2019 was a banner year for the TSP stock funds.  In fact, 2019 was the best year for the S&P500 (C fund) in the past 6 years.  A rate of return of just over 30% is a giant move by any measure, and many TSP investors did very well this year.  

Let’s say you are a “Buy and Hold” TSP investor and you have been 100% invested in the C fund for the past several years.  If you look at your 2019 PIP (Personal Investment Performance) that posted to your account on 03 January, you should see approximately 30.45%.  You have had a GREAT year!  Now, let’s put that into context…

In 2018, the “Buy & Hold” strategy did not do as well.  The C fund was down almost 10% in 2018.  In fact, from the late January 2018 high of 2875, it took until October 2019 to make real gains above that level.  Since January 2018 the C fund has fluctuated up and down, including some big gains AND big losses, along the 2875 line.  The rally that we have had since early October 2019 represents ALL of the REAL gains in price performance since January 2018.  The REAL price increase, in almost 2 years, is 12.3%.  

The PIP is an important metric.  It gives us bragging rights as well as reasons to re-evaluate our TSP management strategy.  However, the PIP is a rolling 12 month number.  The February PIP will be an entirely new ball game, as the huge January 2018 gains fall off the rolling 12 month PIP …

Happy New Year!

Jerry