Class B shares of mutual funds consistently underperformed both Class A and Class C shares over trailing three- and five-year periods and maintained the highest expense ratio of the three share classes, according to a recent Standard & Poor’s study.

S&P queried data from its more than 15,000 domestic mutual funds and adjusted the shares for sales charges. The firm found that Class B shares also lagged Class A shares over the trailing 10 year period, while matching that of Class C shares over that time. The report concluded that B shares’ third-place status was related to having an average back-end load of 4.5%.

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