A Load is a sales charge on a mutual fund that can range from 1 to 7 percent. It might be a front-load (payable when you buy into the fund) or a back-load (payable when you cash out). You typically pay this because you want the service of a financial professional selecting and building your portfolio. Your load may decrease the longer you hold the fund. If you cashed out in the first year, you’d pay 6 percent. Cash out three years later and the load may only be 3 percent.