Guess what your no-load fund sells now? Some no-load fund companies have decided that what America needs is - more load funds.
Most of the loads are designed to attract more assets at the firms by opening their doors to brokers, and most existing shareholders can still invest without paying loads.Here are some of the new load funds:
- FBR funds, in suburban Washington, D.C., has converted all three of its no-load funds to load status, with 5.5 percent sales fees. After 15 months as no-load funds, assets of the funds totaled $200 million.
"Most of the interest we got in the funds was through investment professionals, who sell only load funds," says Eric Brugel, president of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey and Co., the money-management firm that runs the funds.
- Montgomery has opened Global Long-Short and Emerging Markets Focus. Both have 5.5 percent loads.
"These are both risky funds for no-load investors," says Pete Greenley, a spokesman for Montgomery.
Long-Short is a complex fund that invests in currencies and stocks worldwide, as well as selling short some unattractive currencies and stocks (essentially a bet that prices will decline). Emerging Markets Focus invests in just a small number of the most attractive emerging markets.
- PBHG is introducing 12 new funds with sales fees of up to 5.75 percent. Many are similar to funds also offered without sales fees.
- Three Scudder funds have become Kemper funds and have added 5.75 percent loads. They are Kemper Classic Growth, Kemper Global Discovery and Kemper Value. Both fund families are now owned by the same company after a corporate merger.
- SteinRoe, which last year converted Growth Stock to a 5.75 percent load fund, has a broker-sold class of Young Investor, with a 0.3 percent 12b-1 fee and a 2 percent contingent deferred sales fee for investors who sell their shares within three years.
New investors can still buy no-load shares of Young Investor from SteinRoe. A SteinRoe official said the firm wanted to take advantage of being able to sell the funds through brokers with a load, as well as directly to investors without a load.