The TSP Timing investing strategies are a combination of “seasonal” and other market timing strategies, which, over time, have proven to significantly outperform a “buy and hold” investing approach. You’ve probably heard of the “Sell in May and go away” axiom. TSP Timing takes that strategy and adds numerous enhancements. You can think of TSP Timing as “Sell in May and go away” on steroids.
Over the period of 2004-2017, these strategies have resulted in an astounding compound annual return of over 21%! As with any system, past performance does not guarantee future returns, but these strategies continue to do well year after year. See the Performance tab for details.
In fact, from 2002-17, the TSP Timing “Enhanced” strategy:
- Had an incredible compound annual return (CAR) of 21.15%,
- Beat the S&P 500 (the C fund) 13 straight years from 2004 through 2016. That’s just two years short of the 15 straight years set by the legendary investor Bill Miller), and,
- Never had a negative return, even during the 2008-09 bear market!
How does this compare to your own results? And how was this possible?
This is not a “hocus pocus” or “black box” investment strategy; it is very real. I’ve compiled numerous sources of information, and over several years I spent thousands of hours analyzing it. Through trial and error and endless hours of experimenting and back-testing I’ve developed these strategies that are both simple and very sensible. (Note: Back-testing ended in June 2016 and since then the results are real-time.) Over time, these strategies not only consistently beat the investing returns you and I would get through simple buy-and-hold strategies, but they also consistently blow away the returns of most money managers and even the best Wall Street pros. The performance data speaks for itself, take a look, it works. Perhaps you may choose to just try out one of the strategies with a portion of your portfolio, or maybe you will just track it on the spreadsheet. If you do, I’m confident that within a few years you’ll be convinced that it works better than any method you’ve tried before, and you’ll use these strategies with a significant portion of your investment portfolios. By following these strategies you will no longer be led astray by listening to 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.
The TSP Timing system consists of three strategies:
Basic Strategy – The Basic strategy simply uses the past seasonal performance of the TSP funds and selects the fund which has historically performed the best in each calendar month. So the Basic strategy could also be called the “Monthly” strategy. These seasonal tendencies tend to repeat year after year; not every year, but the key is more than half the time. A total of only nine interfund transfers (IFTs) are made each calendar year with this strategy, and always on the last trading day of a month. From 2004-17 this strategy returned a whopping 15.45% per year. That blows away the S&P 500’s return of 8.73%. Compare that to your own TSP returns. Many purchasers of TSP Timing will choose this simplest strategy, and if you had used it in recent years you would smiling and planning an earlier retirement.
Enhanced Strategy – The Enhanced strategy improves on the basic strategy in a number of ways.
First, instead of blindly making IFTs on the last day of the month it uses historical daily data to determine more precisely when to make each move. Second, and this is the hard part to comprehend, the strategy utilizes phases of the moon for timing IFTs during portions of the year (primarily during the slower trading summer months when the lunar forces seem to have an impact on the mass psychology of the markets). The end result is astounding. 2018 has been an excellent example. You may not believe that there could be a correlation between the moon and the markets (see the reading material page if you want to explore this and other topics), it’s certainly hard for my engineering mind to comprehend, but these enhancements improved the CAR from 15.45% for the Basic strategy, to a whopping 21.15% for the Enhanced strategy from 2004-17.
“I have been trying to follow the bull/bear strategy even when things are starting to get scary. So far, I’m glad that I have as it’s paid off.” – M.C., Warrenton, VA
Bull/Bear Strategy – Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid the huge downdrafts in your account during bear markets? That’s the holy grail that many investment pro’s seek. It’s the reason so many investors shell out huge amounts of money for subscriptions to investment gurus, or simply hand over their accounts to “professionals”, all in an attempt to avoid painful losses during bear markets. The Bull/Bear strategy seeks to do just that, and using a combination of a simple set of publically available data (e.g., the monthly unemployment rate) to exit the “Enhanced” strategy, and then using a simple monthly charting method of the S&P 500 index to re-enter the “Enhanced Strategy”, this strategy was able to avoid most (over 38% in 2001-02 and over 43% in 2008!) of the losses of both the 2000-03 and 2007-09 bear markets. The next major recession and bear market will be a great test to see if this system continues to perform well, and as of January 2018 system is remained on a bull market signal since late-November of 2008 despite the markets gyrations and constant stream of gloomy news. Over the period of 2004-17 the Bull/Bear strategy produced a CAR of 21.67%, and the gap between this strategy and the Enhanced strategy will grow if it is successful in timing the next bear market.
Here’s a link to third-party tracking of the performance and IFTs of the Bull/Bear Strategy at TimerTrac.com (since 7/25/16):
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 which of the strategies you’d like to follow (or you can even modify them to your own liking such as by removing the lunar component), then use the provided IFT dates to make your moves for the next 5+ years. The current files contain IFTs all the way through the year 2023! There are no periodic email or online updates, you just use the spreadsheet, but you’re welcome to contact me with questions. All you have to do is remember to enter the IFTs on the dates shown by the strategy you use (and remember, IFTs made by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time will be reflected in your account at the end of that business day. 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 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 is 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….