Front End Load Definition
Front End Load refers to the commissions or the one-time charges deducted from the investments at the time of their initial purchase. It generally applies to the mutual funds, insurance plans and annuity plans where the load is been deducted upfront and the net amount afterload which finally goes into the investment stream.
They are charged by the financial intermediaries like brokers or distributors of the mutual fund schemes for recommending the right kind of investment as per the risk profile of the investor. Since these are one time charges they do not form part of the operating expenses of the investment made. They are calculated as a percentage of the total investments made or the premium paid in case of insurance schemes or annuity plans. It is on a relatively lower scale on mutual fund products and on a higher scale on other products.
Examples of Front End Load
The following are the examples of Front End Load
Let us assume that Mr.X has invested $1,00,000 in DSP Merrylynch’s mutual fund in the top 100 equity scheme. The Front End load applicable for the scheme is 5%. In this, the front end load for the transaction that will go to the investment company will be $1,00,000 * 5% = $ 5,000. Hence the actual investment in the equity scheme will be $1,00,000 – $5,0000 = $95,000. The Portfolio of Mr. X will reflect investments in mutual funds to the tune of $95,000. The risk-free rate of return is assumed to be 10%. So the fund house will have to generate 15.79% yearly rate of return in order to reach $1,10,000 i.e. at par had the $1,00,000 been invested in risk-free assets.
Let us assume the Mr.A has invested $10,000 in a fund that has a front end load of 5% and the Intermediary commission of 10% of the 5% load charged. In this case $10,000 * 5% = $500 will be the front end load which shall be deducted from the Investments. Hence Mr. A’s investments will be recorded as $10,000 -$500 = $9,500 in the balance sheet asset side. For the fund house, $500 will be income generated of that 10% will be remitted to the intermediary for executing the trade. The commission paid to the Intermediary will be $500*10% = $50. Thus the intermediary is able to generate $50 as income for recommending the right plan to the investor and increasing the inflow of the mutual fund.
Below are some of the Advantages
- The Investors are willing to pay the front end load to the financial intermediaries since they conduct the required research on behalf of the Investor on which Fund to buy and what are the future prospects of the same.
- Those who lack knowledge about the workings of the Mutual Funds, find this route attractive since they get raw information and inputs from the intermediaries by paying a small number of fees.
- Retail investors do not have to actually do the entire process themselves. The Intermediary does the same on behalf of their clients.
Below are some of the Disadvantages
- High loaded funds can have an impact on the aum and the comfort of the investors.
- Those investors who are experts in the financial markets and know the working of the fund houses will not go to the intermediaries for the investment decision. rather they would prefer to do their own research and select the right fund.
- With the direct plans launched by the fund houses, it is now very easy for even a layman to invest in the funds directly without going to the brokers and paying a high amount of fee.
- Not appropriate for conservative investor.
- Less popular nowadays since the back end load system has taken over the market and people prefer to pay a back end load on their redemptions from the profit generated rather than lower their cost & investments upfront.
Hence the investors are required to carefully evaluate the workings & the tariff structure of all the funds they have selected for investments. Only the front-end load cannot be the sole criterion for investing in a fund. Although the regulators have laid down various guidelines and rules for the applications of the front end load to the schemes, it is the investor who decides based upon his knowledge about the financial markets. It is a discouragement among the investors since a front-end load to a particular fund affects the assets under management and requires the fund to generate more returns for its investors in order to make out for the loss with regards to the load fee at the initial time of investment.
This has been a guide to what is Front End Load and its definition. Here we discuss the examples of Front End Load along with advantages and disadvantages. You can learn more about finance from the following articles –