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Meet Jimmy Rios of Rios Financial Group in Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jimmy Rios.

Jimmy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am born in Queens New York of 1st generation immigrant parents that came to this country in 1968 from Medellin Colombia. My father was a hard working entrepreneur with dental clinics and real estate in New York, Medellin and later Phoenix, Arizona. I came to Arizona as a three year old child and went to school in Tempe where I graduated from McClintock High School and then went on to Arizona State University. In 1995 I started my career selling pagers for US West now CenturyLink while going to school at Arizona State University. Always having an entrepreneurial spirit since I was a child I was going to school for International Business and was majoring in Spanish. I got a job offer to work as a branch manager assistant for a company called commercial credit which got bought out by the biggest bank in the world (Citigroup) in1998. The company changed names to CitiFinancial and at the young age of 25 was promoted to manager to manage a consumer lending division in Tempe that was doing personal loans and we were doing $9 million per month. Seeing a huge demand in the real estate and consumer lending industry with the Hispanic market I decided to leave CitiFinancial in 2002 and started my own company as JLA Property Management and after getting my real estate and insurance licenses decided to rebrand it as Rios Financial Group LLC. Having parents that were not too fluent in the language they always tried to find people that could help them with everything regarding their home and business. I always felt that there had to be a better way for non-English speaking immigrants or residents that needed help to be able to go to one place where their needs could be met or at least addressed. This was the basis for me starting Rios Financial Group LLC as a ONE STOP Shop for financial services. Now what I do is help my clients with a road map to financial fitness and guide them in the areas of starting a business, taxation, insurance and credit. I’ve managed to team up with great partners in these arenas of business and industry to offer the best service and the client feels there’s more value given then just selling a product or service. We actually care about their financial future and seem to get more retention and referrals with our clients because of the way we cater to their needs. Almost like how I had to help my parents out when they need to find or get information and couldn’t speak the language. We educate and teach so mistakes patterns can be avoided and guide them into the best course of action for their situation.

Has it been a smooth road?
Never was it a smooth road because I had a lot of energy and schooling but not much experience in real life business affairs. The learning curve was fast and furious with very little room for error. Luckily I had parents that understood my endeavor and supported that drive. Unfortunately they couldn’t help financially and I had to learn the hard way about credit and leveraging. In 2008 when the financial crisis happened I wasn’t prepared for the shift and almost lost everything…well let’s just say I lost everything that was considered an including my wife and for a time was drinking to try to escape the reality of having lost everything that I knew. It will be 10 years next year since the debacle and I’m proud to say that with the help of GOD, my sobriety, my new wife, kids and immediate family have all been there in support of my rebuilding and rising from the ashes like a Phoenix to get a strong foothold of my life now.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Rios Financial Group story. Tell us more about the business.
My company is a financial literacy and business consulting agency that helps individuals and small business owners with the proper guidance and solutions to set their lives free from financial hardships and with the proper planning stages to build a business and succeed in their personal lives. Taking cues from my own struggles and adapting different methodologies, I help individuals analyze their credit and all their finances and help devise plans to put them on the right pathway to financial success and business growth. Recently started a joint venture with a partner helping clients with personal loans for people with no credit or social security numbers to help them come out of the “Shadows” and guide them as well. I’m most proud of not letting the company go under through the tumultuous times and being able to restructure it with solid partners and relationships that help my clients with their bottom line. What sets me apart from any other financial services firm is the brotherly love and attention that I give my clients. Having humbled myself to pick myself off the floor from my mistakes I look at everybody’s situation as if it were my own and many times can relate to the situation at hand which helps me guide them even better.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The industry is becoming less personable and more technological in nature which is difficult for the niche market that I serve because many of the people have not caught up to the technology advances of today. I think for me to be able to keep my segment market over the next 5-10 years I have to be able to teach my clients these changes as they come along to make them more knowledgeable and obviously adapt to the changes in the tech environment that can’t be ignored. I feel that the biggest shift for my clients will be using their cell phones for most everything and the interpersonal relationship they once shared could be lost. But I feel that we are humans and not robots and people always want to hear a voice over a recorder or machine and I will just keep trying to interact with my clients in the best way possible.

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