For TSP, 2019 was better than 2018 but stocks decreased

The Thrift Savings Plan closed out a volatile 2019 with modest increases in Lifecycle fund performances and a more mixed bag among its stock funds.

According to numbers released by the TSP on Thursday, the government securities investment G fund rose by 0.02% from November to December, while the international stock index I fund rose by 2.09% month to month.

The other stock funds — the small capitalization stock index S fund, the common stock index investment C fund and the fixed income investment F fund — each decreased by 2.39%, 0.62% and 0.03%, respectively month to month.TSP Dec 2019 returns

However, all funds did noticeably better last month compared to December 2018, according to Thursday’s numbers.

Looking at monthly returns, the highest performers year over year were the S fund, up 12.85% from December 2018, and the C fund, up 12.04% in that time. They were followed by the L 2050, up 8.88% year over year, and the I fund, up 8.06% from December 2018.

Meanwhile, from December 2018 to last month, the L 2040 grew by 7.76%, the L 2030 by 6.47%, the L 2020 by 3.04% and the L Income fund by 2.05%.

At the bottom of the list were the F fund, which fell by 1.92% last month compared to a year ago, and the G fund, which dropped by 0.10% year over year.

Nevertheless, all TSP funds posted positive returns for year-to-date performance, as seen in the chart below. As a whole, the federal government’s employee 401(k) plan ended 2019 in the black.

Thrift Savings Plan — Dec. 2019 Returns
Fund December Year-to-Date Last 12 Months
G fund 0.16% 2.24% 2.24%
F fund -0.08% 8.68% 8.68%
C fund 3.01% 31.45% 31.45%
S fund 2.15% 27.97% 27.97%
I fund 3.24% 22.47% 22.47%
L Income 0.74% 7.60% 7.60%
L 2020 0.86% 9.38% 9.38%
L 2030 1.83% 17.60% 17.60%
L 2040 2.15% 20.69% 20.69%
L 2050 2.43% 23.33% 23.33%

Comparing the last three calendar years of TSP performance, 2018 was significantly lower than 2017 or 2019. According to numbers provided by TSP, all funds’ calendar year performance was in the black in 2017 and 2019, while for 2018 six funds performed negatively: the L 2030, the L 2040, the L 2050, the C fund, the S fund and the I fund.

Throughout the last three years, however, the G fund remained fairly stable averaging about 2.49%.