TSP equity funds post losses for November

By Brittany R. Ballenstedt bballenstedt@govexec.com December 3, 2007

The most reliable funds in the Thrift Savings Plan made minimal gains for November, while all other funds lost ground.

Fixed-income bonds represented in the 401(k)-style federal employee retirement plan's F Fund posted the greatest gains last month out of the five basic investment options, rising 1.88 percent. The fund's yearlong growth stood at 6.25 percent.

The government securities (G) fund, which is the most reliable, earned 0.33 percent last month. But the fund's 4.8 percent 12-month return remained the lowest in the TSP.

The S Fund, which invests in small- and mid-sized companies by tracking the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, dropped the most in November, falling 5.65 percent. The fund's 12-month gains were 6.03 percent.

The C Fund, composed of common stocks on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index of the largest domestic companies, experienced losses of 4.2 percent. It had the second-highest returns for the year, however, coming in at 7.76 percent.

The international investments represented in the I Fund dipped last month as well, falling 3.72 percent. But the fund's 17.54 percent 12-month return remained by far the highest in the plan.

The TSP also has life-cycle (L) options, a blend of the five basic funds that automatically grows more conservative as investors near retirement. All five L funds experienced losses in November.

L 2040, intended for employees with a target retirement date around the year 2040, dropped 3.36 percent; L 2030 fell 2.94 percent; L 2020 lost 2.33 percent; and L 2010 went down 1.21 percent. The L Income Fund, designed for employees with planned retirements in the very near future, experienced minimal losses of 0.44 percent for the month.

All the L funds posted gains for the year. The L 2040 Fund continued to show the most long-term growth, coming in at 9.66 percent over 12 months. L 2030 grew 9.09 percent, L 2020 gained 8.70 percent, L 2010 earned 7.50 percent and L Income made 6.15 percent.