Funds with low-minimum investment requirements can help you get started. By Elizabeth Leary, Contributing Editor May 31, 2010 One good option for those without much cash is to start with an automatic investment plan. Many fund families will let you into their funds for little to nothing to start, provided you sign up to contribute a small amount each month automatically. If regular contributions aren’t an option for you, consider Amana Trust Income -- a terrific fund that requires just $250 to start and will give you a foundation in high-quality dividend stocks. The fund adheres to Islamic religious principles and so, among other things, does not invest in any company that charges interest. Homestead Short-Term Bond invests in a mix of mortgage securities and government and corporate bonds. It requires a $500 initial investment. You could put this portfolio together with as little as $1,700. See the low-minimum portfolio. See all 22 of our recommended portfolios.