When it comes to the federal Thrift Savings Plan, the average annual returns don't tell you everything because TSP stock funds do not have many "average" years. "The typical ways to view TSP returns is to look at the total return over a certain time period ? annually, quarterly, year to date ? or over a number of years," according to financial planner Arthur Stein. He says patterns are easier to spot when returns are ranked by size. Your Turn is a radio show (Wednesday's at 10 a.m. EST) streaming on Federal News Radio or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area.