The TSP Membership Service

Everything You Need to Know About My Monthly Report for the Thrift Savings Plan

The TSP Membership Service was created in an effort to simplify and provide up to date evaluations for Federal Employees to make educated decisions on how to invest in their TSP. This service is a unique way of helping Federal Employees plan their TSP and provide professional TSP allocation guidance

Once you have identified your target rate of return using the TSP Calculator, you will see that in the monthly report there is a suggested allocation based on complex calculations and a study of the TSP for each target return. The reason there are numerous portfolios is because this is NOT a 1-size-fits-all solution.  Every investor has different goals and thus needs a different portfolio

This valuable service costs only $15 per month!!!  That’s a fraction of what any financial advisor would charge you for TSP guidance.  You can cancel anytime, so there's NO RISK to even try the service!

The recurring monthly membership fee is $15.  If you are already a client you are eligible to receive this service at an even lower price.  You can sign up to become a member HERE.


  • Q.Which Portfolio Should I be in?

    A.Choose the portfolio that matches your goals.  You will be able define your goals greatly with the TSP Goals Calculator.  The Calculator will tell you what Rate of Return you need in your TSP.  Once you know what return you need, you will see which portfolio matches that return.  For example, “The 5% Portfolio” will target an ANNUAL 5% return.  “The 7% Portfolio” will target an ANNUAL 7% return. Etc.  In addition to the target rate of return, each portfolio has an expected range of fluctuation, which indicates the level of risk associated with that portfolio. Each month you will see my new allocations for each portfolio.  The targeted return will not change, but the allocation and the associated risk needed to yield the targeted return WILL CHANGE EVERY MONTH.  As it changes, we will update you with our new allocations that may carry MORE or LESS risk in order to achieve the targeted return.   You should ALWAYS REVIEW THE TARGET RETURN IN CONTEXT OF THE RANGE OF FLUCTUATION.  You need to be comfortable with BOTH the rate of return & the range of fluctuation.  Sometimes you will find that both of the above criteria are met in a single portfolio.  That portfolio would be your portfolio of choice for that month.  However, sometimes the two criteria don’t land within one portfolio.  In such a case you must choose which criterion supersedes the other.  If you need help with this, please contact me at stephen@stephenzelcer.com.

  • Q.The calculator gave me a return that's between two of your portfolio's, which should I choose?

    A.When choosing your portfolio you need to consider and be comfortable with BOTH the rate of return & the range of fluctuation.  That being said, you have two choices:  Either increase your savings rate so you can lower the rate of return needed, or choose the portfolio with the higher return.  There’s nothing wrong with choosing a higher rate of return than you need, so long as you are comfortable with the associated risk.  You may be pleasantly surprised to find that a more aggressive portfolio carries a range of fluctuation that you are comfortable with.  You should ALWAYS REVIEW THE TARGET RETURN IN CONTEXT OF THE RANGE OF FLUCTUATION.

  • Q.The goals calculator gave me a negative rate of return, what does that mean?

    A.This means that if you continue saving at the rate you’re saving, you will actually have more than enough money to retire on.  In this case you can either decrease your savings rate, or you can plan a more expensive retirement.

  • Q.I'm already retired, do I need a TSP?

    A.Of course!  Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have goals for your TSP.  In fact, many retirees NEED their TSP to produce certain returns in order to remain retired.  If you are not clear how much you’ll need your TSP to produce in retirement, you may appreciate my FREE retirement workbook “Ready, Aim, Retire!”

  • Q.How often should I recalculate my goals?

    A.This is a personal decision.  You will certainly want to revisit your goals to make sure they still apply.  Perhaps they’ve changed over time.  I would say, as a general rule, reviewing your goals once a year is a responsible practice.  If you have a life event, that may be grounds to review your goals, too.

  • Q.How will this service help me on a monthly basis?

    A.I know some investors misunderstand this service as providing 1-time allocations that last forever.  It is far from that.  It is designed to keep an eye on market conditions and adjust the portfolios as we encounter new economic strengths or weaknesses.  When indicators tell me it’s time to adjust, I adjust and I pass that info along to all my subscribers.

    Think of it driving a car to a destination, and your GPS is monitoring for traffic, road closures, tolls, delays, alternate routes, etc.

    This service is the GPS for TSP investors.