T. Rowe Price may be the best mutual fund company for actively-managed, no-load funds. It offers more than 100 funds and 85% of them beat their Lipper average for cumulative 10-year returns for the period ended March 31.
There is also a broad range of T. Rowe Price funds to choose from. For example, T. Rowe Price offers 49 stock funds, 28 of which are domestic stock funds and 21 that are international stock funds. They also have target date funds, domestic, international and tax-free bond funds, and asset allocation funds.
While there are outstanding choices in each category, their best selection of top funds is arguably in the stock fund group. Therefore this particular list of funds will highlight the best T. Rowe Price stock funds but will provide a range of style and objective.
So with that backdrop, here are the three best T. Rowe Price stock funds:
Best T. Rowe Price Stock Funds: T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth (TRBCX)
Thanks to the seasoned portfolio manager of 21 years, Larry J. Puglia, TRBCX has an outstanding long-term track record of top performance in the large growth category. The 3-, 5-, 10- and 15-year returns are all comfortably in the top quartile.
The short-term performance is just as impressive. The year-to-date return of 8.2% smokes the S&P 500, which is up 2.9% for the year. In fact the Blue Chip Growth fund beats the S&P 500 in all of the aforementioned time periods.
The expense ratio of 0.74% for TRBCX is below-average for large growth stock funds and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.
Best T. Rowe Price Stock Funds: T. Rowe Price Diversified Small-Cap Growth
Since taking the helm of PRDSX in 2006, Sudhir Nanda managed to significantly beat the average small growth stock fund in each of the eight calendar years subsequent to taking the lead manager role. The 1-, 3-, 5- and 10-year performance ranks are all comfortably in the Top 10 percentile.
This performance, however, comes with a small caveat — the average market cap has drifted slightly into the mid-cap range. The average market cap for the portfolio holdings in PRDSX is about $3.8 billion, whereas the average for small-cap growth funds is about $1.9 billion.
However, this style drift is not a problem, as long as the investor is aware of it and does not unwittingly create overlap by adding a mid-cap stock fund that leans small-cap to their portfolio.
The expense ratio for PRDSX is 0.82% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.
Best T. Rowe Price Stock Funds: T. Rowe Price Health Sciences (PRHSX)
Although the current manager, Taymour R. Tamaddon, has been at the helm for a little more than two years, the style, holdings and performance of PRHSX continues in its tradition of strength. The year-to-date, 1- and 3-year performance ranks are all comfortably in the top third among healthcare sector funds.
The Health Sciences fund has outperformed category peers primarily because of its smart diversification and knack for finding the best growth areas in the health sector, such as the recent and surging bio-tech subsector.
The expense ratio of 0.79% for PRHSX is low for the healthcare category and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.
As of this writing, Kent Thune did not personally hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities, although he recommends and holds PRHSX for his advisory clients. His No. 1 holding is his privately held investment advisory firm. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities.