A sales charge, typically used with mutual funds or similar investments, is used to pay the administration of the fund. It's the premium you pay to invest. The charge pays for the fund's operation. Sometimes, the charge is provided in percentage terms. For instance, if 4.3 percent is the sales charge percentage, you can quickly figure what that means for your cash. An investment of $8,000 will run you $344. However, sometimes that percentage isn't provided. Instead, it's buried as the difference between two figures. The POP, or public offering price, is your cost. It's the price per share. The NAV, or net asset value, is what you actually get. They are two expressions of the price per share. Charging you one price and providing assets of lower value constitutes the sales charge. Calculate that percentage using a basic computation.
Find the published POP. It should be readily available on a form, or a firm's website.
Find the published NAV. This should be lower than the POP.
Subtract the NAV from the POP. For instance, with a POP of $16.12 and a NAV of $15.40, the difference is $0.72.
Divide the difference by the POP. In this example, $0.72 divided by $16.12 is 0.0446, or 4.46 percent. This is the sales charge percentage.
Figure the actual cost of a hypothetical investment. For a $9,500 outlay, in the above case of 4.46 percent sales charge, your cost is $423.70.
Bill Brown has been a freelance writer for more than 14 years. Focusing on trade journals covering construction and home topics, his work appears in online and print publications. Brown holds a Master of Arts in liberal arts from St. John's University and is currently based in Houston.