Mutual fund families may offer the same mutual funds in different share classes. The share classes are designated by a letter: A shares, R shares or T-shares. Each fund family selects the share classes it wants to use. Some share class letters are fairly standardized and others are specific to a mutual fund family. The T shares class is used by Janus funds.
Widely Used Share Classes
Share classes are primarily used by fund families to set up different types of fee or load structures. Class A, B and C shares are widely used to denote front-loaded funds, back-end loaded funds and shares with no front load and a high ongoing expense ratio, respectively. The I and R share classes are widely used to indicate fund shares only available to institutional investors or in retirement programs like an employer-sponsored 401k.
Janus Fund Share Classes
The Janus family of mutual funds offers the usual A, C, I and R class shares for the family's approximately 50 different mutual funds. Class A and C shares are sold by investment advisors who receive a fee or commission from the fund family. Class I shares are only available to institutional investors with a $1 million minimum investment amount. The R shares would be offered through retirement plans. Janus also has class S and T shares for its funds. These two classes would be classified as no-load fund shares.
Janus S and T Shares
Both S and T class shares from the different Janus funds have neither front end or contingent deferred sales charges. The two classes have the same management fees and other expenses. The difference is the S class shares include a 12b-1 marketing fee of 0.25 percent and the T shares do not have the 12b-1 marketing fee. The result is the S shares have an expense ratio 0.25 percent higher than the T shares for each fund. The S share may be offered by online discount brokers through no-load mutual fund programs and receive the 12b-1 fee amounts as compensation for listing the funds.
T Share History
In September 2009, Janus converted the then J class shares to the new T class shares. The J class shares were the original Janus funds shares from when Janus only offered no-load mutual funds. Currently, the T shares of any Janus fund will be the lowest cost share class available to individual investors.