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I am a federal civil servant. The Federal Government equivalent to a 401K account is something called the Thrift Savings Plan. Right now investment options are limited to a bond fund, money market fund and stock fund. The stock fund essentially tracks the S&P 500 Index. I have stayed 100% invested for years in the stock fund and have done very well (though not as well as my IRA where I own a variety of individual equities pulled from various Workshop and Beating the Dow/S&P screens. Next year, two additional options are being provided within the Thrift Savings Plan. To allow diversification into the small cap and international arenas, two additional index funds are being added. The small cap fund tracks the Wilshire 4500 and the international fund tracks the Morgan Stanley Europe, Australasia and Far East (EAFE) Index. I am 45 years of age, so I have a few more years to go before any withdrawals will be made from this account. When I retire from the Federal Government at age 55 or earlier, I plan on rolling it into my IRA.

Is it Foolish to participate in the additional offerings? Does anybody know how their expected returns compare to the S&P 500? Thanks.

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