T. Rowe Price is the best combination of discount broker and mutual fund family
Mar 25, 2006 (Updated Jan 26, 2013)
Review by Saxguy
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Since this is in the broker category, I will cover their brokerage services in the initial part of this epinion and then briefly comment on my experience with their funds and retirement accounts.
Recommend this product?
All told, my wife and I have had accounts at T. Rowe Price for more than 20 years. We hold brokerage accounts, IRAs and Roth IRAs and Retirement Plan accounts for each of us. We have been very pleased with their service over the years.
Their brokerage portal is very friendly. The opening screen after login lists the value for the brokerage account and separate related joint and IRA mutual fund accounts, although only the total for the retirement accounts are listed.
From the opening screen, I click through the account link to get to the brokerage screen. The brokerage screen itself is very friendly. The box to request real time quotes is on the right of the screen. The left side of the screen has links for account snapshot (custom view), account balances, account positions (individual securities) account history (recent trades), streaming quotes, watch list (specify 40 lists of up to 600 symbols total), market watch (a screen summarizing statistics, including indices and most active), research and news, a link to a research portal (more below) that has incredible information available, and a gateway to Price’s mutual funds.
The research screen is particularly useful. On this screen you have the ability to get stock quotes, screen stock based on criteria including price, volume, fundamentals, technicals and exchange/industry, several options for researching individual stocks including news, analyst data, charts, financials, insider activity, institutional holders and sec filings.
In terms of stock orders, the screen is very friendly again. Go to the link, enter symbol, action (buy or sell), number of shares, order type (market or stop, limit, etc.) and then click. Execution is as simple as anywhere else. I have had no issues whatsoever with online execution.
Their trading fees were recently reduced. Right now, up to 1000 shares cost $19.95 and it’s an additional .02 per share for larger lots. For those investors who qualify for preferred services criteria (30 trades per year or total assets at T. Rowe Price over $100,000) the fees drop to $12.95 plus the .02 per share above 1000 shares. Options are priced similarly - $19.95 +$1 per contract, reduced to $12.95 + $1 per contract for personals services investors.
Personal services status carries other perks as well
- Portal with online Wall St. Journal articles and features from marketwatch.com.
Preferred Services (total assets at T. Rowe Price of $250,000 or more)
- Free national turbo tax software
- Free membership to online Wall St. Journal
- Free premium membership at Morningstar.com
However, the best perk of all is being able to move money back and forth to and from T. Rowe Price mutual fund accounts.
I could write for another 24 hours and not do T. Rowe Price justice. What I will do is comment upon my own experience.
***note: there is another reviewable T. Rowe Price category in online services and I will speak to my online experiences with them, other than my brokerage experience covered here, in a future epinion. Stay tuned!
First, their customer service people are almost always knowledgeable and helpful. I have had no issues with the accounts my wife and I have opened there, including the 403B (the not-for-profit equivalent of the 401k) where I had a number of extra requirements in order to comply with my employer’s criteria.
They have solid funds – not only a diverse group of standard and sector funds, they also have great combination funds.
I have recently put some money in their Retirement 2020 fund, which is one in a group of funds that balance assets based on intended retirement date. Over time, it will shift the asset allocation appropriately as the investors age.
Another great investment option is their spectrum funds, which are funds blended of their other funds, but with an adjustment for fees. While some funds are so successful that they are closed to new investors, sometimes those closed funds are included in the Spectrum.
For example, Spectrum Income is composed of 10 Price bond funds, including the High Yield fund which is closed to new investors.
Morningstar rates funds, among other things, and 32.5% of all funds get the top two ratings. Well, 50% of T. Rowe Price funds have earned those top two ratings.
T. Rowe Price has helped me build assets for retirement and I cannot recommend them enough.
Thanks for reading. God bless!
Please check my related reviews:
Prudent Speculator Investment Newsletter
Chase Perfectcard Rebate Credit Card
Citibank Rebate Credit Card
JP Morgan Chase Bank
ING Direct Bank
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