Playing It Cheap

Can't afford much for the market? There are a lot of funds that will let you in for a little

With the funeral march of negative headlines--dwindling corporate profits, massive layoffs and a slowing economy--it's no wonder many budding investors are probably balking at buying even one mutual fund. Making a $2,500 investment in a declining market may seem like dropping money into a grave. But here's a way to resurrect your sinking spirits: think small. You can invest in a stock fund for a few hundred dollars or less.

Some load funds have very low minimums or none at all, although you will have to pay a 4% to 6% sales charge. Finding a no-load fund for under $500...

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