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DEFINITION of 'Institutional Shares'

A class of mutual fund shares available for sale to investing institutions, either on a load or no-load basis. With sizable minimum investments, usually around $500,000 or more, funds will typically waive any front-end sales charges on these shares.

BREAKING DOWN 'Institutional Shares'

Institutions, such as large money managers, often buy a significant number of shares in mutual funds at any one time. Buyers of big blocks of mutual fund shares expect, and often receive, a break on commission charges. Because of the large investments required to receive these breaks, individual investors typically cannot afford these shares.

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