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1. If the service has great value, why is it free?
A. We will accept your payment if you would prefer. But the reason it is free, and has been since I began sharing my TSP research in 1998, is that I consider the sharing of this information to be one of my ministries.
2. Whom does the My TSP Guide website benefit?
A. It can benefit all US Federal Government employees who participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
3. How does it work?
A. You need to register to be able to receive notifications of when and how your TSP investments need to be adjusted.
4. Why My TSP Guide? There are a lot of people trying to tell me what to do with my retirement money.
A. It is your choice to follow My TSP Guide’s recommendations. However, know that its published track record from 1998-2011 averaged 18.7% growth, with only one down year of -1.8%. During the same time, the S&P 500 averaged only 2% returns.
5. Why should I not just “buy and hold”?
A. We believe buying and holding is different from always being invested for the rest of your life.
6. What if I am afraid of investing?
A. If you have any money, it is invested. All investments have benefits and risk. Cash, money markets, CD, stocks, bonds, and real estate are the most common investments.
7. What are you offering me? How can I benefit?
A. My TSP Guide will work daily on your behalf, analyzing market movements to determine sustainable upward or downward trends. My TSP Guide offers recommendations to help avoid losses when the market trend is down, and try to increase the value of your retirement assets when the market trend is up.
8. So what? I am told to save in the TSP plan and forget it until I retire.
A. By not overseeing your investments, you have hired, at potentially great cost, a money manager called “Automatic Pilot”.
9. So you are saying I could earn more money following My TSP Guide’s directions versus just letting it ride? What could a few extra percent mean to me?
A. Let’s assume you saved 10% of a $50,000 income (or $5,000 per year) for 25 years that grew on an average of 7% versus 10%. The ending balance would be approximately $338,368 versus $540,904. This is an increase of $202,536 over time. Studies have shown that investors on their own, without professional guidance, only capture 52% of the market returns.
10. Why not just use the L class mutual funds?
A. In absence of My TSP Guide, the L shares are a good alternative. They will maintain for you a diversified investment portfolio of the five investment options given, that adjusts as you get closer to retirement. L class investments have a preset adjustment based on time horizon to your retirement date. My TSP Guide seeks to take advantage of all upside value of any one of the five investment funds available to you, while advising how to avoid downside losses.
11. How do I make adjustments to what I own within my TSP account?
A. As long as you go online and adjust your holdings before noon, the changes will occur after the close of the market that day. If completed after noon, changes will happen at the end of the next trading day.
12. Haven’t our government officials offered us the best possible investment available within the TSP?
A. There is nothing wrong with your investment options. They are simple and inexpensive. TSP Guide allows you to make the most out of what you have to work with.
13. If all the investments are good, why not just divide my money between them and then hold steady, through thick and thin?
A. Each one of your investments has a history of making and losing you money over a market cycle. My TSP Guide is here to help you move into the ones that are going up and out of what is going down. The investments do not all grow at the same rate or time.
14. So how much do you charge?
A. We have a gift and it is shared to you as a ministry.