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Front Load

Also called: Load

What is a front load?

A front load is a fund's initial sales charge. Typically, a fund’s A-share class will carry the front load, which can be a few percentage points of the initial investment.

Front loads were a highly debated topic in the ’90s and early 2000s. Mutual funds were either no-load or load-carrying. Thrifty investors refused to pay additional costs while other investors didn’t mind paying the fee. The dichotomy is no longer as clear--investors can avoid paying loads if the fund is included on a brokerage’s no-transaction-fee list or if they invest through a financial advisor.