Some Funds Waive Loads in Summer Sales
July 26, 1999
The Pax World Funds family of Portsmouth, N.H. hit a milestone when its assets under management climbed to $1 billion on July 14. But, the family is still anxious to increase the assets of its two-year-old, $16 million Pax World Growth Fund.
The company's solution for raising assets is to waive the load on the Pax World Growth Fund for several months. Investors do not have to pay the 2.5 percent front-end load through Sept. 7.
The load-waiver, which began on July 15, is being marketed as a "Summer Special" by Pax, which hopes to generate sales during an historically slow season, according to Charlie Wright, vice president of marketing for Pax.
The idea boiled up from a discussion among company executives on one of the recent 100 plus degree days in New York. Participants were lamenting being at work rather than on the beach, Wright mentioned that he had recently noticed that Macy's and other retail stores were holding summer sales, and the idea grew out of that, said Wright.
Pax has accumulated most of its mutual fund assets through the $997 million no-load Pax World Fund, a growth fund. The company also runs a $34.5 million money market fund.
The special sale will be advertised in print news publications, on the Internet and through a mailing, said Wright. The mailings will be "folksy," using pictures of children on the beach to "try to appeal to the beach crowd," Wright said. The advertisements will include a primitive design of the sun to highlight the "summer special."
At least one other fund company has had a similar idea. The Monument Funds Group of Bethesda, Md. is also temporarily waiving the 4.75 percent load on its $50 million Monument Internet Fund through Aug. 1, but for different reasons.
Executives at Monument decided to waive the load to take advantage of the opportunity they were presented when the portfolio manager at the rival Internet Fund of New York City, left the firm to start on his own. Monument claimed that its own portfolio manager, Alexander Cheung, was now the leading portfolio manager of pure Internet funds and decided to waive the load for any investor who moved his money from an Internet or technology fund into the Monument Internet Fund.
"It was a good opportunity to attract investors," said David Kugler, president of Monument. "At that time the market was down. It just seemed like a good business move."
Kugler said brokers who take advantage of the program and lose the load will be compensated through 12b-1 fees, as is the case at the Pax funds.