June 13, 2024

What does Class C Share mean?

What does Class C Share mean?

Class C Share

Class C shares are a mutual fund share that seems to have a fixed percentage level load that includes yearly costs for fund marketing, distribution, and service. These costs are essentially compensation given to the business or individual assisting the investor in deciding which fund to invest in. These fees are assessed yearly.

For instance, to make it simpler, a front-end load assesses costs when the buyer invests in shares, while a back-end load assesses charges when the client sells shares; while no-load funds have no commission costs at all, the prices are just calculated in the fund’s NAV aka Net Asset Value.

Key Takeaways

  • Class-C category mutual fund shares hold a fixed 10% investment sales burden imposed on them each year.
  • This compares with the front-load shares, which charge investors at the time of purchase, and back-end loads, which charge at the time of selling.
  • Due to the yearly charge on compound investors over time, this form of the fund is particularly fit for investors who plan to retain fund shares for three years or fewer.

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The Basics of Class C Shares

Class C shares, compared to other class shares available in the market, frequently have lower expense rates; the same goes with a comparison with class B, which makes it kind of ideal in the investor’s eyes. Although, they do have more excellent expense ratios when compared to class A shares. The total yearly management costs of a mutual fund are generally is known as Expense ratios. Therefore, it is a possibility that Class C shares might be a decent choice for investors with a short time horizon, basically, those who want to hold the fund for just a couple of years.

If you legally refer to the Investment Company Act of 1940, you’ll find that the recurring costs make up the C- share level load, also known as the 12b-1; its total costs are set at 1% per year. In this case, the distribution and the marketing charges can be up to 0.75 percent of the charge, whereas the service fees are limited to 0.25 percent. Despite its designation as a marketing charge, this 12b-1 cost essentially rewards the intermediaries who sell a fund’s shares. So, it’s a yearly compensation that the investor pays to the mutual fund rather than a regular transactional one.

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Various mutual funds share classes include 12b-1 fees as well, though to varying degrees. But, the fees applied to class A shares are often lower; the reason for such compensation is the hefty upfront commissions paid by the class, which is justified. C-shares are known to pay a maximum 1 percent. Because 12b-1 fees are included in the mutual fund’s gross expense ratio, their existence can bring the yearly expense ratio for the class C-shareholder to 2 percent. Although Class C shares, unlike A, don’t have front-end loads, they have deferred sales fee (CDSC), which carries tiny back-end loads, exactly like class B shares.


  • In this kind of investment, a total amount is invested. Therefore there is no upfront commission left for you to worry about.
  • After one year is completed, there is no back-end sales fee.
  • Its period is neither too long nor too short; it is a fair old term (basically 1-3 years) investment.

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  • High expense-to-income ratios
  • Back end load is charged on the first-year withdrawals
  • If the investor is using a buy-and-hold approach, then it’s not a good idea.

Who should rightly invest in the Class C Shares?

All those investors who expect to withdraw their assets within a year should not consider C-shares as back-end load charged on short-term redemptions. On the other hand, C-shares have higher recurring costs, making them a comparatively lesser ideal alternative for those looking for long-term investments.

When kept for an extended length of time, such as in a retirement fund, the disparities in final values of assets with variable fees can be enormous. For example, consider a $50,000 investment in a fund that pays 2.25 percent yearly operating costs and yields 6% over 30 years. The total amount received by the investor will be $145,093.83. But a fund with the same capital invested and the same annual returns, but with 0.45 percent yearly running expenses, will provide the investor much more, with a final value of $250,832.55, right?

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Therefore, Class C shares turn out to be best suited for those investors who want to hold the fund for a shorter or intermediate period, ideally more than one but less than three years. In this manner, you can hang on to the fund enough to prevent the CDSC while not allowing the fund’s total performance to suffer due to the high expense ratio. If you are someone with similar requirements and want to invest in a period equal to that of Class C share, it should be your go-to option.

Real-World Example of Class C Shares

A perfect example for the fund withholding both class A and class C shares seems to be the Calamos Growth Fund. The expense ratio for Class A shares is 1.40 percent. A 12b-1 charge of 0.25 percent is deducted from this sum. The maximum front-end load they provide is 4.75 percent, which lowers with investment. Although the class C shares do not have a front-end load, they give a maximum CDSC of 1% on shares held for less than a year. The class C shares charge the maximum 1% 12b-1 fee, bringing the fund’s overall cost ratio to a mere 2.15 percent. Isn’t that great?

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