Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tough to Differentiate Load and No-Load Funds

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tough to Differentiate Load and No-Load Funds

Article excerpt

It's getting harder and harder to tell the difference between funds that charge sales fees and those that don't.

At least that's what Catherine Voss Sanders, editor of Morningstar Mutual Funds, concludes.

"The line between the once-distinct groups has become increasingly blurry as each has begun to invade the other's territory," Voss Sanders said.

Many of the traditional so-called load fund companies have taken steps to cut fees. Franklin Resources Inc., for example, introduced a new fee format for some of its funds earlier this year that results in the consumer paying half the brokerage commission and Franklin covering the rest.

Other companies, such as Boston-based Fidelity Investments, sell funds a number of ways: Directly to the public without a sales charge, through brokers, and through its own fee-based advisory service.

"Even as the distinctions between load and no-load funds fade, investors still like to talk about the differences," Voss Sanders said. …

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