Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

Moving balances between TSP funds to avoid market downturns

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Q. Does the Thrift Savings Plan allow one to shift all of his C Fund balance to the F Fund to wait out an expected downturn in the S&P 500? I know one generally should not try to guess the market, but if one could stay ahead of downturns and upturns (in theory), would it be more profitable over the long term (10 to 20 years) to shift out of C to F temporarily rather than suffering through market downturns (as in 2001-02 and 2008)? I guess it’s like selling high and buying back in low, assuming one’s timing was spot-on.

A. This is allowed, but as you point out, not a reliable investment strategy. You could do better.

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