A right granted by law to assert a claim directly against property.

Letter of intent
A contract signed by a mutual fund shareholder that indicates that the shareholder intends to invest at least a certain amount of money, during a 13-month period, to qualify for a reduced percentage sales charge.  A letter of intent may be backdated a maximum of 90 days.  Any shares bought before the letter of intent was signed and within the 90 days, will be adjusted to reflect the reduced sales charge.  

Level premium insurance
A type of life insurance for which the premium is level for all years.

Level term insurance
Premiums and death benefit remain level throughout the term insurance period.  

Life annuity
A contract that provides an income for the life of the recipient.

Life expectancy
How long a given person is expected to live.  

Liquid asset
Actual cash or an investment vehicle that is easily convertible into cash, such as bank deposits and money market fund shares.   

Load funds
Load funds charge an up-front fee ranging from 3.5 percent – 8.5 percent, meaning a $1,000 investment would buy shares worth a total of $915 – $965.   

Mutual funds are classified as load, no-load or no-initial-load funds.  All three types of funds charge an annual management fee.  

Lump-sum distribution
A distribution of life insurance or annuity that consists of the insured’s/annuitant’s entire account balance.