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The load, or sales charge, that you pay when you purchase shares of a mutual fund or annuity is called a front-end load. Some mutual funds identify shares purchased with a front-end load as Class A shares.
The drawback of a front-end load is that a portion of your investment pays the sales charge rather than being invested. However, the annual asset-based fees on Class A shares tend to be lower than on shares with back-end or level loads.
In addition, if you pay a front-end load, you may qualify for breakpoints, or reduced sales charges, if the assets in your account reach a certain milestone, such as $25,000.