Everyone knows that Warren Buffett is one of the greatest living investors. The guy's not known as the "Oracle of Omaha" for nothing. But while shares of his Berkshire Hathaway holding company look relatively cheap in terms of their price multiples, the actual stock price might be a stretch: Berkshire's A shares (BRK-A) currently go for $138,000 a pop, while the B shares (BRK-B) will set you back $4,590 apiece.

Buffett groupies
The good news is that you can get more affordable access to Buffett and his collection of subsidiaries and equity holdings -- a lineup that recently included American Express (NYSE: AXP), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), Costco (Nasdaq: COST), and WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) -- for smaller sums. How so? Via mutual funds that hold Berkshire shares in their portfolios.

Ariel Focus (ARFFX), for example, recently had 6% of its assets plunked down on Berkshire B shares. The fund rounds out its portfolio with the likes of Dell (Nasdaq: DELL). Oak Value (OAKVX), meanwhile, runs with a Berkshire slug that weighs in at more than 10% of assets and, if you invest via an IRA, has a $1,000 minimum. Buy shares of this fund, and in addition to Berkshire you'll be investing in a portfolio that recently held United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), too.

If those funds don't provide quite enough Buffett for you, no worries. In Motley Fool Champion Funds, we've recommended a fund that packs more than 17% of its assets into Berkshire Hathaway. And this fund, too, can be had (via an IRA) for a mere $1,000.

In the interest of protecting value for our members, we tend to keep our newsletter's recommendations close to the vest. But if you want the inside scoop on this pick and all of our others, no problem. Just click here for a free 30-day guest pass.

Fund your future
In the meantime, adding "access" to the list of winning traits that make investing in a world-class portfolio of mutual funds is a great way to begin -- and continue -- your career as an investor. In addition to the likes of Berkshire, funds also open the door to areas of the market that might lie outside your circle of investing competence.

If you're looking to dial up your exposure to, say, equities plucked from the world's developing economies, or even industries in your own backyard that you may not fully understand -- biotech and nanotech come to mind -- terrific funds led by stock pickers who do understand them can be had, provided you know where (and how) to look.

Funds with high expense ratios and rookie managers should be avoided, for example, as should most funds that pack tons of assets into narrow areas of the market. Quick and easy diversification is another built-in advantage of well-chosen mutual funds.

Champion Funds is a great place to start your search. Get all of the recommendations with a no-obligation 30-day free trial. Here's more info.

This is adapted from a Shannon Zimmerman article originally published on Aug. 15, 2006. It has been updated.

Rex Moore is an analyst with Motley Fool Stock Advisor. At the time of publication, he owned shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire, Microsoft, and Dell are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Berkshire, Dell, and Costco are Stock Advisor picks. You can check out the Fool's strict disclosure policy by clicking right here.