- 1 tsp s fund ticker
- 1.1 Why Taking Control Urgently Matters
- 1.2 What is True Sector Rotation?
- 1.3 How StormGuard Reduces Risk
- 1.4 We Kept it Simple!
- 1.5 SectorSurfer's Algorithm Validation
- 1.6 SectorSurfer's Improved Technology
- 1.7 The Role of the TSP I Fund in Thrift Savings Plan Allocation Strategy
- 1.8 The TSP I Fund as a Buy-and-Hold Candidate
- 1.9 Mutual Fund and ETF Equivalents to the TSP I Fund
tsp s fund ticker
Federal Thrift Savings Plan Automated Investment Advice
--- Our Most Widely Used Strategy ---
Why Taking Control Urgently Matters
Diversify and Rebalance? Why Be Average?
The financial industry has hypnotized us into believing diversification and rebalancing is the only worthy investment strategy. But diversification inherently means owning a little bit of everything — which is the formula for achieving precisely average performance! Rebalancing further ensures we won't stray far from average. No other industry proclaims average performance is the best you can achieve. Fortunately, it's not true here either.
An Extra 10% Really Matters
Before Retirement: The Nest Egg Value chart illustrates how an additional 10% annual return compounds over 15 years to produce a nest egg four times the value it would have otherwise had. The earlier you start, the greater the multiple. It really matters!
• The Economist: Momentum in Financial Markets. A compilation of industry studies and expert opinions.
What is True Sector Rotation?
Trends and fads are an inherent part of human character. It takes time for information to spread, to be understood, and to be acted on. This creates momentum. Price momentum is found in all capital markets, including stocks, bonds, treasuries, and currencies. By its very definition, "trend9quot; means that information from the recent past tells you something about the near future. SectorSurfer's trend analysis algorithms use modern digital signal processing theory to optimally extract trend signals from noisy market data.
True Sector Rotation
The market cycle is tied to the economic cycle. Each market sector performs best during a portion of the economic cycle. If you think of each market sector as a piston in your investment engine, the smoothest, most powerful ride will be achieved when each of the major market sectors is represented in your portfolio . but only while each is delivering its power stroke.
• Short video demo on how True Sector Rotation produces higher returns.
• Sector Rotation Theory Page provides theory summary and technical explanations.
• The Economist: Momentum in Financial Markets. A must read for momentum doubters.
How StormGuard Reduces Risk
Risk is About Losing Money!
The definition of risk depends on who you ask. The financial industry uses the coefficient of variation (CV) to measure risk, which tells you how wiggly the line on the chart is, but not the probability of losing real money. Treating both up and down-moves equally as risk is an unfortunate consequence. Only down-moves contribute to real loss. SectorSurfer's risk measure is the probability of a 15% loss in a year.
• Short video demo about how SectorSurfer makes lower risk possible.
• Sector Rotation Theory Page provides theory summary and technical explanations.
We Kept it Simple!
After creating your new account:
1. View the short My Strategies Tour video.
2. Click , pick a Strategy, or create your own.
3. Check charted performance by clicking .
After clicking your email alert:
1. See which ticker symbols to sell and buy.
2. Click the icon for specific trade information.
3. Click your brokerage link and go make the trade.
4. Click the button. You're done!
• Short video demo showing how to select or custom build Strategies.
• Subscription Plans range from Free to just a monthly pittance for Premium Strategies.
• Our will help you quickly create an account to get you SectorSurfing.
SectorSurfer's Algorithm Validation
SectorSurfer's validation is confirmed by the validation of each principle detailed in the paragraphs below.
In his 1996 book Chaos and Order in the Capital Markets, Edgar Peters applied the Hurst Range/Scale analysis method to data from all capital markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and treasuries. He found that they all have a significant short-term trend component that dissipates after numerous months.
• See Hurst Exponent Reveals Trends on the Sector Rotation Theory Page for further technical information.
When you can get the media, industry, and academia to agree that something is real and works, then you know you really have something. These three momentum trading articles do just that:
• The Economist: Momentum in Financial Markets. A survey of strategy results and expert commentary.
How can we tell that the trend signal we extract from the noisy market data really does drive SectorSurfer's performance? The Hurst exponent measures the quality of the trend signal and has a month-end bump in its character. This bump is a fingerprint likewise found in the character of SectorSurfer Strategy performance.
• See SectorSurfer's Trend Fingerprint on the Sector Rotation Theory Page for further technical information.
Stationarity refers to the character of a random process remaining the same, such as the distribution in heights of men, shoe sizes for women, or trend lengths in market data. Stationarity enables one to confidently manufacture shoes of various sizes even though the shoe size of the next customer is unknown. Backtesting provides assessment of market character. Stationarity in market character enables strategy design to learn from the past in order to improve one's batting average for future investment choices.
• See Trend Signal Stationarity on the Sector Rotation Theory Page for further technical information.
SectorSurfer's Improved Technology
"Diversify and Rebalance" was born with MPT (Modern Portfolio Theory) in 1950 when we had rotary dial telephones. Today the telecom industry has wireless digital cell phones with touch screens, video cameras, voice dialing, and GPS maps. But, the financial industry is still selling us 1950s diversify and rebalance?
If the EMH (efficient market hypothesis) were true, the future would be random and the Hurst exponent of market data would be exactly 0.5, but it's not, because market data contains significant trends. A trend means that information from the recent past tells you something about the near future. There is nothing more important than to apply the best signal processing technology available to extract the trend signal from noisy market data to improve one's investment batting average. (Here's why, MPT is blind to trends.)
One of the most fundamental methods for improving the signal-to-noise ratio in data communications is to eliminate common mode noise via differential signal processing. That's why it's built into Ethernet and USB. Most charting and analysis software evaluates ticker symbols independently, which taints the analysis with common mode market noise resulting in excess whipsaw losses reacting to noise unrelated to its own relative performance. SectorSurfer's simultaneous differential analysis eliminates common mode noise.
Matched filter theory provides the basis by which trend signals can be optimally extracted from noisy market data. The well-known academic paper Profitability of Momentum Strategies, by Jegadeesh & Titman used a simple equally weighted SMA (Simple Moving Average) of length 6 months as its trend measure. However, neither the SMA nor 6 months are near optimum compared to the Matched Filter Theory solution. Simply put: better trend analysis produce better results. See this summary comparison and the Strategy Hall of Fame.
Investors familiar with technical chart indicators know how tedious it is to determine which indicators and what parameters to use. SectorSurfer completely automates this process for you. Better results, less time!
SectorSurfer levels the playing field with Wall Street by putting the power of award winning high performance investment algorithms in your hands. Its True Sector Rotation algorithm holds only the momentum leader during bull markets, and its StormGuard algorithm protects and grows your assets during bear markets. Only by owning the trend leader and avoiding the trend laggards can you simultaneously improve returns and reduce risk .
Returns cannot be improved by diversification
alone. Diversification inherently produces average
results by owning a bit of everything. To improve
returns, one must own only the trend leader and
avoid the trend laggards. By optimally extracting
trend signals from noisy market data and owning
only the trend leader SectorSurfer can produce
higher returns as shown by example below.
White dot: S&P500. Yellow dot: SectorSurfer.
Probability of Loss:
We believe that risk is about losing money,
not about how wiggly the line on the chart
is. We believe that treating both up and
down-moves equally as risk is an error
because only down-moves contribute to
real loss. SectorSurfer's risk measure is
the probability of a 15% loss in a year,
as shown in the example chart below.
White dot: S&P500. Yellow dot: SectorSurfer.
True Sector Rotation:
True Sector Rotation is the method of owning the one, and only one, best trending fund at any time. Since half of the market sectors will, by definition, be beating the S&P 500 at any time, owning only the trend leader is an excellent way to beat the market.
Market storms are much larger than market corrections and require special detection methods. SectorSurfer's StormGuard algorithm is designed to find the optimum balance between reacting too quickly and producing whipsaw losses, versus reacting too slowly and getting hurt by the market storm.
Federal TSP Strategy Performance
SectorSurfer's Federal Thrift Savings Plan Strategy achieves the performance depicted by the yellow equity curve on the chart below simply by determining which of the TSP funds has momentum leadership and owning only that fund for the next month. SectorSurfer completely automates the process of selecting the best fund to own — emotional bias is gone! Strategies are evaluated daily and an email/text Trade Alert is sent typically about 2.2 times per year when momentum leadership changes. Compare its performance against any other TSP strategy service and you'll know why our $10/month subscription fee is a bargain. Click each of the sliders above for a more complete description of how and why SectorSurfer works so well.
To add this to your My Strategies list, click the icon to open the Select-a-Strategy popup window and select TSP Thrift Savings Plan from the list.
"TSP Thrift Savings Plan" Strategy Design
This high performance Strategy was designed to utilize the True Sector Rotation algorithm during bull markets to select and own the best trending of the various stock funds (TSP C-Fund, S-Fund, I-Fund, and various Lifecycle Funds), and use the StormGuard-Armor algorithm to signal a retreat to the fixed income fund TSP-F when a dangerous bear market threatens. StormGuard-Armor is the market's preeminent high performance indicator for determining market direction. The TSP-G and TSP-F funds are not mixed with the True Sector Rotation candidate funds because their presence in the selection process actually reduces the decision quality and results in somewhat lower returns and higher risk for technical reasons explained HERE.
Federal TSP Funds Overview
The Thrift Savings Plan offers a set of 10 funds providing exposure to large cap (TSP C-Fund), small cap (TSP S-Fund), fixed income (TSP F-Fund), government securities (TSP G-Fund), international stocks (TSP I-Fund), and five Lifecycle funds (TSP L-Funds). By law, most of these funds must be invested in a portfolio designed to replicate a specific market index. Unfortunately there are no public ticker symbols for the TSP funds and there is no web-published historical data available for any of them suitable for use with services such as SectorSurfer. Fortunately, the market indices associated with the TSP funds do have ticker symbols and do have available historic market data. SectorSurfer utilizes the historic market data for these indices as proxy data for each of the TSP funds as detailed in the table below.
My Current TSP Allocation below, dates are date-of-request into TSP website for allocation and interfund change.
PRESENT: 50% S-Fund and 50% C-Fund submitted on 12-03-2017
50% C-Fund, 50 % I-Fund submitted on 06-03-2017
100% S-Fund request submitted on 11-21-2016
DISCLAIMER: Information, commentary, or opinions expressed by The Fed Trader website and/or Bill Pritchard is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice nor buy and sell recommendations. Bill Pritchard is not a financial advisor, investment advisor, CPA, CFP, stock broker, or similar person. Bill Pritchard does not have any SEC, federal, or state securities or broker licenses/certifications. Bill Pritchard and/or the The Fed Trader website cannot promise or guarantee any investment returns or make claimed performance.
The TSP Portfolio Tracker™ is a web based application that allows you to enter your TSP transaction data and estimate the current value of your TSP portfolio in real time based on the current share prices of each of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan. You simply register to create an account and then you can add or import your buy and sell transactions to the program to start tracking your portfolio's performance. Best of all, it’s free!
TSPDataCenter.com and the TSP Portfolio Tracker™ are not affiliated with the official Thrift Savings Plan web site. The TSP Portfolio Tracker™ does not conduct actual trades of shares nor does it connect to your trading account with the TSP to share or move data, thus further ensuring your personal security.
TSPDataCenter.com uses standard http encryption to ensure your log in information and other data are secure when entered on the site. Minimal personal information is required to create an account (only your name and email address), and your personal information is never displayed publicly and is only used by the program to identify you when you log in to view your portfolio and transactions.
You choose an anonymous username to use when logging in which also serves to identify your portfolio as your own. We urge you not to pick your actual name as your username. You also select a password. As with any site that contains personal information, you must safeguard your username/password to protect against unauthorized access.
The Role of the TSP I Fund in Thrift Savings Plan Allocation Strategy
When you see stories about extraordinary growth in China, India and other burgeoning economic superpowers, you no doubt assume that you are participating in that growth if you are invested in the Thrift Savings Plan’s I Fund. Unfortunately, that is not the case because the TSP I Fund is badly flawed as the only option which government employees and service members have for international exposure in their Thrift Savings Plan. There are still some circumstances in which the TSP I Fund will fit into your TSP strategy, but it is much more complicated than picking a percentage to allocate so you have “some international exposure.”
The TSP I Fund (sometimes referred to as the TSP International Fund) tracks the MSCI EAFE Index which was created in 1969 to track the largest stocks in Europe, Australasia, and the Far East (EAFE). Back in 1969 when international investing was just becoming a reality, the dominant international markets were in Europe and Japan. Unfortunately for Thrift Savings Plan investors, the index hasn’t changed since it was created, and European markets still comprise about 70% of the index followed by Japanese markets at 22%, for a total of 92% of the entire index. Those are both still big markets, but they don’t have the growth of China, India, Brazil and the rest of the engines of global growth in the developing world which are completely excluded from the TSP I Fund. And to make things worse, the index tracked by the TSP I Fund includes such basket cases as Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
The TSP I Fund has a place in my TSP allocation strategy, but that determination is based on a different business cycle than the US business cycle which we use to determine our other Thrift Savings Plan allocations. In fact, it relies on a combination of multiple business cycles: the major European countries and Japanese cycles. A lot of TSP talk superficially revolves around the need to have international exposure, but it very seldom goes any deeper to examine what international exposure the TSP I Fund actually provides.
The MSCI EAFE Index is weighted by market capitalization, which means that stocks are purchased for the TSP I Fund’s portfolio in proportion to how large the companies are. That means that the index is skewed strongly towards a few very large companies – in fact 15% of all the shares held in the TSP I Fund are from just ten companies. Which means smaller cap companies are almost completely excluded, and the TSP I Fund will perform best when both Europe and Japan are in the Mid (Growth) Phase of the business cycle. For the purpose of determining the best TSP fund combination at any given time, think of the TSP I Fund as a C Fund for Japan, the UK, Germany, France, and Switzerland.
The TSP I Fund as a Buy-and-Hold Candidate
The MSCI EAFE Index was created to track developed markets under the theory that they are more mature and stable than the newer markets, but Vanguard rates its Developed Markets Index Fund (a mutual fund which is virtually indistinguishable from the TSP I Fund) as “High Risk”. Take a look at the volatility it has displayed since 2001:
Anyone who thinks that the TSP I Fund is a buy-and-hold-forever candidate should take a look at the following chart – if you had put your money to work in the I Fund in 2008 you would still be down about 22% for your trouble (as of July 2013 when this post was written).
And comparing the buy-and-hold-forever performance of the TSP I Fund to the other funds (data from 8/31/1990 to 07/17/2015), take a look at the hypothetical performance of $10,000 invested in each Thrift Savings Plan fund continuously for the past 25 years:
- TSP S Fund: $143,930
- TSP C Fund: $111, 430
- TSP F Fund: $ 47,770
- TSP I Fund: $ 42,710
- TSP G Fund: $ 32,850
Mutual Fund and ETF Equivalents to the TSP I Fund
For anyone interested in investing in non-TSP equivalents to the TSP I FUND, Vanguard has its low expense Developed Markets Index mutual fund (ticker symbol VDVIX) and an ETF (exchange traded fund) which track the MSCI EAFE Index (ticker symbol VEA), both of which are excellent proxies for the TSP I Fund. iShares also has an EAFE ETF as well (ticker symbol EFA), but when last I checked its expenses were triple that of the Vanguard ETF so there would be no reason to purchase that product unless that was the only option in a 401K.
Recommended Reading for International Investing
If you want to read more about international investing specifically, the only book on my shelf or Kindle which I can think of worth recommending is Own the Globe: How Smart Investors Create Global Portfolios, by Aaron Anderson. If you know of another worth taking a look at, please let us know by sharing in the comments below.
If you found this post useful, or even just interesting, please help me by sharing with your friends and colleagues who participate in the Thrift Savings Plan through an email, tweeting it, or liking it through the social media buttons below. Thanks very much!
Over the past couple years I have seen numerous charts “analyzing” the Thrift Savings Plan but I’m here to tell you there are only three TSP charts you need to familiarize yourself with on a weekly basis.
The safest fund offered by the Thrift Savings Plan without question! Unlike the rest of the TSP funds, this fund is managed by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. The G Fund buys non marketable U.S. Treasury securities that are guaranteed by the U.S. Government. A U.S. Treasury note is a debt financing instruments of the United States federal government, and they are often referred to simply as Treasuries.
The main objective of this fund is to produce a return that outpaces inflation while protecting your hard earned capital. In short you can never lose money with this fund and you will outpace inflation. The only downside to this fund is you run the risk of losing purchasing power if the fund does keep up with inflation. It is imperative that you keep your eye on the current Consumer Price Index (CPI) issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
As of this writing the current inflation rate is 1.7% as you can see from the chart above the current interest rate on the G Fund is approximately 2.32% – This gives you an effective interest rate of approximately .62%
The main thing you need to look out for is that the CPI does not creep above the current interest rate on the 10 Year U.S. treasury.
My personal opinion of the G Fund is it is a very great alternative during bear markets and for retirees approaching retirement within 1-3 years. Outside of those two scenarios I would highly discourage anyone from allocating their contributions to the G Fund at best perhaps 5-10% of their portfolio but even then inflation will cripple the growth of returns over time.
The TSP F Fund is an index fund, which strives to replicate the returns of Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (Ticker Symbol: AGG), a broad index representing the U.S. bond market. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board currently contracts BlackRock to manage the F Fund assets. The bond market generally consists of government, corporate, and mortgage backed securities.
Unlike the G Fund, the interest generated by the F Fund is based solely on the performance of the underlying bonds held within the index. In short this means you have the potential to make a higher yield in this fund but also run the risk of losing money.
The F Fund had a great run over the last 10 years. This is due mostly in part to the low interest rates implemented by the Federal Reserve which has fueled a bubble in the bond market. Typically when interest rates are lower bonds rise in price because investors are hungry for yield, when interest rates are higher bonds drop in price because investors can receive better yields elsewhere without taking any risk.
The main takeaway for the F Fund is it is more beneficial during periods of low interest rates than periods of higher interest rates.
The C Fund is one of the most popular funds because it aims to mimic the S&P 500. Here at TSP Investing we have our own allocation strategy in place for maximizing gains for our TSP subscribers. While we are not going to betray our paying subscribers I would like to introduce an indicator that gives some perspective on bull markets and bear markets within the stock market.
The AAII Investor Sentiment Survey measures the percentage of individual investors who are bullish, bearish, and neutral on the stock market for the next six months.
I have always said nobody can consistently predict where the market will move or when the market will move however, if you develop a system and stick with that indicator you can do quite well over time. While this does not come close to the system we share with our subscribers it does show a constant theme. Whenever investors pile up on one side of the sentiment, either bullish or bearish, the market tends to the other way.
Please make no mistake, the AAII Sentiment Survey is not a viable indicator in my book but it does give us some great perspective and history. Any mindful investor should keep their eye on this survey, it literally takes less than 30 seconds every week. This chart is just one of the many benefits our subscribers receive on a monthly basis, if you are looking to ensure your family’s financial security, subscribe to our newsletter and see how we can help you maximize your Thrift Savings Plan returns.
The S Fund (Ticker Symbol: DWCPF) consists of small cap stocks while The I Fund (Ticker Symbol: EFA) consists of international stocks. While there are charts to help navigate these two funds I have found they are useless. For the S Fund you could use the AAII sentiment indicator for perspective but in regards to the I Fund you’d be better off rolling the dice. In my personal experience there is no reliable indicator for The I Fund.