February 22, 2016 at 2:52 pm #18262
I am young and new to the federal workforce. My coworkers referred me to your site and to another TSP investing site. The recommendations on both sites are vastly different, confusing me even more. Is one site more geared toward those looking to retire in the near future? Under what circumstances would one want to be 100% G Fund?Why are the approaches so varied? Just trying to understand the rationale behind the advice on each site so I can make the best financial decisions for me. Thanks.February 22, 2016 at 7:03 pm #18263
Take some time to read all of Paul’s information on this website. As a new employee to the federal government it is well worth your time to educate yourself about long term financial planning. There are plenty of TSP sites on the web, I have visited most but like what I find here. There are different reasons some sites are currently in G fund, those that are near retirement and those that try and time the market month to month.February 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm #18265
TS Paul takes a long term approach and does not try to time the market for short term 6-12 months.
Other sites, some of which, try to time the market a little better. The ones I have seen that are in G are tring to avoid loses in this correction. If you followed those sites and at the end of December went all G fund then you would have saved 20% on your TSP, a pretty big deal. But these sites are some times correct and some times incorrect. Very hard to time and some times it will work out and some times you will lose money.
TS Paul does a decent job looking at all the data and making an educated guess. But with the market it really is a guess as the market is near impossible to predict. Even TS Paul admitted he should have been in the C fund almost 2 years ago over the S fund.
Do not try to time the market, you will never win only get lucky once in a while. Either invest in a L fund or keep you money in the C and S funds and using sites like this try to move you money into the G and F funds during recessions. They are just not always easy to time.February 22, 2016 at 9:52 pm #18266
Thanks, guys. I am definitely going to read all I can. This is a great resource, especially for new federal employees.February 23, 2016 at 1:15 am #18273
Don’t worry, John, you can say the names of other TSP sites on this message board.
(Interestingly enough, the only reason the message board on this site exists today is because the folks at TSP Talk wouldn’t approve my membership over there because they were afraid I was going to promote this site on their board. I was actually going to refer people from this site to have discussions on their board rather than going to the trouble of setting up my own, but apparently they were concerned about something other the free exchange of ideas…)
As far as reading other sources of information about investing, I strongly encourage readers to do exactly that. I get information from dozens of sources and am regularly looking for new ones.
For what it is worth, a few of the ways I select new sources of information:
(1) I very seldom read anything on TSP specific websites. The TSP is made up of very broad market indexes which lots of people in the bigger world write about, and I generally find more sophisticated, thoughtful analysis from sources who are looking at the markets and economy from that broader perspective. The world’s brightest economists and financial minds are not spending their days focused on the Thrift Savings Plan. (I know my place in the world – I am not having any original thoughts or breaking new ground on here. I am just explaining how what some of the really smart folks out there are saying translates to investing in the TSP.) That all sounds very snarky, and I don’t mean to belittle some extremely clever people out there who write very helpful things which are specific to the TSP.
(2) I don’t pay for anything these days except for the Wall Street Journal. There is more good, free information out there than I have time to read, so I don’t feel the need to pay for someone’s opinions.
(3) I run screaming away from anyone who makes investment decisions based on their “gut.”
(4) If I read the work of someone who purports to forecast what the market will do in the short term (the next couple of months), I do so with a wrinkled nose and through tightly squinted, cynical eyes. Because if they could really do that with any regularity, they would be billionaires and would be too busy having their cats cloned in various colors to be interacting with the likes of us.
Good luck out there.
The TSP Allocation Guide www.TSPallocation.com
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