Deferred Load

DEFINITION of 'Deferred Load'

A sales charge or fee that is assessed when an investor sells certain classes of fund shares before a specified date. Deferred loads usually run on a flat or sliding scale for one and seven years after purchase, with the load/fee eventually dropping off to zero. Deferred loads are most often assessed as a percentage of assets.

BREAKING DOWN 'Deferred Load'

Deferred loads are becoming a much less-used feature of investment companies, thanks to the exploding popularity of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and no-load mutual funds. Investors now have thousands of choices in the no-load arena, although deferred loads are still found in many types of insurance products, such as annuities and even in many hedge funds. These types of charges are typically put in place to discourage against short-term investment in favor of a buy-and-hold strategy amongst its investors.