We are about a month into the new financial year and your increments will be on their way soon. We at Mint thought that beginning of May is a great time to take a look at your money plan for the year. A new financial year is typically a time when we start to plan our tax savings. But that’s not the only reason why you should invest.

The priority when picking investment vehicles should actually be wealth creation. If they happen to be tax efficient, that is a bonus.

At the start of the calendar year of 2016, you would remember that we gave you some first principles, a systematic thought process, if you will, that you should chart out when building your money box.

Now, as the new financial year (FY) 2016-17 starts, it is time to put those principles in practise to select the products that are best suited for your specific needs and situations.

There are various products out there, each with its own set of features in terms on tenure, returns, tax treatment, minimum investment required and much more..

One of the easier instruments to invest in is mutual funds (MFs). Read about putting in place your MF portfolio. Here we don’t really focus on which scheme you should buy; it’s more about your existing MF portfolio—if you have one—and why you should get your Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) and know-your-client (KYC) formalities done. There is also a little bit about equity-linked saving schemes that help you save on some tax.

A popular investment is real estate. This sector continues be under stress, but is this the right time to buy a house if you haven’t already? Our story on real estate gives you the answer. Plus, we let you in on the benefits of buying a house in the affordable segment.

All the cash that goes into your investments comes from your bank account. Take a look at how your banking life is set to change in FY17. We take a look at five ways that will redefine your relationship with your bank this year, such as a faster and more efficient way to send and receive cash, online loan approvals and so on.

We Indians love gold, don’t we? But let’s be realistic and answer these questions: Does it make sense to invest in gold? If yes, then how much? Where are gold prices headed? Should we buy gold through mutual funds and gold bonds, or should we buy gold jewelry? There are pros and cons of both.

Finally, if we are taking financial years and tax planning into consideration, then the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and the National Pension System (NPS) are an integral part of our lives, if we are salaried. Which one should you opt for to build a corpus for this long-term goal?

Wish you the best for the year ahead and may your money grow.

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