Moving money between TSP funds


Q: I’ve just read your latest column, entitled “Odds Favor Gains in Market.” I have about $350,000 in my Thrift Savings Plan. Just before the major slide occurred in August 2008, I transferred all funds to the G Fund. I then shifted about 25 percent to the L2020 funds. I continued all new contributions in C, S and I Funds. I was lucky to the extent that I only lost about $20,000 due to the downturn. My problem was when to put the  funds, which now represent 67 percent of my funds, back into the other less conservative funds. Obviously, I kept deferring that question during the upturn in 2009. Can you give me any suggestions on what I should do?

A: As always, I suggest that you implement the lowest-risk asset allocation that will meet your needs and rebalance to it no more frequently than every three months and no less frequently than once per year. Absent the ability or willingness to go down this path, you can “make do” by implementing the beginning asset allocation for the L Fund that most closely matches your planning horizon (your life expectancy or the life expectancy of your dependents, whichever is longer) and rebalance to it once per year.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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