A mutual fund that charges a commission, or ""load,"" every time you buy new shares. Usually, load funds are purchased through stockbrokers and financial planners.
For example, if you invest $10,000 but the broker charges an 8 percent load, only $9,200 of your money will actually be used to buy shares in the fund. Paying a load wouldn't be so bad if there was any evidence that load funds have outperformed no-load funds, which charge no commissions. However, no such evidence exists. If you don't need a professional's help in selecting a fund, choose a no-load fund and save the commission.