Definition: Loads are sales charges issued by the mutual fund. If you pay the charge up front, it's called a "front end load." If you pay it when you sell your shares, it's called a back end load.
TeenAnalyst Advice: As a young investor myself, I stay away from mutual funds with sales charges. A mutual fund with a front end load of 3% means that for every $100 you give them, only $97 is invested. It might seem like you're only losing $3.00 but if you keep that money invested for 50 years, it'll end up costing you $353 in lost compounding!*
Most mutual funds today are referred to as "no-load" funds because they don't charge these loads. I recommend you stick with one of those.
*Assuming 11% annual rate of return.