when government “agencies and services can begin accepting elections for Roth (after-tax) contributions at that time.”  The updated TSP Election Forms were a clue that the implementation date would come in May. Note that not all government offices are ready to implement the Roth TSP option.  According to the press release, TSP administrators are “aware that not all agencies or services have completed the technical … more

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Apr


11

After the Roth TSP, a ‘Mutual Fund Window’?

While the Roth TSP has received the lion’s share of attention since the June 2009 enactment of the “Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act,” the legislation also empowered the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) to allow a “mutual fund window” if “the Board determines that such addition would be in the best interests of participants.” A mutual fund window would allow TSP participants to invest some of their contributions in mutual funds outside the ten already offered in the TSP.  … more

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Apr


10

NFCC Surveys Financial Literacy

A survey sponsored by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that many adults in the past two years (42% 2012, 41% 2011) gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance, marking a statistically significant change from 2010, when as many as nearly 2 in 3 adults (65%) gave themselves an A or B. The survey found that 4 in 5 adults (80%) – a greater proportion than in 2011 (76%) – said they … more

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Apr


03

April is Financial Literacy Month

It seems fitting that “Financial Literacy Month” happens to coincide with the anniversary of the creation of the Thrift Savings Plan, which started taking contributions on April 1, 1987. TSP administrators just released the poster for this year’s Financial Literacy Month, below.  As you can see, this year’s major theme is the new “Roth TSP” option that is expected to be launched shortly.

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