When purchase mutual fund shares through an intermediary, like a brokerage firm, you may be required to pay a load, or sales charge, to cover the cost of the transaction. Learn about types of load funds, share classes, breakpoint discounts and the investment level at which these discounts may apply.
Mutual fund fees are classified as either shareholder fees or operating expenses. Shareholder fees are charged when you buy load funds, redeem shares within a restricted period, or if your account balance falls below a required minimum. Operating expenses, or annual asset-based fees, cover the cost of running the fund.
Mutual fund companies may assess other fees to encourage long-term investing and to keep as much money in the fund as possible.
Most financial experts emphasize the importance of investing in mutual funds over the long term, arguing that doing so can minimize cost and maximize consistent return. Investing over the long term allows you to minimize the overall cost of your investment.