Definition of 'Load'
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Also called a sales charge, this is a fee imposed on mutual fund buyers that is generally divided between the fund family and the financial advisor who sells the fund, like a broker. Loads can be as high as 8% but usually range from 2%-5%.

While we're loath to give a thumbs up to load funds, investors should realize that a hefty expense ratio (1.4% is average though it varies by fund objective) can be a lot more damaging if you're a long-term holder, as that bites into your returns every year. Most loads, in contrast, are a one-time charge.