To help you choose among the thousands of mutual funds available, we've assembled model portfolios for different goals.

When you're saving for your child's education, the best mix of investments includes bonds as well as stocks. Stocks have proven to be the best long-term investment.But when your time horizon is only eight or 10 years - as it is for many college savers - you'll want to add bonds to reduce your portfolio's volatility.

Since 1946, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has gained an annualized 12 percent, vs. 5.3 percent for long-term Treasury bonds.

But stocks lost money in 11 of those 48 years. And in the worst year, 1974, stocks plunged 26.5 percent.

A portfolio with 75 percent stocks and 25 percent bonds produced an annualized return of 10.6 percent since 1946 - just 1.4 percentage points less than the all-stock portfolio. And it lost money in only 10 years, with the largest one-year loss being 18.4 percent.

So when you're investing for a goal that's eight to 10 years away, you can reduce risk by holding some bonds as well as some conservative stock funds.

Following are some suggested funds for investing for college (in parentheses is the amount of your portfolio the fund should represent):

- Fidelity (10 percent to 15 percent; 800-544-8888) is the oldest of Fidelity's funds. Manager Beth Terrana hunts for out-of-favor growth and value stocks.

- Harbor Bond (20 percent to 30 percent; 800-422-1050) is run by William Gross, one of the nation's leading fixed-income managers.

- Janus (10 percent to 15 percent; 800-525-8983) does best when large growth stocks are rising. Manager James Craig often holds a lot of cash, making this fund more conservative than most growth funds.

- Neuberger & Berman Guardian (5 percent to 15 percent; 800-877-9700) sticks to large, undervalued stocks. Co-manager Kent Simons likes to "buy things that people don't like."

- Royce Premier (5 percent to 15 percent; 800-221-4268) is a small-cap fund that's less than half as risky as the S&P 500. It sticks to financially strong companies.

- Strong Opportunity (5 percent to 15 percent; 800-368-1030) buys medium-size companies. It ranks among the top 10 percent of long-term-growth funds over the last three years.

- Warburg Pincus International (15 percent to 25 percent; 800-257-5614) has had a rocky year so far, but has chalked up good long-term numbers. Foreign stocks help diversify your portfolio. About 20 percent of manager Richard King's assets are in emerging markets.