3-star brokerage firm rating

T. Rowe Price IRA account review: pros and cons, set up, maintanace fee, minimums.

  • Stocks & ETFs: $19.95, $9.95 with conditions
  • Options: $19.95 + $1 per contract, $9.95 + $1.00 per contract with some conditions
  • Mutual Funds: $35


T. Rowe Price IRA Account Review

In evaluating an IRA account, we consider the company’s offerings and services across several dimensions: investment options, cost, the online system (website), research and analysis, tools, and customer service. We will break it down for you below.


Opening T. Rowe Price IRA Account and Minimum Investment

The minimum initial investment for an IRA account is $1,000, which makes it affordable for pretty much anyone to get started saving for retirement. We opened our account online in about ten minutes with no confusion or hassle. We own a Target Retirement fund (more about that later), which makes monthly, automatic withdrawals from our checking account. All in all, pretty standard service.


T. Rowe Price IRA Investment Options

The first criterion for evaluating an IRA account, in our opinion, is investment options. In our T. Rowe Price account, we can purchase stocks, bonds, METS and mutual funds – including non-T. Rowe Price funds like PICO and Dreyfus. Our preference for retirement investing is low cost, no load Target Retirement funds, which T. Rowe price offers. These are professionally managed mutual funds that invest in a diversified basket of stocks and bonds. For clients who are young, they invest in riskier, higher returning investments. As customers get older, they will automatically start tilting investments toward safer, more conservative investments.


T. Rowe Price IRA Review: Fees

Let's break this into three categories: stock commissions, account fees and mutual funds fees.

  • Commissions at T. Rowe Price are extremely expensive! You are charged $19.99 per trade unless you make over 30 trades per year or have at least $50K in your IRA - then commissions drop to $10 per trade. Other low cost brokerage firms offer lower commissions - $5-$10 per trade - no matter the amount of trades you make or the value of your account.


  • Accounts fees: $30 per year for an account under $50K. Most discount brokers don't charge account fees.


  • Mutual funds are $35 per transaction. T. Rowe Price Brokerage charges a short-term trading fee which is equal to the greater of $50 or 1%, but not exceeding $250, for all no-load, no-transaction-fee (NTF) funds held less than six months. Also, a short-term trading fee of $5 applies to shares purchased systematically and held less than six months. These fees are in addition to any short-term trading fee charged by the fund. The short-term trading fee is waived for T. Rowe Price funds; however, individual fund redemption fees still apply.


  • All T. Rowe Price fees.


T. Rowe Price IRA Review: Online Investing

The company's website is just OK. It’s not as good as at top 10 rated brokerages. It’s reasonably user-friendly. We can make trades and manage the account entirely online. We’ve never had any issues.


T. Rowe Price: Customer Service

Customer service at T. Rowe Price is good. We have called several times with questions, and the reps appear to be professional and knowledgeable.


T. Rowe Price Research

Research is very limited. To compare, TD Ameritrade (TD Ameritrade review ») offers third party research from 13 different companies.


T. Rowe Price IRA Review: Trading Tools

They offer a modest range of tools to help you understand your investments. Most of them are pretty useless, but we will outline two that we like:

  • Retirement Income Tool – easy-to-use tool to figure how much you need to save for retirement.
  • Mutual fund screener – this is a nice way to shop for mutual funds. You can enter the asset class (large company stocks, international bonds, etc) and pull up a list of available funds. From there you have access to Morningstar metrics (star rating, past performance, etc.)


T. Rowe Price Review: Investing Firm Recognition


T. Rowe Price Brokerage Review Summary

T. Rowe Price is an OK company for an IRA account for inactive mutual funds investors. The service is standard and meets expectations.



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