5:56 pm, February 26, 2015

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  • TSP
    marien
    Thank you, Mike, for highlighting some comments regarding keeping the TSP as is. I'll bet the vast majority of TSP participants aren't investment-savvy and are very satisfied with the organizational structure and management of the TSP. That's why it is set up the way it is. Plus, it's easy to access and understand the web site; they provide good information. To the naysayers, you've probably been in the TSP a long time since you think you should have been a millionaire by now. Why did you stay all these years if it was such a bad deal? IRAs have been around a long time, too, are very flexible regarding rolling over to a new brokerage or investment firm if you couldn't find what you wanted or didn't like a firm, so you could have really played with your money (along with very high fees, of course) over the years. Once you reached your max contribution each year, nothing prevented you from using your after-tax dollars for any investment you chose. Don't blame the TSP. Blame yourself for your investment decisions over the years.
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  • No Active-Funds or Gold But Add REITs/Emerging Markets
    Federali
    This thread is setting up a false choice: more choices need not mean actively managed funds and speculative products like precious metals and options. Many passive-minded investment professionals (like David Swenson in his classic "Unconventional Success") recommend to everyday investors passively-managed investments in Real Estate Investment Trusts and "emerging markets" in addition to the asset classes already in the TSP. For those who seek a mirror diversity of asset classes in both their before-tax accounts (TSP) and after-tax accounts (Roth IRA), the TSP is insufficient as it provides very little exposure to the unique asset categories of U.S. real estate and emerging markets. Also, some feds are not income-eligible for traditional IRAs. I think it very reasonable for feds to seek the addition of a passively-managed REIT index fund and and an emerging market index fund to the TSP - this would make an already excellent retirement plan even better. We can keep out the fee vultures and still reform the TSP in this way.
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  • A Measured Response
    Truth by Assertion
    I agree 100% with the overall point you are making. You cannot truly be diversified utilizing the TSP in its present form. Instead, one is forced to utilize the G Fund more than what may be ideal to ensure a level of safety, or hope that we are not living in a time similar to the Japanese market for the past 20+ years. (The Nikkei has performed so poorly - from roughly 40,000 to 8,000 over 21 years - that if one dollar-cost averaged that stock market over the past 30+ years, it would have resulted in losses of roughly half one's contributions. While the U.S and Europe are obviously different from Japan, not all that difference is "better.") The TSP stock exposure is primarily large/mid-cap U.S. and large European and Japanese companies. There is little to no exposure to small or micro cap stocks, emerging markets, real estate, metals, energy, or agriculture. These are not radical investments and most can be offered with low fees if offered in index form.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Aluminum
    deployed decoy
    I use to invest in cheap beer and recycle the cans, made more than investing with my (not named) investment banker most years. Then I figured out I could buy the beer in Idaho, deposit free, and take the empties to Oregon for 5c each. Better bet than precious metals the last couple weeks. Hint: The US Mint will release a 5-coin American Silver Eagle set in Oct 2011 for the 25th anniversary of the silver eagles. These sets will be limited to 100,000 and contain a reverse proof and an San Francisco S marked collector silver dollar. Im guessing the release price will be about $375 for the set of 5 OZ of silver. Not a great bet until you assume two of the coins in that set will trade for around $500 each by Christmas... The Mint also has over priced 911 medals for sale only this year. These at $68 but something everyone who was touched by that day should have.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • ALUM
    Big Joe
    Me thinks you should change your name to "deployed too long"....
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  • Maybe
    deployed decoy
    Just know in 2006 the mint released a 3 coin set, limited to 250,000 for $100. That was way over priced in 2006 for the silver. But the reverse proof is still selling for around $300 and was selling for more when the set sold out fast. This year the reverse proof and S mark burnished silver will both be limited to 100,000. I should not be telling anyone this, because I want my restriced to 5 sets before they sell out. Heck in a worse case deal. You can trade any one of these for a half pint of gas and can of expired beans next year after the EU and USA crash. Try trading C fund paper for beans when that happens.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • IRAs
    Linda
    If you work for the government, then you are covered by an employer plan whether you contribute or not. Therefore, if you are married filing joint and make more than $109,000 (Modified AGI) then you cannot deduct anything contributed to an IRA. So why bother??? The earnings are still taxed, so just use an investment account. If single then over $66,000. If you are a professional with lots of time in the government you have to be less than a GA-12 step 1 or GS-10 step 10. If married, you might make it if your spouse doesn't work. Or that is less thatn $55,000 each. There are two professionals working full time in my family, we make too much for this. ............ For a Roth IRA you can only contribute if you are married and your Modified AGI is less than $177,000, or $120,000 for single. The reduction in how much you can contribute starts at $167,000 for married and $105,000 for singles. From what I understand, those can be starvation wages in NYC or DC.... So for most people the TSP is the best deal even with limited investment options. If your income is low enough you can also contribute to a Roth or a regular investment account........Isn't there some saying about not keeping all your eggs in one basket? Maybe have your money in different places, some not in the hands of the government to borrow to cover a debt crisis, isn't a bad idea.
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  • To Linda
    Moderate
    Please correct me if I am wrong because my knowledge may be stale. If you put money in a non deductible IRA because of your present earnings, then I believe the earnings on that contribution are tax deferred until you retire. In most cases you will be in a lower tax bracket. This is not to say, I would contribute to a non deductible IRA, but I am only clearing up something.--------Guess I am a pauper because I can and do contribute to a Roth IRA for myself and my wife. We also do not live in NY or DC. I agree with your comments.
    worker
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  • retirement funding
    marien
    This conversation is speculative anyway, regardless of how you feel about the TSP or IRAs or whatever. Because of Wall Street greed, mortgage lender greed and fraudulent behavior and trickery, lack of government oversight and regs, powerful lobbying on behalf of the moneymakers and schemers, we have all suffered greatly regarding our retirement "nest eggs" and it doesn't look like it's going to get better any time soon, even to recoup what we've lost, let alone gain from that base. So, why would we have been better off to have lots more TSP options? You people who think you could have been a millionaire by now if the TSP had only had more options - think again. You would have lost your millions the last 2 years. Accept the fact - we're all at the mercy of stuff we can't control. Only Congress and the President can change anything for us middle class folks and that isn't likely to happen with the Tea Party and Republicans. So, dream on and start planning on what you're going to sacrifice each month and year so you can keep a roof over your head and food in your mouths.
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