The ideal introduction to the basic financial decisions we all have to make in our lives. More than just a book on investing, More Bang For Your Bucks covers a wide range of topics such as:

Buying a Car
Buying a House
Long-Term Investing, IRAs and 401(k)s
Life Insurance and Annuities
Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds
Financial Scams
Timeshares and Vacation Clubs
Career Issues including resumes, interviews and promotions
and much more....

Although written for young adults just entering the job market, More Bang For Your Bucks is for anyone seeking clarity in their purchasing and investment decisions.

The book is less than 100 pages in length. Each chapter is briefly and clearly written giving step by step information on each subject.

You may purchase the book at or signed copies are available by e-mailing me at

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments at the above address. If they are of general interests, Iwill publish them on this site with my response. Thank you.


Highly Recommended

"Great book. The author leaves out the financial rhetoric, and tells you how things really are in an easy to understand format. A must for college students, and anyone else who is needs a little help making sound financial decisions. Do you really think the salesman who is working on commission is going to give you straight answers about the product he is selling. Get real and read this book. " - Jennifer, Long Beach, CA

Perfect Size, Content and Approach

"As important as money is, most of us don't have a clue about how to manage it. Most of us have the feeling we could probably know more than we do about our money, but we don't know where to find the information. Most of us don't have the kind of money that requires us to have estate planners, financial consultants, or a full time accountant. However, we do have loans, homes, impending retirement, and hopefully, a savings account. Tom Martin's book More Bang For Your Bucks plainly discusses important financial topics without going over our heads. Each chapter provides real life scenarios, charts, and comparisions to help readers make informed decisions about their money. This book is great for people at any age, but it would make a great gift for college students. I have given this book to two, so far. " - Denise, Lake Forest, CA

Friday, September 21, 2007

3. Shopping for a Loan

When shopping for a loan, such as for a car purchase, do not simply trust that you will get the lowest rate from websites providing bids from multiple lenders.

When I purchased my car over 3 years ago, I got quotes from several sources. The best rate was 4.9% from my credit union. I then visited one of those websites which supposedly shops your loan around for the lowest rate. The best they could offer me was 7%, over two points higher than my credit union!

At the dealership, the finance manager then checked his list for the best rate and he offered me 4.6%, which I took.

In my case, trusting that particular website would have increased the cost of my car by several thousand dollars. In the future, I may still go back to that site and check their rates but I will also follow my own advice from my book and check several banks and credit unions before commiting to any loan. This advice applies to any site, such as insurance, which compares prices between various companies. The "best" price will usually be their own product with the lowest prices being omitted from the search results.

Caveat Emptor!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

2. Buying a Car: Avoiding Face-to-Face Negotiations

In my book I wrote about the six steps to buying a car, from researching your purchase to the three points of negotiating the deal.

Negotiation is the most difficult step for most people making any purchase, especially when dealing with an experienced sales staff. They know how to play with your emotions, working to get the highest price while making you believe you are still getting a great deal. Most people are so uncomfortable with this process that they quickly agree to a price just to put an end to the sales pressure.

Well - technology has once again come to the rescue. Although you will still want to follow the first five steps in my book in researching and preparing for your car purchase, negotiations need not be handled at the dealership or even directly with any salesperson. This eliminates the pressure you feel to buy before you are ready.

Go on-line to a dealership which provides quotes on the car that you've already researched and decided to buy. After obtaining that quote, contact another dealership for their price. E-mail the dealer with the higher of the two prices saying, "John's Car-O-Rama" has offered to sell me this car at $22,000, can you beat their price?" If they respond with a lower price, e-mail John and try to work his price even lower. Repeat this process until one dealer drops out of the race. You may even want to use three or four dealers in this negotiation process.

Most salespeople will try to get you to come into the dealership. Use an excuse such as, "I really don't have the time, but I'm willing to buy the car from you if you can give me the best price." Some dealers may refuse to negotiate in this manner, especially if the car you want is a hot seller. Realize that dealers must sell cars to stay in business and as the buyer, you truly are "in the driver's seat."

Most importantly, as I covered repeatedly in my book - Only negotiate the price of the car, never the monthly payment.

1. Applying for a Job: What Does The Web Tell Your Employer About You?

In my book, I write of the need for your resume to be perfectly written and the content to clearly reflect your skills and accomplishments. Twenty years ago, your resume was your potential employers only source of information regarding your personality prior to an interview. In today's electronic age, they may check on you in other ways before deciding to actually take the time and grant you an interview.

Some employers will now search web sites such as MySpace to see if you have a profile posted. If you have one, take a good look at it and ask yourself what it says about you to an employer. If the site is anything less than professional, you may want to change it or even take it down. A website such as this can also be used to provide professional information not found on your resume. Your website can help or hurt you when looking for a job.

Your e-mail may also be listed on your resume. Be sure that the address is professional rather than whimsical. You may think that is clever but your employer may not find it funny at all. Your resume could easily find its way into the trash.

Check your voice mail message. A message that is funny to friends might be enough to turn off your employer. Record a message that is straight-forward and professional.