Wall Street worries hit your TSP planning

Friday - 7/2/2010, 10:30am EDT

Arthur Stein, certified financial planner, SPC Financial in Rockville

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

The second quarter is officially over and anyone with money in the stock market is thankful for that. The Dow finished down nearly 10 percent for the quarter, while the S&P and Nasdaq both lost about 12 percent.

Arthur Stein, a certified financial planner with SPC Financial in Rockville, Maryland, reminded Federal News Radio listeners, it wasn't just this quarter that was bad. There have been "double digit declines in most of the indexes and most stock indexes are down for the year."

Overall, said Stein, "for TSP investors, and for investors in general, it's just not a pretty picture."

Overseas markets have been a constant source of concern, said Stein. "Iceland, Dubai, Greece..." and now people are worried about market conditions in Spain.

"It's kind of scary," said Stein, "but a lot of great investors think when things are scariest, it's the best time to invest."

Smart investors "buy when there is blood in the streets, even if the blood is their own," according to Sir John Templeton.

Stein agreed.

"Certainly, for people who are working, this could be great opportunity to buy into the C and the S and the I fund when they're less expensive," said Stein.

"If you're working, you've been investing, this looked good for you because at some point we hope the market's going to go up and those people who have been consistently buying at the lower prices are going to feel very smart."

According to Stein, there's a lot of good news for federal employees and retirees. While the markets are down for the year, take a look at all of the TSP funds over the last 12 months. All are showing "solid gains," said Stein.

In addition to truly great pensions, "federal employees have great job security and they look better than the bulk of the American people. Great health care. They're just in a very solid position and they need to look at this as perhaps an opportunity, or something that certainly doesn't effect their pensions, which is huge."

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