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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Tag Archives: BlackRock

Sep


04

BlackRock’s Three-peat*

It’s official: BlackRock won the contract to continue managing the S Fund. According to the FRTIB’s recent press statement: The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) announced today that it has selected Blackrock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. as the investment manager for its Small Cap Stock Index Investment Fund (S Fund). The S Fund invests in a stock index fund that tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market Index. The earnings consist of dividend income and gains or … more

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Jan


29

Will BlackRock Continue to Manage the S Fund?

TSP administrators floated a request for proposals to manage the Small Cap Stock Index Investment Fund — the S Fund — earlier this month. This is the third major RFP to manage individual TSP funds in the past 18 months. BlackRock was re-awarded the contract to run the I Fund early last fall, three months after the RFP was first released in June last year.  The contract award was made in half the time originally anticipated, with the final award expected … more

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Sep


30

Blackrock Selected as I Fund Manager

Blackrock will continue to manage the I Fund, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board announced on September 16th. I suppose the only surprise is that the announcement came so soon.  As noted in early August, TSP administrators expected to make a decision by the end of the year.  This must mean there were very few – if any – fund management companies that submitted a proposal to manage the I Fund besides Blackrock.

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Aug


13

The Titans of TSP: BlackRock and now SAIC

TSP administrators announced late Friday that they have awarded the Technology and Enterprise Support Services (TESS) contract to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). According to the press release, the TESS contract is for two base years with three options (two years, one year, and one year) for a possible total of six years.  The total potential contract value if all options are exercised is $224.5 million plus phase-in costs of $2.5 million. The phase-in period will begin October 1, 2013 … more

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Aug


06

Will BlackRock Maintain Its Monopoly on Managing TSP Funds?

BlackRock Institutional Trust Company has managed TSP’s F, C, S, and I Funds ever since it acquired Barclays Global Investors in 2009. Now that the contracts to manage those funds are coming up for recompete, BlackRock has shown that it is looking to continue to manage the funds.  In December, it won a renewed contract to manage the F Fund for up to five years. Now the TSP is accepting Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to manage the I Fund, with … more

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Jun


21

TSP’s F Fund Manager Warns ‘Bond Funds…May Not Be So Safe Anymore’

BlackRock, which serves as the investment manager for the F Fund (as well as the three stock funds), has placed ads in U.S. papers over the past month warning about possible future losses of bond funds in the future. The most recent ad, appearing on page A15 of the June 18th Wall Street Journal, reads: “Once safe.  Now risky.  Rethink your bonds.” It continues by declaring: “The traditional bond funds you once considered safe investments may not be so safe … 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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Dec


19

F Fund Developments

In perhaps the most underwhelming news of the month, it was recently announced that BlackRock would continue to manage the Fixed Income Index Investment Fund – the F Fund.  (Management of the fund was recompeted this summer.) BlackRock won a one-year contract with four one-year options for renewal.  BlackRock had managed the fund since it acquired Barclay’s Global Investors – the former manager of the fund – in 2009. This likely bodes well for BlackRock in continuing to manage the … more

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Oct


22

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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Sep


04

The Power of $300 Billion in Assets

The TSP as of the end of May held over $305 billion in assets, according to official Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) figures.  About 44% of that amount, or approximately $132 billion, is invested in the stock funds.  This includes investments held directly by TSP participants in each of the stock funds (the C Fund, the S Fund, and the I Fund), and those held indirectly in the L Funds (the Income Fund, the 2020 Fund, etc).  The massive … more

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Aug


15

Bogle on the Future Returns of the F Fund

Jack Bogle is a legend in the personal investment world.  He was the first to popularize low-cost index funds in the 1970s.  While academics had shown the theoretical returns of index funds compared to actively managed funds, individual investors had no ability to invest in an index fund.  Bogle, the founder of the mutual fund company Vanguard, proposed the first S&P 500 index fund for individual investors in 1975, and the fund began accepting investments on August 31, 1976 as … more

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