financial planner Stephen Zelcer


February 12, 2017 4:22 am Published by Stephen Zelcer


  • Signs were split this month.
  • The S&P 500 gained close to 1%.  The three month return was a hefty 7.95%!
  • PMI had a whopping increase to 56.0, from 54.7.  This is the first time PMI has broken 55 since November 2014.
  • GDP growth for the 4th quarter 2016 decreased sharply from 3.5% to 1.9%.  This level is about where it stood for much of 2015 and the first half of 2016.
  • Unemployment was relatively flat, staying at 4.8% which is just 0.1% higher than it was last month.  The 3-month trend shows a dip in unemployment.


  • PMI’s numbers display strong expansion, and is a nice indication that U.S. manufacturing is alive and well.
  • Even Unemployment’s slight 0.1% increase is put into perspective by it’s 3-month & 12-month overall decrease.
  • The S&P 500 is clearly resonating with the positive indicators.
  • The GDP drop is concerning but is put into perspective when we have recently seen such output in 2015 & 2016.  During that time, the S&P 500 performance was solid.

Bottom Line:

The above assessment suggests a relatively strong economy, which puts us in a mid-early stage of the economic cycle.  In such an environment, stocks have performed well, which is why even a little stock exposure can give a conservative portfolio a big boost.   Remember, DON’T JUST LOOK AT RATE OF RETURN.  Always view the target return of each portfolio in context of its ranges of fluctuation.  You may see the higher portfolios are not as risky as they looked last month.  The TSP portfolios below carry the greatest return for the least amount of risk in this economic environment.

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Tags: Federal Employee, Thrift Savings Plan, TSP, tsp report

Categorised in: Financial Planning, thrift savings plan, TSP

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