T. Rowe Price vs. Vanguard

T. Rowe Worth and Vanguard are comparable in that they each deal with long-term investing by way of their very own funds. Along with their funds, nevertheless, you can too have a linked brokerage account. Due to this deal with their very own monetary merchandise, neither brokerage platform is especially sturdy in comparison with a few of the main on-line brokers, however they do present the power to commerce shares, ETFs, mutual funds, and glued earnings. We’ll take a look at a few of the key variations between these brokers that will help you decide which one is the suitable match on your funding wants.

  • Account Minimal: $2,500 ($1,000 for IRAs)
  • Charges: No fee on-line or by cellular app, accounts with smaller balances pay extra for choices and dealer assisted trades
  • Finest for: These searching for full-service wealth administration
  • Account Minimal: $0
  • Charges: $0/inventory and ETF commerce, $0 plus $1 per contract for choices


The account opening course of was gradual at Vanguard and requires a number of days of ready. T. Rowe Worth lets you open an account and begin buying and selling in 10 minutes. Whereas Vanguard’s platform has been up to date, it’s nonetheless not as simple to navigate as extra trendy interfaces. That mentioned, it may be custom-made for buyers’ pursuits. T. Rowe Worth’s platform has an ungainly two-tiered course of that originally brings you to a homepage displaying balances for mutual funds and the brokerage account, with an extra hyperlink to the brokerage platform powered by Pershing LLC. Whereas neither dealer’s platform was finest in school, Vanguard’s was a bit extra intuitive and versatile, and had extra constant menus between on-line and cellular platforms. This offers Vanguard the sting on usability.

Commerce Expertise

Desktop Commerce Expertise

Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth each have internet platforms whereas missing separate desktop purposes. Neither dealer’s web site usually operates in streaming real-time (aside from buying and selling/order entry pages), though the static updates are fast. T. Rowe Worth generally has actual time balances although. Whereas Vanguard’s web site is constructed in-house, T. Rowe Worth makes use of Pershing to clear and supply their on-line brokerage platform. T. Rowe Worth solely permits for fundamental orders comparable to market, restrict, cease, and cease restrict orders, and solely has restricted choices buying and selling capabilities. Vanguard primarily mirrors this, however reportedly doesn’t have a restrict on choices legs. Nonetheless, its platform isn’t the best for complicated choices buying and selling. Neither Vanguard nor T. Rowe Worth permit for conditional orders, trailing stops, or a number of order entry. Each platforms are designed for long-term purchase and maintain buyers, so their platforms clearly fall brief for lively/frequent merchants. The desktop buying and selling expertise on each platforms is a tie, with neither system impressing.

Cell Commerce Expertise

In keeping with platforms not designed to cater to lively merchants, we proceed the pattern of not impressing with cellular buying and selling. On Vanguard, quotes are once more delayed quotes till order entry, and there’s no different knowledge, such because the day’s change. Additional, Vanguard doesn’t supply any charting on its cellular app. Vanguard does permit customers to customise their “My Feed,” which shows account data, information, blogs, transaction historical past, and efficiency. Vanguard does not supply any cellular buying and selling of choices, mounted earnings, and non-Vanguard mutual funds on the app.

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T. Rowe Worth offers fundamental charting on their cellular app, which works advantageous for fundamental orders. In any other case the app suffers from the identical limitations of solely dealing with fundamental orders with out the power to deal with contingent orders, trailing stops, or complicated choices methods. As a result of T. Rowe Worth’s cellular platform offers fundamental charting, we give it a slight edge over Vanguard’s cellular app.

Vary of Choices

T. Rowe Worth and Vanguard supply the identical merchandise, together with equities, ETFs, fairness choices, and glued earnings. T. Rowe Worth permits the buying and selling of OTC and pink sheet shares whereas Vanguard suspended this within the spring of 2022. Neither brokerage firm provides futures, choices on futures, international trade, or cryptocurrencies. The vary of choices for Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth are nearly equal.

Order Varieties

Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth each help the identical restricted order sorts, consisting of market, restrict, and fundamental cease/stop-limit orders. Neither platform provides conditional orders or trailing stops. The order sorts obtainable at Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth have the 2 brokerage corporations tied on this class, too.

Buying and selling Know-how

Whereas Vanguard’s order routing know-how is fundamental, they report worth enchancment on inventory orders of $2.31 per 100 shares over the Nationwide Finest Bid and Provide. Moreover, 95% of Vanguard ETFs are traded on the midpoint. Vanguard doesn’t obtain fee for order circulation. 

In distinction, T. Rowe Worth clears by way of Pershing, whose web site solely speaks about their obligation to offer essentially the most favorable phrases for his or her purchasers, with out particular data on order enchancment and execution. Pershing routes orders and receives fee for order circulation. 

We really feel Vanguard is stronger on this class as a result of they don’t settle for fee for order circulation and are extra clear about price financial savings.


Though T. Rowe Worth and Vanguard each supply free on-line buying and selling of equities and ETFs, they’re each priced on the excessive finish of on-line brokers we’ve reviewed by way of commissions. Vanguard is after all well-known of low-cost funds, however that is not what we’re speaking about right here. There are some variations in price between Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth. Choices buying and selling is dearer at T. Rowe Worth, as Vanguard costs $1 per choices contract, whereas T. Rowe Worth costs $9.95 + $1 per contract for account with not less than $250,000 within the account, and $19.95 + $1 per contract for smaller accounts. So a commerce for 50 choices would price $50 at Vanguard and $59.95 or $69.95 at T. Rowe Worth relying on account dimension.

In mounted earnings, Vanguard costs $1 per $1,000 face quantity with a most of $250 for CDs, U.S. company points, company, and municipal bonds, with a $35 per commerce price for mortgage-backed securities and unit funding trusts. U.S. Treasuries are commission-free. T. Rowe Worth costs $1 per $1,000 bond for US Treasury and Company points, however $5 per $1,000 bond for company and municipal bonds, topic to a $35 minimal and $250 most.

Vanguard’s margin charges vary from 11.50% for accounts with balances as much as $19,000 to eight.25% for accounts with balances nearing $1,000,000.  T. Rowe Worth costs the Pershing lending price plus an extra curiosity cost. With Perishing at 9.125% T. Rowe Worth would presumably cost lower than Vanguard at 10.375% for a stability of $19,000, however can be increased nearing $1,000,000 at 9.375%. T. Rowe Worth costs a $30 account upkeep payment for accounts with lower than $50,000, whereas Vanguard costs $20, however will waive it by way of a number of situations one in all which being having $10,000 in Vanguard ETFs. General Vanguard has the sting in relation to prices.

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Account and Analysis Facilities

With their deal with long-term investing, neither Vanguard nor T. Rowe Worth has sturdy account facilities. That mentioned, T. Rowe Worth clients do acquire entry to T. Rowe Worth analysis. Vanguard provides day by day market stories and analysis as properly. Each Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth have inventory screeners. Each platforms have ETF/mutual fund and glued earnings screeners, and neither have an choices screener. 

Each Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth’s instruments and calculators had been sparse on the brokerage facet, however there are a variety of useful instruments on the mutual fund facet, together with calculators for retirement planning and faculty financial savings in addition to danger profile questionnaires that advocate a mannequin mutual fund portfolio.

Whereas each platforms have charts, they don’t seem to be spectacular on both platform as they lack drawing instruments. T. Rowe Worth provides purposeful information and advertising and marketing data. Vanguard doesn’t supply real-time streaming information, however does supply information articles.

General, T. Rowe Worth has a small edge over Vanguard for his or her general account and analysis facilities choices.

Portfolio Evaluation

T. Rowe Worth doesn’t supply a lot portfolio evaluation for brokerage accounts, and there have been no analytical stories. The T. Rowe Worth portfolio web page reveals composition, realized and unrealized positive factors, and projected money flows, and your private price of return.

Vanguard offers stories and evaluation in actual time on the web site, and that is customizable and permits aggregation of holdings from exterior accounts. Due to this wider account integration with its portfolio instruments, Vanguard will get our nod for higher portfolio evaluation.


Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth have lengthy supplied academic instruments for his or her long-term investor purchasers, so the main focus of their content material is setting monetary targets and making a plan of motion for reaching them. Each platforms even have a glossary of investing phrases. Neither platform goes deeper into academic instruments as a result of their focus is on clients with a very long time horizon that aren’t as seemingly to make use of complicated choices and different buying and selling methods in comparison with a few of the on-line brokerage platforms catering to extra lively merchants. We discovered Vanguard to have a bit extra to supply, so it has a small edge over T. Rowe Worth. 

Buyer Service

Buyer help is comparable at T. Rowe Worth and Vanguard, with each corporations providing customer support from 8 a.m. to eight p.m. EST, and neither providing reside chat or chat bots. Neither platform holds any edge on customer support.


Vanguard and T. Rowe Worth each supply multi issue authentication and neither has suffered a latest platform outage or important knowledge breach. Property with each brokers are shield by the Securities Funding Safety Company (SIPC) ought to the corporate go bankrupt or property be lacking. Moreover each carry non-public insurance coverage that protects clients past the boundaries of SIPC protection with T. Rowe Worth’s coverage being from Lloyd’s of London. As soon as once more, we discover the 2 platforms to be comparable, with neither having an edge over the opposite.

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Obtainable Account Varieties

Right here once more, T. Rowe Worth and Vanguard are evenly matched. They each have all of the generally used account sorts, together with:

  • Particular person and Joint taxable accounts
  • Conventional particular person retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • Roth IRAs
  • Rollover IRAs
  • Simplified worker pension (SEP) IRAs
  • SIMPLE (Financial savings Incentive Match Plan for Workers) IRAs
  • Particular person and small enterprise 401(okay)s
  • Uniform Presents to Minors Act (UGMA) and Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts
  • 529 plans
  • Trusts

The principle distinction is that Vanguard has a devoted group funding account sort. General, nevertheless, buyers will discover all of the account sorts they want with both dealer.

Last Verdict

Vanguard and T. Rowe are each corporations that compete for long-term buyers. In case you are searching for something past buy-and-hold, like day buying and selling or frequent choices, neither dealer is about as much as serve you. As T. Rowe Worth and Vanguard are each pursuing the identical buyers, this naturally means their brokerage platforms are very comparable, from product choices to know-how platforms to price. General, nevertheless, we give a really small edge to Vanguard over T. Rowe Worth as a result of their platform was a bit simpler to make use of, their pricing was barely extra aggressive, and their analytics and training choices had been additionally higher than T. Rowe Worth.

What this overview does not contact on is the standard of the funds that make up loads of the holdings their clients are seemingly to make use of in constructing portfolios on both platform. Vanguard owns the low-cost passive indexing area and T. Rowe Worth stays a frontrunner in actively managed funds, so selecting between the 2 is dependent upon investor danger tolerance and the aim of the portfolio.

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Investopedia is devoted to offering buyers with unbiased, complete opinions and scores of on-line brokers. This yr, we revamped the overview course of by conducting an in depth survey of consumers which are actively seeking to begin buying and selling and investing with an internet dealer. We then mixed this invaluable data with our material experience to develop the framework for a quantitative scores mannequin that’s on the core of how we compiled our record of the perfect on-line dealer and buying and selling platform corporations.

This mannequin weighs key elements like buying and selling know-how, vary of choices, cellular app usability, analysis facilities, academic content material, portfolio evaluation options, buyer help, prices, account facilities, and general buying and selling expertise in accordance with their significance. Our group of researchers gathered 2425 knowledge factors and weighted 66 standards based mostly on knowledge collected throughout in depth analysis for every of the 25 corporations we reviewed. 

Most of the brokers we reviewed additionally gave us reside demonstrations of their platforms and companies, both at their New York Metropolis workplaces or through video conferencing strategies. Reside brokerage accounts had been additionally obtained for a lot of the platforms we reviewed, which our group of skilled writers and editors used to carry out hands-on testing as a way to lend their qualitative standpoint. 

Learn our full Methodology for reviewing on-line brokers.