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What are Y Shares?

Also called institutional shares, Y shares are mutual fund shares that are available for sale only to institutions.

How Do Y Shares Work?

For example, let's say that the XYZ Mutual Fund invests in a variety of defensive stocks. Average investors can buy shares of the fund but must pay a front-end load. Institutional investors (such as pension funds and insurance companies) can buy Y shares of the XYZ Mutual Fund, which do not involve a sales load but require minimum investments of, say, $300,000.

Y shares often have a 'Y' at the end of their fund symbols.

Why Do Y Shares Matter?

Y shares are simply shares that can be bought in bulk. Usually, they do not come with additional rights or privileges; they exist to encourage institutions to make large investments in the funds that offer them. Individuals aren't always shut out of buying Y shares -- often, they just have to be able to afford the minimum investment.

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Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.