THE TSP ALLOCATION GUIDE

Current Business Cycle Phase and TSP Allocation.  This monthly update provides our current Thrift Savings Plan allocation and the reasoning behind that allocation strategy.

Introduction to the TSP Allocation Guide.  Start here if this is your first visit to the site for an explanation of what this is all about.

Business Cycle Theory of TSP Investing.  An overview of the business cycle, which investments do well during each phase, and how we apply this in our TSP allocation strategy.

How to Determine the Current Phase of the Business Cycle.  A discussion of the economic indicators used to determine which phase of the business cycle we are in and to forecast upcoming phase changes.

F Fund vs. G Fund in TSP Allocation.  A discussion of the two funds and their very different roles in TSP allocation strategy.

The TSP I Fund Role in TSP Allocation Strategy.  Making the best of an international fund designed for the 1970s in today’s global economy.

Ignore the Noise: Discrete Events and Meaningless Market Volatility.  A discussion of discrete events which cause temporary market movements, and why our strategy does not react to them.

Traditional vs. Roth TSP.  Understanding which is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions.  A compilation of answers to the most common questions received.

Recommended Reading.  Books I recommend for those who want to explore investing and personal finance in greater depth.

Advanced Bond Fund Investing with the Thrift Savings Plan. A strategy for maximizing investments during periods when the TSP F Fund is favored.

The TSP Loan Guide. A breakdown of when a TSP loan makes sense, along with the basics of TSP loan eligibility and application.

The Archives

June 2014 Update

May 2014 Update

April 2014 Update

March 2014 Update

February 2014 Update

Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Shareholders. The yearly writeup from the Oracle of Omaha.

Debunking the January Barometer Myth. The “January Barometer” accurately predicts negative market returns for the full year following a down January only 33% of the time.

January 2014 Update

December 2013 Update

November 2013 Update

October 2013 Update

Shutdown and Debt Limit Update. Impacts of the current political theater on TSP allocation decisions.

September 2013 Update

August 2013 Update

July 2013 Update

13 thoughts on “THE TSP ALLOCATION GUIDE

  1. Hey, Thanks for your guide! It really helped me a lot to understand these kind of stuff especially for starters like me.

    Been in the military for almost 3yrs(USN), 24yrs old, and to be honest I’ve been recently concerned about my financial stability and future(concerned not in a bad way), just being responsible I guess?

    Been working on CDs, investments, small family business, and now my TSP.
    I’ll make sure to read more of your guides and other resources.

    Thanks again!

  2. Great blog! Wishing I had found it 3 years ago, glad I didn’t find it 20 years from now! Anyway, I was curious if you had a resource recommendation that could help me select sound non-TSP investments for my IRA and other accounts? Thanks!

  3. I wish I had started it three years ago! In an effort to keep things very simple, my IRAs are typically invested in the Vanguard equivalent to the TSP Fund(s) in which I am currently invested. I think I have all of those identified somewhere in the various posts on the site, but I will make a point of pulling together a list under resources in the near future and noting those funds in future updates.

  4. Just found your blog. The information is presented in such a way that even a caveman can benefit from your work. It is obviously a labor of love for you, and I am grateful that you share your knowledge with those of us that need a little coaching. I will be sure to share, and I hope your blog reaches thousands. Thanks!

  5. Been using a S&P 500 moving 200/40 average to determine when to get in and out of equities (c/s/i). Has worked well, but I do tend to get out later than I’d like as well as going back into stocks late missing some early gains.

    Thanks for creating this site. It really opened my eyes to a more intelligent way of TSP trading.

    Jon

  6. Very helpful. Especially for new government employees just getting started with retirement. I’ve emailed your link to multiple coworkers. Keep up the good work.

  7. Bro,
    “Here are the final returns for the month of April. The S-fund is clearly lagging and is clinging to a positive return for the year.” (0.17% up for the year, down -2.47%)

    Wouldn’t ya know, just as I implemented your strategy. “Hang on in there, Baby…”

    Take care

    • Hi Frank

      Thanks so much for your concise comment and sorry for any confusion – I certainly wasn’t trying to mislead anyone.

      The returns I put in the July update were as of when I was writing the post in the middle of the day on 07/07 (which means that the returns year-to-date were necessarily from the previous close before the weekend back on 07/03). If you go to any of the websites which allow you to obtain TSP returns for a date range (like http://tspcenter.com/tspReturns.php, for example) and plug in 01/01/14 – 07/03/14, you will see that the returns for that time period were 8.31%, so that’s where that number came from.

      I can certainly see why any reader would think I was referring to the 07/07 close, so I will hop back in there and clarify the dates.

      Thanks, TS

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