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Related topics: funds, mutual funds, Fidelity, Vanguard, investing strategy

The editors at MSN Money have put together this Beginner's Guide to Investing to help you start putting your money to work:

For some, one mutual fund is plenty to get started as an investor. This is the best option if you don't have a lump sum to invest (watch the videos to the right for details). You don't need a ton of money to start.

Rather than spend your time cobbling together a full-blown investment portfolio, let a mutual fund company do the work for you.

A number of fund companies offer one-fund solutions, which themselves own other mutual funds (see the interactive chart below for examples).

Targeted retirement date

Some companies even tailor the funds to your desired retirement age. Want to retire in 2030? You might consider the Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX) fund, which will keep more of your money in stocks now, when you can take on a little more risk, and put more conservative bonds in the portfolio as you near retirement.

Our favorites are the targeted offerings from T. Rowe Price, which have solid performance records and charge reasonable fees. While some other fund companies, including low-cost Vanguard, require $1,000 or more to start with a target retirement fund, T. Rowe allows you to start investing with as little as $50, adding $50 more each month.