- Why not just buy a fixed portfolio of TSP funds and hold it indefinitely?
- When do you update your TSP Pilot systems and send out new fund balance/allocation notices?
- Why use multiple systems for each TSP Fund?
- Where are your previous TSP Pilot recommended fund percentage balances?
- Why not send out your sample back issue by email?
- Why did I only receive one email notice in the last month?
- Why did you decrease stock fund allocations recently when a majority of the systems were flashing green?
- What do I do if I miss a recommended allocation change?
- I just retired. Why do I need TSP Pilot?
- When is the best time to begin following TSP Pilot?
- Should I wait for the next set of fund allocations percentages when first subscribing?
1.)Why not just buy a fixed portfolio of TSP funds and hold it indefinitely?
This "buy-and-hold" strategy is simply a baseless one for those wanting to limit market risk while maximizing returns. The concept has been popularized by mutual fund managers who have a built-in financial conflict of interest. They discourage investors from leaving their funds by slapping on outrageous early redemption fees and back end loads. Yet they constantly market time within their own funds in an attempt to enhance performance!
It's easy to see what happened to even diversified stock funds during the 2000-2003 bear market. Those "buy-and-hold" investors lost--and lost big time. Any simple timing algorithm would have saved investors from having to suffer those losses. Timing is never perfect, but applied effectively and professionally it beats "buy-and-hold" cold sober. See our extensive report on this topic (click on "Fund Timing" on the top nav bar). TOP
2.) When do you update your TSP Pilot systems and send out new fund balance/allocation notices?
We download each day's closing prices for the five TSP funds from our service provider after 7 PM EST every market day. Once daily TSP fund settlement prices are acquired the systems take over an hour to completely auto-update on our computer system. Depending on timing, any new fund balance/allocation recommendations will be completed and posted to the appropriate TSP Pilot Current Advisory Page sometime before midnight that day. Always be sure to refresh your browser window to download the current recommendations. Shortly thereafter email notices are then sent to all current subscribers of record overnight. If your current email address is correct the advisory email notice should be in your email inbox of record by the following morning.
If there are system difficulties or other unexpected constraints any new allocation/fund balance recommendations will be posted, and emails cut, either overnight or in the early am of the following day (signal day + 1). You will receive your email notice of a new posted advisory on the Current Advisory Page in plenty of time to log in to your account on the TSP website in sufficient time to make the necessary changes to your account balances by 11 AM the following day.
If TSP receives your allocation/fund balance percentage changes via it's website by 11 am it will usually apply those changes to your account effective on the close of the markets on that same day (signal day + 1). All TSP Pilot performance statistics on the performance pages assume an even more conservative two (2) day delay (signal day + 2) just to add an additional margin of safety. TOP
3.)Why use multiple systems for each TSP Fund?
You would think, at first blush, that you should pick the most successful single system and use that one exclusively to guide your TSP investments. However, no matter how successful any single system may have backtested, there is always that possibility that it may fail in the future, or at least lag behind the performance of other top rated systems.
Furthermore, the "insurance policy" derived from using other top rated systems simultaneously is in producing a remarkably smoother performance profile for the investment. By spreading the risk over several top rated systems the investment becomes much less volatile, more reliable and easier to "sleep" with overnight. Diversifying across several top rated systems reduces the maximum draw down (Mdd) of the portfolio as can be seen in these performance figures.
While one may lose faith in a single mechanical system over any difficult market cycle, using a portfolio of time tested systems will be more likely to be successful over future markets, and with a reduced market risk exposure. TOP
4.) Where are your previous TSP Pilot recommended fund percentage balances?
We've included them on our subscribers' password protected Current Advisory page. Toward the end of the year we will move the resultant net returns to our performance page and start a new fund balance percentage pages on our protected subscribers' site. TOP
5.) Why not send out your sample back issue by email?
Firstly, the controversial protocol of HTML email is not universally accepted as a viable format. Secondly, attempts to format and email our sample back issue have met with spotty results in terms of readability across subscriber POP email systems. Sending only the text version of the actual allocations/fund balance percentages was met by subscriber requests for adding in the confirming trend signals and directions. This couldn't be done with a plain text mailing. We therefore decided to post the sample issue on a webpage. TOP
6.) Why did I only receive one email notice in the last month?
One notice or even less per month can be a frequent occurrence when the markets are backing and filling over narrow or broad trading ranges. Under such trendless conditions most of our systems do not trigger signals. However, we do have signals that flash occasionally when markets are in trendless cycles to take advantage of such periods. Those congestion signals flash overbought and oversold conditions and attempt to buy into declines and sell into strength--the opposite of trend following systems, but they are infrequent.
When the trend continues, either up or down, the systems then respond to the more typical trend following conditions which usually result in more frequent signals and notices.
It is important not to anticipate such periods of low activity by not watching for new TSP Pilot advisories. Human nature always fails at just those important junctures when market conditions suddenly fulcrum or change. Investors who try to "out guess" the time proven systems and signals historically always come up short. TOP
7.) Why did you decrease stock fund balance percentages recently when a majority of the systems were flashing green?
This, at first blush, would appear to be a disconnect. However, we do not always weight the market impact of all fund timing systems equally. It is quite possible that you could see a majority of our signals in the up or green mode when we actually lower stock fund balance percentages and allocations! While this is rare, it would likely be because the "red" signals would have been based at the time on indicators that were more heavily weighted in their significance than the "green" indicators. The converse has occasionally also been true. System weights are a function of market conditions and trends. TOP
8.) What do I do if I miss a recommended fund balance percentage change?
Missing one or even two recommended fund balance percentage changes will likely not sink your account. However, it may impact your account's performance to some degree. Just make sure when you notice you've missed an interfund change, for one reason or another, that you immediately visit your account on the TSP website and enter the most recent fund balance percentages and allocations posted on the TSP Pilot Current Advisory page.
If your interfund postings to the TSP website are often delayed by one or two days (beyond the two day delay built in to all TSP Pilot performance numbers) you may also notice a degradation in performance. While it's difficult to develop a hard a fast rule here, generally for every day beyond the two day built in delay allowance that you are consistently late in implementing new interfund changes your account may suffer by 1% per year.
In other words if you are CONSISTENTLY three days late throughout the year in posting our interfund changes to your account you may see a 1% degradation in annual performance. In an especially good performance year, i.e. greater than 20%, you may notice a 2-3% change. If you are only occasionally late in posting your account should suffer no performance degradations.
Missing TSP Pilot allocation (new money going in) recommendations is far less damaging to your account value. In fact you may even decide to save a little time by only posting to the fund balance percentage screen (interfund transfers) and completely skip posting to the allocations screen for up to 1-2 months at a time. Such a policy should not materially degrade final performance for those of you with TSP accounts valued at $25,000 and above. TOP
9.)I just retired. Why do I need TSP Pilot?
Generally, the closer you are to the time when you intend to draw down your TSP account the less market risk you would want to accept. On the other hand the 90's came with 20%+ yearly returns on the C Fund several years in a row. TSP Pilot will always limit your exposure to market risk and conserve your capital whether the markets are rising or falling. Historically, the TSP Pilot account carries about the same risk exposure as a passively managed conservative account invested largely in the G Fund. You will be sheltered in a falling stock market from more serious short term losses.
On the other hand should the stock market rise dramatically in the next few years before you significantly draw down your account, the TSP Pilot portfolio will likely be on the right side of the market with significant stock fund allocations to help your account take advantage of those return opportunities. In a nutshell, your risk will be limited and your returns improved over any time period, short, intermediate or long term. TOP
10.) When is the best time to begin following TSP Pilot?
Unfortunately, while there may be a best time to begin, that time would only be knowable in hindsight. Since the general trend of the TSP Pilot account over time is up, whether in up or down stock markets, the later you begin following the TSP Pilot fund percentage recommendatons the farther behind you account will likely be in total net return. Since the best time would have been yesterday, the second best time to begin is today--regardless of the markets, your age or your time to retirement. TOP
11.) Should I wait for the next set of fund allocations percentages when first subscribing?
Again, there is never any better time than now to start following a trend timing system like the TSP Pilot. Second guessing market timing signals is a short trip to peril. While you may have missed the most recently recommended allocation percentages, you're always advised to enter the currently recommended percentages into your account ASAP after first subscribing.
While you may not catch the same full market move as those who updated when the signals were first announced, you risk missing an entire market trend if you wait for the next set of TSP Pilot signals. Waiting for the next set of timing signals is rarely ever worth the risk.
Also, always try to implement each new changed recommendation as soon as possible after receiving the email alert for BOTH your bi-weekly allocations AND your fund balances. If you must choose which to implement first always give priority to the balance changes. TOP
Don't test the retirement waters alone. Put your TSP ship a league ahead by requesting your FREE BACK ISSUE or by SUBSCRIBING at our special reduced rates today!