When a security, such as a stock, is offered for sale to the public for the first time, or a publicly traded company issues new shares, the initial price per share is set by the underwriter. That price is known as the offering price or the public offering price. When the stock begins to trade, its market price may be higher or lower than the offering price. In the case of open-end mutual funds, the offering price is the price per share of the fund that you pay when you buy. If it’s a no-load fund, a back-end load Class B fund, or a level-load Class C fund, the offering price and the net asset value (NAV) are the same. If it’s a front-end load Class A fund, the sales charge is added to the NAV to arrive at the offering price.