Broker Check

From Bankruptcy to Financial Success with Chris Bautista

In this episode, Royal Standley is joined by Chris Bautista, of Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, who shares his background and experiences with financial struggles and bankruptcy. Chris shares his journey of owning a business and subsequently losing it during an economic downturn before finding his new path in life.

Episode 89 Transcript

Intro: Royal Standley of Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, offering security through United Planners Financial Services, member FINRA SIPC, guides clients with empathy in discovering and reaching their financial goals and creates financial plans for clients so they can live their life by design. In these episodes, he relates his financial insights and discusses timely topics.

Royal strives for excellence and has a passion for sharing his knowledge and supporting his community. Now onto the show.

Royal Standley: Discussions in this show are for educational purposes only. Information presented should not be considered specific investment advice or a recommendation to take any particular course of action. Always consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation before making any financial decisions. The views and opinions expressed are based on current economic and market conditions and are subject to change. All investing involves risk including the potential for loss of principle. Securities offered United Planners Financial Services, member FINRA SIPC. Advisory service offered through Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, Inc. Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors and United Planners are independent companies. And neither Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors nor United Planners offers tax or legal advice.

Bill Tucker: And welcome to the Life by Design podcast with your host, Royal Standley of Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors. Royal, it is a great pleasure to be with you again. What have we got going on?

Royal: Well Bill, I'm very excited to have Chris Bautista who's the newest member of the Oregon Pacific Financial Advisor family joining us today. I've gotten a chance to know Chris over this last year and I can't be more excited to introduce him to our listeners because he has just such a fantastic background, just such a kind demeanor and really looking forward to getting into our interview today with Chris.

Bill: Yeah, I know with speaking with Chris before you, before you joined, joined us today, he's terrific and you're right, he does have a very interesting background and he does seem like a kind, kind of guy, which is, which is welcome, which is a welcome thing.

Royal: That's right. So without further ado, uh, Chris, welcome to the podcast.

Chris Bautista: Oh, thank you for having me today. Um, before we get started, I have to say, Bill, you, you have a great voice for, for podcast -

Bill: For Radio.


Bill: Oh, well, thank you so much. It's nice to be with you, Chris.

Chris: Great to be here guys.

Royal: So Chris why don't, why don't we just kind of take a few minutes and just kind of talk about your background, what brought you here, you know, as as an advisor here with Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors. Kind of what was that journey like for you?

Chris: Well, um, when I first got in the industry, I was, uh, I had recently, well, it'd been a couple of years. I'd closed down a couple of gyms. I was just telling Bill earlier that I used to be in bodybuilding. I had a couple of gyms and we went through that whole 2007, 2008, 2009, um, and many people lost their jobs. I lost a lot of clients. And so I kind of bounced around different jobs for about two years. Um, just never really found a place to be at home.

Then I, I ended up in the financial industry by way of meeting somebody while I was doing some sales on the floor of a Nordstrom. I used to work at a Nordstrom also, it was like my last, uh, W2 job. And I met, uh, him and this gentleman was really nice gentleman got me into the financial industry with, uh, a big broker dealer and then was there for 10 years and decided I wanted to go off and do my own thing and try doing just the insurance route for the, for the last year and then decided, you know what, I have my securities license. I might as well, uh, get back into using it. And so that's what brought us here today and, and why I'm here with, uh, Oregon Pacific.

Royal: Excellent. Excellent. So, so you've, you've been in business here in the financial industry. It sounds like about 12, 13 years now.

Chris: Yeah, close to it.

Royal: Yeah. So, what, what drew you into the industry? And what and what kind of kept you there for, for that a decade plus?

Chris: Well, what, what had happened was, uh I was probably newly married a year into it and my wife, we just had our first child, our first daughter, Carissa. And I was like, you know what? I need to get some life insurance. I'd never, I've had it before, but I let it go. Um, no one really made a big deal out of it. And so I tried to get life insurance. And I was actually declined at the time I was really healthy, but I didn't know that I had some medical issues and I, and I found out because of the underwriting, uh, and my friend who got me into it, um, he, or tried to get me some life insurance. He was shocked cause he's like, I thought you would get it easily. And it was like all the carriers declined me. I didn't think anything big of it at the time, but he suggested to me that I should enter the financial industry and sell life insurance and get into like the annuities and I kind of brushed it off and for maybe about six months. I was like, man, I'm wondering what's going on? How come I didn't get the the policy and I was actually looking into becoming a life insurance agent first.

And that's when I met this gentleman at the Nordstrom's who was doing some shopping. Mr. Chow, God rest him, he just recently passed away, he was a maybe like 30- 40-year agent at this, uh, my previous broker dealer and he was shopping at an exuberant amount. I was shocked at how much he was spending. And I was like, what do you do? Because I have, I haven't seen very many clients come in here and spend like you're spending. And it's like everything I threw at them, you know, Tumi bags. Suits, shoes, you name it - he was buying it. He was like, yeah, yeah, give me it.

I'm like, wow. He gave me his card and he was like, oh, you want to know what I do? Here's my card. And I was like, wow, I was actually looking into this. And then that's kind of how I fell into it. You know, I, I thought I understood money at the time and not until I entered this industry did I realize I didn't know anything, you know. And there's still so much that I'm learning now, um, it's such a huge industry with vast amounts of information and, you know, I'm, I enjoy helping people navigate that and bring some things to light that, you know, most people don't understand because the, the financial education or, and the financial illiteracy, I'll say, in this country is pretty huge, so.

Bill: Can I jump in here for a second, Royal? Because I'm curious about something. Because that journey - the journey you talk about into the financial industry and the realization of your lack of financial knowledge and your, your urge to guide people, do you think that create, created a unique perspective for you because you, you came out of, forgive me, an “ordinary” background. You came out of gyms and you came out of Nordstrom's. You didn't come out of an Ivy League school and sit down with Ivy League thoughts. You came to this with a very, very practical background. Do you think that influences you and has an impact on you in terms of the way you talk to your clients and how you advise clients?

Chris: Yeah, definitely. Because of the experiences that I had, I mean, when I closed my gym, I had to file bankruptcy. And, um you know, I had some loans that were outstanding because we went through rough times, and I tried to keep it afloat as best as I could. Um, it was just, people weren't coming in, and they weren't, at the time, people were struggling with jobs, right?

The, the unemployment was high, um, and lost a lot, and, uh, and there were a lot of people who were fearful, and so... I didn't understand money. I, when I, when I had the gym originally, I made a ton of money, but I spent it. And I went out and I was partying and I was this young guy who just thought that, oh, money grows on trees. This is so easy. Look at how it's coming in. Uh, my first business and wow, it's just, it's just shooting to the moon, you know?  

And I had, when I started laying people off and then when I, and I couldn't keep it up. Um, and I tried for, for so long, um, tried different things, group classes, all this stuff to, to make it affordable. Um, and maybe I just wasn't as good, uh, at running the business as I, I should have been, but we, I had it for a while for eight years and then, uh, couldn't keep it up anymore. And finally, I was just getting so stressed out that my first lesson in finance was from my attorney who helped me file bankruptcy and had me understand that a lot of people were doing this, that this is your constitutional right, you gave it a shot, and now you can be forgiven, kind of thing, and I had to go to some classes, and that was my realization that, I didn't know anything about money. Because I had showed her the books, I had made money, she said, what'd you do with it, I said, oh, trips, vacations, partying, you know, same thing that any young guy would do, and through that experience, I carry that a lot into how I deal with clients because, you know, when, when I see how they're spending money and they're just like some of these clients are making money. I've met doctors who made half a million a year, but they have nothing to show for it. And they're in their 60s and 70s and I'm like, Oh my gosh, you know, this, this could be me. This could be anybody really. And so, yeah, definitely that whole experience that being the regular guy with none of this knowledge and now I came into this world and I was just hooked. I didn't know you could do this. I didn't know, you know, I should be doing this. I should have been saving. How come nobody talked about this? And granted, maybe it was my generation, but it seems like a lot of the, the, you know, Millennials and the Gen Z-ers seem to be a little more aware about putting money away. 

But my generation, Gen X, we just, this wasn't a thing, so  

Royal: Yeah, I think Gen X is interestingly positioned there where, you know, the baby boomers have the stories from their parents about the Great Depression. Gen X really didn't. It was, you know, the seventies were a little shaky, but the eighties were great. Nineties were great. Then 2008 comes along and just slaps everybody in the face. And, uh, I, I think the interesting thing is seeing, uh, some of the data we're seeing from Gen Z of how serious they are about finances and saving for the future. We're seeing some of the highest savings rate because their parents went through this and they saw what happened and they didn't want to go back to it. 

So, uh, you know, Chris, I just want to thank you for just being so vulnerable and open about those experiences because nobody wants to talk about their failures with money. And I think it's something that, oftentimes we look at these things with shame and push that down and hide it. But I just think being able to talk about that and being able to relate with clients and meet them where they're at is just so incredibly valuable for them to say, okay, here's somebody who's gone through these things and here's somebody who's learned and grown and recovered from something like that is just, you know, so empowering what really makes this country so, so incredible and great. So thank you.  

Chris: Yeah, thank you. Um, it was hard at first to, to let that come out into the light, but I find that when I talk with clients and I share that information, uh, it makes it more real for them and I have to make them understand, especially with what it looks like, the, the way our economy is going for the short, the near future is, you know, people need to prepare and you need to, you know, it's not always going to be rainbows and sunshine, right? The rains come in and the storms come and you have to be prepared for that. Uh, and when I was young, I wasn't. And so, you know, retirement's coming, right?  

Royal: I have to ask, did you ever get your life insurance? 

Chris: I got a final expense - or it's not really a life insurance policy. It's a, um, a burial policy.  

Royal: Okay. Okay.  

Chris: That's the only thing, you know, nobody will insure me with, uh, the, the issue that I have found out that I have, um, a kidney disease that leads to renal failure.  

Royal: Oh, goodness.  

Chris: The insurance companies are like, we're not touching that guy, you know? 


Chris: The good news is, is that, you know, my doctor said I, I have the one that I could live for like 20, 30 years and not ever need a transplant, but you know, because it's a indicator and nobody knows what causes renal failure, the insurance companies are like, you're, you're not a safe bet.  

Bill: Well, you look like you guys are going to be with us for a while, just for the record, okay?  

Chris: Oh yeah. Yeah, definitely.  

Royal: So, so, you know, I think that's fascinating and I'm sorry for that, but I don't think it's holding you back at all. But how does that change your approach to having that life insurance conversation with your clients?  

Chris: Yeah. I mean, because I have a family, it's always in the back of my mind and I don't have peace of mind when I see things like, I just saw on Facebook somebody posted a GoFundMe because there's somebody going to the hospital. They need help and possibly could die kind of thing. And so of course, you know, you donate to those things, but every time I see something like that, I tell my clients, because I don't have that peace of mind that my family is secure, it always comes back. And so I say, you don't want that. Why don't we take this off the table and insurance, all insurances, you know, your property, casualty, your disability insurance, your health insurance, life insurance, that's your foundation for your financial plan. And then, you know, most people, they do the accumulation thing first. And I think, you know, you got to take care of, you know, protections first and then start the accumulation. Because until you know that your family and everyone's good, how can you focus on the things that you need to do?  

Royal: Yeah, especially with little ones.  

Chris: Right? Yeah.  

Royal: So, so tell me a little bit about your family. You know, you're, you're, you, uh, every time I talk to you, you're either leaving a baseball game or going to a baseball game, it seems like.  

Chris: Yeah. When I was younger, I used to coach a lot of youth sports and now that I have my own kids, I always wanted to, to just be the dad. I was like, I'm not going to be the coach. I don't want to be that dad that's out there always coaching. Um, but my kids seem to like it when I do help. So, like for example, I'm, I'm coaching soccer right now and I never played. Okay. But there's YouTube and, uh, I, it's funny enough that I just got a compliment from a few of the parents, like, man, you're such a great coach.And, you know, I'm here in the back of my mind thinking. You know, if you only knew I never played soccer! 


Bill: A lot of youth coaches have never played soccer. Okay.  

Chris: Right.

Bill: And speaking as a dad, uh, who didn't play soccer and couldn't coach because I didn't have the time to do it, I really appreciated the man who is the coach of my son's travel soccer team. He didn't play soccer, but he, he was able to give it a commitment and give it time, which was something I couldn't give. So props to you to, to represent all of us dads as it were. And thank you for your time and energy guiding these kids.  

Chris: Yeah, thank you. It's um, you know, my dad was in the Navy when I was growing up and he was gone a lot. So I didn't have him around as much as I would have liked. I remember the, uh, Iraq war, he was gone, you know, he was like, I'll be gone for eight months. And it turned into like two years and then, you know, so it was like, him being always gone. I, I love the position that I get to kind of make my schedule and I love being there for my children. Whenever they need me and I try to go to as many things as I can to theirs. Um, my family is super important to me. I'm sure as, as is for you gentlemen also. And so as much as I can, I, I always want to be around them.  

Royal: And how old are your kids now?  

Chris: Uh, my son will actually turn nine, 10 days from now. And my daughter is 10 and she'll, she'll be 11 in October.  

Royal: Oh, very nice. Very nice. Yeah.  

Chris: I always wanted three, but my wife was done with my second, with the second child. He was a headache. So sleepless nights with that guy. So, yeah.  

Royal: Yeah. So he took after you. I see.  

Chris: Yeah, actually what happened? My mom said the same thing that I was a rough baby. Also. So, uh, my son's exactly like me and now he's like the easiest. So my daughter, you know, she's about to hit those teenage years and I'm kind of nervous. 

Royal: Yeah, yeah, I'm enjoying every day with my 9 year old who still likes me, you know, every day is a blessing until it turns. Well, let's transition a little bit over into kind of what you're doing now, who you're working with and how you're working with clients. Do you, do you see yourself as, as having an ideal client or an ideal person you want to help in your day-to-day work? 

Chris: Yeah. Number one, um, I always look for those family individuals that are similar to me. And then, um, cause I, I feel like, you know, I wish that somebody came and talked to me so that, me and my family could have been farther along when it comes to our financial portfolio. So those are the number one people that I want to go after also, or, or try to help. And I would like to also help those solo entrepreneurs, the ones that are 1099s and are just doing the regular traditional IRA. They don't know that there's other things that are out there for them. And so they have the options. I like when they have, they have 1099, they have so many options as a, as a self-employed individual. 

Royal: Right. And I think you bring some unique experience here, having, you know, worked for yourself so long, you kind of start to learn all the tricks and the tips here of how to improve those things. And it's amazing. You know, once you kind of understand how the tax code works, how retirement accounts work. There's just so much that can be done for, for that person who's really just working for themselves and doesn't have any, anybody backing them up there.  

Chris: Right. It's completely eye-opening. And when I share some of those insights with people, they're like, I didn't know I could do those things. And I'm like, you got to talk to your tax person, you know, for those tax things that you should, you should know about. And you also need to talk with a financial professional. And when I talk with them, I just let them know, I'm just trying to be on your team. You know, everyone's going to have multiple people who help them. I'm, I'm applying for this spot. You know, I'd love to be in this portion where I can help you out and kind of advise you on some things. 

Royal: Yeah, you know, I had, I had this realization a few years ago. People would say, you know, I'd be talking to people out in the community, say, oh, I've got that handled. I've got a guy. And then I'd see him a couple of years later and, and, you know, maybe the relationships built, we'd have more conversations. And they tell me what they've been doing for the last three years. And I’m like, oh, you, you didn't have that handled. You weren't getting the right advice there. You've missed out on, you know, tens of thousands of dollars of tax savings. And I think that's just so important is going back to who's on your team and are they really giving you the right advice and coordinating with the attorneys, the CPAs and all the other pieces that make your team. 

Chris: Right. I think, um, when you find people like that, I think what I've learned is that if I ask the right questions, sometimes, um, it kind of helps to further that conversation along, you know, it's just shocking that, I get it, if it's like a family member or a friend I'm not trying to replace them. I'm just trying to work with them. And I always, uh, one of the things I learned from my previous, uh, broker dealer was many successful people usually have two or three advisors. It's normally not just one person. And so, you know, if you think you got one and that one person is the expert at everything. Nobody's an expert at everything. Right? So - 

Royal: Yep. Yep. You kind of need to get the best team members in each of those lanes that you can. It's, it's, it's really essential, especially as you get older and you have your, your financial life becomes more and more complex.  

Chris: Correct. And you know, that's one of the reasons why I'm so happy to be at Oregon Pacific because I'm just talking with you and James, um, and going to the meetings and I'm learning so much more that it's opened my eyes even more to some other types of planning. And so, I just, I, I love the conversation about money and how I can help as many people. And if there's always something new, I get, I get hooked on it and I get obsessed and I try to find out every little detail, like, wait a minute, you mean you can do this? And if you do this, it's like, you know, It's just amazing the amount of things that you can do when, you know, inside legally, obviously inside the laws. 

Royal: So yeah, yeah, everything we're talking about is always legal.  

Chris: Yes.  

Royal: So when it comes to, um, you know, advising clients, um, and making recommendations to clients, do you have a, a, a money management philosophy you'd like to share?  

Chris: No, I, I think, um, what I, I guess the philosophy is for me is, you know, what, What, what is that, that, that the, I guess most of it is just what is it that the client wants, what are their goals and are they moving in that direction? You know, let's just, once we, we prioritize your goals, what I want to do is just move you in that direction. See what, is what you're doing now, moving in that direction, or can we take some other steps to get you there sooner, if not put you in a better situation? So I always say that, um, one of the things, one of my statements that I tell clients is what I want to do is empower your financial reality, right? Because everyone has this reality of what they think their financial world is. And then I want to empower that and 10x it, if I can for them, improve their situation by, by helping them understand.  

Royal: Very nice.  

Chris: I don't know if that's a good thing. 

Royal: It sounds like a very good thing, you know, putting people first and helping them get to where they want to be, you know, with your expertise and the things that you can do for folks. It's just really powerful. So, looking into the future for you. What are the, what are the things on kind of your, I don't want to say bucket list, but kind of to do list for your career?  

Chris: I think one day I eventually may go and, and try to get the, the CFP and become a certified financial planner. 

Royal: Excellent. 

Chris: Which is pretty grueling, I guess, but that is, uh, something on my mind that, oh, maybe one day I can, I can have that. And, um, you know, I just want the financial freedom that I talk about with clients that I see that many people have where. You know, I'm not worried about money and it's not about retiring and not working one day, it's about the option at any point to say, you know, I, I don't want to work today, because what we do is it's not strenuous, right? I always tell people who want, 

Royal: It’s not running a gym.  

Chris: Yeah, you know, it's not roofing, on the roof in the, in the hot summer, you know, uh, which I did for a very short period when I closed my gym and that that's a horrible experience that I don't wish on anyone. So, in the summer of 115 degree weather on top of a roof is not the way to do it, but someone's got to do it andI don't want that to be me, but, um, when you're in different financial straits, I want to make sure that people have that. What we do is easy, but it, sometimes it's just not easy because it's just getting people to the table is the difficult part. I think people wonder, why should I give you the opportunity? I have some money here, or they think they have their bases covered.  

And I don't know, do you get this, Royal, where in, in, when you're in this industry, you get people that say I'm all set because I have it all through work, kind of thing.  

Royal: Uh, sometimes, sometimes. It's always interesting because people don't know what they don't know. And oftentimes, when I hear that,  

Bill: Amen. 

Royal: Oh, I'm all taken care of honestly, in all the years, I have only met one couple that had literally everything taken care of. Uh, wife was a CPA who handled all the investing. They didn't have any kids. They were going to leave everything to charity. They had set up everything immaculately. Husband was an attorney. They had more than enough money. Coming in and they had, they had done everything and checked all the boxes. That's the only couple I've met in 20 years of doing this, that really had everything covered.  

Chris: Wow. And you've been in this much longer than me in one couple. Wow.  

Royal: Yeah. Yeah. Now, I, not to say there's definitely varying degrees there. There's definitely the, the, the, those folks that like they, they have everything pretty much handled there. And you know, there's little things we can tweak and improve here and take some responsibility off their shoulders. And then there's others that, you know, are, are, um, the dumpster fires and hot messes of the financial planning industry where it's like, okay, where do we start unraveling this ball and start forming it into something that, uh, you know, you, you're, you're not afraid for the future. So, you know, it's, it's, it's a fascinating thing. You, you just don't know what you don't know. And without that knowledge, without having that team looking at all the financial aspects, you won't know until something goes wrong and then it's too late. 

Chris: Right. And that's exactly what brought me into the industry is that things happened too late and then, you know, understanding now that I didn't know what I didn't know at the time. That can happen to anybody, you know, it happened to me. It can happen to anyone. Um, is why I love the industry and I love talking about it with people and it's eye-opening. I know that. It's not sometimes the most popular thing to talk about at a party, but, um, I love the conversation because I think people don't know. And if they don't know that they don't really think about it until something happens and they say, how come no one told me. You know, it's like,  

Royal: Right. 

Chris: Information's there. You just gotta be willing to go and look at it.  

Royal: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, as we get to the end here, is there anything you would like to, um, cover with our listening audience or anything you want to kind of close out our conversation with?  

Chris: You know, I don't have anything off the top of my mind. I, it's been such a enjoyable conversation. Um, and just, Again, talking about the things I think I want people to make sure that they're taking the time to gather the information, I think would be the most important thing. Um, you know, they need to talk with a professional because they're going to go through life and they're going to think everything's okay. And when something happens that they weren't prepared for, they're going to say, how come nobody told me? Right. And most people think, uh, just through me talking with individuals that they can get the information and that their human resources is going to give them the information or Mike at the cubicle next to me, you know, he's been successful with his 401k, I'm going to talk to him and see what he's doing. Um, and so a lot of people get that bad information from people who shouldn't probably shouldn't be giving that information. And so I just find a professional that you like, that you work, that you want to work with, um, that, you know, like, and trust, I think is the biggest thing. 

Royal: Yeah, yeah, and and I just want to recognize you for this heart of service that you have for working with families, educating them and, you know, really trying to remove those stumbling blocks that they don't even know are there. So, you know, Chris, it's just been so great to get to know you even better here over this last half hour. I hope our listening audience, you know, can hearing your voice, your passion for helping people and your expertise. So, I just want to thank you so much for joining us here today.  

Chris: Well, thank you guys for having me. I enjoyed the conversation.  

Bill: Uh, it's a, it's a really real pleasure to meet you, Chris, as a matter of fact, and, and Royal, before we get out of here, uh, if anybody's listening to this and you're interested in getting in touch with either you or with, with Chris, how, how would somebody go about doing that? 

Royal: Yeah, you can go to our website at Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors. You can get all of our contact information there. Reach out through the website. Um, Chris, why don't you share? And I think this is also an important piece. Uh, share where you're located. Uh, what your contact information is as well.  

Chris: Yeah, I'm in a San Dimas, California, um, licensed in multiple states and you can reach me by either dialing (626) 827-2474 or, uh, best to reach me through my email, which is at 

Bill: Perfect. Excellent. Thank you again. And Royal, thank you for facilitating this conversation. For those of you who are listening maybe for the first time and you enjoyed it. Don't waste any time. It's easy. Hit the subscribe button right there. It's right, right in front of you that way You don't have to remember. Oh, I heard this podcast, what, where was it? Hit subscribe it gets delivered to your listening device. You don't have to worry about it. It comes to you, you know? Thanks for listening today. For Royal and everybody at Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, thank you. I'm Bill Tucker and reminding you to live your best day today. We'll see you next time.  

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Please note that discussions in these shows are for educational purposes only. Information presented should not be considered specific investment advice or a recommendation to take any particular course of action. Always consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation before making financial decisions. The views and opinions expressed are based on current economic and market conditions and are subject to change. All investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. Securities offered through United Planners Financial Services (UP), Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, Inc. (OPFA). OPFA & UP are independent companies. Neither OPFA nor UP offer tax or legal advice.