Hidden Load

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DEFINITION of 'Hidden Load'

An undisclosed fee or sales charge, which is often hidden in the fine print of a fund's prospectus or in an insurance contract. In some cases, investors and clients do not realize they are paying the hidden load, as explicit attention is never drawn to the issue.

BREAKING DOWN 'Hidden Load'

A hidden load is a cost that a customer is typically never told about. For example, most investors are unaware of the 12b-1 fee that mutual funds often charge. With this hidden load, the investor will pay an small, annual charge to cover the fund's promotional and advertising expenses.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Can mutual funds outperform savings accounts?

    A mutual fund can – and should – outperform a savings account. In most cases, it should not even be a close race. Savings ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can mutual funds invest in private companies?

    Mutual funds can invest in private companies, which may come as a surprise to many investors. It is rare for a fund to have ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is there a situation in which wash trading is legal?

    Wash trading, the intentional practice of manipulating a stock's activity level to deceive other investors, is not a legal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What level of reserve ratios is typical for an insurance company to protect against ...

    In the United States, and most developed nations, regulators impose required statutory capital reserve ratios on insurance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What action is the SEC likely to take on 12b-1 fees?

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may take action to impose greater regulation on how 12b-1 fees are used, or ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What risks do I face when investing in the insurance sector?

    Like all equity investments, insurance companies present investors with market risk. Insurance companies, like banks, also ... Read Full Answer >>

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