Who wants to be a millionaire?

  • Published
  • By Maj. Edward Marshall
  • 22nd Comptroller Squadron commander
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has had its worst loss since the Great Depression. This size of a market correction happens only once in an investing lifetime. This is an opportune time for all Team McConnell members to evaluate or re-evaluate their financial goals.

All military members have the opportunity to become financially secure if they save. I hope this article will kick start the McConnell Military Saves program, which starts in February and put you on the road to becoming a millionaire.

Federal employees and members of the armed forces have the opportunity to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan, a retirement benefit offered to federal employees.

Research on the historical returns of the five TSP funds and their stock market index was conducted. Using this research, nine different TSP portfolios were modeled based on allocation mix of expert opinion and simple math.

The first portfolio is based on the total assets in each fund. The model mimics the actual allocation of the collective wisdom of all federal employees participating in TSP, which includes Congress.

The next three portfolios are based on aggressive, moderate, and conservative investors.

The last model is based on the L 2040 Fund. This fund is for participants who will begin to withdraw their money after 2035. To see the actual allocation, please visit www.tsp.gov. This allocation was chosen for a Lieutenant or Airman who has recently entered into military service.

If a lieutenant or Airman starts investing 10 percent of their base pay, has normal promotion increments, stops investing at retirement (20 years), and lets the funds accrue interest until they reached 59 and a half years old, they may become a millionaire. The table summarizes the nine portfolio results, given this situation. These results were calculated using twenty one years of historical returns of all five funds from January 1988 through December 2008.

The analysis of these investment portfolios proves federal employees can become millionaires . The total amount of base pay that an officer and enlisted service members deposited into their TSP account was approximately $127,300 and $63,700, respectfully. Eight of nine officer portfolios averaged over $1 million. The nine enlisted portfolios averaged $850,000 and two of the nine portfolios averaged over $1 million. Who wouldn't like that nest egg going into retirement?

Hopefully this article will inspire you to develop a financial plan for yourself and your family and then set financial goals for where you want to be. Every DoD employee should be getting their financial house in order. McConnell Military Saves is your starting point. Who knows, you might become a millionaire.