PLEASE NOTE: TSP Timing is not a traditional “service”. There are no “alerts” or a blog, etc. I do not send out emails (other than updates of the files and the monthly newsletter and rare intra-month updates) and I do not provide investing “advice”, only information. None of this is necessary since the strategy is totally mechanical and is not affected by news, technical indicators etc. You will decide on your own if you choose to follow it, or not. Continue reading for more details…
The TSP Timing system is a combination of mostly “seasonal” strategies and cycles, which, over time, have proven to significantly outperform a “buy and hold” investing approach. These are strategies developed by well-known stock market technical analysts such as Jeffrey Hirsch and Jay Kaeppel. They include annual and decennial cycles, election cycles, holidays, monthly patterns and much more, but most of all the systems are built around daily TSP share price data from 2004 to present, and monthly data since the early 1990s. The entire system is also built around the TSP’s limitation of just two intrafund transfers per month. Using past data from the five primary TSP funds I determined which funds you should use at different times of the year, even different times of the month (for example, I provide a detailed analysis showing exactly which times of each month of the year the F fund outperforms the G fund and use this in the system). You’ve probably heard of the “Sell in May and go away” axiom. TSP Timing takes that strategy and adds dozens of enhancements. For example, did you know that the periods surrounding Thanksgiving and Independence Day are even more bullish that the Christmas holidays, and that in recent years January has been the weakest month for stocks? You can think of TSP Timing as “Sell in May and go away” on steroids.
Additionally, the spreadsheet now provides statistical data for each IFT regarding what percent of the time each trade has resulted in a gain, and how much the gain was. This way you can decide whether or not to implement each trade, and know what results to anticipate if the past averages are repeated.
Over the period of 2004-2020, the (back-tested) TSP Timing “Annual” system resulted in an astounding compound annual return of over 33%, and the “Election Cycle” system which uses four separate sets of IFT rules for each of the four years of the election cycle has produced a ridiculous compound annual return of over 60%! In real time I stress that returns will be nowhere near this, but even so I hope to see the systems beat the C fund in most years. As with any system, past performance does not guarantee future returns, but hopefully it will do a good job of navigating what I expect to be a very difficult investing decade in the 2020s. See the Performance tab for details.
A key feature of the TSP Timing strategy is that it has the potential for good returns but with reduced risk compared to staying 100% in stocks all the time. The Annual system spends approximately 32% of the time out of stocks in the super-safe G fund, or in the relatively low-risk and stable F fund. The Election cycle system varies, and spends approximately the following amount of time in stocks:
- Election years 63% of the year in one of the 3 stock funds
- Post-Election years 71% of the year in stocks
- Mid-Term years 65% of the year in stocks
- and Pre-Election years only 56% of the year in stocks.
The system was carefully designed to conform to and take maximum advantage of the TSP’s rules which limit participants to two transfers per month (any additional transfers after the second transfer in a calendar month must be to the G fund). In a typical year the Annual system places 21 intrafund transfers (IFTs). The Election Cycle system ranges from 22 to 25 IFTs each year.
The TSP Timing system is effectively equivalent to a buy-and-hold portfolio consisting of about 55-70% stocks in a typical year, and yet (based on past results) produces returns far exceeding those of an all-stock portfolio. How is this possible? It’s possible by using the variety of carefully chosen and combined seasonal timing strategies that avoid the most volatile and negative times of the year for stocks. If you’re smart and nerdy enough like me to want to spend the 1000’s of hours I have spent developing this system, including buying subscriptions and books needed to research it, then you might be able to come up with a similar system yourself. I have given you enough clues above to do it. It’s not rocket science, but I can assure you it’s not easy! And why do that when you can just pay a mere $119 for the massive research and time spent I have done for you?
The current system is the result of spending literally 1000’s of hours I have spent since 2014 testing a multitude of strategies, with the end result being a much simpler system than the former “Enhanced” system, and even better returns than the former system (note: The old “Enhanced” system returned 39.9% in 2020 and 22.4% in 2021). Also Note: The system will also work outside of the TSP using ETFs and if you are interested I will also send you the ETF Timing spreadsheet which I was experimenting with until September 2021. The system tends to be out of stocks more during the summer and fall months, when most of the big stock market panic plunges that most frequently occur. Believe me, as I said I’m retired and I’m counting on it working for myself and I’m confident enough to use it. So I’m literally betting my retirement on it.
Considering the above, and the small fee I ask (I consider it a “donation” for the 1000’s of hours I’ve spent, plus I’m geeky enough to really enjoy this as a retirement hobby and plan to continue with it for as long as it works and its fun), how could you NOT at least check it out and maybe give it a try with a portion of your portfolio?
If you’re ready, head to the Purchase page to make your purchase, but first check out the Products page for details on what you will get.
Over time, this system will hopefully not only consistently beat the investing returns you and I would get through simple buy-and-hold strategies (or more typically buy high, then panic and sell near the lows strategies), but they also consistently beat away the returns of most money managers and even the best Wall Street pros. The performance data speaks for itself, take a look. Perhaps you may choose to just track the system on the spreadsheet. Over time, if it performs well, you’ll gain the confidence to use the strategy with a significant portion of your TSP account. By following the TSP Timing system you will no longer be led astray by listening to CNBC, friends, family, or gurus that keep their subscription revenues flowing with warnings of an imminent market collapse, or just your own gut which more often than not is wrong and just reacting to fear.
So how do you use the TSP Timing products? Easy, just review the materials you will receive with your purchase (see “Products” page), then decide if you want to follow it (or, as you’ll see through dozens of examples I provide on how I compared ideas to come up with the ideal system, you can even try out your own “tweaks” and modify the the system to your own liking), then use the provided IFT dates to make your moves. IFTs are provided for the current year (currently they are provided through 2022 and I will add 2023 later this year), but you will be able to add on future years very easily once you understand it.
At the end of each month I send an updated spreadsheet along with a newsletter providing a summary of the results for the month and a look-ahead to the next month. You will continue to receive these updates for 12 months following your purchase date, at which point you can renew for another 12 months for $59. You’re also welcome to contact me with questions. All you have to do is remember to enter the IFTs on the dates shown (and remember, IFTs made by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time will be reflected in your account at the end of that business day, while IFTs made after this time will be reflected in your account at the end of the next business day). These strategies are designed to work around the TSP intrafund transfer limitations that only allow two IFT’s per month (after that you can only move to the G fund), and having to decide whether or not to make a transfer by the noon Eastern time deadline. That’s no longer an issue with these strategies since you will know the IFT dates for literally YEARS in advance and you can enter the transfers at your leisure at any time during a 24-hour window.
If you have a Federal TSP account, TSP Timing could be for you. You can be at any stage of your career, just starting out, mid-career, or retired, civilian or military, it doesn’t matter….you may be a GS-5 administrative professional, or a career SES employee, it doesn’t matter. These strategies are for anyone who wants to improve their returns and reduce stress. You can even use it for investing outside of the TSP using ETFs that mimic the TSP funds.