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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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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 or $DWCPF for the S Fund, and EFA for the I Fund. There is no ticker symbol to track the G Fund.

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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 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."

  3. 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 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.

Market Timing:

  1. What is the purpose and objective of your service?

    Our service is designed to consistently outperform the buy-and-hold strategy of investing on a yearly basis. 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 technical analysis is the only method in acheiving this goal.

  2. 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 30 years of experience in technical analysis, our interpretation of the data becomes relatively standard in seeing the broader oversold/overbought conditions and bullish/bearish divergences of the indexes. We concentrate on risk-to-reward probabilities using technical analysis to establish short and intermediate-term forecasts of the market indices.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Is investment news and other research data taken into consideration?

    For the most part, the answer is no. We are always aware of the financial news, but this is not directly factored. However, the mathematical equations used to derive the indicators and signals, captures all fundamental data. Fundamentalists will always try to explain movements of the stock market based on reasoning. Fundamentalists can always come up with justifications or reasons why the market moved in a certain direction. But we have found that applying those justifications to the next situation or trying to determine the next direction of the market is nearly impossible. Fundamentals can not be applied on a short-term basis to consistently beat the market.

Site Specific Questions:

  1. Who are your members?

    Our members are civilians or uniformed service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the Coast Guard) employees who are part of the FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System). Even Federal employees who left the government service, can still make interfund transfers. We believe our members are not professional investors, stockbrokers, money managers, financial planners and investment advisors. 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.

  2. Does your company also trade the stock funds?

    Yes, we trade all of them. 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 lost money during that time. One friend chose 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 it ever again, and put his savings into the G Fund. Now, it will be difficult for him to rebuild his savings back to where they initially were 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, hoping for it to come back. 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.

  3. Who provides the signal changes and information in the newsletter?

    In short, the site is owned and operated by Robert W. Dillon, Ph.D., who is a Technical Chart Analyst. His service provides one of the most credible and successful trading systems in the world today. He has been trading stocks using technical analysis for over 30 years. Due to his success in the financial world, he became semi-retired at the age of 41. Since then, he has been providing financial guidance to his customers. His education includes multiple degrees (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Geology and Geophysics). He has a vast amount of experience in interpretation of highly complex charts. His knowledge and skills with charts combined with his experience in trading stocks using technical analysis gives him the upper hand in making logical investment decisions to help members achieve financial success. He holds the highest level of ethical standards and avoids any conflicts of interest. Trading signals may be provided to Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) who manage Assets Under Management (AUM) on a contract basis.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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

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

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