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Is the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund a Smart Choice for Your IRA?

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® – Updated Jun 1, 2018 at 5:48PM

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This fund could be a great way to get stock exposure in your portfolio.

The T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund (TRBCX -0.32%) invests in well-known companies with above-average potential for earnings growth. With a strong record of performance and reasonable fees, this fund can be a good fit in the investment strategy of retirement savers who are looking to grow their nest eggs.

What does the fund invest in?

As I mentioned, the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund invests in well-known companies with higher-than-average growth potential. As is the case with most growth investments, the focus is on long-term capital appreciation as opposed to current income. As you'll see in a bit, most of the fund's stocks don't pay dividends, and since capital growth is the priority, the fund doesn't make regular distributions to shareholders.

Bar chart overlaid with lines and figures

Image source: Getty Images.

The fund owns 141 different stocks, and the 10 largest holdings represent approximately 38% of its total assets:



Percentage of Total Assets



Alphabet class C






The Priceline Group












Alphabet class A









Source: T. Rowe Price.

How much does it cost?

The fund has an overall expense ratio of 0.71%, which is actually below the 0.81% average for growth-stock funds. What this means is that, if you invest $10,000 in the fund, your cost will be $71 for the year.

This is a high cost relative to index stock funds, such as a mutual fund that simply tracks the S&P 500. In this group, the average is just 0.11%. However, I feel that a higher expense ratio is justified if a fund has proven its ability to beat the market, and the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund has done that, as I'll explain in the next section.


The best way to judge the performance of a large-cap stock mutual fund is to compare its performance to a broad market index, such as the S&P 500.

Time period

T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Total Return (Annualized)

S&P 500 Total Return













Performance data source: TD Ameritrade.

While the fund has lagged the market over the past year, it has outperformed over all three of the longer time periods -- which is what we're more concerned with, as long-term investors.

It's important to mention that a mutual fund's past performance doesn't guarantee its future results. Just because the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund delivered strong performance over the past couple of decades, it doesn't mean it will continue to do so. However, a record like this is a good indicator that it's likely to produce good results going forward.

How risky is the fund, and is it a good choice for retirement savings?

Admittedly, the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund is not a low-risk fund, and therefore isn't appropriate for people with short investment time frames and/or a current need for their savings. However, for investors with a long time until retirement -- say, 10 or more years -- the fund's strong record of performance indicates that the reward potential justifies the risk.

If you want more stock allocation in your portfolio and are willing to ride out the market's ups and downs, this could be a smart choice for you.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Matthew Frankel owns shares of Alphabet (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares),, Facebook, MasterCard, Priceline Group, and Visa. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund, Inc. Stock Quote
T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund, Inc.
$118.34 (-0.32%) $0.38

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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