After volatile last month of 2018, TSP funds tumble

After across-the-board growth in November, most of the Thrift Savings Plan’s funds showed the opposite effect last month, according to the latest returns. December saw slower gains in the U.S. stock market thanks to anxieties about rising interest rates, expected falls in economic growth and a trade war with China — and diversified 401(k) plans were not immune, the Associated Press reported.

All funds except the fixed income investment F fund and the government securities investment G fund showed negative returns month-over-month in December. The F fund increased by 1.22 percent to 1.84 percent, while the G fund flatlined at 0.26 percent, where it has been since October.

The largest drop was in the small capitalization stock index S fund, which fell 12.62 percent to -10.70 percent in December compared to November. The next largest decreases were in the common stock index investment C fund and the Lifecycle 2050 fund, which dropped 11.07 percent and 7.67 percent in December, respectively.

In one aspect, December’s performance was largely similar to December 2017, when just the G and F funds showed positive returns and the former only improved by 1 percent. But as a whole the month-over-month losses in December 2017 were lower than this past year: then, the greatest decline was by 2.43 percent in the S fund.

Year-to-date, however, most fund performance showed improvement in December compared to November.

Thrift Savings Plan — December 2018 Returns
Fund November Year-to-Date Last 12 Months
G fund 0.26% 2.91% 2.91%
F fund 1.84% 0.15% 0.15%
C fund -9.03% -4.41% -4.41%
S fund -10.70% -9.26% -9.26%
I fund -4.82% -13.43% -13.43%
L Income -1.31% 0.71% 0.71%
L 2020 -2.18% -0.36% -0.36%
L 2030 -4.64% -3.58% -3.58%
L 2040 -5.61% -4.89% -4.89%
L 2050 -6.45% -6.02% -6.02%