A share class is a designation applied to a specified type of security such as common stock or mutual fund unit.
Class A mutual fund shares generally have front-end sales charges also known as a "load".
Shares are best for investors who plan to invest larger dollar amounts and buy shares infrequently.
Class B shares are a share class of mutual funds that do not carry front-end sales charges, but instead, charge a contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) or "back-end load.
They may be best for investors who do not have enough to invest to qualify for a break level on the A-share but intend to hold the B shares for an extended period.
Class C share mutual funds charge a "level load" annually.
The most expensive for investors who are investing for long periods.
Class D mutual funds are often similar to no-load funds.
One of the most widely held D share mutual funds is PIMCO Real Return D
The D share class is the only one that does not charge a load and it has the lowest net expense ratio.
These funds are typically no load or It is also called "load waived"
If you are working with an investment advisor or other financial professional, ADV shares can be your best option because the expenses are often lower.
Inst funds (aka Class I, Class X, Class Y, or Class Z) are generally only available to institutional investors with minimum investment amounts of $25,000 or more.
Load-waived funds are mutual fund share class alternatives to loaded funds, such as A share class funds.
For example, the American Funds Growth Fund of America A (AGTHX), which is an A-share fund, has a load-waived option, American Funds Growth Fund of America A LW
Class R share, or retirement, mutual funds do not have a load.
It is wise to take advantage of any matching contributions your employer may make when you contribute to your own 401(k).
However, be sure to pay attention to the expense ratio, especially if there is no employer match.
If that ratio is high, you may choose to open your account and find a no-load fund.