financial planner Stephen Zelcer

March 2021 TSP Planning Report:


  • This month’s unemployment rate lowered to 6.2% from last month’s 6.3%.
  • PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) continued to expand (any reading above a score of 50 means expansion). This month’s reading came in at 60.8, compared to last month’s 58.7.
  • The S&P 500 (C Fund) increased 2.76% in February, compared to a -1.01% in January.
    • The 2nd estimate of Q4 GDP shows growth of 4.3%. 
  • The Fed Funds interest rate remained at 0.25%, (although the Fed suggested that such rates may only hold thru April 2021, while previously they indicated it would hold thru 2023).

Nothing new.  Interest rates are rising, but that’s not the end of the world.  It will slow business growth to a degree and may feel uncomfortable for a few weeks, but remember, business was growing even when interest rates were above 4% just over a year ago.  Just look at PMI (purchasing managers index).  PMI measures the purchasing of materials for producing goods – whether lumber for housing or furniture, etc., textiles for furniture or clothing, etc., plastics for products and disposables, etc., metals for cars, computers, etc.  When PMI is high, it means companies are forecasting an increased demand for products.  As such, they order more materials. When PMI is low, it means companies are forecasting an decreased demand for products.  As such, they order less materials. 

Essentially, PMI is an indicator to future business, and this month’s PMI is record high.  Not seen since February 2018, when the market was buzzing.  

Bottom Line:
Businesses are doing what they do best – create jobs and make money – even in the face of rising interest rates.  The market may have a temporary dip, but keep buying as it goes down.  Eventually, it will stabilize and come back up.   

No news on the government interfering in the housing market.  It’s a wait-and-see game.  It should not stop you from investing.  

Anyone who has more than 5 years before drawing income from their TSP should consider taking a more aggressive posture going forward and use my aggressive portfolio’s below.  If you are within 5 years of retirement, you should email me to get a more customized recommendation.  

DON’T JUST LOOK AT RATE OF RETURN. Always view the target return of each portfolio in context of its ranges of fluctuation.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Email me here –

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