August TSP returns show lackluster performance

Any concerns of a pending economic recession may not be quelled by the latest round of Thrift Savings Plan fund performance. According to numbers released by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board this week, August followed July’s pattern of widespread month-over-month drops, as well as year-over-year decreases in all but two funds: The fixed income investment F fund and international stock index I fund.

Last month’s returns are similar to those of August 2018 in that most funds had drops in performance; the difference is that last year, most funds were still in the black.

The F fund managed to increase from 0.21% in July to 2.60% in August, and the I fund also increased but remained in the red. It went from -2.09% in July to -1.77% last month, according to the latest returns.

The government securities investment G fund remained reliably flat from July at 0.18% but was still down 0.08% from a year ago.

The common stock index investment C fund fell into the red, from 1.44% in July to -1.59% in August, and the small capitalization stock index S fund had the worst performance of all the TSP index funds — from 1.64% in July to -4.19% last month.

Among Lifecycle funds, August saw the second straight month of across-the-board decreases in returns and the first time all five funds finished in the red since May. The largest among them was in the L 2050 fund, which fell 1.68% to -1.46% compared to 0.22% in July.

The L income fund had a return of -0.12% in August versus 0.19% in July, and the L 2020 fund had a return of -0.24% last month compared to 0.21% in July.

The L 2030 fund dropped by 1.17% to -0.96% in August, while the L 2040 fund had an August return of -1.22% compared to 0.22% the month before.

Thrift Savings Plan — August 2019 Returns
Fund August Year-to-Date Last 12 Months
G fund 0.18% 1.65% 2.67%
F fund 2.60% 9.11% 10.23%
C fund -1.59% 18.32% 2.91%
S fund -4.19% 16.34% -6.45%
I fund -1.77% 10.04% -2.83%
L Income -0.12% 4.78% 2.71%
L 2020 -0.24% 6.04% 2.29%
L 2030 -0.96% 10.21% 1.48%
L 2040 -1.22% 11.83% 1.04%
L 2050 -1.46% 13.17% 0.57%

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