A sales charge or commission charged to an investor when buying or redeeming shares in a mutual fund. The fee may be a one-time charge at the time the investor buys into the mutual fund (front-end load), when the investor redeems the mutual fund shares (back-end load), or on an annual basis as a 12b-1 fee.


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A large number of mutual funds carry sales charges. These are paid directly by the investor in the case of the front-end and back-end variety, and indirectly through a deduction to the net assets of the investor's fund if of the 12b-1, or level-load, variety.

Oftentimes, these sales charges will be waived if a load mutual fund is included as an investment option in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Unlike 12b-1 fees, front-end and back-end loads are not included in the calculation of a fund's operating expenses.

  1. Exchange Fees

    A type of investment fee that some mutual funds charge to shareholders ...
  2. Back-End Load

    A fee (sales charge or load) that investors pay when selling ...
  3. Commission

    A service charge assessed by a broker or investment advisor in ...
  4. Load Fund

    A mutual fund that comes with a sales charge or commission. The ...
  5. Front-End Load

    A commission or sales charge applied at the time of the initial ...
  6. Level Load

    An annual charge deducted from an investor's mutual fund assets ...
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