Money pro tips: A Q&A with Tom Marchant of Black Tomato


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Published November 15, 2019 | 3 min read

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Featured Image Money pro tips: A Q&A with Tom Marchant of Black Tomato

Each week, we ask a personal finance or business expert for their money pro tips. This week we talked to Tom Marchant, cofounder of Black Tomato, a luxury travel company.

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Last thing you resisted buying: An incredible case of red wine from the Viader estate in Napa.

How did you resist it? Two reasons. I was moving back to London the week after and I would have had to endure the pain of getting it through customs. I also knew that my love for buying it had been fueled by probably enjoying too much of it over the course of an incredible afternoon at the estate.

Last thing you splurged on: A custom-made sofa to fit into our beautiful Los Angeles home fit to withstand the daily tortures of our mini goldendoodle and our young daughter.

Why’d you OK the splurge? My wife was pregnant with our daughter and when you see what women have to cope with being pregnant, nothing is more important than them being comfortable.

What’s your current money goal? Build enough capital for future generations.

How you’re working toward it: Doing what I do right now. Building a business and creating value for the long term.

A money regret: I’ve moved countries and cities a number of times in my life. Each time I always underestimate the cost of doing it and end up playing catchup for a while after each move, which only adds to the stress of the move. I believe in learning from mistakes but moving budgeting seems to be my kryptonite.

Learn eight moving expenses you might not think to plan for.

Best financial advice you ever got: “Always get the first round of drinks in.” People tend to notice and steer clear (not just in the bar, but in life, investment opportunities and more) of people that don’t put their hand in their pocket.

Worst financial advice you ever got: “Back someone only because you believe in them.” It doesn’t matter how much you might believe in a person. If their business idea or plan doesn’t make sense then don’t go in.

What would you do with a $1 million windfall? I would set up a small fund for my daughter to support her education, pay down any outstanding debts and put the rest into the market.

Hardest part of starting a business: By far, accepting that it needs to be your total focus and that sacrifices will have to be made. It shouldn’t be this way forever but in those early days of getting a business off the ground with few or no employees, it needs to be your morning, noon and night. If you have a family then they need to be understanding and be your support network to enable you to do it.

Most rewarding part of starting a business: Seeing your own ideas come alive and how people respond to them is exhilarating. There is no feeling quite like the immediate reaction, which is hopefully enthusiastic, of your audience to a product or service you’ve developed.

Best tip for saving for travel: Travel in the shoulder seasons.

Best travel-related purchase: My business partners and I bought round-the-world air tickets after we left college. We journeyed the world to indulge our love of travel and inherent curiosity. It was on that trip where we got the inspiration and drive to start the business that we launched four years later.

Image: Nastia Kobzarenko