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Where should I invest my Thrift Savings Plan?

800who
Regular Contributor

Where should I invest my Thrift Savings Plan?

Everyone I work with says I should be putting a majority into  S&P 500, however I was looking for more opinions & maybe some articles that would give me more evidence/information of where I should be investing my retirement!

Message 1 of 7
6 REPLIES 6
Revelate
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Where should I invest my Thrift Savings Plan?

Given that the S&P has outperformed most other major investments in the last 100 years, I'd say it's probably the best bet frankly.

 

Sure there are alternatives and I wind up picking stocks rather than using index funds for the majority of my assets and at least over the past several years have outperformed the index but TBH that's much more of a crap shoot and longer term there's no guaruntee of that... most stock pickers frankly wind up under the index returns and at some point I'm going to convert I suspect.




        
Message 2 of 7
Backwoods
Senior Contributor

Re: Where should I invest my Thrift Savings Plan?

Unless you have more skills than Warren Buffett and or you can find an old out of print copy of Ben Graham's The Inteligent Invester and get lucky you in the long run ie 10 years cannot  outpreform the market .   Do not try to out time the market.  Buy and Hold long term works best if you do not want to purchase index funds.  I am a strong believer in S&P (spyders), Dow Jone (diamonds)  and   bond funds.  I have an MBA in Finance from a Tier I school many moons ago  back when DOW was well below 5,000 and house could be bought for  under $50,000 in good nieghborhoods.    

Message 3 of 7
CreditGuyInDixie
Super Contributor

Re: Where should I invest my Thrift Savings Plan?


@800who wrote:

Everyone I work with says I should be putting a majority into  S&P 500, however I was looking for more opinions & maybe some articles that would give me more evidence/information of where I should be investing my retirement!


I suggest you read a few introductions to investing from solid reputable writers.  A good start would be the booklet IF YOU CAN by William Bernstein which is free on the internet.  I also suggest you swing over to the Bogleheads web site -- they have a lot of good resources and can also suggest books to follow up If You Can.

 

As you have framed your question there is not a good way to answer it because we'd first need to know your age, when you think you might retire, your risk tolerance, the amount of time you are willing to spend on your investments, and so on.   Immersing yourself in the concepts that undergird investments (what are stocks, what are bonds, what are their history, how are risk and return interrelated, what is diversification, what is a bull market vs. a bear market, etc.) will enable you to make informed decisions -- it's ultimately better than tallying up votes from strangers on the internet about what they tell you to do.

 

The "immersification" doesn't have to be a long or burdensome process.  Just start with some basic books and then you'll be able to make your own decisions.

Message 4 of 7
CreditGuyInDixie
Super Contributor

Re: Where should I invest my Thrift Savings Plan?

PS.  As part of the process of getting fully grounded, you'll learn about alternatives to the TSP.  The TSP is great, no question: solid funds with very low expenses (including their target funds).  On the other hand, you may decide that you wish to diversify your portfolio a bit more than the TSP permits.  For example, you might decide that you want your portfolio to have exposure to REITs or to Emerging Markets -- that's just an example -- neither of which the TSP funds contain.

 

Thus a hybrid approach that consists of an IRA plus TSP may be a solution you'll consider.  (With the IRA containing assets that you can't get in the TSP.)  Just one option.

 

You should also consider whether making a portion (or all) of your TSP contributions as Roth (rather than conventional) is right for you.  There's no right answer for everyone, but it should be something you reserach so you can tell yourself what you are choosing to do there and why.

Message 5 of 7
Semi_Lost_Hiker
Valued Member

Re: Where should I invest my Thrift Savings Plan?


@800who wrote:

Everyone I work with says I should be putting a majority into  S&P 500, however I was looking for more opinions & maybe some articles that would give me more evidence/information of where I should be investing my retirement!


Your allocation depends a lot on your risk tolerance/years until retirement. Personally, I am in my late 20s and I can tolerate a bit more risk so I have my allocation set to 50% 2050 life cycle fund/20% C fund/20% S fund/10% I fund. I re-balance once a year and don't touch my allocation other than that.


If you are worried the life cycle funds tend to be a good starting point, though for me to tend to be a bit too conservative in their investments but they will make sure you do better than the folks who put 100% in the G fund.




Message 6 of 7
800who
Regular Contributor

Re: Where should I invest my Thrift Savings Plan?

I am currently 20 and plan to retire at either 59 or 64y/o with 40 or 45 years of service respectively. I currently have 100% allocated to 2050 fund and I feel that I am ready to set it and forget it, high risk!

Message 7 of 7
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