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Welcome to TheTSPAnalyzer Help

Making Sense of your Thrift Savings Plan

  • What The TSP Analyzer Does
    1. The TSP Analyzer ‘reads’ Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) quarterly statements that have been downloaded and saved in PDF format. Any federal employee that has a TSP account with the federal government can download their quarterly statems in PDF format from the federal TSP website and use this application to read the data.

    2. The TSP Analyzer can only read statements stored electronically after June 1, 2003. Prior to this date the investment format of the TSP was vastly different and no electronic records are available.

    3. A realistic set of PDF participant statements in the Sample Data directory so all functionality can be viewed prior to purchase/registration. The TSP Analyzer will only read the Sample Data PDF files until it is registered. No data entry is required. Users of The TSP Analyzer just download their personal TSP participant statements, purchase/register the software, and run it.

  • What The TSP Analyzer Does NOT Do
    1. The TSP Analyzer does NOT store, send, or retain information. It ‘reads’ the participant statements line by line looking for specific information. If an entry doesn’t match what it is looking for the application moves on to the next line. If you are interested in what the TSP does ‘read’ simply run the application with the sample data provided. If the information is not presented by the application it didn’t need it and, therefore, didn’t read it. This means that of the personal information on your participant statements only the name and date of birth are read. The name can be seen in the title bar and the date of birth is used to calculate the retirement age for the Projection tab.

    2. No information presented by the application is stored other than daily TSP fund prices that the application downloads from TSP.GOV (See Share Prices tab).

    3. Every time the application runs it has to read the data again as no TSP statement information is stored by the application.

  • The TSP Analyzer Tabs-Basic Overview
    • Overview: The Overview tab is considered the home or default view. When the ‘Open’ button is initially pressed all TSP participant statements in the current path are read, calculations of the data are performed, and the initial TSP overview data is presented. This tab shows investment and performance values for each year as well as total investment transaction amounts, ending balances, and investment performances for the entire investment period. By selecting individual years a summary of each year can also be presented.
    • Contributions: The Contributions tab lists all account transactions for the entire investment period. Individual years can be selected to view a particular years data.
    • Share Prices: The Share Prices tab contains the historical share price history. The application downloads and displays the share prices for all TSP fund types for every day the market has been open. This information is used to perform calculations for the Chart tab as well as the Overview tab. This is the only information the application saves and you must be connected to the internet so it can download this data.
    • Chart: The Chart tab plots performance over time. When the Chart button is pressed the application reads the information from the Contributions tab and Share Prices tab and performs calculations to present the chart information displayed. In short it calculates the total employee and agency contributions as well as the daily account value based on the share prices for every day the market has been open.
    • Projections: The Projections tab shows a graphical estimate of what your account value will be when you reach 59.5 years of age. The retirement date is calculated from your date of birth and is initially set at 59.5 years of age because this is the earliest you can withdrawn from the TSP without penalty. The retirement age can be changed in half year increments. The Interest Rate is initially set at the Annual Percentage Rate that has been calculated for your entire investment period and the Inflation Rate is initially set at 3%. Both of these values can be modified.
  • Security
    • The TSP Analyzer does NOT store, send, or retain information from participant TSP statements.
    • The application does not pose a risk to your participant data. However, to use the application you must download your personal TSP statements and store them somewhere accessible to the application.
    • The format of these statements has changed numerous times and may contain any or all of the following sensitive information:
      • name,
      • date of birth,
      • address,
      • SSN,
      • TSP account number.
    • You should exercise caution with having these files on your computer just as you would any other personal information. If you feel your computer security may not be sufficient to protect these statements a good safety measure might be to store them onto a thumb drive or a CD. The application can read them from either location and the CD or thumb drive could be removed when not in use.
  • Accuracy of Provided Data
    • Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the data presented by The TSP Analyzer.
    • We have implemented, and tested every data type and variable we could find. However, as you can imagine people are justifiably reluctant to share data of this type for beta testing. In the event your data contains a ‘variable’ we are not aware of and have not considered we will make every effort to correct the application and provide a new version of the software.
  • Investment Data Interpretation and Accountability

    • The TSP Analyzer presents your retirement information in a format that demonstrates the ‘big picture’ as is common with almost any investment firm. It is our hope that this gives you insight into your investment value and performance, allowing to you use this information in a positive manner. This application is not offered to give advice. However, after creating the application we realized some might make decisions based on the information provided. You are responsible for your investment strategies. We are not responsible for any decisions you may or may not make with your investments based on any information or lack of information presented by The TSP Analyzer. As an example let’s look at three points in time on the chart provided for Mr. John Q. Public in the example data. Remember this information is using actual share prices and values. We’ll use the application to run Mr. Publics contributions at 100% I Fund and 100% G fund for comparison as these are typically polar opposites in investment strategy.

        Date100% I-Fund100% G-FundApproximate Value
        October 28, 2007$115,381$50,800$69,700
        March 8, 2008$67,150$88,250$72,350
        December 31, 2009$145,250$113,250$125,500

      As you can see in October of 2007, had Mr. Public been in the G Fund he would have been quite disappointed by his returns in comparison to if he had been in the I Fund. However, had he been in the I Fund he would have seen his investment nearly halve in value by March of 2008 and be $20,000 less than it would had he been in the G Fund all along. By December of 2009 we see the I Fund is again out performing the G Fund but it was a pretty rocky road. Remember, Mr. Public was making some pretty sizable contributions all along. This means that in reality his account value halved in less than half a year. At one point, had he been in the I Fund, Mr. Public would have seen all earning disappear as well as some contributions.

      This application lets you use your real investment data to show what your investments would have been but this is a window into the past, not the future. It’s certainly good to see where you've been so perhaps you don’t repeat it but this certainly isn’t a crystal ball. Unless you have found a product like The TSP Analyzer this is probably the first time you’ve seen the big picture of your TSP. Based on what you see you can interpret it many different ways at many different times during your investment period.

  • The TSP Analyzer Tabs-Detailed Overview

  • Title Bar, Pull Down Menus, and Top Bar Buttons

    The below information is present on all tabs and contains the Title Bar, Pull Down Menus, and Top Bar Buttons.

    Title Bar

    The Title Bar displays the application name (The TSP Analyzer) as well as the participants name as read from the TSP participant sheet. In this case the name from the sample participant data provided with the application (John Q. Public). This is the only personal information read and it is not saved.

    Pull Down MenusThe Pull Down Menus contains two pull downs.

    File-The File pull down menu contains Open, Print, Print Setup, Save As, and Exit.

    Open instructs the application to open and read the TSP participant statements. This option may be used instead of the Open Top Bar Button.

    Print is used to print a hard copy of the Contributions tab data.

    Print Setup is used, as in any other application, to select a printer as well as the format.

    Save As allows you to save your contribution data in several formats. This is particularly useful if you are familiar with spreadsheet applications and want to run further formulas or inquiries with your data.

    Exit allows you to exit the program.

    Help—The Help pull down menu contains Help and About.

    Help instructs the application to open the help file which contains information about how to use the application as well as general information about the application.

    About displays information about the application as well as the End User License Agreement.

    Top Bar Buttons

    The Top Bar Buttons area contains the following buttons;

    Open instructs the application to open and read the TSP participant statements. This button may be used instead of the Open pull down menu option.

    Chart is used to instruct the application to calculate and display the chart information. This is covered in detail in the Chart section of this help file.

    Share Prices instructs the application to download TSP share price information form the internet and display it on the Share Prices tab. This is covered in detail on the Share Prices section of this help file.

    Print is used to print a hard copy of the Contributions tab data. This button can be used instead of the Print pull down menu option.

    Exit instructs the application to close. This button can be used instead of the Exit pull down menu option or the X in the upper right of the application window.
  • How to Download your TSP Statements