Getting discounts on mutual fund loads

April 4, 2008

I may invest $20,000 in a mutual fund my son owns shares in. It charges a 4 percent load, but my son says I should talk to my broker to see if I'd qualify for a breakpoint. What's he talking about?

I may invest $20,000 in a mutual fund my son owns shares in. It charges a 4 percent load, but my son says I should talk to my broker to see if I'd qualify for a breakpoint. What's he talking about?

Many load mutual fund companies lower the upfront charge once the overall amount invested in a fund or family of funds reaches a certain level, called a breakpoint. For instance, your fund may charge 4 percent if you invest up to $25,000 but only 3.25 percent on investments between $25,000 and $50,000. Even if your initial investment falls below the breakpoint you might still get the discount, because investments by your son and other family members may be factored in. So may investments made in that fund through other brokerages, college savings accounts, or retirement accounts. Each mutual fund sets its own breakpoints, so talk with your broker to make sure you understand the fund's rules and get any discounts you're entitled to.