No-Load Mutual Funds
Some funds call themselves "no-load." As the name implies, this means that the fund does not charge any type of sales load. As described above, however, not every type of shareholder fee is a "sales load," and a no-load fund may charge fees that are not sales loads. For example, a no-load fund is permitted to charge purchase fees, redemption fees, exchange fees, and account fees, none of which is considered to be a "sales load." In addition, under NASD rules, a fund is permitted to pay its annual operating expenses and still call itself "no-load," unless the combined amount of the fund’s 12b-1 fees or separate shareholder service fees exceeds 0.25% of the fund’s average annual net assets.
A redemption fee is another type of fee that some funds charge their shareholders when the shareholders redeem their shares. Although a redemption fee is deducted from redemption proceeds just like a deferred sales load, it is not considered to be a sales load. Unlike a sales load, which is generally used to pay brokers, a redemption fee is typically used to defray fund costs associated with a shareholder’s redemption and is paid directly to the fund, not to a broker. The SEC generally limits redemption fees to 2%.
A purchase fee is another type of fee that some funds charge their shareholders when the shareholders purchase their shares. A purchase fee differs from, and is not considered to be, a front-end sales load because a purchase fee is paid to the fund (not to a broker) and is typically imposed to defray some of the fund’s costs associated with the purchase.
An exchange fee is a fee that some funds impose on shareholders if they exchange (transfer) to another fund within the same fund group.
An account fee is a fee that some funds separately impose on investors in connection with the maintenance of their accounts. For example, some funds impose an account maintenance fee on accounts whose value is less than a certain dollar amount.