Bob Chitrathorn has one of those stories that sticks with you. As a financial advisor, it's hard to stand out but Bob's "Why" story is so authentic and powerful, it's hard to imagine him as simply one of the "crowd.” Bob's beginnings are humble, which is a story he shares with millions of people. However, what he did with his early experiences is what makes him one of a kind.
My Scout Team nominated Bob because he's a proven professional with an unshakable belief in helping people manage and grow their money, while also helping them improve their lives. It is this rare combination that makes Bob truly at home in our Influence 100 list.
Bob's quote from our interview sums up how his chosen profession comes from a deep place within his childhood. Personally, I think it's this authentic sense of duty to help others that sets Bob apart:
It was around that time that something moved me from within, I believe it was at that point that I was destined to work in finance. It’s like a light bulb turned on, and I just wanted to do what I can to help other families not have that same feeling that I did.
As the Editor-in-Chief of Influence, it is deeply personal stories like Bob's that I am proud to share. The story behind his success is layered with human and business interest. I hope you enjoy meeting Bob as much as I have enjoyed celebrating him.
Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Influence
Bob, the cities that we live in are part of what makes us unique. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Santa Monica. But grew up in Colton, Redlands, and Loma Linda. My parents were both born in Thailand and immigrated to the U.S. I'm first generation, born in the US.
Where did you spend the majority of your childhood? How did this place make you who you are?
I grew up in a mobile home park in Colton, California.
How did growing up in a mobile home park influence you?
This place made me who I am many years later. While living there, I had no idea what life was like. I played, studied, and did what kids do. I just knew that my school friends lived a lot differently than my neighborhood friends. My school friends were well off in my childhood opinion (and there’s nothing wrong with that in regards to both sets of friends). They had big houses, awesome birthday parties, and were always going out to eat at, what I considered at the time, fancy restaurants. They were always kind enough to invite me and take me with them. It was such a treat to me, and I really appreciated them for doing that.
Tennis plays into your childhood story. Tell me about that.
I fell in love with the game of tennis, which would become a focal point in my life and who I am today. So much so, that it is hard to talk about this without getting a little sentimental when looking back on my life. Here I played hours upon hours of tennis against the garage wall. Eventually I ended playing tennis at a competitive level. I was so excited!
My parents were always working, so my school friends parents would pick me up to play tennis at the courts. I guess I had a knack for tennis, but I just kept on practicing whenever I could. During this time, my sister and I were attending school at Redlands Junior Academy while my parents both worked hard to allow us the opportunity of receiving a better education.
We would have to have rides arranged to take us to school and bring us home because they were working more than full time.
At one point, you were moving frequently but when you moved to the Redlands Lawn and Tennis Club it was a turning point for you, right?
Yes, this is where I started playing daily after studying. I would play Friday and Saturday nights, and sometimes during the day on the weekends as well. I also played in many 18-and-under single tournaments when I was about 12. I kept playing and competing, and was eventually almost sponsored. If memory serves me right, I was just a couple of wins away from getting ranked in the USTA (United States Tennis Association).
I was really dedicated to tennis, and loved the game. I think eventually the stress and pressure got to me, or maybe it was becoming a rebel teenager- who really knows? What I do know is that I wish I would have stuck with it, as many tennis pros believed that I would have gone far in the game and could have made it a profession.
I really love who I am, the life that I have and the people in my life. Had I stayed with tennis, I might not have the relationships that I so dearly love now.
Your parents rented a home in Loma Linda. It's another time in your life that formed who you are.
Yes, I was in Sophmore year and Loma Linda did make an important impact on me. While I didn’t play tennis competitively anymore, I was still keeping active with my love for sports by being on the JV and Varsity team for football and volleyball. At Loma Linda Academy I did what normal teenagers do. Somehow, I was still able to keep a good GPA- pretty much a 4.0! Along the way, I learned that I was more of a role model than I thought for my younger sister, so I tried hard to be a good big brother, and make both her and my parents proud. I went on to post-secondary school- first to La Sierra University, then Cal State University San Bernardino. I graduated with a B.S in Finance, a B.S. in Real Estate and a minor in Business Administration.
Where do you live now?
I live in Riverside, California and work in Corona, California.
I find that knowing the kind of family you come from helps me form a fuller picture. Who do you consider family?
My wife, fur kids, my crazy friends, sister and brother-in-law and of course, my Mom and Dad.
Ideas and Big Picture Outlook.
It's often the small things we do that make a difference. What small things have you done that help define who you are?
I'm a surprising giver. I love to randomly buy dinner for random people at restaurants, groceries for people in line randomly, and dinner for workers of the establishments that I may be at.
What key events or memories changed the course of your life? Were there any driving factors that make you who you are today?
As a kid, I remember that my parents would (as all parents did and probably do) let’s not say have arguments, but call it deep conversations about money that would be in a louder vocal tone than usual.
One day I broke a glass jar (which looked like expensive crystal to me) that we stored candy in. When it broke, I wasn’t afraid of getting in trouble or what they would do to me, I was more afraid of them speaking loudly to one another. I was afraid of being the cause of that, and how they would feel because money would have to be spent for another jar. I felt terrible.
It was around that time that something moved me from within. I believe it was at that point that I was destined to work in finance. It’s like a light bulb turned on, and I just wanted to do what I can to help other families not have that same feeling that I did. I didn’t know what it would be, but now I do. It’s about helping people with their money so that they don’t have to worry about it, or have loud conversations about it.
Being a "big brother" to your sister was important to you. Can you recall a time when this became clear to you?
I used to have to pick up my sister from middle school. She was always following me around and nagging me, just like little sisters do, I guess.
I remember one time when I came to pick her up. I could see that she was proud. She was telling her friends that I was her brother, and it was like she felt “cool” because I was her brother.
At that point, I knew that my sister looked up to me more than I previously thought, and that the things that I did or would do would have an impact on her life.
I wanted to make her proud and do great things- work hard, study hard and just be able to make a good life. I wanted to be a good role model for her and, you know, a good brother.
Do you have or have you had a mentor?
I’m not sure if I ever really had a “mentor”. I had a lot of people that I looked up to and respected, but I’m not sure if that would be considered a mentor. I guess I would say my wife and my family are my mentors. They keep me grounded and bring love, joy and happiness to my life and make me want to do the same for others.
Do you consider yourself a mentor? If yes, what is the most important thing you can share with someone seeking guidance?
Maybe, I guess so. The way that I mentor is through how I act.
I always want to treat others as you expect to be treated. I believe when you look at things that way, you will end up doing great things. It may take longer or be more difficult, but the reward and feeling will be amazing.
100 years from now how would you like people to remember Bob Chitrathorn?
I would like to be remembered as an advisor that puts his clients first, who loved to educate and help as many people as he could, whether it’s an in person meeting, or distributing out helpful articles and information for the general public.
I would also love to have a class set up with a curriculum that focuses on teaching high school seniors about money, investments, debt, and general finance. If I could be a part of that, it would be a proud legacy.
When I asked you for your favorite quotes, you couldn't just give me one so I'm going to share them all.
Failing to object, when it is our duty to object makes cowards of men. Abraham Lincoln
Our greatest fear should not be of failure … but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. Francis Chan
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. Leonardo Da Vinci
Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Bob, what do you consider to be some of the highlights of your career so far?
This is a hard question, because I always consider it a highlight when I am able to help someone become more efficient with their financial planning. I've helped many people, so there are many highlights!
What are you looking forward to professionally? What are you excited about?
I’m really excited to help more people. I love to educate people on finances, and how to manage their own finances so that they can one day have financial independence. Do what they want, when they want, financially speaking.
I’m excited to one day hit my goal of being the go to financial planner in my neighborhood, not just for being knowledgeable at what I do, but more importantly because people know that I care. People knowing that I truly care for them is one of the greatest selfish feelings ever!
Tell me about your business, specifically what you offer your clients:
I offer them detailed financial plans, which I structure like a GPS road map to get them to their goals, and make adjustments that need to be made if plans change. I also offer:
Risk Management Strategies
Business Planning Strategies
Tax Planning Strategies
Estate Planning Strategies
Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, CDs
School Loan Pay Off Strategies
Who do you work with?
Since I really love helping and educating people, I work with people from all different walks of life. I work with a lot of people in the medical and dental fields (Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, and professions that relate to such things). I also have many business owners as clients.
What makes you and your business unique compared to your competitors?
I think what makes me unique is that I have not only been an advisor for over 15 years, but that I also received my B.S in finance and a B.S in real estate. I also feel that I’m more connected to what it is I do for a living because it really is a passion of mine. I truly love helping people and doing the best I can to help them plan their finances. I’ve been wanting to do this since I was a kid!
The story behind your published writings:
I contributed to a book because I wanted people to know what their options were when looking for and working with an advisor. I wanted to share that there are advisors that truly care for their clients, and want to do what’s best for them.
What is the calling for your life?
To make people smile, to help others make others smile, to spread happiness, to help love and happiness be contagious, which will help make the world a better and happier place.
What character traits have been most important in getting to where you are today?
Focus, motivation, determination, diligence, persistence, with the underlying trait being love for all people.
What are you grateful for?
I try to be grateful for everything, but at the top of the list is the people in my life, (including my pup Mazy and her pup cousin Bodie), and my Lord Jesus.
The Style behind the Success, let's find out more about what makes Bob tick. It's a speed round!
Jeans or Khakis?
I’m a Gemini, so jeans sometimes and a full suit other times.
Watch or play sports?
Coffee, beer or wine?
I can’t drink coffee, so that’s out. Beer or wine, it depends on what I’m doing. You know I’m not going to drink beer if I’m on a wine tasting tour, and you won’t catch me drinking wine at a sporting event.
Feet up on the desk or flat on the floor?
Flat on the floor.
Vacation close to home or across the world?
Close to home. Across the world would be great, but I don’t really like to fly or take too much time off of work. I’m a bit of a workaholic.
Beach or ski resort?
Is it summer or winter? I love the beach and water sports, and I love to snowboard.
Your weekend: Plan every moment or wing it?
Sometimes I have a full plan, sometimes I plan nothing, with the attitude of just having fun and seeing what I end up doing.
Bob, it's been my pleasure to get to know you and I know that people who are looking for a proven, smart financial advisor that truly puts their clients first will want to get in touch with you.
How can they do that?
I love to meet new people and to help them in any way I can. People can get in touch in any of these ways:
Providence Wealth Planning
391 N. Main Street, Ste 107
Corona, CA 92880
Bob Chitrathorn is a registered representative with, and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, LLC and Providence Wealth Planning are separate entities from LPL Financial.