financial planner Stephen Zelcer

TSP Planning Report April 2018

financial planning for federal employees


  • The S&P 500 had ANOTHER drop of 2.55%.
  • PMI, again, posted another solid month of expansion, with the index increasing to 59.3%.
  • The 3rd estimate for the 4th quarter’s GDP was increased to 2.7%.
  • Unemployment was stable at 4.1%.  It’s been at 4.1% for 5 months.


  • Although the S&P losses over the past two months have been scary, the YTD return is only a slight negative, -0.77%
  • PMI continues it’s impressive streak, performing above-average (above the 50% mark – this month above the 60% mark) for the past 16 months.
  • Unemployment has been holding stable for the past 5 months, as has small steps of improvement consistently over the past 2 years.
  • GDP’s Q4 numbers are healthier, but still less than what economist hoped to see (over 3%).

Bottom Line:


Some of Trump’s tariff plan is already underway – 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum.  Thankfully, the tariffs excluded countries that account for over 67% of our steel and aluminum exports.  The tell-tale sign that this is a good thing is the response of the steel and aluminum businesses, who have welcomed the tariffs!

With all the above in mind, I have classified this economic environment as “Early-Mid” point of the economic cycle.  I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but the fundamentals are still solid.  Yes, the market will respond negatively to poor policy reports but once the news clears, we will see the fundamentals shine and surge.

Be sure to view all 3 pages of the embedded report below.  The TSP portfolios below carry the greatest return for the least amount of risk in this economic environment.  Remember, DON’T JUST LOOK AT RATE OF RETURN.  Always view the target return of each portfolio in context of its ranges of fluctuation.

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