A load fund uses a secondary sales team instead of offering direct opportunities to investors. The sales team is actually a network of investment advisers that is a third party not connected with the institution putting together the fund. For example, you can buy shares of a money market fund directly with Bank of America or allow an adviser with Fidelity choose a better option for you. The catch is, there is no sales fee with the no-load fund, and you do pay a fee with the load fund. The fee may be okay by you if you want to capitalize on the following benefits.

#1 More Predictable Returns

First, it should be made clear that load funds, despite what sales persons may have you believe, offer no consistent performance advantage over no load funds. However, if you are not a savvy investor, you may not be able to pick viable no-load funds. In this case, you may find more predictable results with a load fund because an experienced adviser can make the selection for you, eliminating the chance that you will choose the wrong option. Advisers are not always right, but they do tend to be more predictable than average investors.

#2 Less Stress

You may be able to pick the fund that works for you, but it takes time. You will have to review mutual fund charts and compare data. You will have to read the prospectus for a number of different funds, and you may even have to do some research to truly learn what the prospectus is telling you. Some investors would rather save themselves the hassle and just allow an adviser to do the work for them. This can create a lower stress environment when it comes time to make a final decision.

#3 Less Accountability

There is research to support the idea that some investors, simply put, do not want the responsibility of making their own choices. If they fail, they would prefer to have an adviser to point the finger at than to be held personally accountable. Whether you realize it or not, you may be one of the many people who is just not comfortable carrying the responsibility for ultimately deciding where your investments go. Think before you buy into a no-load fund. Ask yourself whether you would rather just be able to step back and let someone else take the fall if the investment turns sour.

#4 Loyalty

You may have had great success with an adviser in the past. In this case, there is no real reason for you to jump ship. If you are loyal to and happy with your adviser, think about how much that loyalty is worth to you. When you invest $5,000 into a fund at your adviser's recommendation, are you happy to pay her the $275 sales fee? You may be happy to reward her for the growth she has provided in your investments previously. In this case, as long as you understand the premiums you are paying, there is nothing to say you are wrong in wanting to remain loyal.

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