Mutual Fund Sales Charges
The details of a mutual fund's sales charges are outlined in its prospectus. As an investor, it is important that you read and understand all the details, including the sales charges, before you invest.
When purchasing a mutual fund, one of the following types of sales charges will apply:
The investor is charged a commission at the time of the initial purchase. The commission is usually based on a percentage of the amount invested. The mutual fund's prospectus outlines the commission percentages that are applicable to that fund.
Deferred Sales Charge (DSC) or Back-End Load
The investor does not pay a commission at the time of the initial purchase, but a redemption fee is charged if the units are redeemed within a specific number of years. Usually, in a declining redemption schedule, the redemption fee is highest in the first year the mutual fund is held and declines after that, eventually dropping to zero. Details of these charges can be found in the mutual fund's prospectus.
The investor does not pay a commission at the time of purchase or redemption but there may be a set-up fee charged by the mutual fund company.
Level Load or Low Load or "C" Shares
The sales charge may range from 0 - 2% on the initial purchase, depending on the mutual fund company (minimum purchase amounts may apply). Redemption fees may be applicable. It is important to read the fund's prospectus to understand these charges.
When you purchase a mutual fund, you should be aware that all mutual funds charge a management fee, which is paid by the mutual fund and is one of the costs in the calculation of the NAVPS of the mutual fund.
The management fee covers the basic management and operating costs of the mutual fund. A portion of the management fee is paid to the fund's investment manager(s) for managing the fund. The management fee is calculated as a fixed percentage and is detailed in the mutual fund's prospectus.
Most mutual fund companies charge certain expenses to the fund, such as costs associated with operating the fund, legal costs, etc. The total management fee plus the expenses mentioned above is called the management expense ratio or MER.
The MER is calculated annually and shows the cost of running that particular mutual fund. Therefore, when determining how efficiently a fund has operated on an annual basis, the MER is a good indicator.
A CIBC Wood Gundy Investment Advisor can assist you in determining the type of sales charges and MERs that will best meet your investment objectives.
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