Author Topic: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds  (Read 2168 times)

Speedwagon

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401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« on: January 26, 2018, 09:57:30 AM »
At my job, I have a 401(k) through Lincoln Financial. In this 401(k), I have been investing in 3 index funds. I am also National Guard, and have access to the TSP, and have been investing a small amount into 2 funds that are basically index funds. Below is a comparison. I am trying to determine where to put the most money. Since it is a normal Guard position, it's 1 weekend a month and such. I only make around $10k at Guard in a year, and I think max contribution I could make is 92%.

These are the funds I have:
Fund                                             1 Year   3 year   5 year   10 year   Fee
Columbia small cap index  NMSAX   12.81    11.46    15.43    10.01    0.45
Columbia mid cap index    NTIAX    15.69     10.65   14.48       9.51   0.56
Columbia large cap index  NEIAX    21.30     10.93   15.27       8.05   0.45
                     
S Fund (small/med cap)                 18.22*      6.78    14.84       8.13   0.079
C Fund (large/med cap)                  21.82*     8.95    14.73       7.00   0.042

*Edited to update the 2017 returns

I get 2.5% match from my employer at 5% from me. I get no match on TSP.

Looking at it based on fees, I should be maxing out the TSP as much as a I can in a year. But the Columbia funds seem to have a higher average return on them.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 10:00:13 AM by Speedwagon »

aboatguy

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Re: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 10:16:48 AM »
You are using the average returns as of December 2016 .

https://www.tsp.gov/InvestmentFunds/FundPerformance/returnSummary.html

IMHO this TSP chart sucks but go to the bottom for the last 12 months of 2017 and its 21.82 for C fund and 18.22 for the S fund


So the TSP site is clunky the admin is a pita at times,  however, the fees are low and the funds seem perform competetively

Mike

« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 10:22:04 AM by aboatguy »

simonsez

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Re: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 10:20:16 AM »
I should be maxing out the TSP as much as a I can in a year.
Yep!

Speedwagon

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Re: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2018, 10:46:27 AM »
You are using the average returns as of December 2016 .

https://www.tsp.gov/InvestmentFunds/FundPerformance/returnSummary.html

IMHO this TSP chart sucks but go to the bottom for the last 12 months of 2017 and its 21.82 for C fund and 18.22 for the S fund


So the TSP site is clunky the admin is a pita at times,  however, the fees are low and the funds seem perform competetively

Mike

I used the PDF link they have. Obviously it is not updated as often. Not really a surprise, being a government run organization. But now I know better.

elysianfields

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Re: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2018, 11:58:20 AM »
At my job, I have a 401(k) through Lincoln Financial. In this 401(k), I have been investing in 3 index funds. I am also National Guard, and have access to the TSP, and have been investing a small amount into 2 funds that are basically index funds. Below is a comparison. I am trying to determine where to put the most money. Since it is a normal Guard position, it's 1 weekend a month and such. I only make around $10k at Guard in a year, and I think max contribution I could make is 92%.

These are the funds I have:
Fund                                             1 Year   3 year   5 year   10 year   Fee
Columbia small cap index  NMSAX   12.81    11.46    15.43    10.01    0.45
Columbia mid cap index    NTIAX    15.69     10.65   14.48       9.51   0.56
Columbia large cap index  NEIAX    21.30     10.93   15.27       8.05   0.45
                     
S Fund (small/med cap)                 16.35      6.78    14.84       8.13   0.079
C Fund (large/med cap)                  12.01     8.95    14.73       7.00   0.042

I get 2.5% match from my employer at 5% from me. I get no match on TSP.

Looking at it based on fees, I should be maxing out the TSP as much as a I can in a year. But the Columbia funds seem to have a higher average return on them.

It looks like a bit of a balancing act.  You definitely want the match from your employer, but the fees at the TSP are so cheap you should invest as much as you can there.  Do the best that you can in balancing your contributions between those two, and don't worry if you over-invest in one and under-invest in the other.  The Columbia fees are not so bad compared to some other funds on the market.

Have you asked your HR/Benefits office to offer some better 401(k) options, e.g. from Vanguard?

Speedwagon

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Re: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2018, 11:36:44 PM »
I have not requested that of them at this time.

Thanks for the input.

smallstache

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Re: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 07:30:57 AM »
So the Columbia large cap is about equal to the C Fund, but the Columbia mid and small cap funds woefully trail the S Fund.

Speedwagon

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Re: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 10:06:11 AM »
So the Columbia large cap is about equal to the C Fund, but the Columbia mid and small cap funds woefully trail the S Fund.

In the 1 year, certainly. But the 5 and 10 year the Columbia have better numbers.

Of course, if I average out all the numbers, they aren't too far off from each other. But I don't know if that actually tells me anything.

TomTX

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Re: 401(k) funds vs TSP funds
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2018, 01:32:18 PM »
So the Columbia large cap is about equal to the C Fund, but the Columbia mid and small cap funds woefully trail the S Fund.

In the 1 year, certainly. But the 5 and 10 year the Columbia have better numbers.

Of course, if I average out all the numbers, they aren't too far off from each other. But I don't know if that actually tells me anything.

Don't go chasing the latest hot thing.