Thrift Savings Plan funds bloom in March

By Alyssa Rosenberg April 1, 2010

All but one of the 10 funds in the Thrift Savings Plan made gains in March, following a strong month in February.

The S Fund, which invests in small and midsize companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, led the pack for the second month in a row, rising 7.39 percent. The fund's value is up 9.91 percent since the beginning of 2010, and 65.51 percent during the past 12 months.

The international (I) fund, invested in overseas companies, also had a strong March after it was buffeted by losses earlier in the year. Its value rose 6.28 percent in March, and while it has gained only 0.85 percent since the beginning of 2010, it had the second-largest growth of any fund during the past 12 months, at 54.74 percent.

Close behind was the C Fund, invested in common stocks of large companies on Standard & Poor's 500 Index. It grew 6.04 percent in March, and is up 5.40 percent for 2010 and 49.92 percent for the past 12 months. The government securities (G) fund, made modest gains of 0.27 percent in March, and has risen 0.81 percent since January and 3.15 percent since March 2009.

The F Fund, which invests in fixed-income bonds, was the only offering to decline in value in March, falling 0.11 percent. Overall, the fund has gained 1.81 percent since Jan. 1, and 7.78 percent for the previous 12 months.

All the life-cycle funds, which move enrollees from riskier to more conservative investments as they approach retirement, rose in March. The L 2040 Fund was up 5.15 percent; the L 2030 Fund gained 4.52 percent; the L 2020 Fund grew 3.75 percent; the L 2010 Fund rose 1.61 percent; and the L Income Fund gained 1.43 percent. All five funds also are up since the beginning of 2010: the L 2040 Fund by 4.34 percent, the L 2030 Fund by 3.89 percent, the L 2020 Fund by 3.28 percent, the L 2010 Fund by 1.84 percent, and the L Income Fund by 1.72 percent.