Frequently Asked Questions


We have posted the most frequently asked questions "FAQs" from our members. If you have a question, please scan through our list. You may find other questions that you may have not thought about. If you are not clear about an answer or your question is not on the list, we invite your response and additional questions. Thanks!

We have grouped our questions / answers into 4 categories for conveniency:
General Information / Trading Questions / Market Timing / Site Specific Questions


General Information:

What are the TSP Funds?

There are five investment options that are available to the millions of federal employees. They are the: (1) G Fund: Government Securities Investments, (2) F Fund: Fixed Income Index Investments, (3) C Fund: Common Stock Index Investments, (4) S Fund: Small Capitalization Stock Index Investments, and (5) I Fund: International Stock Index Investments. Please visit our TSP Funds page, which explains each fund in detail.

What are the best ticker symbols to use for tracking the funds?

They are: AGG or VBMFX for the F Fund, $SPX or VFINX for the C Fund, $EWM, VEXMX or $DWCPF for the S Fund, and EFA for the I Fund. There is no ticker symbol to track the G Fund.

I have never invested before, where do I start?

There are numerous resources on the Internet designed to help educate new investors. We strongly suggest you visit the Learn About Investing page on the Securites Exchange Commission's web site. This page is a great place to start.

I have some questions about making an Interfund Transfer. Where do I go to find this information?

We encourage you to visit the official Thrift Savings Plan web site for government employees. The URL for their web site is www.TSP.GOV. You will find everything you need to know there.


Trading Questions:

    When the market is going strong, should I allocate 100% in one specific fund when making an interfund transfer on the tsp.gov site?

    Overall, we personally believe in diversification. An investor should always attempt to minimize risk, meaning never put all of your eggs in the same basket. We can not advise anyone how much capital they should trade. Everyone has their own financial objectives and risk tolerances. Everyone is responsible for their own final financial decisions. However, we will state our opinion as to what we are doing in our own account, our reasoning behind our decision, and the percentage breakdown between the various funds.

    Ok, since you strongly believe in diversification, what is a good method you would use in your decision process to assign the percentages between the funds?

    On our members page, we assess the current market condition using fundamental and technical chart analysis. We also present our opinion by writing technical commentary for each of the funds.

    Here's a specific example: The S&P is currently undergoing a little profit taking, but we do not expect the decline to be that significant. The negative divergence we mentioned in last week's newsletter is now taking effect as the stock declines. However, since the divergence was not an extreme amount, it is almost worked off since then. We are still sticking to our recognition of the all important Fibonacci 0.618 retracement level. We iterate what we stated two weeks ago: "We believe the S&P will tag a Fibonacci 0.618 retracement of the 2000 high to the 2002 low. That equates to a move to 1253.45 for the S&P 500 index (about $125.3 for SPY). We calculated this number by using the March 24, 2000 S&P high of 1553.11 and the October 10, 2002 S&P low of 768.67. The difference between these values is 784.44 points. Multiplying this value by 0.618 gives 484.78, and then adding this to the 2002 low of 768.67 equates to 1253.45." This value also plots out to be very close to where trendline resistance is shown on the chart (see blue trendline). Therefore, if the fund continues to approach this level, we will definitely be interested in switching to less risky funds, probably the F Fund (ticker: AGG) and G Fund. Our conclusion of last week is still valid: ... "For now, we foresee a short-term pullback to work off the small amount of bearish divergence, and then the index should increase toward the 0.618 Fib level."

    What is the general length of time in a certain fund(s) before switching to another fund(s)?

    There is no general answer that fits all conditions. The market is an ever changing beast. If the stock market is trending up, we may suggest for members to have the majority of their savings in the stock funds. If the market is going lateral or trending down, we may suggest for members to have most of their savings in the G or F Funds. How long they must stay in these funds is only known by Mr. Market. Meaning, we have to see a change in character of the market and/or notice something through fundamental or technical analysis that warrants caution or the likelihood of profitability. Hopefully we recognize the potential of change before it happens. All we can say, is that we assess the current market condition on a day-to-day basis and present our opinion to the best of our ability. In addition, all trades will adhere to the New Interfund Transfer Rule.

    Can you explain in detail the New Interfund Transfer Rule?

    As per the New Interfund Transfer Rule your first two IFTs can redistribute money in your account among any or all of the TSP funds. After that, for the remainder of the month, your IFTs can only move money into the Government Securities Investment (G) Fund (in which case, you will increase the percentage of your account held in the G Fund by reducing the percentage held in one or more of the other TSP funds.

    What is the difference between long, intermediate, and short-term trends?

    Market trends are generally divided into three categories: major (long-term), intermediate, and short-term. A major trend usually lasts for more than a year. Since the stock market peaked in October 2007, the current downturn is "major" in scope. There were three major (long-term trends) in the eight years since 2000. The stock market experienced a two-year downtrend from 2000 to 2002, a five-year uptrend from 2003 to 2007, and a one-year downtrend since then. Monthly MACD lines provided three major signals in the last eight years -- a major sell in 2000, a major buy in 2003, and major sell at the end of 2007. The major trend is by far the most important because it overrides signals on weekly and daily charts.

    Intermediate trends represent corrections to major trends and generally last from one to six months. The market experienced an "intermediate" bounce from March to May '08. The bounce lasted 10 weeks before turning back down again. In addition, the intermediate bounce retraced a half of the previous downtrend from October '07 to March '08. That's pretty typical. The least important trend is the "short-term" variety.

    Short-term trends, which are generally shown on daily charts, usually last less than a month. In many cases, they may last for only a week or two. There were a number of short-term bounces over the last six months. The rally during July and August '08 lasted a month as did the "triangle" formation during October '08. The triangle formation was composed of two short bounces that lasted about a week each. One of the ways to determine if a short-term bounce is turning into an intermediate rebound is the market's ability to climb over its 50-day moving average.


    Market Timing:

    What is the purpose and objective of your service?

    Our service is designed to consistently outperform the buy-and-hold strategy of investing. Our primary objective is to help government employees increase their Thrift Savings in a low risk / high reward manner in both bullish and bearish markets. Bottom line: Our primary goal is to help our members move their thrift savings forward. We believe that market timing through proper use of fundamental and technical analysis is the only method in acheiving this goal.

    How is your chart information derived?

    Our system is based on mathematical models of technical analysis and our proprietary methodology, which is not available to the public. We use raw stock data (i.e., previous price data and volume) and incorporate this into certain mathematical models. From this information, charts are produced with technical indicators. We then annotate and interpret the charts using our experience, and provide a short-term forecast based on our wisdom. With over 20 years of experience in technical analysis, data analysis and interpretation becomes relatively standard for recognizing the broader trend, levels of support and resistance, divergence/convergence indicators, retracement levels, relative strength, market sentiment, and oversold/overbought conditions of the indexes. We concentrate on risk-to-reward probabilities using technical analysis to establish short and intermediate-term forecasts of the market indices.

    When should we expect to receive your comments?

    We will post our comments on the members only page each Friday. After the page has been updated, members will receive an immediate e-mail alert. Also, when there has been a change in character of the market, we will suggest to make an Interfund Transfer. This e-mail will show the exact breakdown of percentages for the various funds.

    As soon as I become a member and visit the members page, do I enter a fund immediately even if the current stock price has already moved in a specific direction?

    This is entirely up to you and your professional advisor for a final decision. In general, the answer is yes.

    Is investment news and other research data taken into consideration?

    We are always aware of the financial news, but most media coverage only highlights what is happening on a daily basis. Rarely do we find anything useful for our decision making process. Normally, the charts (technical analysis) tell the story about the market. Fundamentalists will always try to explain movements of the stock market based on reasoning. However, fundamentalists can always come up with justifications or reasons why the market moved in a certain direction. When we use fundamentals in our decisions, we try to look forward and weigh what is important and what is not. In general, fundamentals can not be applied on a short-term basis to consistently beat the market. Fundamentals are only applicable to intermediate- to long-term horizons.


    Site Specific Questions:

    Who are your members?

    Our members are civilians and uniformed service employees (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the Coast Guard). The largest majority of our members are part of the FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System), though we do have many members who invest in the TSP who are part of the CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System). Even Federal employees who left the government service, can still make interfund transfers. We even have a growing number of professional investors, stockbrokers, money managers, financial planners and investment advisors who have joined our service as well. The majority of our members are hard-working government employees who seek guidance in the stock market and want to maximize their hard-earned retirement savings. We also believe our members are those who may have tried the buy-and-hold strategy, and have lost money through this strategy. And we have recently found that members are tired of being part of the Lifecycle Funds, which is not a good concept when the market is bearish or caught in a trading zone for many years.

    Does your company also trade the stock funds?

    Yes, the results you see in our archives on Our Returns page, are exactly how the technical analyst/editor trades his personal TSP account!

    We believe our system provides a lower risk method of investing, as opposed to the buy-and-hold strategy of investing. The buy-and-hold method will always be subject to higher risk, volatility, and many uncontrollable factors that can negatively impact the stock fund prices and your savings. Everyone should be familiar with the crash of 2000 through 2002, when the C Fund lost nearly 50% of its value. All of my friends and acquaintenances lost money during that time. One acquaintenance decided to leave his savings during that time in the C Fund and took a $60,000 loss. Then, when the S&P was at bottom in the 3rd quarter of 2002, he decided to cash out of the stock market all together, swore to never get back in ever again, and put his savings into the G Fund. Now, it will be difficult for him to rebuild his savings back to where it initially was in year 2000 based on the annual gains of the G Fund. Another friend, who always believed strongly in the G Fund, never cared to venture out into the C Fund. But, when everyone else were talking about how much money they were making in the stock market (C Fund) during 1995 through 2000, he finally decided to jump in and switch to the C Fund like everyone else. However, his timing was totally wrong ... he made the big switch in April 2000. It was relatively easy for me to identify the bull market was over in year 2000, since the 50-day moving average cross below the 200-day moving average, and the major uptrend was broken to the downside. These criteria defined the initiation of a major bear market was in store for a couple of years. During that time, years 2000 - 2002, everyone should have been allocating most of their funds into the G or F Funds, and not into the C Fund. Investors should have waited until there was confirmation of a new major uptrend and the 50-dma crossed above the 200-dma. Simple rules that can significantly protect and preserve one's capital, and wait for better times.

    What is your privacy policy?

    Our company is committed to protecting your privacy while using our site. This is explained in detail in our Private Policy page.

    Does your company offer any free trial periods?

    We do not offer any free trials. We do offer a full money back guarantee within the first 48 hours after you become a member if you are unsatistifed with our service. The most important reason why we do not offer free trials is because our system is designed to slowly beat the index funds. We do not want to give the impression that this a get rich quick scheme. Our system requires patience. There are a lot of other web sites that virtually promise quick returns. Please be cautious of those systems.

    Will your company manage my account?

    At this time, we do not manage any personal accounts for our members, and probably will not in the future.

    After I become a member is there confirmation of this?

    Once authorization is approved, you will receive our confirmation response via e-mail. You will then be able to log into the members page with the latest updates!

    Once I become a member, can I change my email address in the future?

    Yes, just send an e-mail to editor@tspfundtrading.com and include your old and new e-mail addresses.





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