Investing > T.Rowe Price Review

T.Rowe Price Review

While T. Rowe Price is an excellent brokerage for mutual funds and retirement accounts, active traders are likely to look elsewhere.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

T. Rowe Price is known for retirement-focused investments. But is that it?

Undoubtedly, the company is a respectable, publicly owned brokerage firm with a long history of excellence in retirement accounts and mutual funds. It’s actually a division of T. Rowe Price Investment Services Inc.

Since its founding over 80 years ago in 1937, it has grown to become a company with clients and shareholders in 49 countries and $1.12 trillion in assets under management. In the end though, there’s only one way to know if T. Rowe Price is right for you.

Let’s dive in.

T. Rowe Price has great offers for investors who are looking to build a fund-only portfolio. Although, trading fees for other investment types may turn active traders away.

Fast Facts

  • Account minimum: $2.500 ($1.000 for IRAs)
  • Fees: $19.95 per trade for accounts that make under 30 trades annually
  • Best For: Full-service wealth management
  • Highlights: High-quality, commission-free mutual funds

Rating

  • Usability: 8/10
  • Research and Education: 7/10
  • Customer Service & Help: 7/10
  • Commissions & Fees: 4/10
  • Tools & Resources: 6/10
  • Overall: 5.5/10
Visit T. Rowe Price on T. Rowe Price’s website

What is T. Rowe Price?

Are you interested in mutual funds and retirement investing? If so, then T. Rowe price’s brokerage service is a great option.

T. Rowe Price offers several high-quality mutual funds that can be traded with no commissions fees. Aside from their non-existent commissions, the brokerage offers a platform with a bundle of useful tools and retirement planning calculators.

T. Rowe price excels at satisfying investors who want to build a fund-only portfolio. In fact, T. Rowe Price is currently one of the best-ranking brokerages for trading mutual funds.

Is T. Rowe Price Good for Active Traders?

T. Rowe Price is not a good trading platform for active traders. Pure stock traders and investors do not have much to look forward to here. The account fees and very high trading commissions are by no means the best the industry has to offer.

The commissions on stock trading are some of the highest you’ll see among top online brokers. There are many companies who offer way better commissions than T. Rowe Price. Thus, equities-focused investors should probably look elsewhere.

Overview and Summary

  1. High-quality, low-cost mutual funds – This is the brokerage’s main focus.
  2. High commissions for other investment types – Not a great place for active traders.
  3. The trading platform has mostly basic features and quite a few drawbacks like the slow account creation process, etc.
  4. Very handy, unique tools for retirement planning.
  5. High minimum balance requirements compared to the competition.
  6. Bothersome account fees.
  7. A praiseworthy team of experts who provide valuable commentary and advice to users.

What Can You Trade With T. Rowe Price?

Wealth management and mutual funds are T. Rowe Price’s main focus. That being the case, the brokerage offers an abundant selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds and ETFs.

Customers also have the ability to trade bonds, including corporate and municipal bonds. Even though T. Rowe Price users can trade stocks, options, and ETFs, there are no futures, Forex, or crypto trading offers.

You can also trade foreign stock, but only if you have an available equivalent on US OTC exchanges. T. Rowe Price’s retirement funds are its most popular brokerage account type, and where they’ll  excel. If you’re interested in opening an IRA, you should consider one of these six retirement funds.

With T Rowe Price, you can trade:

  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • ETFs

Trading T. Rowe Price Funds – Buy Directly

Screenshot of T. Rowe Price Funds categories
If you buy T. Rowe Price funds directly, there are no commission fees.

There’s a bonus for the clients as they can buy T. Rowe Price funds straight from the source. This means there are no commission fees since you don’t have to go through another brokerage.

The middleman is excluded completely. Note that T. Rowe Price sells its funds directly. They are then held in a retail account separate from your usual brokerage account.

Trading Platform

The trading platform offers users the basic screening, analysis, and research tools found on most platforms. Real-time data is displayed in the order ticket but other quotes are delayed. However, most users are likely only interested in mutual funds anyway, so this delay practically irrelevant.

Some Drawbacks

Although the platform performs all the basic well, it has quite a few limitations and some bothersome characteristics. Let’s take a quick look at the problematic aspects of T. Rowe Price’s technology.

Advanced Order Routing Not Available

Advanced order routing is not available for users at T. Rowe. BNY Mellon-owned Pershing LLC is used to carry the accounts, but there is a problem. Pershing LLC receives payments for order flow of options and stock orders.

In other words, all kinds of institutional traders can pay to have Pershing LLC send all orders straight to THEM. What does this mean? Pershing should present you with the optimal price available, but they also profit from institutional investors who pay to have the orders sent their way. There is a significant conflict of interest here which may damage your trades.

Slow Approval Process

Creating an account takes up a lot of time. It takes more than a whole day to get approval for a brokerage account. Not a huge problem but still a bit bothersome.

Unnecessarily Complex UI

The platform is not very intuitive. Tickets for options and stocks can be hard to find. You need to change menus often, so maneuvering the platform can be a hassle. You will likely find a number of unnecessary complications on the site.

For example, even the menu from which you can buy mutual funds will change in appearance from one instance to another. Also, the web pages committed to brokerages, advisory relationships, and account management are not connected and all have a unique appearance and structure.

Mobile Apps and Security

T.Rowe Price Mobile App

T. Rowe Price offers two distinct mobile apps. The first app is made for research and analysis and is very easy to maneuver because of its limited number of features and simple UI (user interface). It is made to suit institutional advisors.

The mobile versions do not give users access to charting and other research tools. Regarding security, all platforms have recently been upgraded with two-factor authentication.

The mutual funds are quoted daily, at market close. Traders can use a hybrid robo‑advisor which will make a portfolio based on survey responses. The robo-advisor can be used together with an actual human advisor.

T. Rowe Price Customer Support

The brokerage’s representatives can be reached either by phone or by email. There are also helpful resources on T. Rowe Price’s website but it’s a bit of a hassle to find exactly what you need.

Phone Service

Brokerage and mutual funds customers can call T. Rowe Price’s phone support from 8 AM to 8 PM EST. The company’s representatives usually respond very quickly but tend to be low-level and inexperienced when asked questions about trading and functionality.

Although,  the representatives seem more skilled in handling queries related to wealth management and mutual funds, which are T. Rowe Price’s main focus. Therefore, impressions about their phone service are mixed. 

Online Help

There are plenty of files and FAQs all over T. Rowe Price’s website. These can be helpful with numerous problems but are by no means a great solution.

Many clients will likely get annoyed if they have to spend a lot of time digging through files and footnotes to find what they need. Clients can also get assistance by email.

Pricing

As the name suggests, T. Rowe Price has great prices but only in one area. Precisely, the brokerage has a great offer of high-quality, low-cost mutual funds. Great quality for a bargain price means that the investors who deal with mutual funds can make a bundle with this offer.  

Stocks and ETFs – Very High Commissions

Stocks and ETFs suffer some of the highest commissions among high-tier brokerages. The commissions are $19.95 plus $1 per contract. For traders who make more than 30 trades per year or are enrolled in the brokerage’s Select Client Service can lower this commission by 50%.

Therefore, these two categories of traders pay a $9.95 commission plus $1 per contract. T. Rowe Price Select Client Service requires having a minimum of $250.000 in assets in T. Rowe Price. The company also offers 174 commission-free ETFs.  

To see more ETF specific brokers, see our guide to best ETF brokers.

How Good are T. Rowe Prices’ Mutual Funds?

Mutual funds are T. Rowe Price’s finest quality. The brokerage’s no-load funds are of high-quality, so if you are interested in mutual funds, you can likely fill your portfolio with good low-cost mutual funds on T. Rowe Price’s platform. There are currently 2.800 to choose from.

Options 

Options have the same commissions as stocks and ETFs, namely $19.95 plus $1 per contract. You can get the halved price of $9.95 plus $1 per contract if you have made 30 trades in the past year, or are enrolled in T. Rowe Price Select Client Service. Since mutual funds are the main focus of the company, the commissions on options can’t really compare with the top 6 brokerages for options traders.

Account Fees and Minimum Balance

The minimum account balance is $2.500 for regular accounts and $1.000 for IRAs. The account fees can be bothersome as well. T. Rowe Price charges a $30 yearly fee but that can be avoided in three ways.

The first is to qualify for Select Client Services, the second is to have made five or more commission-generating fees in the past year, and the third way is to hold $50.000 or more in T. Rowe Price mutual funds.

T. Rowe Price Education

T. Rowe Price doesn’t provide many courses and lessons. They offer some help in regard to their trading platform, as well as some articles about planning and strategy but not much more. This is not the best brokerage to go to if you want to learn about investing, starting from the basics.

Valuable Commentary and Advice

On the other hand, T. Rowe Price offers an abundance of market commentary from their advisors and experts. A lot of this content is very understandable and could be truly valuable to laymen as well as to professionals.

Research

The available research resources have all the basic features. Users can also benefit from portfolio analysis and tax accounting tools. T. Rowe Price’s internal experts also bring a lot of value to the table through their commentary and advice.

Basic Research Tools

The basic stock screeners and charting features are available on the brokerage’s website. The screening tools seem to be better at finding T. Rowe Price’s funds than other things. One would expect mutual fund screeners to have more features since that is the bread and butter of the company. 

Praiseworthy Internal Experts

T. Rowe Price’s research capabilities are made very valuable by their team of experts and advisors, who can give great advice concerning market analysis and trading strategy. Active traders will benefit from the market commentary and research, which is far above average.

Portfolio Analysis 

T. Rowe has great resources for portfolio analysis for long‑term planning and evaluating asset allocation, as expected of a company that focuses on wealth management. Finding account history pages and portfolio holdings is effortless, as is navigating this platform in general. 

Tax Accounting Tools

Tax accounting is also very simple since the platform enables you to download tax forms and account history easily. Nevertheless, some day traders may need more tax-related features to truly simplify their annual tax reporting. 

Where T. Rowe Price Shines

T. Rowe Price shows great results in the area that it’s focused on. This is primarily retirement and mutual funds.

Mutual Funds For The Win

When it comes to mutual funds investing, T. Rowe Price is one of the biggest players in the industry. They offer around  2,800 commission-free mutual funds to their clients.

Screenshot of T.Rowe Price homepage
The T. Rowe Price platform is an excellent choice for people who are interested in mutual funds and IRA.

Keep in mind that these funds are of high quality, so low prices are paired with valuable assets. The brokerage itself is very focused on its target audience, investors who like mutual funds and/or  want to build a fund-only portfolio.

Other Useful Resources

T. Rowe Price has a bundle of perks like its retirement planning tool and the Retirement Income Calculator. Another special feature is the FuturePath retirement planning simulator, which is one of the best pieces of software for projecting your retirement.

Invest in T. Rowe Price’s Funds Directly

This is a bonus for T. Rowe Price’s clients. As a client, you can buy the company’s funds directly from the company. That means you don’t have to go through another brokerage.  No middleman means no commissions or any other extra costs you would otherwise have.

Free Retirement Planning Tool

This software is a godsend for Mutual Fund investors. There are a few retirement tools that are very valuable and are available to the public for free. You just need to be registered as a guest on the brokerage’s website, and the tools can be accessed.

The Retirement Income Calculator

The retirement income calculator can project your monthly spending money in retirement. The calculations are based on your savings and other assets.

FuturePath Retirement Planning Simulator

FuturePath planning simulator is a sophisticated and highly-customizable, yet user-friendly piece of software. FuturePath has all the basic inputs like salary, desired retirement age, current savings, and contributions.

It then runs a thousand market simulations to estimate the probability of you achieving your financial objectives. The special property of FuturePath is that users can input important plan-changing events, like selling or buying a house, into the calculation.

Also, you can add all sorts of major expenses that could happen in the future. This feature sets FuturePath apart from similar retirement calculators. 

Where T. Rowe Price Could Improve

High commissions and a big account minimum might be a deterrent for potential users. T. Rowe Price does not compete well with the other top players in this department. The account fees are not very low either.

High ETF and Stock Trading Cost

These costs are among the highest you can find. The commissions of $19.95 plus $1 per contract are usually simply too much for stock traders, especially when there are many better brokers for trading stocks and ETFs.

Required Account Minimum 

A high account minimum can be like a roadblock for investors that just don’t feel comfortable with an initial investment of that size. Opening an IRA at T. Rowe requires $1000 while opening a non-retirement account requires a whopping $2.500 of initial deposit.

Keep in mind that there are many other top-tier brokerages with a lower or nonexistent minimum account balance.

T. Rowe Price Fees

This can be another deterrent for new investors. The brokerage charges a yearly fee of $30 for accounts of clients who are not a part of Select Client Services.

Having made more than four  commissions-incurring trades in the past year will free you from the fee. Users can also get around the fee if they hold $50.000 or more in T. Rowe mutual funds

What you Should Know About T. Rowe Price

This is a great place for mutual funds investors. A rich selection of high-quality, no-commission mutual funds  is what holds this brokerage in the top levels of the online investing world.

Investors who want to build a fund-only portfolio will find T. Rowe Price catering to all their needs. The brokerage offers powerful and practical tools and calculators, along with great prices for mutual funds. The retirement calculators are particularly great, as they stand out from the crowd with their special features, which allow users to make much more complex and accurate projections of their retirement.

T. Rowe Price is not a place for all investors, though. There are many top brokerages who offer stocks, ETFs, and options at much better terms and on a platform that is more practical in this regard. T. Rowe Price is also not very competitive when it comes to account fees and account minimums.

T. Rowe Price isn’t a great place for active traders who have an interest in stock, futures, and options. Stocks with $19.95 commissions are some of the most costly you can come across today, so there are many reasons to look at other brokerages who cater to stock jocks if active trading is what you’re into.

Investors who are especially focused on mutual funds will find a lot of help and opportunity with T. Rowe Price. Investors will benefit from the abundance of high-quality, no-commission mutual funds, as well as the commentary and advice provided by T. Rowe Price’s reputable experts.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

Cookies & Privacy

TheTokenist.io uses cookies to provide you with a great experience and enables you to enjoy all the functionality of the site.