Primerica Careers: Are They the Real Deal? A Guest Post.

May 8, 2009 — 245 Comments

Since I wrote about my experience as a Primerica Customer awhile back, that post has become one of my most popular. But as a publisher, the most satisfying thing for me is the discussion it has generated.

There are a lot of intelligent people taking part in a very respectful way. I think that’s relatively unique when compared to the overall discussion being had on the web about Primerica.

The article I wrote was specifically about my experience with the SMART loan, and much of the discussion has been true to that topic. However, I also get a fair number of comments and emails about other aspects of the Primerica experience.

The following is an example of the types of emails I will get from time to time:

My name is Megan… and I live in Iowa. I am considering joining Primerica, as I just attended a meeting last night, and am interested in helping people get out of debt, beings I have seen my sister struggle with it for the last 15 years, and I myself, have become her “bank,” I was wondering if you could give me any advice as to what I should do, what I should be skeptical of, and if you could recommend what their actual theory is!? I have been reading blogs, pros, cons, etc. . . for the last 3 hours online, and I am getting mixed emotions about it. My main concern is that I will not be able to make the “dreams” of the families I visit come true, and in some way, will be doing people a disservice, RATHER than a SERVICE!

Megan,

The problem here is that I’m far from qualified to answer this type of question. So to that end, I’ve recruited a couple of highly intelligent financial experts to help answer just this question. Both of these people have had direct and substantial experience with the Primerica opportunity.

One of the things I pride myself on is a fair and respectful look at all angles of a discussion. So the articles posted here tell both sides of the story. If you have anything to add to this discussion, please do so in the comment section below. But remember–this blog is about finding the truth. If you find yourself becoming emotionally stimulated or defensive, you may want to think twice about commenting.

The following is one of two articles I’ve received from two different contributors–One pro and one con. In order to get a balanced look at the Primerica opportunity, I would highly recommend that you also read this story as well.

So without further ado, I present Ken, and his reply to Megan and all of you out there trying to make the right decision.

Secrets of a Primerica Graduate

By Ken

Megan,

Congratulations on doing some research prior to dropping $99 for the “opportunity of a lifetime”. I wish I could say the same, but \several years back when I was drawn in, it cost me around $200. Although Primerica does offer an opportunity to make big money, the odds of “making it” parallel your local lottery. Even if you did begin to make a lot of money, you’ll have to wonder “at what cost?”

First and foremost, Primerica is a multi-level marketing company. Some would compare it to the old pyramid schemes. The basic gist of any multi-level marketing company is that in order to make serious money, you must “recruit” or bring more people into the company. After careful examination, you’ll notice that recruiting becomes the main focus of the business. The reason for this is because as you recruit more and more people, you get “promoted” to higher levels of commission. This means for everything you sell and everything the people you brought into the organization sell, you make more of a percentage of the profit. The important thing to realize is that although MLMs are not illegal, some would argue that the products are what “validates” or legalizes the business model. If you remove the products, you return to a pyramid scheme.

What does this all mean? Basically, you’re a professional recruiter. Although you’ll learn about some basic financial concepts, you’re a recruiting machine at Primerica and any other MLM company. I’ll address the products later. When you’re a recruiter, your job is to entice as many people to “opportunity meetings” as possible. The opportunity meetings are facilitated by successful individuals. They have convinced a lot of people that Primerica is a great career decision. After you attend enough of these meetings and other trainings, you’ll begin to pick up all of the techniques used by those that are successful.

The techniques for recruiting are time-tested and you may have even heard some of them yourself: “We’re opening some offices in the area and I’m in charge of expansion”. Sometimes they’ll come into your current place of employment and say: “I can’t help but notice how well you took care of me, I think you’d be a perfect fit in our organization”. Sometimes, they’ll just advertise on websites like craigslist, asking you to send them your resume for a job opportunity.

Once contacted by one of these folks, it’s very important to realize that they can be anywhere in their career with Primerica. They could have been there 15 years, or most likely they’re either brand new, or only a few months into the business. They’re not going to get you to the opportunity meeting by telling you they’re brand new, haven’t sold a thing, and really dislike all of the hard work. Instead, they’re “taught” to make it sound great. Everyone’s making a lot of money “helping middle America”. They’ll tell you they’re either doing it full time, or just about ready to make the transition to full time.

Truth be told, most of the people in the office make very little money in respect to how many hours they put in. There are a few superstars that may make a few bucks, but it’s all due to recruiting. They may have known a lot of people, started an office in a newer area, or are a natural at recruiting. The other very important factor to remember is that you’re taught to constantly ask everyone you run into about sitting down with you so you can show them how you can help them financially. Realistically, the sales presentation is a self-guided recruiting presentation. They introduce the company, show the “client” all of the things they can do for middle-America, then the real closing comes in. They ask you for referrals and see if you want to join them on this fabulous crusade.

Who do you talk to? EVERYONE! This includes family, friends, co-workers, etc. After hearing a few success stories at the office, you go on auto-pilot, asking anyone you see: The waitress who serves you at the restaurant, the clerk at the video store, etc. You’ll slowly irritate everyone you know to the point that you’ll be alienated by friends, family and co-workers. You’ll start parroting the same old stuff so often, you’ll actually trick yourself into believing you’re even making money doing it. Them reality sets in and you slowly fade away from Primerica. The timetable varies, but it’s usually the same story.

If this still sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime, let’s talk products. If it’s not an illegal pyramid scheme, there has to be some products involved. Like Amway, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Avon, Primerica has products. The priducts are financial services. They include life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, and mortgages. Whoa…sounds pretty serious. Yes, you’ll need licenses to sell all of those things. If you’re not a good test-taker, stop right here. The most basic license you’ll need is for life insurance. It’s the easiest one to achieve and ironically the one Primerica will make you get in order to start. Once you’re a licensed representative, you can begin selling the opportunity. Less than 25% of Primerica agents are licensed to sell securities. That means that although they “teach” you to invest money for the long term, most agents can’t even help you do it. In fact, it’s illegal for them to even discuss it.

The Primerica mission is to “help people become debt free and financially independent”. How do they make their clients debt free? They have a very basic computer program that teaches the clients elementary debt stacking—a technique that shows the most efficient way to pay down debts. The other way is to do a cash-out refinance on the client’s home. To do this, the client must owe significantly less on their current mortgage than the home is worth. Prior to the recent downturn in home values, this was a lot easier to do. However, adding your credit card debt to your mortgage is hardly “eliminating debt”. Sure, there are some tax advantages to doing it, but it’s certainly not eliminating debt. One further thought…isn’t Citi, the parent company of Primerica, one of the largest players in credit card lending in the nation? Interesting how they want you in debt, then they want you out of debt???

To entice people into entering a mortgage contract with Primerica, they have come up with a pretty tricky way to make the clients believe they’re getting some financial benefit available only with Primerica. The basic concept they try to tell you is that if you pay you mortgage bi-weekly through their “SMART loan”, you’ll have your mortgage paid off sooner than doing it with another lender because of their simple-interest calculation. While this by itself has merit, the problem is that Primerica’s SMART loan comes with costs and rates of interest much higher than regular mortgages to the point that the simple interest feature is a moot point. The next step that the SMART loan takes is advising the client to pay more money per month to get the loan paid off even sooner. Like any loan, this is a true statement.

The bottom line—anything the SMART loan can save the client, the client can do better outside of Primerica. If the SMART loan predicts a loan payoff of 20 years, the client can go right into any bank, like Citibank (a subsidiary of Citigroup, as is Primerica) and ask for a conventional 20-year loan. The conventional 20-year loan will have lower costs and monthly payments than the SMART loan. It’s that simple. The SMART loan does have the upper hand when accelerating payments if it was comparing solely to a 30-year mortgage. However, once the smoke and mirrors is lifted, the math shows that instead of paying all sorts of high fees to Primerica, the client will save more money simply refinancing to a loan of a shorter term at their local bank.

Next on the Primerica financial offerings menu is life insurance. For years and years, Primerica followed the A.L. Williams philosophy of buying term insurance and investing the difference on your own technique. This was an answer to the previous cash value life insurance programs, which were often misrepresented by unscrupulous sales people. Some of these sales people promised huge returns in the cash value portion of the insurance contract. Many times, these forecasts made the owners feel they could stop paying their premiums and inevitably the contract cancelled for non-payment of premium. Although permanent insurance may not be the best choice for some people, it’s hardly the “bad guy” of life insurance that Primerica projects.

The days of misrepresenting these contracts is for the most part over. However, Primerica continues to bash every type of permanent life insurance contract. Instead, they recommend buying their term life insurance (at exorbitantly high premium rates) and investing the difference in premium (when compared to a cash value policy) into mutual funds. The problem here is twofold: First, most Primerica agents aren’t even licensed to talk about, much less offer the mutual funds to their clients. Second, the loads (fees) on the mutual funds that Primerica does offer, makes the fees they bash on cash value policies pale in comparison. So, on one side of their mouth they continually bash what they consider cash value policies laden with high fees, and out the other side of the mouth tell you to buy their term insurance which costs upwards of 50% more than highly ranked competition and invest in their high-cost mutual funds.

The real problem is that the average Primerica agent knows very little about what they’re actually talking about and the average American knows even less! The only training they have is from Primerica, on Primerica products. If someone works at Burger King, they’re not going to know everything about the Big Mac. They might “know” the Whopper is better, but they don’t know why, except that is what they heard at training. The same thing happens at Primerica.

Some would argue that the reason Primerica doesn’t offer any cash value policies is that their sales force would then need to study for and pass the securities exams, which are certainly not easy. Again, revisiting the early concept of “validating” an MLMs existence is the products. If you put one more obstacle (the test) in the way of being able to join Primerica, how much would that cost the company? Instead, they forgo the test and continue to vilify a product they know little about—permanent insurance.

What happens once you join Primerica? Besides the original down payment to become an independent business owner (by the way, you never “own” anything), you’ll be responsible for buying brochures and pay for a monthly on-line service that gives you sales techniques and helps you track your production. Full-time financial professionals don’t pay for these services with their companies. Primerica makes the new agent think they’re business owners so they accept the fact that the agent will foot the bill for these expenses, not the multi-million dollar earning insurance company.

So, Primerica plays a role as the “good guy” in a world of finance where all the banks want you to do is be stuck in debt, right Citi? They do in fact get some people without life insurance the much-needed protection they need for their family. That by itself is great! However, charging the astronomical fees for each and every product they offer, the misleading mortgage product they have, and the fact that the company doesn’t require the agents to get licensed to help people invest is ludicrous. Presenting a very basic Primerica Financial Needs Analysis and comparing it to some well-written, in-depth, client-specific financial plan by a real financial planner is ridiculous. There are several companies that will offer free plans that make Primerica’s FNA look like a joke.

Losing friends and family, offering overpriced, lackluster products, all in the name of making a buck— Is this your idea of “helping people become debt-free and financially independent”? When you look yourself in the mirror, are you comfortable knowing that what you advise people to do can make or break their financial lives? Are you comfortable even telling yourself what to do financially? You certainly aren’t going to learn anything in Primerica that will help you feel like you could. Again, they’re an MLM—a pyramid validated by a product; it’s not a very good product. See you at the “top”.

[important]If you found this article helpful, for more information, be sure to continue reading the educated and respectful comments below.  But also be sure to read this Independent Analysis of the Primerica Opportunity.[/important]

 

Chris Wondra

Posts

245 responses to Primerica Careers: Are They the Real Deal? A Guest Post.

  1. Ken huh? You wouldn’t happen to be the Ken that spent 10 – 15 years ruining his career and reputation trying to destroy AL Williams are you?

    Anyways, I’m not going to waste time poking holes in your guest article. It is filled with outdated and misinformation.

    If you wish to have a truly good/bad side argument about a company, ask someone who is NOT an agent of said company OR a competitor of said company. Better yet, ask the state commissioners, BBB, SEC, FINRA, etc. They have a much more objective POV rather than one that furthers their own career.

    Megan, since you have reservations, write down questions you want answered and get them answered by those that have had success, not the person that invited you.

    Do not do ANYTHING unless you are comfortable with it. Also remember that you can NOT trust what you read online. Most statements about any company are purely situation and reflect one incident. Companies like Primerica, AIG, OfficeMax, etc have millions of said situations every month. On average, less than 1% are negative. Primerica gets the lime light because of who big it is. PFS recruits and licenses more than any other company in the industry. I might even go as far as to say more than the rest of the industry COMBINED.

    Their are about 10 people in my office alone that put in about 20-40 hours a week and make between $100k – $300k annually. Mostly off of personal and residual income. They have all helped MANY families get on the path to achieve their dreams. Whether the client achieves them or not is solely their responsibility. Ours is to provide a plan and guide them.

    You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make him drink. Teach them how to manage their finances and offer the products as a solution. Let them decide what they want to do. At the very least, they got the education side of it and are somewhat better off.

    As I tell my clients, if you are uncomfortable, we are NOT doing anything until it is resolved. I have denied clients things they need because they were not sure of a few things. Once resolved, they were better for it. Even got put into a few wills because of it.

    Bottom line, be honest with yourself. If you don’t believe you can do it. You are right. If you believe you can. You are right.

    • YES! thank you RIchard i see u are one of the elite Primerica experts. the point of primerica is to see it form the client side and inform him so he can choose the numbers for himself. thats a very important thing to remember when doing primerica. if ur not helping the client from getting robbed than theres no point.

      • No wonder you are anonymous. The truth will set you free my friend. Whether you are an atheist or not, I pray that God in Jesus may help lighten up your path. In Matthew 15:11, Jesus said, “It is not what comes into our mouth that makes us unclean, rather, what comes out of it.”

        • Please help me understand Edwinoel, what did the anonymous guy say that was wrong? I feel that by making sure the client feels good about the decision they are making is way better than forcing someone into a contract. I always do business the honest way. There is no better way than to let the client make their decisions on their own. Trust me, when you stay focused (in any type of business) it will pay off. Not everyone will want what you are offering, but at least you did help them by EDUCATING them. That should be the highlight of anyone’s day.

    • This Primerica has changed my life! Don’t listen to the ones that will lead you astray for there selfish purposes!

  2. So I’ve been following the conversation on and off for a year or so with your original post, and some good points have been discussed over time.

    This post however, focuses on the recruiting side of the firm, and I feel I can add some value.

    I think the first misconception that needs cleared up is the one that we’re the only financial firm that’s always recruiting. That’s simply not the case!

    I can’t tell you how many times in the past five years I’ve gotten letters, phone calls, lunch invitations, etc from recruiters from other firms to come work for them.

    By the way, these guys are all paid to recruit, and WE’RE the pyramid scheme, but I digress…

    As a young fully licensed person with lots of production, they look at me like a dog looks at a piece of steak. And, ironically, the recruiting efforts always happen right after I replace their business…

    So here’s the facts on the PFS Opportunity, then I’ll give some opinion.

    For $99, Primerica will pay for every penny of your life licensing process, including a books, a live class, an online class, online and offline study materials, and the test itself. And, if you study online after class, they will pay for your test an unlimited number of times if you fail.

    They will then pay for every penny of your securities license, including all the things mentioned above and more.

    Your office will then reimburse you the $99 you paid.

    You may then stay and work, stay and do nothing, something in between, or leave and go work with a different firm.

    That’s it. That’s the process of being recruited by Primerica.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the scam here. None of that requires endless recruiting, no pressure, no alienated friends, none of that bullcrap.

    You have no investment, the company has thousands invested, and all they have is the hope you’ll stick around and do something.

    So as for my opinion, I went to a private college that was $40,000 per year. There were no reimbursements, just a bunch of debt with no guarantees of what it would get me.

    We can spend all day long arguing about a $5-$10 per month difference in our term vs other term, but $0 (PFS) vs $250,000 in debt (college) is real and definite.

    That being said, is PFS right for everyone? Nope.

    Is college right for everyone? Nope.

    Was college right for me in particular as an individual? Nope.

    I loved my time in school, my fraternity, even my major. I could’ve done what I studied for and been happy in the process. And believe me, I loved what I went to school for, and still practice it for fun.

    But like so many have pointed out, when it was all over and I looked back at my life, what would it have meant? Who’s life would I have changed in the process?

    That’s what people miss. We can squabble all day about how someone could get marginally cheaper term, or loans or whatever elsewhere.

    But the reality is they don’t.

    For whatever the reason, ignorance, apathy, or some other one, people just tend to have made really poor financial decisions.

    So again, could one of my clients gotten cheaper term online? Or saved .5% on their mortgage somewhere else? Or opened a brokerage account with Scottrade? Sure!

    But they didn’t. What they did do is buy a whole life policy, get an adjustable rate loan, and either saved nothing or bought CD’s at the bank.

    That’s the reality. Without me, they would still be there, forever.

    And for the reps that work full time for me, that can pick their kids up from school, spend time with them, help them with their homework, and then plan work around life, that is priceless.

    By the way, what Ken said is vastly incorrect of today’s PFS.

    And Chris, for someone that is a client of ours, and that has said time and time again the $MART Loan was great for you, to have someone write a guest post calling it a bunch of smoke ‘n mirrors is just plain silly.

    It’s either silly, or even handed. There are lots of people with lots of different experiences–both good and bad. This blog is about helping people see the big picture, and make the right decision for them. As I’m not a rep, I can’t intelligently comment on the big Primerica picture–so I was lucky to find a couple people who can.

    Fear not, Cody. I have another guest post ready to be published soon that will balance this out.

    Chris

  3. I have to agree with Cody and Richard on this one. Ken’s review is waaay skewed. Kinda like all those people that are all freaked out that the earth is catastrophically warming when in reality the average temperature has gone up .7 degrees in the last 100 years. But that’s another topic :)
    I will go ahead and lay it out there up front that I am affiliated with Primerica and have been for a while. The one thing that this discussion has not pointed out so far is that Primerica is a business opportunity not a job. Expect it to be like a financial services business, not a financial services job. There is a big difference. It is better than a typical financial services business though in that Primerica home office takes care of all the compliance issues plus many more office related burdens of running a business for you This leaves you free to build your business. I have many friends in the financial industry that tell me horror stories of all the money they are required to spend on E&O insurance and contributions to the offices “coffee and water” fund. They have to subscribe to morningstar, pay an office manager, etc. At Primerica, all those things are taken care of for you when you first get started. You just have to market yourself. I have owned businesses in several different industries and the Primerica business model is excellent, but you have to go into it knowing what it is.

  4. Thanks for the reply, Chris, and to your credit, this feels like a good forum for open discussion, even if ultimate consensus will never be reached.

    What I was pointing out to be silly was the connection you have PFS, mainly the SMART Loan, and his accusations therein of it.

    From Ken’s point of view, SMART is the worst thing you can do if you decide to refinance, yet a decision was made after months of research by you that it was in fact the best thing for your family to do.

    My point is that something cannot be both the best and the worst thing at the same time!

    The majority of remaining points I didn’t discuss also suffer the same fate… They’re all based on information from the early to mid 90′s, best I can tell.

    I look forward to the additional discussion and posts, and hopefully we can clear up some of the confusion and bring out the truth.


    Cody,

    “. . .something cannot be both the best and the worst thing at the same time!”

    I love that statement because if you think about it–I mean really think about it–the words drip of wisdom. It may in fact be the very place to begin a discussion like this. I’m a big picture kind of guy. I think there should be some guiding principles that help us make quality decisions. I think we run into problems when we don’t understand (or haven’t clearly identified) those values for ourselves, or when we get confused by details. To date, this discussion has been (at least for me) confusing.

    Yet, when considering improvement, relativity is a big deal. What you’re used to matters. Taking incremental steps forward is healthy. Perhaps with Primerica stuff, just as is the case with many things, something can be the best and the worst thing–just not at the same time.

    The danger is in judging others based on your perspective. Just as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash. Always has been, and always will be. Perhaps the key to examining these issues here (esp. those trying to make a decision for themselves) is surely to examine the trash or treasure (the item/product/business model) — but not as much as the man.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cody.

    Chris

  5. Very interesting thoughts, Chris.

    You’re right, in most cases, perception is reality, and when it comes to PFS, this can certainly be the case!

    I would like to suggest however, that there are two aspects of PFS, and that they need to be looked at differently.

    The first are the financial concepts PFS teaches, in my opinion, that is the the objective side of the business. Either what we teach families to do is right or wrong. It simply cannot be both at the same time…

    This is where the discussion about PFS becomes very, very interesting. If you Google any financial firm the size of PFS with the words “sucks” appended to it, you’ll find scores of clients complaining about the products and services rendered.

    Now these may or may not be legitimate, but the fact is they exist.

    If you look at all the bad press online about PFS, virtually all of it revolves around the Opportunity, which is the very subjective side of the Company.

    If you look at the big picture in that, I think it paints an interesting picture…

    The people that view PFS negatively, who are they? Are they people that paid $99 expecting to get rich overnight? Can there really be that many disgruntled people in a society where people readily carry tens of thousands of dollars on their credit cards? Would they even miss $99?

    Are they the subset of the population out there that is generally scared and skeptical of everything? If so, how do they have so much (mis)information?

    The only logical conclusion, if there aren’t really any dissatisfied clients present, would be someone that has a financial interest in seeing PFS’ credibility damaged…

    That of course, would be agents from competing firms. If there was full disclosure online of who actually contributes to discussions such as this, I feel it would be quite interesting to pull back the mask!

    When it comes to PFS and the Internet, that’s the big picture that is often overlooked.

  6. Ken,

    Thanks for your excellent, informative and factual article. As an engineer with a very good analytical mind, I like to see facts and draw my own conclusions.

    I would like to see Primerica experts to point out exactly what are wrong with Ken’s article. Attacking “Ken” instead of his well written article is just making well informed readers in believing in him, and dislike the bully people who can not argue with his facts.

    If “Ken” has destroyed some dishonest Primerica agents by using facts, then, he was right and did some great services for society ! What’s wrong with that ?

    • Wow, another unknown hero? Thank you for believing in Chris Wondra’s mostly fabricated and self serving data. Who will benefit? Competition and Chris for more visits? Good job.

  7. All we see here are PFSers claiming I’m wrong with (admittedly so) outdated information. I haven’t been associated with PFS since the late 90′s.

    That being said, I’ve seen all of the product/prices that PFS sells to this day. The term is more than “$5-10″ higher than most companies, they still charge 5% loads on their mutual funds, and I’ve seen a recent SMART loan proposal—again the rate is too high for the simple interest concept to beat a conventional loan.

    Once again, PFS is a business opportunity. It is an opportunity to earn money by selling products to people. It’s an opportunity to make even more money on those efforts and the efforts of others if you recruit more people. No one is questioning this or its legality. I personally don’t care about its recruiting structure—the “pyramid” thing means nothing, its a non-issue. Other companies will fully-license you as well, without an upfront cash outlay. Hey, some of them even start your salary before you start training. Another non-issue.

    However, prior to beginning this business or buying the products, people have the right to know that the company and its products have plenty of flaws.

    “Their are about 10 people in my office alone that put in about 20-40 hours a week and make between $100k – $300k annually”

    Now really, who are you kidding? Not me!

    “PFS recruits and licenses more than any other company in the industry. I might even go as far as to say more than the rest of the industry COMBINED.”

    Girl Scouts recruits more people to sell cookies door-to-door than any other company, combined. Does this mean the cookies are good? No the cookies make the cookies good. Does it make them a good value? Of course not, you get 15 cookies (which get smaller and smaller every year) for $4/box??
    Instead of throwing out numbers, cite facts. Facts are very important to making a case. I’ve cited my facts, where are yours?

    “By the way, what Ken said is vastly incorrect of today’s PFS.”

    Again, what is incorrect?

    “And Chris, for someone that is a client of ours, and that has said time and time again the $MART Loan was great for you, to have someone write a guest post calling it a bunch of smoke ‘n mirrors is just plain silly.”

    Yes, Chris was told by someone looking to make money off the sale that the SMART loan is a great decision. He was CONVINCED of it, as it was presented. When someone that fully understands it explains it to him outside the PFS presentation, it looks less appealing. What’s ironic is that even after proving its bad time and time again, there are still PFSers that think it’s a great loan and probably still present it as the 30 year loan with magical powers. The smoke and mirrors has been cleared for one client, hopefully he’s not the last.

    This is what’s disturbing to me. I’ve shown that EVERYTHING about a conventional loan is better than the SMART loan…the costs, the monthly payment, the required duration of the loan, and most importantly how much better the principal comes off on a 20 year loan instead of the 30 turned 22 year SMART loan. This is huge because most people never get to the point of paying the loan off and the conventional loan’s principal balance drops at a much greater rate, saving the client THOUSANDS of dollars.

    So, answer me this: If Primerica is about doing what’s right 100% of the time, then:

    1) WHY do they charge a higher rate on the mortgage? We all KNOW it makes the loan not worthwhile compared to a conventional, so what’s their reasoning for the high rate?

    2) How do you go and sell it to the clients knowing it costs them thousands more than getting a conventional loan?

    These are the people you’re “helping” that you’re really HURTING. This is about ethics. Just because your presentation is guided at telling them it’s good, doesn’t mean it’s good and that you should sell it to them. You now KNOW, without any challenge to my assertions, that the SMART loan is WORSE that a conventional. How do you go in and cost your clients THOUSANDS more under the guise of doing what’s right?

    “My point is that something cannot be both the best and the worst thing at the same time!”

    It wasn’t at the same time. When the salesperson explained it, it was the best. When someone that has no agenda, no personal “advancing of his career”, talks in anonymity about the loan, it is PROVEN to be the WORST thing.

    “I look forward to the additional discussion and posts, and hopefully we can clear up some of the confusion and bring out the truth.”

    Again, what’s not factual about what I’ve said? Use specifics and cite sources. Otherwise, you’re just another parrot. You can try to poke holes in what I’ve said, but without facts it means nothing.

  8. What a shocker…27 days pass, no response.

    The numbers don’t lie.

  9. I think TT is also Ken (in disguise).

  10. Ex-Primerican June 20, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Another Primerican speaks out. Every time I see a post by Primerica reps it makes me sick to think I was one of them for so long! See I drank that sweet Primerica Kool-aide for so long I couldn’t see the real numbers. You are being brainwashed by your RVP and the idea of making millions of dollars has put your own ethics on the back burner. (I can say this because I was one of the Primerica cult members)

    Simply put PFS reps cut the crap and put some real numbers on the table. Show your 3 most recent life cases (Age, Term, Face Amount, Tobacco or Non, and premium.) and show your 3 most recent $mart loans (balance, term, ltv, rate, equity builder payment, any acceleration, and debt free date). Either myself or Ken will be glad to prove how uncompetitive PFS really is. Maybe then you will put down the kool-aide and look at facts not what some educated RVP tells you.

  11. I just sent Chris a whole article on the SMART loan, including screen shots of an ACTUAL SMART loan proposal sheet. I carefully dissected it and compared it to a conventional loan.

    If I were Chris, I might not post it. Once the evidence is shown (and it’s irrefutable) this blog may get REALLY quiet. It PROVES the false premises that the SMART loan is sold on. It PROVES that the longer you have the SMART loan, the better off you would’ve been in a conventional loan. The difference is staggering and I look forward to the reaction of the PFS-defenders, if they’re tough enough to stay and debate.

  12. Ken you know better! PFS reps have no need for facts! As long as there are opp meetings, fast start schools, GoSolo, and so on RVPs get to create their own version of reality. When you beat PFS on life they instill fear with war clauses & not paying death claims. When it comes to $mart, they shroud it in mystery & smoke and mirrors to convince clients to pay insanely high rates, huge closing costs, & prepayment penalties!

    To quote one of the millionaires in Primerica, “The easiest sale is on a recruit! So to make more money hire more people”… I would love to see the article Ken!

  13. It’s unverified, but rumor has it they did away with the pre-payment penalty.

    Who needs a pre-payment penalty when the non-recurring closing costs on a 200,000 loan are $5600?

    Yes, nearly 3% of the loan amount and there’s no escrows in that figure. Sounds like a bargain for a high-interest loan.

    The more I think about it, the more I think the SMART loan violates predatory lending rules. Once the article is posted, it’s quite obvious Citi could offer the same client a loan with lower closing costs and a lower rate/monthly payment than the SMART loan. Since there is no benefit to the SMART loan at ANY point, I’d be willing to bet a case could be brought forth that Citi violates the law and is discriminating against the financially unsavvy.

  14. Ex-Primerican June 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Here is a confirmation about the $MART loan prepayment penalty.

    Effective June 6th, 2009 there is no longer a prepayment penalty on the $mart loan.

    This was confirmed by a friend who is currently a RVP. Also current $MART loan rates are as follows: (80-90% LTV)
    A++ 6.92%
    A 7.22%
    B 8.96%
    C 9.45%

    Primerica reps are not told what FICO score get their clients in this rankings, but you can see that $MART rates are ridiculously high! Par 20yr rates on a conventional loan is around 5.25 – 5.375%.

  15. To think that in the article I wrote, the spread between the conventional and the SMART was only around 1.125%… I can only imagine how much worse off the client would be if they qualified for 6.92% with A++ credit and having around a 1.6% spread. My biggest fear is their rate for ‘C’ credit where the spread would be 4%???

    But rate doesn’t matter. LOL

  16. Ex-Primerican June 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    To quote the $MART solution center trainers:

    “It’s not the rate, but the rate in which you pay”

    I hope that this blog eventually helps some PFS reps open their eyes are not lie to their clients!

    I had lunch with my friend who is a RVP today and he said Primerica’s newest program Debtwatchers is being released soon. Very little is known about the product, but according to him it is product where Primerica shows them their credit score then helps the client establish a program to become debt free. Cost is unknown at this time, but there will definitely be a one-time or monthly charge to be part of Debtwatchers!

    What happened to the debt stacking in the FNA? Huh? When times are lean lets create a product so we can sell to our sales force. Sounds like a great plan!

    - Story developing! LOL

  17. Yep, I’ve heard about that new product being rolled in soon. They’re teaming with Equifax. It’ll be a web-based program that’ll show them how to optimally pay off their debt to increase their credit score.

    I wonder how much a program will cost that will tell you to pay down each card below 20-30% of your credit line. Great point, the FNA debt-stacker used to be good, but it was free. No way to get residuals and overrides with something free. LOL

    Funny thing is, because of all of the recent turmoil in the credit industry, they are going to HAVE to overhaul the credit reporting industry. The big “secret” is going to be out. After all, how fair is it that people have no idea how their credit works when it directly relates to future loans/mortgages they take out? It’s awfully discriminatory if you ask me.

  18. Ex-Primerican July 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I just got an update on the Primerica Debtwatchers program.

    The cost will be $25 per month.

    What do you get for $25 a month? Primerica will pull your credit for you, establish a plan to help improve your credit score, and then come up with a program to pay off your debts faster.

    I have no idea if the FNA will continue to offer the debt stacking program, but I doubt it since they need to make money on the new program.

    Even if no clients actually enroll in the Debtwatchers program the company will make a ton of money. Every Primerica rep will be pushed into signing up for this program by their RVP to go along with the $20 for full service GoSolo, $25 Pol, and $25 PLPP (Prepaid Legal), Primerica Life, Primerica Shareholder Services (Investment), and $mart loan (if you are a home owner).

    Now you can see why recruits are so important to Primerica RVPs. Hiring a new recruit generates some nice sales & then you get to see their family & friends!

  19. Ex-Primerican July 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I just wanted to follow up to my last post. Every time I look back on my time with Primerica I am embarrassed by my ignorance and blind faith I had in my RVP and NSD when I got promoted to RVP. I hope that if someone is considering Primerica they go into “the business” knowing the facts and not the diluted truth sold to them by their RVP and opp meetings.

    Okay enough rambling. I had an old high school friend contact me on facebook and through our conversation Primerica came up. We laughed about the ridiculous products, but he brought up something that I did not even know. When you join Primerica you are going to be pushed into getting full service Gosolo (not the web version you get with your monthly $25 for POL). The cost of full service Gosolo is $17.95 (this can be verified at http://www.primerica.gosolo.com), but if you go directly to http://www.gosolo.com you will see that the cost is $14.95. Granted we are not talking about alot of money, but if you figure Primerica is making $3 per agent off Gosolo and 50,000 agents subscribe to Gosolo that is an additional profit of $1.8 million per year! Not a bad gig, huh?

    Also he told me about a fantastic movie that was released about multi-level-marketing. It is called Believe and it is based on the writers experience with MLM companies. For those of us who have been apart of these types of mlm companies I promise you will laugh! Last night my wife told me it sounded like our old Primerica Opp meeting and Saturday trainings. Just check out the trailers… very funny!

    http://www.believethemovie.com/

    Enjoy

  20. impressive !
    im glad i found this.
    i was about to concidering the smartloan as a solution…( even thou my loan company has the option to make a payment every bi-weekly )
    with the smart loan i would get worse deal.
    currently i have a 6% interest on a 30 yr fixed.
    but my credit score is trash now..( maybe hitting 500′s ), theres no way i would get a better deal like 6% i already have…

    the only thing im concidering is the life insurance. currently i have my policy with forester’s..but other than big numbers, i dont know exactly what to look for on primerica.

    Does somebody can explain some pointers what to look for ? is primerica life insurance a steady company? what should i compare between policies other that monthly payment and insurance $ ?

    thanks
    JC

  21. Ok well i just figured out that both my post have not posted

  22. JC, I will post in two paragraphs at a time it is the only way the post will show.
    Lets Begin

  23. Hi JC, First I’d like to say that I find Primerica’s ways quiet interesting. Especially the part about most of them being partimers, and marketing to new “professionals as an opportunity to work part time make some extra cash and help people in the process. I find that so insulting to the people who trust them.

  24. For what it’s worth some background about myself I triple majored in college in Finance, Economics and Entrepreneurship. I’m working on my JD in contract law and estate planning and my MBA in Finance. It is SUPER illegal for a Primerica agent to speak to anyone about mutual funds, investments, etc without the proper licenses.

  25. I just signed u to be a rep the other day. Apparently I made a mistake????? I don’t know too much about money and how it all exactly works, nor do I pretend to. I’m a 26 year old single guy so u can imagine. I’m going to ask them about what you guys are saying tho. “What makes the SMART loan better than a conventional loan that someone can easily get with good credit at a Chase bank, National City, Citi etc?”

    Problem is, I don’t think I’m supposed to know what the SMART loan is lol so they’re gonna look at me funny. If I try to sell a client this SMART loan, am I not going to be able to show/tell them what the interest rate is on the loan????

    Now, I do not own a home, so I have no clue how mortage rates are. I don’t know what the average interest rate on a mortage rate loan is, so I really don’t know how I can compare it to anything.

    My thing though about Primerica is, you get what you put into it. Just like in anything in life, PERIOD. I was involved with Amway for almost 2yrs, and absolutely LOVE the busines opp they have. It’s my own fault that I didn’t suceed in the business, no one elses. Since I was introduced to Primerica, I am loking at this as a “second chance” opp.

    To Ken, and the Ex Primerica guy…. So let’s say you’re both right. Let me ask you this… What’s better? Someone getting the knowledge that Primerica offers at LEAST! Even if they didn’t accept anything offered. Or someone going about in life, never knowing anything about money, wasting their money in CDs, and staying in debt with no life insurance for their entire lives??? I say the first one is better, but that could just be me. Everything is about mindset. You have to have the mindset that you can suceed before you do.

    Let’s agan, say you’re right…. Say I “help” a family pay off their debt quicker, “help” them save years of spending on their house mortage payment, “help” them by setting up a term-lif insurance policy. “help” them by investing money in a mutual fund.

    Even IF the “client” can get a better deal somewhere else, you have to agree that what Primerica offers is better than nothing at all.

  26. Steve,

    You’re exactly right about most of what you’re saying. However, let’s get something straight:

    Most of what Primerica offers is GARBAGE. If you don’t sell this garbage, you don’t make money. You must be willing to sell garbage and know you’re not “helping” the client as best as possible. It’s like being a firefighter, but only carrying one fire extinguisher with an “A” rating. You may be able to put out small fires burning newspaper, but if you try to extinguish a grease fire with that tool, the damage will spread. Same thing with financial services.

    If you had a million dollars to invest in the last few years, would you rather have had it in CDs or lose 40% in the market? Contrary to what PFS wants you to believe, people DO KNOW they can pay their debt off faster. It’s not the magic of the SMART loan paying it faster, it’s that MORE money is being paid every year. Hence, a 20 year loan has a higher payment than a 30 year loam, but LOWER than the SMART loan.

    Regarding your question to your upline about the SMART loan…your upline wouldn’t even know what the heck you’re asking them. They are so trained to believe it’s the best thing, they’ll blow it off and probably not even know how to answer your question. Moreover, what in the world makes you think that since you know nothing about mortgages or rates that what you may do for someone TRULY is good for them? Don’t you get it? You know NOTHING about ANY of the lines of business you were just induced to sell. Does that set off any alarms? They’re not going to teach you anything about them other than what’s required to get a license. If you needed a heart surgeon, would you want a part-timer who just became a doctor, or a seasoned veteran who does advanced studying voluntarily to make himself better? This is no different. You were hired because you have a heartbeat and $99, for no other reason.

    Remember this…your upline doesn’t make money. Their job is to make it look like they are, otherwise they’ll never recruit/keep recruits and will NEVER have a chance of really making money. The whole thing is a show. No one really makes money. A few of the reps in new areas, that have a bunch of (not so smart) friends are the ones that make money. They look up to them, not realizing they know very little about the products…just how to recruit and make you BELIEVE he knows. Most of what you see is a farce.

    So, if your idea of “helping” people is really “sort of helping” them, or possibly “HURTING” them, stick it out. You’ll waste a few weeks/months/years of your life and then come back and tell me I was right.

    Why is a term insurance policy what every client needs?

  27. Ex-Primerican July 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Steve,

    Wow, you really are a different breed for Primerica! (And I mean that as a compliment)

    I don’t want to repeat everything Ken mentioned, but I will just tell you my issues with Primerica.

    - The lack of training is a huge issue – When you actually get into Primerica training you will see exactly what I am talking about. They do very little product training and when they do the training is misleading. Here is an example. Ask your trainer why Genworth, Banner, State Farm, Transamerica, SBLI, ING, (I could go on for a very long time) offer cheaper and better term insurance. You will get one of the following answers.
    1. They are going to try to trick you to convert your policy to cash value. (Untrue! You have an option to convert for a certain period of time, but are not forced to)
    2. When the term is up you will need to prove insurability. Only Primerica offers a new term with so need to prove insurability! (lies)
    3. The cost of the premiums are insanely high after the term. Just look in the policy. (Of course look at a Primerica policy at the end of the term… Oppps I they forgot to mention that)
    4. They will spew some War Clause BS, or they don’t pay death claims, or other lies like that!

    See my problem with Primerica is the brainwashing they do to their reps. (I can saw that because I was brainwashed) The RVP takes advantage of us, our family, and our friends. We sell/buy crappy Primerica products all the time telling people they are the best.

  28. Ex-Primerican July 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Look at a typical recruit. (If this hasn’t happened to you it will).

    1. You get hired. $99 IBA fee plus $25 per month for POL. (They tell you this covers all of the different licensing fees and it s $2500 value, but get real. Let’s see how many people even get their securities license paid for)
    2. Since your building a team you will want full service GoSolo. (Another $20 a month).
    3. You need to get your own FNA done. While your at it you need life insurance. (if not you should have a small policy just so you can show/tell people you believe in the product. $20 month (cheapest). Now you need an IRA ($25 minimum mo PAC). Pre-paid legal is only $25 per month. And the new debt watcher is a steal at $25 per month. So even if you don’t own a house your trainers (sooner or later) will get you to spend atleast $95 more per month so you can “get on track” with your FNA.
    4. Top 25 name list. – We will build a team for you & train you. (Translation sell to your family & friends and not pay you for it)

  29. Ex-Primerican July 19, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    test

  30. Ex-Primerican July 19, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Chris for whatever reason I can not post the last couple points. I will try again tomorrow. Thanks!

    Yeah, I’m really sorry about that. I’m still working on my upgrades. Things seem to be working a tad better lately, but still big problems. Quite frankly, I’m surprised you guys are sticking with me through this. It’s taking forever. –Chris

  31. Chris,

    We stick through it because of our passion to help people! We “do what’s right, 100% of the time”, and mean it. :)

  32. TheyTryToRecruitME July 20, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you guys

  33. Ken I hope you read this because I am dealing with Primerica right now. I haven’t done anything with them yet. I have felt uneasy about it the entire time and that has nothing to do with the very nice lady that is bringing it to me. Here is a junk email that I will check for a while for your response. willfarley01@yahoo.com
    I would love to see your findings as it is hard to find the truth sometimes when they work so hard to keep it off the net.

  34. What are you looking for?

  35. You said this, “I just sent Chris a whole article on the SMART loan, including screen shots of an ACTUAL SMART loan proposal sheet. I carefully dissected it and compared it to a conventional loan. ” I also wanted this information as I am having a meeting with them this coming Tuesday. Once again please send it to my email at willfarley01@yahoo.com

  36. If Primerica was so bad… why do they have such good ratings with the BBB, SEC, FINRA, etc…????

    I could sit here and defend. But I will just say, when people have a grudge with a company they will say many things. I am not happy with Wal Mart with service i recieved, so should I start a “bash Walmart” site??? No see cuz I am a grown up and go to grown up sources to find my information. I am not a PFS rep. Just so you dont think that. But i have seen what they do for families and in these times what they do is wonderful. So grow up and get on with life.

  37. Beth says:

    “I am not a PFS rep. Just so you dont think that.”

    and in the same post says:

    “If Primerica was so bad… why do they have such good ratings with the BBB, SEC, FINRA, etc…????”

    What exactly are their ratings with SEC and FINRA? Wasn’t aware that they were ratings organizations.

    &

    “I could sit here and defend.”

    Why would you want to defend them?

    “But I will just say, when people have a grudge with a company they will say many things. I am not happy with Wal Mart with service i recieved, so should I start a “bash Walmart” site???”

    No, there’s plenty of them out there…
    Walmartsucks.org
    walmart-really-sucks.com
    just to name a couple

    &

    “But i have seen what they do for families and in these times what they do is wonderful.”

    Where have you seen this if you’re not a rep?

    &

    “So grow up and get on with life.”

    We’ll grow up when you stop spreading deceitful information about your competition and can PROVE that one thing we say is false.

    I am getting on with life. I’ll do whatever I can to make people aware of what a sham Primerica is so they don’t waste the same time/money that I did.

    Go on now, surely you have someone to recruit to grow your “business”

    &

  38. Ex-Primerican July 25, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Beth Ann,

    If you have not been a part of Primerica you have very little knowledge to determine if their products are the best for the client. While Ken & I have been on the other side. We have worked with Primerica and sold these products to our family, friends, and clients. At one time we were brainwashed and believed they were the best option, but once we learned the truth we left. Why do we post on here? Simple so we can make up for those hundreds (or in my case thousands) of clients who we sold a mediocre product because I told them it was the best.

    I will stop posting when Primerica reps stop lying to people. Simple.

    Also I am still waiting for a PFS rep to give me real life & mortgage numbers for a comparison. Of course facts are like kyrptonite to Primericans, so it is easier to use propaganda saying I’m a whining agent or a looser agent who used to work with Primerica. (Needless to say I was a top income earner in my state with Primerica for over a decade)

    • How can you compare their numbers to anything? Their last clients numbers say nothing to you because your numbers apply to someone in a different situation.

      I’ve been looking into Primerica. I also looked into getting licensed with Investors Group. Over a decade ago I worked in the office for Mutual Group/Metlife, and then they became Clarica.

      Since then, I’ve owned 2 successful businesses and studied e-commerce, which included accounting and economics.

      So… I don’t tend to get into things without looking at them objectively.

      Here’s a little secret… a LOT of financial planning, debt management, and investment best practices are just common sense. Yet people are SO BAD with money. Why is that? Some need help. You can always – ALWAYS – save money and pay less in interest if you manage all of your own investments and are good with money. Not everyone is.

      Also, when I considered getting licensed through Investor’s Group, the start-up fees were wayyyyyy more than I could justify. Not to mention, it was commission only (as are many finance jobs) and they said I had to start at full-time. So I didn’t have a chance to build anything – they said they had a program where they could front me some living expenses and I could pay it back later. So if I failed at that business? I would OWE them money. The fees to use their software were over $200 a month and I had to rent office space. Primerica start up fees look golden compared to that.

      Any business opportunity has fees. You don’t get something for nothing and I would be more leery of someone offering me a free business than I am of this.

      The rep I’ve met is pretty straightforward and honest. I asked her why they prefer term over whole life and she gave me an answer I think makes sense. She encourages people to rate shop and I’ve seen her tell people that what they are doing now is working, so don’t switch. There are no high pressure sales and no deception, at least not that I’ve seen.

      A lot of the people who would need the kinds of products they sell won’t get a great rate at a bank, either. They need help getting out of the crap situation they’re in. I’ve had my own battles with big banks – do you think I could get small business loans through them? I was too small fry. Once my income went up, their sales pitches started, but they weren’t willing to help me when I actually needed it.

      I seriously doubt every product Primerica sells is great for every person. Neither is every one from Scotiabank, Bank of America, Investor’s Group, or any other big bank or financial company. But I did look objectively and critically into what she suggested for me, and it WAS better… for me. Maybe not for you. Maybe not for my neighbour.

      In any business, you will get jerks who walk the fine line ethically to make an extra buck and don’t last long because they don’t know what they’re talking about and people catch on. I hate to say it, but if you guys believed everything you were told and never thought to learn a bit more about what you were selling… isn’t that kind of your own fault? In any business I get involved in (and the other two I owned, btw, I started myself, they were not franchises or MLM or anything but sole proprietorships), I want to know everything I can so I can make good decisions. I’ve been learning about insurance and finance for over 5 years and don’t think Primerica is a scam.

      I think that 95% of people will probably fail at it, just like 95% of people fail in any small business within 5 years. I’m going to try to be in the 5% that make it. But if I don’t, I won’t say the entire company was a scam. I’ll say that didn’t work for me and try something else…

    • Proud Primerican July 13, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      This is funny… I noticed it is only “Ken and Ex-Primerican” who are talking about how Primerica is nothing but a sham. Only you two. I’m sure there are hundreds looking online and researching about Primerica, yet so far, its you two. Face it, you failed in Primerica. Primerica is a business opportunity. No business is perfect. People work hard at a normal, corporate America job and either love it or hate it. You work hard and hope to get raises, promoted, bonuses, etc. Primerica is not much different from anything else. They provide financial service and products to help families. That is it. Whether you say it is good or not. You drink sodas and I’m sure you both do. Sodas is not good for your health. Especially if one consumes so much. I don’t need to go on about what sodas does to someone, but business is still thriving for soda companies and people like it. Primerica takes care of its people and clients. You and others may not like it and continue on your crusade to tell people it is such a scam, but you need to know one thing…. it is you two, Ken and Ex-Primerican, against a company on the NYSE. You can look them up under ticker symbol PRI if you would like. Again, it is you two against a giant. Although, this postings are back in 2009 ( I gave up reading the rest, so I have no idea when this stops), you two might as well just give up trying to take on a company that while most are downsizing, we are expanding still.

  39. Ex-Primerican July 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I thought I would share the mentality of reps, in my case a SVP, who works with Primerica. I replaced a Primerica policy last month and we had an agent confrontation last night. Here are the specs:
    PFS Policy 20yr term (takes out 6 months ag) $340k on husband and $260k on wife. Monthly cost approx. $113. New policy 20yr term $500k on each total monthly premium $88. So a lot more coverage for $25 less per month.

    During the confrontation the SVP pleaded with the clients that I was a disgruntle ex-rep & that when the time comes only Primerica has a proven history to pay the claim. Also he tried the lie about the terrorist attacks during 9-11 and only Primerica paid claims. Then he went into terminal illness lies and even forced conversion to a permanent policy. We stuck the the facts and of course destroyed him with the truth! This client referred over 20 people to this SVP and we now have appointments with everyone of those clients who bought Primerica policies. It’s amazing when your clients learn the truth and realize that even the SVPs have very little knowledge of real world finance products.

    Yep I’m a disgruntle ex-rep that has learned the truth and will consider to truly educate my clients!

    I thought I would share. Again I have never met a Primerica client I can not beat everything they have. Life Insurance, Mortgages, and investments! I love it!

  40. First off I want to thank Chris for allowing us to have this discussion. I welcome all pros and cons of primerica. We could debate this till the end of time. Facts are Ken and Ex-primerican have never came forth and said what organization they work for. I think it is easier to bash another company all day like these two do when they don’t have to say well I work for NY life or a company like this. You can say all day how Primerica has the highest Life rates in the industry, but we all know that just isnt the truth. I am not saying we have the lowest either, but we are competitive. Before I was introduced to Primerica I had a United American Policy paying $55 a month for $100000 of coverage on my wife and I. I now have $400000 on my self and $200000 on my wife and I pay $58 a month. So I got a better rate with Primerica. But am I here all day long bashing United American? No I just found a better deal. You guys crack me up. Really I would hope most people have a life and dont have to sit here and dispute every rebuttal. Come on. Really?

  41. We don’t work for Primerica, the focus of this blog. Who we work for doesn’t have anything to do with the facts that we present here.

    My purpose isn’t to promote myself or my company. That would show a biased approach to my commentary. PFSers would just say I’m trying to get business on here if I talked about myself or my company.

  42. Dustin,

    You totally miss the point. I have been where you are with Primerica and I have made it to the point you are hoping to get with Primerica. I know what’s like to be part of the Primerica team and I know what it is like to wear the Primerica jersey. I loved the company & if things would have played out differently I would be on this site arguing with Ken with you! Luckily for me I saw the darkside of Primerica (something you will see one day) when I started dealing with a corrupt & racist NSD. When I asked the home office for help they refused. Then a friend showed me the truth about Primerica. I was embarrassed and angry because I truly believed I was doing the right thing 100% of the time. What a joke!

  43. If you are happy with Primerica, great! If you want to spend the rest of your life there, great! What makes me sick is how Primerica reps are trained to “disturb & excite”! The mislead clients with talk about not paying claims, forced conversion, war clause, no guarantee reinsurabilty, etc. They lie about the $mart loan, EVERYTIME!

    I could go on, but the truth is when Primerica reps stop believing they are “on a crusade” or a sales force sent by God I will stop posting. Realize you are part of the Amway of finance where everything is expensive and mediocre and you will be fine.

  44. Facts & numbers speak for themselves. It’s funny how you Primerica reps can’t brings facts and numbers to the table.

  45. Hmmm, something is missing here. Primericans are bound by confidentiality regulations. Non-Primericans aren’t. I have yet to see specifics on how Primerica has been wrong.

    Interesting conversations but I grow weary of both sides when they get emotional. Maybe one day we can have a client face off in public (take the buzz off all the animosity).

  46. Very simple Roger…

    Primerica prides itself on saying they’re the savior of Middle American financial services. Then, they sell some of the most expensive term insurance available, an extraordinarily deceitful loan program and 5% loaded, under-performing funds. No one can dispute this. There is no confidentiality issue.

  47. Roger,

    I represented PFS for a very long time and I can tell you that everything Ken mentioned is very true. There is not a confidentiality issue with Primerica reps, but the fact they do not want to deal with facts. To take it one step further than Ken – when Prmierica reps encounter better products how do they deal with it? Simple they lie about that company and product. Primerica reps truly believe they have the best products even when the facts prove different. The clients are the ones that pay for this ignorance.

  48. I just recently signed a 15yr SMART Loan that saved me approx. $500/month. I am using $300+/month of that to pay additional principal, bought a $50/mo Life Insurance policy which I never had before and putting the additional $150/mo in a ROTH IRA.
    Maybe it’s not the best deal on the planet, but I’M MUCH BETTER OFF. So where’s the harm? Sure there’s probably a better deal out there somewhere, but BOTTOM LINE, I got needed help with my financial situation.

  49. Mike,

    I’m calling shenanigans! Please detail what your “before the Smart loan” loan amount, interest rate and term of the loan was that enabled you to save $500/month with a 15 year SMART loan. This is laughable. Another Primerican making things up and getting caught!

    If you’re creative enough to prove me wrong with the above challenge, then please tell us your new:

    -Loan amount
    -bi-weekly payment with the added principal
    -projected payoff date

    I’m willing to NEVER post here again if he can PROVE what he’s saying is true and that I couldn’t find him a MUCH BETTER solution. I won’t be holding my breath.

  50. GuyWhoCantDecide August 10, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I recently had and interview with a rep. I also work in retail selling phones. I worked for a company for six years before they went bankrupt made good money bt now i am stuck doing a teenagers type job. Iam educated college. But the market is bad for me at least. What can be worst than selling phones? I need some pros and cons i have a family to think of my family. Should i take a chance or stay in a no going anywhere job where you get no respect.

  51. alright. quite an interesting read. I’m happy to have found a current website/blog with people’s feelings on Primerica.

    I definitely see both sides and how people can be pissed off or love it.

  52. Mike,

    Congrats on improving your financial situation! If you do not have the desire to find better products then this is a great option for you. My issue is with PFS reps who claim to fight for the middle class selling the clients crap. There is no doubt you could have saved another $100 – $200+ per month on the mortgage, gotten significantly more coverage for $50 a month (or lowered your monthly premium to keep the same coverage) and invested in better preforming & less expensive mutual funds. If you look at these differences over 10 – 30 yrs it will be astronomical!

    Primerica is great for people who don’t want to spend a couple minutes doing some basic research and just want to believe their charismatic PFS rep. The difference though will be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 10 – 30 yrs. Only you can decide if it is worth your time to make the best decisions for your family. I can say with 100% confidence the client is NEVER better with Primerica! Primerica maybe better than their current situation, but it is never anywhere near the best option for the client.

  53. If Ken or Ex could contact me at thisisjustaoneoff@gmail.com I would appreciate it. I am an agent with a AAA rated life insurer that is going to be dealing with a large Primerica rally in my area very soon. I could use some one on one advice. Thanks

  54. Look at the success stories. I was helped by Primerica….they aren’t the monsters you are making them out to be?

    12 Credit cards, maxed out – all paid in full
    Car Loan – Paid in full

    Mortgage – still outstanding BUT only debt I have.

    Life Insurance death claim: received 7 days after husbands death.

    Part – time with Primeria, benefits

    Earnings: $1000 – $1500.oo month
    Have earned up to $4000 in some months…PART TIME SINGLE MOM

    Able to stay at home and raise my 6 yr. old after losing my husband.

    Making a Difference:
    I always tell my clients “we aren’t the cheapest term insurance out there, but if I could show you better value than what you are paying right now, is there any reason you wouldn’t do business with me?” So you see my clients know they can get Term cheaper somewhere else, but because PRIMERICA came in and EDUCATED FIRST on the differences between policies…they do business with me and say “thank you! If it wasn’t for you…..I would have lost my home, car, etc, and family’s lifestyle would be effected”

    Delivered 1st death claim. Doubled the coverage they had with other company for 1/2 the cost. They thought they couldn’t “afford” more insurance because the agent sold them a whole life plan. The coverage I put in place was only 2 months old. ** Made a difference for this family **

    So yes..I’m a part-timer, but I have helped over 300 families in my part-time career and these families have MORE protection because I showed up …. regardless of our HIGH RATES! Our HIGHER rates is ALWAYS a lot LOWER than the whole life / universal life rates they are currently paying. And MORE coverage is ALWAYS a lot better for a family should something happen.

    So going on about how we have high rates means NOTHING, when you’ve disclosed this to your clients, but they still do business with you because they appreciate what you’ve taught them!

    ** I appreciated the $100,000.00 death claim over the $0.00 death claim I would have received if PRIMERICA never showed up on my doorstep years ago. **

  55. No one said there aren’t “some” success stories. It’s great to hear about some of the positive stories.

    That being said, would the client you delivered the death check to have been in a better position with nearly twice the coverage? You have no problem pointing that out when comparing it to a whole life plan. Why is it a bad thing to compare it to another term policy?

    The main thing Primericans fail to realize is that although the premium is a lot higher, a whole life policy will ALWAYS be there. You happened to insure one of the 2% of term policies that ever need to be paid out. What about the other 98% of policies you so gleefully replace that will have no insurance later in life when they’ll most likely need to use it? This isn’t about a VUL vs. BTID, it’s about having a guaranteed level premium for LIFE. If an unscrupulous agent sells all permanent coverage at the expense of fully insuring the same individual with enough term coverage, then shame on them! However, the same shame lies with most any Primerica policy. To act like WL policies are satanic
    and then peddle inferior term products at nearly twice the price is a tad bit hypocritical.

    You could be doing the same thing with other companies, offering much better products at much lower prices. There are plenty of carriers where you can work your own hours.

    I’m not knocking what you’re doing, just pointing out that you could do your clients better. You now have the knowledge that the SMART loan is a scam, the insurance is completely overpriced, and one day when you become securities licensed, you’ll figure out that the investment choices are horrendous as well. What you choose to do with this knowledge is your choice.

    • “The main thing Primericans fail to realize is that although the premium is a lot higher, a whole life policy will ALWAYS be there. You happened to insure one of the 2% of term policies that ever need to be paid out. What about the other 98% of policies you so gleefully replace that will have no insurance later in life when they’ll most likely need to use it? This isn’t about a VUL vs. BTID, it’s about having a guaranteed level premium for LIFE.”

      Ken, you most need life insurance when you have a mortgage and/or children.

      Why do you MOST likely need to use your life insurance later in life? To cash out? To live off the “value” you built in it over the years? Do you know how much better off you would have been investing that money if you plan to ever use it?

      Term life offers your survivors the money they will need to keep up their lifestyle and pay off your obligations. Whole life has a cash value far smaller than it would be had you taken term insurance and invested what you would have put into a whole life policy. You can leave your survivors investments, too. You can even share the profits of those while you’re not 6 feet under :s

      Put another way, your spouse doesn’t need $500,000 when you die and they’re 2 years from kicking it themselves. They need that much when they have to raise your 2 kids and pay off the mortgage and have some kind of life. Why keep paying into an insurance policy until you’re 100 or dead???

  56. Ken,

    I don’t know what to say to you? I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion right or wrong, informed or misinformed. The sad part is some people will miss a REAL opportunity because they choose to read, and listen to what’s on the internet WITHOUT doing research themselves. In short….”They will let the opinion of others become their reality”….

    There’s so many comments you have made that are not true, but I would rather spend my time, doing what I do best…and that’s helping other families understand the differences between insurance policies, and allowing them to make the choice themselves.

    All I can do is share my story with others, and help them with their Life Insurance choices, and their investment choices. Recruiting them into the business is not a bad thing, it’s the best part! Because we will have more agents helping families!

  57. “There’s so many comments you have made that are not true, but I would rather spend my time, doing what I do best…and that’s helping other families understand the differences between insurance policies, and allowing them to make the choice themselves.”

    Ok, I invite you PROVE one thing I said is NOT TRUE. You can be just like every other Primerican and make ACCUSATIONS (which they’re professionals at), or you can spend time legitimizing your comments.

    This will be just another post that never gets answered. The current/future readers of this blog will not be surprised, it’s just one of many.

  58. Single Mom,

    Like you I believe in BTID, but I do see times when permanent insurance makes sense. I won’t beat a dead horse, but I was just like you and loved Primerica. I was the person who ran all of the opp meetings, held conference calls, spoke at conventions, won every trip, and so on. I just want you to know I’m not some flake who doesn’t have a clue.

    The truth is the Primerica you love isn’t even close to being the company you think it is. The company isn’t about doing the best for the client or for the agents! Primerica products are some of the worse in the industry and the pay is the same. Just look around. You can do a better job for your clients & make more money for your family & most importantly own your business immediately! I spent over 12 yrs with the company and I learned the hard way, Primerica is NEVER the best option for families.

  59. Something I never wanted my baseshop to know was the facts about how poor Primerica products really were compared to the rest of the industry. The way RVPs do that is to compare term to cash value & $mart to a 30yr loan. Trust me Primerica does not want their reps to know the truth.

    Every product I provide my clients with is better than Primerica. I have replaced 100% of every Primerica policy I have ever seen. I have ownership immediately. I can build my own team. I make more money than RVPs make in Primerica. I get “real” training. I am finally shaking the MLM guy vibe I had for so long. Trust me your family & friends are sick of hearing about meetings & FNAs!

  60. Oh yea… Before you jump on me about the Millionaires in Primerica with 1000 RVPs making $100k a year I will correct myself. I make more than the average RVP which in Primerica. I used to train my baseshop when they ran into people like me (now), that I was just a whiner or an angry agent who was getting their policies replaced by Primerica. Also I would sell them on the idea of becoming the next Chris Koob, Jim Meyer, or Hector LaMarque. Something you may not know most RVPs (even ring wears) do not own their solution number. Scary huh?

  61. To Ken and Ex-Primerican- Thank you for your wonderful insight into exposing the truth about this ghastly company. I was “recruited,” filled out the forms, and was somehow talked into paying the $99, however you have saved me a great deal of time and MONEY as I will now be on a realistic path in my financial future.

  62. Looks like single mom has no response to either of us. This is no shock to me as I predicted it.

  63. “Something you may not know most RVPs (even ring wearers) do not won their solution number, scary huh?”

    You see it’s when individuals “throw” comments like that out, but don’t explain that there are also “guidelines” to owning your code number, give the impression that “everyone thinks” they will own their own business right away.

    I am fully aware that you don’t own your code until you meet the qualifications which I explain all the time. People reading this blog, would think “wow….what a scam”!

    Anyways, this is the last comment I will be making on this. Gentlemen, have a wonderful day!

  64. Of course this is your last comment Single Mom. You come on here are spew a few misleading comments and they leave. Typical Primerica rep attitude. No facts are EVERY presented!

    As for my quote about owning your own “business” or solution number I do not no the exact number facts so I could not comment of exact figures. I do know that I was part of a RVP regional meeting in 2004 or 2005 where less than 1/4 of the room actually owned their code numbers! (I was one of them who didn’t own my code number) So I would guess there were 500 – 600 RVPs there and only approximately 125 people actually owned their code numbers.

    Primerica Reps love to talk about “owning my own business” and even the opp meetings sell this. That is an absolute lie!

    You have a wonderful day and keep taking advantage of your family & friends! If you lie to enough reps & clients someday you can earn that $100k ring!

  65. Chrs – Sorry to be so rude in my previous comment, but I just will never understand why Primerica reps are so passionate about doing the wrong thing. I mean it has been proven over & over that there are better options. It’s not an issue of selling more expensive products, it is about the reps getting on a soap box and telling everyone how great Primerica is and how horrible everyone else is.

    When you get time I would love to hear about your experience when it came time to refinance your $MART loan. I know that you were giving the PFS rep the opportunity to keep your business, but I am curious how you felt as an educated consumer after the great info Ken gave you.

    Thanks!

    Ex-Primerican,
    I did refinance my mortgage way back in March of ’09, and we did not go with Primerica again. I did look at all my options (as I did the first time), and this go around went with a local bank I’ve been meaning to write about why for the longest time. I promise I’ll get to it soon. At the time I was finishing up my masters, then this summer I started a new small business and have been doing a lot of traveling.

    I still have some work to do upgrading this blog as well before I can write much (and post the info Ken has been sending). I’m shamefully behind on that.

    But I’ll tell you, it wasn’t anything Ken sent. I crunched the numbers and it was a no brainer with interest rates as they were at the time.

    Chris

  66. A conventional loan was always a no brainer. ;)

  67. LookingAtPrimerica September 3, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Ken and Ex, this board seems to be a part time job for each of you. Why? Why all the energy devoted to it. Conversations with yourself? I can see posting a couple of times but this “impressive” to say the least. Any thoughts?

  68. It’s the passion to make sure people don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made.

  69. I think I need to chip in on a few thing that the bashers have mentioned.

    Primerica (PFS) has never said they have the best rates, that is not their point. But if you are comparing a PFS term policy (they only sell term because nothing else makes sense) one must make sure the non-PFS policy includes the ‘guaranteed insurability rider’ which all PFS policies include. This means that after the term is over, if you wish to get another term you do not have to get a physical. This is important. If you get a 20 year term insurance at age 40 you may need to renew at age 60. This rider says you do not need a new physical. Try to find an insurance company willing to give term insurance to someone 60 with no physical. In addition Primerica policies have the ‘living needs/accelerated death benefit rider’ where a terminally ill insured has the option to receive a percentage of the proceeds before death in order to pay medical expenses. So when you compare PFS term policies with non-PFS policies, make sure you add in those two riders or else you will not be comparing apples to apples.

    Now I would like to give kudos to Single Mom, her posts have been the most coherent on this site for a while. She saved a family $700 a month. The bashers say PFS sucks because they could save that same family $900 a month. My question to the bashers is: when are you going to Single Mom’s town to help that family? You have not given us the name of any company nor any information about another company that is out there helping people. PFS is in Single Mom’s town, are you? Can you help that family? Isn’t saving a family $700 a month right now better than the potential that you might come along and save them $900 at a later date? Primerica is a national company helping people all over the country. The bashers aren’t.

    If Primerica were as bad as the bashers say one would assume the Better Business Bureau would have had complaints by now. Let’s see.

    http://www.bbb.org/atlanta/business-reviews/financial-planning-consultants/primerica-financial-services-in-duluth-ga-6985

    Wow, an A+. A company does not get A+ ratings if people issue complaints.

    And how bad are Primerica’s mutual funds? DALBAR is a company that rates firms.

    http://www.dalbar.com/content/showpage.asp?page=2009012101

    Primerica mutual funds were ranked tied for 6th in the nation last year.

    Standard and Poor rates “AA” (very strong) for the company’s capacity to meet its financial commitments.

    A.M. Best Company is a global full-service company that provides an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations. This rating is assigned to insurance companies. Primerica Life Insurance has an A+ rating.

    Does this sound like a terrible company to anyone besides Ken and the bashers?

    So those who are trying to decide whether to go to a Primerica opportunity meeting you have two choices: 1) invest only an hour of your time to see if it makes sense for you to become more financially educated, help families save money and become financially independent and get paid doing it or 2) listen to some anonymous people on the internet who say not to.

    Now it is time for me to get attacked….

  70. Ok, where do we start?

    Let’s start with the easiest…from the mutual fund site you sent “Dalbar”

    “(Boston, MA. January 21, 2009) Today DALBAR released the 2008 winners of its annual Service Awards. For more than a decade, DALBAR has conducted rigorous testing of service delivery and, each year, identified those mutual fund, broker/dealer, annuity, life insurance and retirement plan providers that are able to deliver industry-leading service to their customers.”

    The mutual fund company winning an award for service, does not mean it’s a good product. A vendor at a flea market could offer top-notch service, but if he’s charging more for an under-performing product, he’s not doing anyone any favors.

  71. “Wow, an A+. A company does not get A+ ratings if people issue complaints”

    Do you know how the BBB operates? You PAY to belong to the BBB. It’s not a regulated service. If someone complains, you have a relations department that knows exactly how to respond to them. You also continue to “donate” and your slate stays clean.

    As far as financial strength ratings, they’re important. But again, it speaks nothing of the product. If you charge 50% more for something and don’t have salaries to pay, your financial strength BETTER be rated high.

    Back to the basics…there are companies that have received an A+ rating CONSECUTIVELY, for 3 times as long as Primerica has even been in business. So, if their products are much less expensive and offer more than PFS, the financial rating means a lot less.

  72. “But if you are comparing a PFS term policy (they only sell term because nothing else makes sense) one must make sure the non-PFS policy includes the ‘guaranteed insurability rider’ which all PFS policies include.”

    Why don’t you show everyone here some of your insurance knowledge and tell us which A+ rated insurers are selling term that isn’t guaranteed renewable?? The ADB is a nice feature that others offer, but not at a 50% add-on to the premium.

    ” (they only sell term because nothing else makes sense)”

    You’re showing your lack of knowledge. Don’t be a parrot. Study the products!

    “My question to the bashers is: when are you going to Single Mom’s town to help that family? ”

    So, tell me which companies do NOT go to her town?Does this sound like a terrible company to anyone besides Ken and the bashers?”

    It’s not terrible, the products and the lack of education make it downright ridiculous!

  73. I’ve recently started with Primerica and I’m still somewhat skeptical. This blog and replies have led me to committing to asking more questions and making sure I get the right answers.

    However I’m very interested in seeing some actual comparisons, some real numbers. You guys keep says that you continually replace all the Primerica products you come into contact with, but keep asking the Primerica people to give you numbers that you can beat. Why can’t you just post the numbers?

    I’ve been told that the cheapest Life Ins policy the company will offer is $25 a month.

    While searching google, I ran across this site: https://www.intelliquote.com/default.asp and saw a few offers at lower rates than the $25 that Primerica offers. I’m a 25y/o male who has never smoked in good health and when I put in my numbers for a $100000 I was told there weren’t any policies offered and I should try a higher coverage amount. I tried $200000 and I got a rate of $21 a month. I don’t know what riders and exclusions the policy has, but I’m probably going to look into the company offering that rate and ask about viewing a policy so I can make my own decision.

    I don’t know anything about the Primerica Mortgage or Investment program yet, I’ve only been dealing with them for about 5 weeks. I haven’t sold anybody anything or recruited people, but I would like to look into this further before I do. It would be helpful if you guys could post some actual numbers that I could see.

    Thanks

    Corey

  74. Corey,

    I applaud you for digging a little deeper. At risk of “advertising” or “trying to get business” instead of just discussing anonymously, I won’t post anything in regards to rates that I can quote you.

    However, I’ve seen a site called insurancepickle.com that shows many carriers and their premium quotes.

    As far as your numbers, you didn’t mention the term of the policy you were searching for. This is more important that any riders or exclusions. Most A-rated carriers will have the same riders available and the exclusions are pretty standard.

    Once you discover just how expensive PFS life insurance is, keep in mind that the insurance is the “best” product they offer as far as value. They try to “justify” the expense by offering the FNA, etc. Really, their idea of the “total package” is very basic to those in the industry. I can create a plan that is exponentially better than their FNA. Of course, there’s no charge for it with me.

    Don’t let them feed you the line that people like me only talk to wealthy clients. It’s just not true. I truly enjoying getting people started up with an IRA.

  75. I actually just came from a meeting with my Trainer and it seems like every time I talk to her I’m uncovering more lies and/or deceptions. Its very frustrating to have them tell me things and then I put my credibility on the line with my friends and family to find out later that they were lieing to me. They tell me that I should ask my friends and family to help with my training and they won’t be allowed to buy anything, but then my trainer gives them the “hard-sell” for the FNA and tries to reschedule for them to buy something at that point. They say at the Bussiness Overview that its $99 +$25 a month until you get your license and then I find out that the $25 a month is for Primerica Online, a service that they say is vital for working with them. They tell me that they can’t pay me until I get licensed but that I should do business through my trainer and it will count for me, then I find out thats not true. There are a few more but its getting a bit frustrating from my point of view.

    I’m very much considering calling my friends that I’ve spoken to about meeting with them or joining Primerica and telling them not to bother. Then telling Primerica I want my $125+$57 that they told me I would be refunded and getting my $69 back as well.

    About the Insurance, I was looking at a 30 year term. I also checked out SBLI and Prudential and they were much lower than the 25 for the same coverage.

    Actually the biggest thing thats frustrating me right now about them is that you don’t get to keep your FNA. They show it to you once and then take it away.

    Would you be able to discuss your rates and possibly how you do business through E-mail? I’m actually still looking for something to do part time while I go back to school and the part about helping people really does appeal to me.

    Thanks

    Corey

  76. Wanted tobe primerican September 11, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Ken and ex-primerican you guys save me time and money, it was worth it reading late, Thank you!

  77. my name is o and im dealing with primerica i asked one of the rep not to go into my account due to the fact that their wasnt any money in their and they went into my account anyway checks bounced and my account was over drawn and i feel i cant trust them not only did they go into my account they went in more than once back to back im being charged by the bank for everytime they enterd my account and i just cant trust primerica

  78. LookingatPrimerica – I haven’t been on in awhile, but the reason I post is simple. I was taken advantage of and sold this crap to my family & friends. I believed in the products and the company. Then I learned the truth! I don’t want anyone to ever go through what I went through. At least with a little knowledge they will make informed decisions.

    Barney – I think Ken answered all of your questions. My only suggestion with people “interviewing” with PFS is to get the facts. Compare apples to apples. Why are PFS reps so scared of their clients & reps learning the truth? It is so obvious how to fix PFS’s problems – get competitive!

    Corey – I am with Ken about not soliciting, but I will tell you that I personally replaced my PFS insurance with SBLI. Also if you are looking for a part time job there are a few options. (1) Look up a local insurance brokerage and ask them is there a GA you can work with. (2) There are other companies, similar to PFS, that allow you to work part time. They are not captive and you can own the business from the get go. I’m not a fan of the MLM structure, but if your interested look into HBW or Capital Choice. (I interviewed with Capital Choice and they are very professional, I decided to start me own company instead. I wanted to get away from the MLM Stigma)

    Wanted to be Primerican – Knowledge is power! I wish someone would have told me to do research and pointed me in the right direction over a decade ago!

  79. I want to first thank you for creating a forum to discuss and research the various views posted here. I just want to add to the discussion and add my view. I was first introduced to Primerica through a co-worker in 2005 and had a FNA presented for myself and family. I was newly married and had 3 young children under the age of 5, I had no protection, no plan but work like a man is suppose to, and was asking God to show me a way. “I chose to buy a life policy at a price that I felt I could pay”. I was a smoker (at that time) and my wife had type 2 diabetes so to make it plain we did not get a “preferred rating” or “standard rate”. As a matter of fact my wife was unable to secure coverage but I took a policy to protect the gaps.

    Was I recruited, I sure was. I was a good salesman in the wireless industry at the time and have a nice circle of influence, as I was “recruited by T-Mobile, Verizon, At&t (was managing several Sprint/Nextel locations) as well. I was recruited by mortgage brokers before the IMPLOSION and during. I took my time and visited the opportunity nights on a few nights. I went as a guest to a Fast Start School to see the culture and leadership.

    I was a student of mlm and network marketing as in my days of college I was introduced and joined a company many have heard of Quixtar aka Amway :)

    I did not make a fortune and to be honest I lost money on that opportunity but so I have I in several businesses start ups and partnerships, non-profit consulting business, taxi/livery service, and even W2 jobs in the past. Even though I took some knocks I always had a vision and belief that I was going to be significant. It was a learning experience.

    Fast forward to 2008 and still no IBA submission to Duluth, Georgia. Reason being was because I was a little beat up and wanted to have a “stable job” and security with benefits after years of being a poor student, a poor entrepreneur, to becoming a cynic and pessimist. Again I was out and about and was approached by a very attractive PFS rep and was invited out to another base shop. The difference was the timing. I understood what the Primerica Opportunity had the potential to do with a system and understanding business principles.

    I then went out to search for a base shop that I felt comfortable with (like visiting churches looking for a home), heard pretty much the same talks, presentations but I was drawn to a small base shop ( I have the passion to work with young ministries, “new to the faith” or “new in experience” like a teacher’s heart) and I place my whooping $124 ($99 + $25 for online service) and decided to get licensed and develop some more skills.

    Is it true that there are some pretenders in the PFS house? (of course…just like Red Sox fans when they’re losing to the Yankees). I understood from my Amway days that in order to have success and a life I needed to learn how to recruit in a way that did not make me feel self loathing or deceitful. I had discovered the principle of “attraction marketing” and how with this powerful concept I could throw out the who “3 foot rule” and just focus on services clients that sought me out. I understood that the best thing I could do while building a career with Primerica is to develop and own my own list (emails) that I own and and are not held in Primerica’s database. I have learned how to generate my own leads online (like most of you probably do) and I am able to attract like minded partners (make affiliated profits upfront to sustain my cash flow), so I do not have to walk around broke selling an opportunity of stories. I enjoy the pleasure of meeting families that I choose to target (my niche market..families that looked just like I did) and educate them about debt protection. I have my own loan originator’s licenses, and I agree on paper it is way more lucrative for me to do a loan in house then through Citi Mortgage but for the most part the folks I am looking to help are skeptical of all financial services (hello Merrill lynch, AIG), when was the last time you looked at your caller ID and seen Household Finance or any company offering to refinance your home (the market is tight, folks are scared, it is the best of time if you can get your foot under any kitchen table). So I think we can end the mortgage debate. rates are rates it doesn’t guarantee that you will get whats quoted, points fee, yield spreads, closing costs, its all the same to folks who just want to pay less then what they currently are.

    You are 100% correct (ex-primerican), not having a securities license is a disservice to the clients but to talk about upfront loads like it isn’t part of business is unfair (same for whole life right?) So, back to “investing the difference” with Primerica, we should really stop demonizing this point. Most investors and even novice have heard of (Legg Mason Partners Funds, Franklin Templeton Investments, Invesco AIM Investments, MetLife Investors) are just some of the Mutual Funds and Annuities professionals that we bring the business to (at the kitchen table) and PFS pays out to its licensed sales force (its not the lottery or some glorified excel spread sheet). Please play nice.

    Overall, it is not a place for everyone just like the NBA or PGA Tour. We are all in the people business so if you are one of the ones who are undecided, take a deep breath, watch as many times and observe, and get to work on the inside when your are led.

    God Bless America (freedom of speech and to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness)

    Frankie Mozell
    http://frankiemozell.com

  80. Oh my goodness!!! Ken, ………….. You sound like someone who just went through a heartbreak and ………………!! Or like …………………….! How can you spend so much time on a company that has been running for 33 years plus and is still going strong?! NO it OBVIOUSLY didn’t work out …………….. If you have so much time to bash this company, then why don’t you put your ………. time into another company?! ……………………………… Use your time more wisely!!! You’re ………………… No, you’re like ………………….. And for the record NO I am not with primerica! If there’s any advice you need to take and apply to your life is this: …………………………….

    Blah,

    Most of your comment was a personal attack. For some weird reason today, I’m feeling generous and didn’t completely delete the whole thing. Just the stupid parts.

    Don’t bother commenting here again. You’re not helping.

    Chris

  81. Blah,

    There are plenty of companies that have been around 33 years. It doesn’t mean they represent themselves as the best thing since sliced bread when they’re truly one of the most misleading, like Primerica does.

    Like Ex-Primerican, it’s obvious that all we want is people to know the TRUTH. You’ll notice, nothing we’ve ever said has been PROVEN false. Need we say more?

  82. Thank you everybody I just went this morning to my 1st meeting and was real confused I thought I was going to interview for a customer service job and I really thought was WHAT I dont want to bother my family or my friends to do this. Thank you

  83. Thanks a lotI consider this site a very good one for me to face the interview questions ahead of me. ,

  84. Can someone outline how it is the a new recruit makes money in Promerica? I heard that originally you make $50-250 off each auto insurance you can sell, but that doesn’t sound very attractive considering that just makes you a salesman running around trying to convince skeptical people. All the effort you put in probably warrants more.

    So if a recruit is willing to be unethical – that is to say, being OK with selling a flawed product, something real must entice him/her to do so? When do the big bucks come?

  85. Just started with Primerica, I’ve handed over the $99 and I’ve started taking the classes. And yeah I was wierded out by it since day one, but I went on with it. I just graduated with a Business Management and Financing been through some interviews haven’t gotten any work yet, the Job search has been a failure so far.

    I thought hey I’d try Primerica and get something to (at least) put on my resume or to to make some income. Is my reasoning off?

    I have a few questions if you guys don’t mind.

    1) Is it a high pressure environment? Will I have people hovering over me asking me to make up sales?

    2) Is this a viable part time job at the very least?

    3) My “warm market” hovers around freezing point. I have very few friends and a I refuse to sell my family something as important as life insurance. My upline tells me this is not a problem but am I looking at months of no income?

    4) The regional manager makes $30,000 a month supposedly. Is this an exception to the rule or not?

    5) My upline has invited me to the Poconos with the group, it seems strange to me, since I’ve only been around for two weeks. Should I be cautious?

    6) Can you succeed without spending any more in the company beyond the 99 + 25?

    7) The two year no competition clause, (something my upline didn’t tell me about) is it already in effect (when does come into effect)? In fact I’m not even sure if I am hired officially I know that I am registered for classes but am I an employee?

    8) Is the “education” worth it? Am I really getting job skills or any value going through the process?

    9) Do other companies respect Primerica. I.E will it (and the license) be a decent addition to any resume?

    10) Is it easy to quit?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  86. Here is the calculation of Primerica life insurance commission scale.

    Monthly Premium X 12 months = Total Premiums paid.

    Total Premium paid – $75 policy fee = Premium available for for commission. (Bonusable Premium)

    Bonusable Premium X PFS agents level = Total commission

    Total Commission X .75 for advance = total cash to the agent. (The remaining 25% is paid when the policy is nearing the end of it’s first year)

    Primerica Reps levels with commissions:

    Rep – 25%
    Senior Rep – 35%
    District Leader – 50%
    Division Leader – 60%
    Regional Leader – 70%
    Provisional RVP (no longer around) – 85%
    RVP – 95%

    Here is an example:

    Assume a District leader writes a $50 per month life sale.

    $600 is total annual premium paid by the clients ($50 x 12months)
    $525 is the bonusable Premium ($600 – $75)
    $262.50 – Total compensation as a district leader . ($525 X 50% contract)

    $196.88 – Total advance to the selling District leader. (The remaining $65.62 will be paid out through the last couple months of the first year the policy is active)

    The big bucks come when you are a RVP and you go out and hire a new rep to sell the product to his/her family. In the example above this would be the breakdown.

    Newly Licensed Rep makes – $131.25
    If the RVP made the sale himself he/she would have made – $498.75

    The difference in the contract is called an “over ride”. So the RVP would make $367.50 from this example.

    This is why the major recruiting push. To get into peoples warm markets to sell then recruit and continue the cycle.

    NOTE – I don’t have an issue with the pay scale. I think the reps are pretty poorly paid, but it took me less than 4 months to get to Regional Leader, so I never really dealt with the low pay scales! If people are okay working for pennies who am I to disagree with them.

    My issue is that the reps are told they are selling the best product and believe so when they sell it to their family. You can’t claim to be the champions of the middle class then sell some of the most expensive term on the market! That’s just not ethical to me.

  87. One more question: why can’t you find Primerica on the Citi website?

  88. Vlad,

    Congrats on doing some research! I will be honest with you that when I joined the company I knew nothing and jumped in with both feet. Here are the answers to your questions to the best of my ability.

    (1) Hire Pressure – that honestly depends on your office and your trainer, but I have seen both extremes. I would say that most of the pressure really comes in two forms. The first is pressure for you to attend all of the meetings. (I have seen people miss their kids games, birthdays, and other events just because the RVP told them that the meeting was a life changing event) The second, and highest pressure, is to bring people to the meetings and set appointments for FNAs.

    (2) For me it was. I made a very decent part-time income with Primerica from year 1. (I made $30k my first year and I never made less than that). I had a very large warm market and grew up in this area, so it was very easy for me. For those people who don’t have a large market it is very very difficult just to make even the equivalent to minimum wage. (when you factor in the cost of gas, supplies, fees, and your time in meetings & appointments)

    (3) Unfortunately yes I would say it is going to be hard for you to get rolling right away. Your only choice is really to recruit, recruit, recruit. That way you can use their warm markets. Since you say you have a small warm market that means you will be recruiting people (cold) in public. Typically that is done by going out and talking to the cashiers, managers, and anyone else you can. Your job will be to get them in front of your RVP. It’s not impossible, but it is a lot harder than people like me who had a very warm market.

    (4) It’s possible. A little known fact about people who wear the $100k plus ring is that just because they wear the ring doesn’t mean they make that money currently. One Primerica RVP I knew made $100k in 2000 and has never made more than $50k a yr since. He still wears the ring and still shows people his picture in the $100k plus book. I’m not saying your RVP is like that, but it is possible. People like Jim Meyer, Hector Lamarque, Keith Otto, Chris Howard, and many more people make A LOT of money, but those people in Primerica who make over $50k a year is a very small percentage of the company.

    (5) Go and have fun! In Primerica we called it relationship building. There was a saying when I was in Primerica. “An employee will quit on an employer, but a friend will never quit on a friend.” When I was in Primerica I had some of the best friends ever, but when I started questioning things and finally left I was treated like cancer. Those mentors and friends I thought I had turned out to see me as nothing more than a paycheck. I am shocked at what is being said about me to this day!

    (6) Yes you can succeed with out buying stuff, but there will be things you need to buy. Business Cards, licensing renewals for your securities license ($400+ per year), mortgage licenses, life CEs, brochures (if you need to use them), cost of running FNAs on your printer, $mart Phone or PDA so you can do turbo apps (if you want to get paid faster), cost of fast start schools, and so on. My rule when I was in Primerica was that my first license (life) would pay for every other license. I didn’t spend any of the money I made until I purchased all of my licenses with the profits from the life policies I sold.

    (7) The 2 yr no compete clause starts when you quit the company. It is not based on when you join the company or when you write the business or get the recruit.

    (8) I learned some, but 90% of the training is about selling the products & recruiting. When I left Primerica it took me over a year to really learn about the real world financial world. I was shocked at how little I knew. (I was considered the product expert in our area for Primerica!)

    (9) That’s pretty hard to answer. Most companies I know consider Primerica a typical MLM type company (So no respect), but if you’re a good guy I think you would be fine. Don’t expect people to beat down your door because you have Primerica on your resume.

    (10) Yes it is very easy to quit. All you do is submit a resignation letter and that’s it. I got a nasty call from my RVP telling me that if I replaced any policies or moved any investments he would sue me & a letter from Primerica Home Office telling me to return anything with Primerica on it. (I think it’s funny they told me to return things I paid for!)

    Hope this helps!

    X-Primerican,
    Will you please email me at: mrwondra@gmail.com ?
    Thanks,
    Chris

  89. Curious,

    Primerica is a subsidiary of Citi, that is why you can’t really find them there. Citi has been trying to sell Primerica for a couple years now, but so far no one is willing to buy it at the current price.

    When I was in Primerica we really pushed the Citi name when recruiting and tried to avoid mentioning Primerica at all costs. This practice is continuing still to this day with the majority of offices. Look at all of the examples on other blogs about deceptive recruiting tactics. Primerica is hardly never mentioned.

    I hope this info helped you out.

  90. embarrassment?

  91. Hello all,
    I have been pursued at work by a co-worker to join in on the primarica thing. I hear so many different opportunities and then it seems that the negatives are personal opinions.
    Here are my questions
    1. Why is there never any advertisement on this company, I never heard of it until now, am I that nieve?!
    2. The whole purpose of getting people licenced seems to be for the money of the person that recruted you, Is this why they could care less if you devote yourself to this or not?
    3. I was told that Primarica is up for sale, which is true from what i researched, however, I was also told that no one will offer Primarica what they want in order for the company to be bought. any thoughts or is this purely hearsay
    4. why is Citi group breaking away from Primarica?

  92. overall, how much did they sucker you for?

  93. Kris,

    Your asking some pretty tough questions to answer! Haha

    First the negatives you mentioned being opinions. I have so many opinions of Primerica (most are negative), but I try to stick to the facts and avoid giving opinions. This is why it is almost impossible to answer a few of your questions. I will answer what I can to the best of my ability.

    1. The reason Primerica doesn’t advertise is pretty simple. They don’t have too. In Primerica it’s all about “recruiting” someone and getting into their warm market. (aka – their family and friends) From there the new recruit can sell the products in the warm market virtually unchallenged. (Family typically doesn’t shop around when a family member is selling them a product)

    2. Primerica reps will tell you that you do not get paid to recruit or get people licensed. That is 100% the truth, but it is also misleading. When you get a new recruit you typically sell them products (so PFS reps make $), then the new recruit takes you to see their warm market (Primerica reps call it training) where you sell products to them. (PFS reps make $ again) The goal while doing this is to hire a few people and keep repeating the cycle.

    3. There is honestly no right answer here. Primerica reps say that Primerica is the most profitable company in the world, they are debt free, pay more commissions than anyone else, etc… If any of that were the truth wouldn’t you think that someone would buy them? There were rumors Warren Buffet considered buying them, but changed his mind. Who knows what’s really happening.

    4. Who knows. Personally I think it is the stigma of Primerica in the financial industry, the potential regulatory issues with so many uneducated people representing the company, and the over all profitability of the company. I know I will get slammed here by the Primerica reps, but if Primerica truly was the greatest company every why has citi been trying to dump it? If the company was so successful why hasn’t it been sold?

    Let’s look at facts:

    1. Primerica life is some of the most expensive term insurance on the market today.
    2. The FNA offered by Primerica is not a financial plan! It’s a selling tool.
    3. 100% of the time a client is better going with a conventional 20yr loan over a $mart loan. (Yes even with a 80% LTV)
    4. Primerica mutual funds are heavily loaded.
    5. In order to join Primerica you need a pulse, $99fee, $25 per month, and sit through a 40 class, and pass a test. There is no formal training. (Those meetings they call training are more like indoctrinations)
    6. Primerica reps are not financial planners, advisors, coaches, analysts, etc… They are SALES PEOPLE!
    7. You can not claim to do what is right 100% of the time if you only represent 1 company!

    I could go on & one, but I bet you get the point.

  94. An awful lot has been said about the cost of the term insurance offered by Primerica and that it is a lot higher than other term insurance available from other companies. Presuming this is true, I would submit that if one looks long enough and hard enough, one can always find someone else to buy anything from cheaper. Especially when you are talking about service products. If the gentlemen that have stated they have been able to replace every term policy they ever sold as Primerica Reps with same or better policies from their new companies at lower cost to thier clients (and double the commissions for themselves) were confident enough in the value of their new company’s, products they would reveal the names of those companies. Using the “I am not here to solicit business” is the easy way out for them to not have someone else reading here to find yet another company that can beat their new companies rates as well.

    The mortgage (Smart Loan v Conventional Financing) issue is another story all together. The fact is that few homeowners with high debt in America today will even qualify for a debt consolidation/conventional mortgage (even if they have excellent credit scores i.e., 700 +) due to the restrictive guidelines for conventional loans today. In the event that they need a loan in excess of 80% loan to value (LTV) and they CAN qualify for a conventional loan that will include enough money to pay off all of their existing debt as well, their interest rate is going to be very much higher on that conventinal loan than if the LTV was under 80%. SO, to say that a conventional loan is always the smarter choice than the SMART loan is not a valid argument if one is not able to qualify for the conventional loan to begin with, but can qualify for the SMART loan, or, if the interest rates given the individual borrowers quaifying capacity and loan amount give them a an interest rate that is equal in both cases.

    As far as the 5% load on the mutual funds…that is a common fee figure for a huge number of Class A Share mutual fund companies. Are there lower fee mutual funds? Of course. Does Primerica have access to those as well? Of course. Do lower fee funds out perform higher fee funds? Some do, some don’t. Do higher fee funds out perform lower fee funds? Some do, some don’t.

    I guess for me it all comes down to this…is a family that buys a term policy from a Primerica Rep (or any other Life Insurance Company Rep for that matter) at whatever price they pay, better off if the covered party dies and the life insurance is paid to the beneficiary vs not having bought a cheaper policy from some other company at all? That’s a no-brainer.

    Is a family better off if they are putting away money every month into an investment that will likely grow over time, even if they are charged a 5% fee to do so, vs not saving/investing anything at all and not paying the 5% fee? Pretty simple answer for thais one too.

    In terms of the education issue…anyone that thinks they can get the licenses one needs to work in the financial services arena (Life&Health, Series 6 & 66), for less than the $99 that Primerica charges you to get them, has no idea what the preparation classes and the testing fees are for these licenses. As far as Primerica knowingly allowing its new reps to sell products that they are not licensed to sell…I find that pretty unlikely with the extreme amount of oversight in the Financial Services industry today.

    Primerica is a very solid company that has been in business for 33 + years and has consistently performed well, and is among the highest quartile ratings from the rating agencies for both its insurance and investments. Is it currently for sale? Yes it is. Why, and why has no one bought it yet? No one has met the asking price ( 7 Billion Dollars, roughly 15 times annual earnings) yet would be my guess. Does this mean they are a crappy company? Of course not.

    I do not have a dog in this fight at all. I am not a Rep with Primerica and I do not have ownership of any of their products. I am employed in the Financial Services industry, ( Series 7, Seris 66, Life and Health licensed) and I also own a mortgage company and have for 9 years.

    My unsolicited advice to anyone looking at joining any organization that you can earn a living for yourself and your family by assisting other family’s become more financially educated and protected is DO IT! As long as you are doing your best with what you have to bring to the table to provide a better life for your clients, you will be successful and they will be grateful. If you are doing so in an authentic and genuine manner with ethics and integrity, you are going to make the world a better place. God knows we can use all the help we can get doing that.

  95. well, first of all, i am not a native english speaker, so pardon my bad english
    Ken, Ex-Prime, thanks for both of you.
    Both of you have opened my eyes.
    I am a freelance computer repair guy. My market has been very slow this year, and I decided to look another job.
    One day, a lady call me, and asked me about the new job she offered to me. My bad, i never ask her what kind of job is that.
    She told me to come for the JOB INTERVIEW. So what i thought is, i am looking to have a job, not a business opportunity or MLM services.
    When she asked me to get to the room, and sit down, well i just realized that i have been lured to listen to the “preacher” for 2 hours. Yeah, 2 hours, no break.
    Like someone in this forum said, “they were looking at us like a dog looking at the delicious meat”
    I am not a dumb or uneducated person. I do everything on my own. I do research on 1 thing before I decided to buy or to try it.
    Lets say, 4 years ago, i want to buy a cell phone. and i started to research anything about the cell phone, until i know EVERYTHING about the cellphone, anything about GSM, CDMA, Pixel color, camera, text, 3g, 2g, 4g, internet mobile, etc…

    I just wondering 1 thing.
    The citi group have the largest bank on USA which is citibank.
    Why do citi group bother to subsidiary the Primerica, since every RVP told us the if everyone knows about the “savings” with Primerica, bank will go broke ? include their parent company ? LOL

    I am not going into Primerican.
    and also, their attitude is not right. I feel being indoctrinated, and i am feeling poor for them.

  96. and you know what, I was taking my gf with me, she just want to accompany me.
    Well, beside being lured to hear the speaker for over 2 years, she put us to sit in the front row.
    I just lost my 4 hours (2 hours of “financial lecture”, 1 hour traveling back and forth, 1 hour for admission and “job” interview)
    The creepiest thing is how they find you by checking out online resumes on monster, craigslist, etc. they call you as if you’re a candidate for some position! Yes, I remember that she phone me, and tell me if she consider few positions for me. She never tell me about what job is that, or the name of the company whatsoever.She just afraid if she will be telling us that we will work on Primerica, MLM services.

    Another fact why I decided not to trust them is because their doctrine. We (me with my gf) were sat down with a round table, and first, she just like a regular job interview, asking how old, past job, etc. Until 1 part that she questioned about where is all my family member located ? and I answered most of them are on another HALF world away. She didnt look happy with my answer.

    And I remember 3 times she were repeating the same sentence which is “We all trying to be happy. In order to be happy, we need to find money as much as we can. So we find money first, and then happy” , but the funny thing is, I was like whispering to her telling her that I disagree with her statement. In order to be happy, we DO NOT need to have much money. We can be happy even without money or without enough money. Money is not the measurement of someone’s happiness. Just look at the our hollywood’s stars. Are they happy ? Are they look satisfy with their life ? Well, most of them are not!

    Everytime when i disagree with her “happiness” sentence, she just stop speaking and look at me, and I stop whispering , and look at her too.

    And here is the last deal. Before we left that place, when I was sat down with my gf, both of us were waiting for her. After she finished with our stuff, she with other RVP were leaving the place with us, and I whispered my gf. They were 2 car outside. 1 car is hyundai 1998 and other is civic 2008. I told my gf, say “Honey, I bet that she will be riding that poor hyundai car, and the RVP might riding with civic car” Guess what, both of them are riding the hyundai 1998 car.
    I believe that both of them are showing that they are making “good” money while riding the $1500 car.

  97. Jeremy,

    It all really boils down to the deceptive recruiting tactics they used to get you to the office. The truth is that Primerica’s Home Office has guidelines that recruits are supposed to follow, and since I spent a long time with Primerica I know very few offices follow those guidelines. It is against company guidelines to mention or imply that you are interviewing for a job! This is where I would say 99% of the complaints come from about Primerica.

    As for the referrals that is the only way to penetrate a recruits market. Again I don’t really see problems with doing that, it’s just doing so with the notion that you are providing the best service when it’s no where near the truth. There is no need to go into products since we are talking about recruiting, but I’m sure you understand my point.

    Finally I have to mention about your comment on the type of car someone drives. Some of my wealthiest clients are very frugal. They prefer to invest in their future not into flashy cars. Trust me a civic or Hyubdai without a car payment is a lot more attractive to me than a Mercedes with a $800 car payment.

    If you read “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanely you will really open your eyes. The most popular vehicle driven by millionaires today is not a Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, etc… the most popular vehicle with millionaires is the Ford F150.

    Not to give a lecture, but the problem with our society is that we believe in the bigger, the more expensive, the better. Add on top of that people financing their lives away you can see why we have a developing debt crisis in this country. We are now a society that has more people filing for bankruptcy every year than graduating from college! It is unbelievable.

    This is what I tell every client – My job is to find the best products that fit your current and future needs at the best cost for your family. Your job is to double and triple check what I’m saying to get that warm & fuzzy feeling that you are making the best decision for your family. You never do business with a company that offers only 1 point of view. Always get 3 different companies life insurance quotes, Always check with 3 different lenders, and always interview 3 different investment broker. Remember that we are salespeople! This insures I provide the best service and quality products to my client and they know that they are dealing with someone who has there best interest at heart.

    I’m stepping off of my soapbox now!

    Cheers!

  98. I’m curious what these two guys(Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum,you know who you are) make for income if they take a month off.
    Do you still have income?

  99. I’ll take the role of Tweedle Dum…

    Between renewals and trails, I GUARANTEE that I make more in 1 week on the beach in Hawaii than 95% of Primericans do all year. My business (I actually own something, unlike Primerica) is easily run by my employees. It’s MY business and the income is determined by ME and how hard my EMPLOYEES work, not how hard some ham n egger tries to recruit or decides to work while I’m gone.

    “How much do they make while they’re on vacation?”

    I love this time-tested Primerica question. In reality, less than .5% of Primericans make ANYTHING all year, let alone on vacation. LOL

    So, superstar, how much income are you GUARANTEED while you’re on vacation?

    Another question, guaranteed to be ignored…At what point do you EVER own ANYTHING in Primerica? Read your IBA and let me know. LOL

  100. I guess I get to be Twiddle Dee then.

    Although I consider myself a very good financial planner I will tell you that I consider myself an expert traveler so finally we get to talk about something I know a lot about! LOL!!

    As for making money while on vacation I tend to agree with Ken. Between my 12b1s, renewals, other agents, and the internet I can make money regardless where I am in the world. While I was in Europe for almost 3 weeks my office closed 4 loans, $18k in life premium, and just shy of $500k in investments. So not a bad little income while I was traveling.

    Of course if I did hit a rough time I could just sell all of my old Primerica stuff on Ebay! I bet I could make $10k on CDs & DVDs…. LOL!!!

    Seriously though Curious, let’s just stick to the facts and not attack each other. Ken & I were just like you at one time, the only difference is somewhere along the way we took the “we do what’s right 100% of the time” to heart and decided to find a place to hang our hats where our clients & our families benefit the most.

    Finally Ken makes a great point about ownership. A friend from is retiring from PFS after 23yrs with the company. (with almost 20yrs as a RVP) He is selling his SOLUTION # to his SNSD, but that is all he owns. He does not own the business. He can not take his clients to another firm, and because of the “No Compete clause” he can not offer his clients better and less expensive products. He only has 2 choices. (1) continue in a business that he no longer feels meets his moral standards. He loved Art Williams, but can not stand the way the company treats the sales force or the clients. (2) Sell his solution number for whatever price some other Primerica big wig is willing to pay for it. We were always told you could sell your business for 8 to 10 times what your annual salary is, so in his case he was thinking $1.6 to $2million dollars. He is getting less than 1/3 of that! Sounds like the dream sold the opportunity meetings right?

    So do you really own your own business or do you own a solution number? A solution number who’s value is only determined by what some other Primerica person is willing to pay for it.

    Owning a business to me means I own my Book of Business. That means my clients are my clients. My reps own their entire book of business also! If one of my agents decides to work with Primerica and Primerica offers better products for their clients then by all means replace or roll over the products! To me that’s ownership; or at least my definition of ownership.

  101. I’m off in half-an-hour to meet with the RVP/recruiter (I guess is the correct term) that met with me yesterday afternoon. She also had me return yesterday evening for a presentation from the National Sales Director. Having been through some programs that seem eerily similar in various respects (Bernard Haldane Assoc. career counseling, Linuxgruven – an infamous IT Ponzi scheme based in St. Louis, and a small business consulting firm based in Chicago), a few alarms went off, but I was willing to keep an open mind. I’m so grateful for the information provided here mostly because it is so clearly, reasonably and rationally presented. That’s a rarity on the Internet. My experience in some of those other endeavors, where I was in the position of trying to defend the organization, got very heated, and the critics were just as trollish and started as many flame wars as the defenders. Not so here. Kudo, Ken and Mr. Ex.

    I am curious about something thought. “The 2 yr no compete clause starts when you quit the company.” How can you be subject to a non-compete after the fact? That is, if you did not sign a non-compete during your employ, how can you be forced to abide by one after? I’m no attorney, but that agreement would have to be in force before you left for it to be legally binding, wouldn’t it? Good for you if your ethics wouldn’t allow you to poach former clients. My understanding is that non-competes generally aren’t enforceable anyway, but the cost of defending against one makes it easier to follow it. But, as you’ve suggested, if you own the business, you ought to own the client list too.

  102. Oh, and for the record, my intent is to not hand over a dime to Primerica. I’ve already provided them, regrettably, with three non-local leads. I was asked while waiting for my “interview” for five local “references” as the company is SEC regulated and they would be required for a “background check”. As a business consultant, I was on the road five days a week, so I don’t have any local contacts. My family is all deceased, and my wife’s family isn’t local.

    Also want to thank Chris for telling his story, again reasonably, rationally, and impartially, and providing this forum.

  103. Follow up: After everything I’ve read here and elsewhere, I was tempted to skip the third meeting. However, the rep I’ve been dealing with was so sincere and credible, even going so far as to poo-poo what she called “the dog and pony show”, and was willing to meet me closer to home in the lobby of a nearby hotel, so I felt obligated. I warned her up front that my interest level had moved from a 6 on a scale of 1-10 to about a 2. Perhaps it’s a credit to her ability as a sales person that she understood just how to approach me and talk to me to pique my interest. At this point, if she worked for any other company, I’d probably ask, “Where do I sign.” But I just don’t feel that, based on my current understanding of how Primerica conducts business and its corporate culture, that I would be a good fit. I’m not being critical of Primerica when I say that. I believe that it’s certainly right for her. I believe that it can and has helped a number of people who perhaps had never examined their financial situation before. But until recently I worked for a company that in a similar vein purports to help small businesses, and I can no longer align myself with a company that relies so heavily on the naivete of its customers.

  104. After reading several comments about this issue I figured I would chime in! I work with Primerica and love it. My parents have worked with us for ten years and I have been around for about 5. We have two offices in two different states and plan on opening another one in the next year or so.
    I’m not sure why Ken and EX are so avid about bashing us but i agree with some of our supporters who want to know who else out there really fights to help middle America. I am sure there are some better rates out there and othere routes that our clients could take but last time I checked not one bank, insurance company or investment firm was attempting to help customers with them. Almost all insurance companies out there sell whole life which is not good for families. Just ask any consumer advocate out there and they will tell you that you would be 100% better off buying term and investing the difference.
    As for banks and investment firms they dont offer the right stuff either. Not one client I have ever sat with has had the other financial institutions offer anything even close to our solutions. So as to your suggestion that there is better out there. If there is why are the othere companies out there not offering these solutions? Why don’t you bash the banks for offering arms, interest only, or balloon payment loans, or the investment firms who don’t even want to touch the middle American market.
    The one thing I do know in this world is that Primerica really does want to help and no matter what slanderous things are said about us our strong financial situation and success stories far outweigh the few negatives out there. So why don’t you guys go change the world or something and leave the finances to us! I will be praying for the two. God bless.

  105. Robert,

    Let’s cut right through all of the BS and get right to the important stuff. There is no need for me to mention that I spend almost as much time in Primerica as you and your parents combined. (Of course I just did! Lol)

    Banks selling A.R.Ms are wrong. When these products were created they were used for a niche market and they do have their place, but like anything else greed and profit took over and people were being sold these types of products who had no business buying them. I only believe in fixed rate loans at whatever term you can afford the payment. Don’t do a 30yr when you can afford a 15yr loan! While we are on loans let’s discuss the 2 key points you should focus on when you’re getting a loan. The term in which you pay and the amount the overall loan will cost. Is that something fair to consider? (I believe is comes right out of the $mart Solution Centers training). If we agree with that wouldn’t it make more since for a client to do a 20yr conventional loan (which would be cheaper both monthly and over the course of the loan and would be paid off faster) than a $mart loan.

    You mentioned about whole life insurance. I totally agree with you. I think a client is better off buying term and investing the difference. There are a few cases where permanent insurance makes sense, but in 99% of 100 cases the client is better getting the lowest cost term possible. (as long as it is level)

    When you mentioned investment companies I am confused what you meant by Primerica only offering “the right stuff”. Do you mean mutual funds? I personally like a lot of the no load Vanguard & T Rowe Price funds. All of the funds I suggest to my clients who need mutual funds have an option with no ridiculous fees and better performance than what I have seen offered through Primerica reps. (Look at your LgMason, VanKampen, and other funds sitting around 5% expense fees).

    As for slanderous things, I believe you mean libel in this case. Everything that I say and post are 100% accurate. I do not post things that are not true and are easily proven factual with very little research. The same can not be said about what Primerica reps post.

    It is highly dishonest to say you are the champions of middle class Americans while selling some of the most expensive products in the industry. What is sad it that Primerica could easily dominate the financial market if (IF IF IF) there was not so much greed! Seriously Primerica could easily provide the best products and training in the industry, but they don’t. The reason is simple. They have 100k people who believe anything they hear on EPN or at your opp meeting. The facts are indisputable to those people who are willing to look at the options. (I have been brainwashed while with PFS, so I know the hurdle that a rep must overcome to see the facts)

    Please do not pray for me, but pray for the wisdom to see the truth. It is okay if you want to sell Primerica products and recruit like crazy, but how about do so with some integrity. Unfortunately you can’t do what’s right 100% of the time. The $mart loans are never the best option. The life insurance isn’t some rare gem. (There are numerous companies that offer the same or better options for a fraction of the cost) The business opportunity is misleading at best.

    I can debate this all day long, but the facts will always speak for themselves!

    As for leaving the finances to you, thanks for the laugh. I hope someday you see you at a KT.

    The fact is the client is the priority here, and when you represent only one company it makes it virtually impossible to do what is best for the client 100% of the time. That is the advantage I will have every time over a captive agent.

    It is easy to say you do what’s right 100% of the time, but another to actually do it. (Integrity is more than a bumper sticker)

  106. Ken and Ex, just curious as to what your current companies are and if you have websites I can look at? pls feel free to email me at soydiva at gmx dot com

  107. Hello all,
    I have been working with Primerica for a few months now, and so that is my disclaimer when I write this.

    Although I am affiliated with Primerica, I will attempt to be as unbiased as possible.

    Being new, class of August 09, I will say this:
    I paid $100 upfront, which covered my background check and pre-lincencing class/online class. When I finished the course I when to a state testing center and paid $58 to take the test. Upon passing, my RVP’ office promised to give me a check for the percentage that I got on the practice test in class, which was about 80%, and I was given this check. This is the incentive our local RVP office puts on the table to get people to pay attention in class and pass their exams. My refund from PFS for my test costs is currently being processed.

    So thus far, the “promises” I was told have been fulfilled.

    In terms of the monthly $25 for POL, this is not mandatory. I am able to login to POL and change my status for using it. Although they strongly recommend it, you do not have to use it. So if you feel that investing in this would make you uncomfortable, say no. Although I must say, I would recommend using it at least the first couple months, because it allows you to study online and achieve your Builder’s Track Bonus (a new incentive where if you get certain amount of pts in your first 3 months, you’ll get a 10% increase on your pay – which BTW, i did receive as well, about a week ago), so its a good trade off. I wrote a life policy for about 1000$ 1st yr’s premium, and I will get 35% instead of 25%, If you do the math, the 25$ investment, to get back 100$ more is a good trade off.

    In terms of our product: POL has a target markey of lower to middle class americans. In my first 8 appointments iwth families, only 3 have had ANY life insurance. I would argue that, you know what, if someone comes along and services my client better in a few years, with a policy that is cheaper by $5/month, I am happy that I was able to at least cover them in that time frame, and even happier you saved them some money. When only 3 of 8 people were covered, I do not see the disservice I was doing them. It has been eye opening seeing just how badly some families are doing, and I have been sincerely thanked in my last two visits. So we can argue about how our products aren’t even the best or cheapest, but the fact is, we are going to the people, in their homes, and patiently walking through their issues with them and offering a service to them, that many times, they probably wouldn’t have gone out and got themselves. I am comfortable with this outcome. Any suggestions as to how I can improve?

    Also, I am reading about many negative experiences people had with their “trainers” or “uplines” or their local offices. I can imagine that not all offices are run as smoothly efficiently, and effectively as ours. Our office RVP is one of the 10 millionaires in Primerica, so I suppose you can say i am “learning from the best”.

    We are never taught to be pushy, but rather let the services speak for themselves, and if an opportunity presents itself for recruiting, then take it. We make it clear that the Primerica Opportunity is not for everyone, nor do i even sell it that way, because the fact is, it is not a “get rich quick” scheme. You must work, like you do in anything else in life, you have to get your life license, your auto/home in some states, debt, securities, and a few other certifications. It took me more than a month before i was able to make any real sales, and that is a short amount of time ONLY because I got my life license so quickly, unlike most people.

    The fact is to really make any serious money, you have to learn a LOT about finances, you have to learn the rules and regulations within the financial industry (we just had compliance trianing this passed saturday), and you have to have the ability to apply it to individual situations.

    What I did like about Primerica is they offered a holistic approach to people’s assets. They have a solution for every aspect of a person’s financial picture, and as we are taught in our office, “If we have a cheaper product, then offer it, if not, then please have your customer keep their current option”.

    At the end of the day, yes I agree, there are probably cheaper options out there for some portion of our clientele base. However, this is true for any financial establishment out there today. My experience thus far has been that hte people that are well versed nad educated in finding the cheapest options, probably aren’t going to need our services anyway. So with that being said Ken, with all do respect, we only exist becuase there aren’t more people like you.

    I feel sorry that there are offices within Primerica that practice questionable recruiting practices, because it makes the rest of us look bad. I like the idea of letting the product sell itself. In our office we are taught the statistics, that we need to do 8 appointments to get 1 recruit. And without having to push, this number has consistently held true for me. The people that are right for this kind of business opportunity step forward. I think the offices that are questionable, try to make “believers” out of everyone and that is just not realistic.

    The point is, I will not claim we are the best thing since sliced bread, but i also think its irresponsible to bash a company that is helping people, especially when the guy who’s site we’re chatting on is a satisfied customer. It is fine to point out good pieces of information, such as, we potentially aren’t always the cheapest Life policy available. But if thats the case, would you go bash Apple for selling someone an mp3 player that is more expensive than the one that Sony makes, and say they scam their customers? No, because there are many more variables to it.

    And i think that is the point Ken has missed. The highly educated and financially well-versed consumers that understand what he speaks of , generally aren’t our customer base.

    I did an appointment last week wtih a guy that I know well, who is a financial expert and has worked with many high profile companies from Fannie Mae to PriceWaterhouse. After doing the presentation for him, he thought the business model was well-thought out and when executed correctly, was a great option for many people, although not for him because there wasn’t anything we could offer him. I take that with high regard because if he thinks what we are doing is good, then that further confirms it to me.

    I think the biggest point i will make to prospectives is this: Don’t let your experience with your local office ruin for you. Im sure there are sketchy trainers, representatives, and offices within Primerica (there has to be with some of hte stuff i’m reading on some of hte sites), but that is not the way our office here is ran. I suggest you seek out a different office, and check out how things are ran there. You will see a different perspective, and it will shed some lite on how correctly you were being iformed and trained.

    here are some cold hard facts from fall 09 primerica:

    You will be asked to pay $100 upfront. Approx $40 goes to a background check, the rest for your classes/etc. Some offices reimburse this 100$, some don’t. Mine did, and it was a great incentive to get me started.

    You WILL pay $58 to take the test. This is paid to your state! not Primerica. (some states may be more or less, but this is my state’s fee).

    Primerica WILL reimburse you this $58 and pay all your licensing costs (that you will never see) to the state you live in. Please follow guildelines for reimbursement to ensure you get it.

    POL does cost you $25 a month. Is it a big help for your business? Yes. do you have to use it? No.

    Does an FNA cost anything? No. Some reps “charge” you referrals, but this is NOt mandatory, and in all honesty, i’ve found if you give people good info, help them appropriately, and not be pushy, they are happy to at least try and give you some referrals.

    PFS is commission only. You only get paid when you sell policies, or convert auto/home etc. So yes, you have to move product. McDonalds has to move product too to make $$, its the business world. Get used to it. If you do it well enough, and teach others to do it well enough as well, you will get “overrides”, which means you get paid some smaller amount of money when others sell as well. The structure is similar to the broker-agent structure in real estate.

    Are there any requirements? No. If you’re life licensed, and know what you’re doing, you can go on as many or as little appointments as you want. Generally, depending on what your upline is in pursuit of, they will stay on top of you to at least do a little bit, because they want to move numbers, and get promoted themselves. It all depends on your intentions, and you must effectively communicate what you are in pursuit of when you join. If all you want to do is maintain a small clientele base and not really move up the ranks, make this clear to your upline. i had a situation about a month back where i needed some time away, and i let my upline know that and it was fine. You work as little or much as you want. But obviously you will see people that are trying to get to RVP status where you can make some serious money in overrides.

    Primerica Break Down
    Life insurance – this is a PFS product.
    Auto/Home – we shop as many as 50 companies to provide this. We do no have a PFS auto/home product. This service is intended to help people find a cheaper option to what they already have, and help them invest it in a better avenue. I recently saved a client $400 a year on their auto/home combination. Is it the cheapest? Who knows, but its cheaper than what they had!!!!
    Mutual Funds – This is not a PFS product. We offer mutual funds thru companies like Fidelity.

    Thats all i can speak on with concrete knowledge, the rest i will come back to you guys with as I learn more. I have been doing all my appointments thus far with my trainer who has been working with Primerica for 4 years now, so when i am not able to answer a question (or not allowed to – securities) she has been answering them because she is fully licensed in all avenues in our state, and I am only licenced in half, thus far.

    I hope this clears up some questions and concerns. I don’t think its fair to paint the entire company with a bad air, as i think we do a good job with integrity in our office. We never promise people the BEST of anything, we just are willing to sit down and see if we can show them better than where they are now. It is a jounrey, and you have to take steps, and I am glad that I am able to help people take a step closer to an efficient and effective financial future.

    Thank you, Green Lady, for that insightful and intelligent comment! You are a breath of fresh air.

    Chris

  108. Dear Chris.

    Just thought I would pop back in and let you know that I have and continue to build a large business. The company has met all of its obligations to me and my business partners.
    I really am excited to be a part of this company who now has filed its intent to become a publicly traded company. It is a refounding of this company and will provide ownership to those of us who work hard and push through the crusade.
    I hope this puts to rest the absurd notion this is a pyramid scheme etc.”Transparency,” being at the top of the list of requirements by the SEC will once and for all demonstrate our mission is right. Happy Holidays and congrats on your personal achievements.

    P.S I see that Ken is still jousting with anyone who engage him.. Sort of ridiculous!

    Great to hear from you CC Leader! I’m glad to hear of your continued success. Thanks for dropping by again. Stay in touch!

    Chris

  109. Wow…lots of information offered here.

    I started with Primerica CANADA in 1997. I studied and got my level one life insurance license. I was working on my mutual funds/securities licensing when the Smart loan was initiated up here (announced at 1997 conference in St. Louis). We had been doing equity pullouts for our clients up here with Canadian Chartered Banks such as RBC, BMO, ScotiaBank, etc. getting rates .25 to .5 over prime. As PFS agents, we got paid nothing from these banks. We did it because it was the best thing for the client. Once Smart loans were offered, we, as PFS agents, were ordered not to use any other mortgage tool. The problem was the interest rate was 3%-6% higher. However, from the PFS agent side, the income grew.

    The bottom line….we have to look after the best interests of our clients….the money will follow if we do.

    Although monthly installment plans for dollar cost averaging, credit card debt consolidation, and use of equity in the home to create wealth are all good objectives; some the tools used by PFS agents are not.

    I love the teaching of how money works that they do. It definitely opened my eyes; something that other financial institutions were not doing AT ALL. My bank never ever told me that I could invest my money elsewhere. They were using my money to invest elsewhere and make the big money.

    The dollar cost averaging of monthly investing has been a great wealth building tool over this depressed economic time. Having my choice of investments (not always advised by PFS) has also increased my holdings. Deferred load payment on some investments as well as some no load have kept the costs down. So far, I have yet to find a correlation between the load structure or amount affect the performance of the fund or investment in itself…some of my top performers had no load…some of my worst performers had load and vice-versa.

    In short, I had to leave PFS for I couldn’t operate a business that did not put the clients needs first. The smart loan killed it. Obviously, the real money in this business comes from residual money under management, not fees. Once the fees come before the client, you might as well sell for WMA and make the big bucks.

    Again, I must stress that the education I received while in PFS paved the way for intellectual analysis of the overall financial position of any client, including myself.

    I have more financial wealth as a direct result of the training I received at Primerica.

    SewerRat63

  110. Dear Ex-Primerican,

    I looked at the Primerica opportunity in the mid-90′s and was recently re-exposed to it. While I don’t believe that Primerica is right for me, debt-consolidation/elimination and “getting one’s financial house in order” do greatly interest me.

    Reading through these posts, I have appreciated your approach. I am looking at a possible career change. You seem to be happy where you currently are – your August 19 post especially speaks to that. If you are willing to share, I would love to speak to you by email. im.res.alia@gmail.com Thanks!

  111. Res alia,

    Thank you for the post. I am pleased to hear that you are weighing all of your options prior to making your decision and I wish I would have done the same thing. I get bashed constantly by Primerica reps on these blogs because I not only left company, but speak out against some of it’s practices. The one thing I am able to mention every time is that I have never benefited one penny because of my posts. The only person I have ever spoke with off of any of these sites is with Chris (the owner of this blog) and that was at his request. He will also vouch for me that I told him that his current Primerica policy was fairly priced! (Wow what a shocker for your PFS reps… I am actually fair!)

    With that being said I will have to decline your request to contact you directly. I feel that if I blur the line by contacting you the next thing I know I will be dealing with a client that I got off of these boards. This is something I just do not feel comfortable doing. I post here strictly to educated people on EXACTLY what they are getting into when they sign an IBA. There is no fluff, no BS, and everything I say can be research and validated.

    That being said I have no issue having an open discussion on some options I see out there.

    First my case is a little different than the average Primerica reps who are leaving Primerica or are considering joining Primerica. I had a very large baseshop in PFS & by Primerica standards I did very well. I had years of experience with Primerica products, sales, recruiting, and developing a market. That is why I decided to go the route I did. I worked with a friend who was a financial planner and got some real education. It took me a while I feel comfortable with the knowledge I learned (knowledge that I never learned at Primerica), but eventually I started my own firm. I do a lot of educational seminars (no sales just educational with no mention of my contact info), I host a radio show on Saturday, and I speak to students at my local high schools and colleges about the basics of finances. The reason I mentioned all of this is because very few people can follow the same path I used. Instead here are some ideas that might help you.

  112. First if you like the MLM aspect of Primerica then you will like either of the 2 companies below. (I am not a part of either company and never have been. Prior to leaving Primerica I looked into each company, but decided to get away from the MLM stigma.)

    1. Helping Build Wealth (HBW) – very similar to Primerica, but offers better products for your clients and also better compensation for the agent. I didn’t spend a ton of time looking into them because I personally didn’t mesh well with the guy who introduced me to the company. Still something to consider

    2. Capital Choice – I was very impressed with Capital Choice. They offered tons of options for your clients. When I met with the Vice President he asked me to bring my last 3 $mart Loans, last 3 life cases, and last 3 investments that I did. (No real names just the ages, amounts, etc so we could do a real comparison) I was shocked when EVERY case with Capital Choice was significantly better for the client and the writing agent pay was better too. The other thing about capital choice is that you own your clients from day 1. If you decide capital choice is not right for you you can take them somewhere else. (of course that needs to be outside of the charge back period). Another thing that was nice for some people who go with capital choice is that commission level are based on personal production not just recruiting like Primerica. In Primerica they love to hold you down if you don’t recruit. (Also you do not give up replacements when you are promoted to the VP position. Another major difference over Primerica)

    If you have some experience and want to work on your own you can go work as a contractor with a Insurance Brokerage house. They will set you up with an Indy Broker/Dealer, and there are plenty of Correspondent Lenders where you can hang your mortgage license. Just call around to some insurance brokerage houses and they will help you out. Typical starting contract for a 1099-misc contractor at an insurance brokerage house is 90% and they pay the E&O.

    Finally you can look into going to work for an actual company as an employee. Typically you will go through a 3mo – 12mo training cycle. During that time you will get a salary and they will pay for your licenses. After training you will then typically get cut to 1/2 salary plus commissions. Every company is different so you will have to see what they offer. A very close friend who was a RVP at Primerica recently went to work for Wells Fargo securities. He does not have a degree, but they hired him based on his experience. He is making significantly more than he was at Primerica and they provide him with the leads.

    My choice:

    I wanted to own my own firm. I couldn’t imagine working for someone else and being told what products are the best. So the choice was simple for me. The path I took was not easy. I was ridiculed by the people who I thought were my friends (Primerica buddies) and some of the stories about me were insane! I flew all over the country catching product seminars and picking the brains of outside sales rep for any company I could represent. I took all of that info and started a new life as a financial educator.

    Through it all I learned 1 thing. If you provide the absolute best advice and products to your clients they will take care of you. You never have to chase commissions when you do the right thing. It’s not about the 100k ring, winning the next company trip, getting the most guests to a meeting, winning a plaque at the next fast start school, etc… It’s about doing what’s right 100% of the time.

    Hmmm. Great info X. Might you consider writing a similar guest post for this blog. Not sure if you could add anything to what you already wrote though. Maybe think about it?

    And yes. For those out there. X is fair. I had him look at my term life policy from Primerica. I thought it was fairly priced. Now I know it is. If X says it is–it has to be. Though I’ve never met him in person, I’m sure about a couple of things–he a fair, honest, straight shooter who knows what he’s talking about.
    Chris

  113. Dear Xprimerican,

    Thanks for your response – it’s thoughtful and insightful. I understand what you write about direct contact. What you posted in open forum provides enough basis for me to continue looking at my options.

    Business practices and product offerings aside, Primerica’s MLM structure is not for me. I have seen good folks become very successful in those environments, but I don’t thrive there.

    Thanks for sharing your time and experience!

  114. Interesting read on another example of Primerica reps recruiting tactics. (Although the company has guidelines against this it is a very common practice.)

    http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20100106/COLUMNISTS09/1060316

    For those that read the article you will notice the PFS’er vaguely mentioned who referred the PFS rep to the potential recruit. HINT – There is no person. They either pull your name off your name tag at work, pull it out of the phone book, or use Facebook or Myspace to get the info. – It’s nice to see that some things never change.

  115. Chris,

    A friend sent me this link today that I thought I would share it with the blog.

    Before anyone clicks on the link I want to make it clear that these girls do not really understand the Primerica system. This is only their impression of the recruiting techniques and the meeting. It is very humorous for those of us who have been to these meetings!

    Common signs of a MLM meeting:

    1. Friend calls to tell you he/she has a great business opportunity for you.
    2. They won’t tell you what it is; you need to come to a meeting.
    3. I will pick you up so you don’t have to drive. (this is to increase the odds of you actually showing up)
    4. There will be food

    I will say that the girls are right on point about 1 thing. The only answer that will work is NO.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qISR7KrQ5xo

    enjoy!

  116. Hi, I have a friend that has just paid her $99 to become a primerica rep. I am interested in finding out what the fees are all together. I don’t understand how they can cover the cost of the licensing.

    This friend of mine does not handle money very well and has trouble paying her own bills, so I’m confused how someone that can’t manage their own money can help others. I just don’t understand the in and outs of all of it because it is difficult to find concrete information without going to a meeting.

  117. Just noticed that http://www.bbb.org was brought up a couple of times, but the guys against Primerica never responded to it. Why does Primerica have such a good rating with Better Business Bureau? Why are they even affiliated if they are such a “big bad” comapany?

    Just wondering what everyone thinks of Ed Jones (change of subject). Had three of their people in one week knock on my door.

  118. MsgDave79

    First off it’s not that we are against Primerica, we are against what your RVP and other RVPs neglect to tell their reps. When you take someone off the street with little to no financial education, give them some very short and biased training, and then turn them loose is where we have a problem. The facts can’t be denied:

    1. Recruiting tactics are very deceptive.
    2. Life Insurance is very expensive. (also extremely low Terminal Illness, not full guaranteed (look at your 25-30-35 yr policy there aren’t guaranteed for the full term!).
    3. Reps are taught to sell, not taught to educate. (When you represent 1 company you can’t educate you can only sell your product)
    4. $mart loans are a joke and highly misleading.
    5. Mutual funds are heavily loaded.

    Now lets address the BBB smoke & mirrors. I know you are only repeating what your RVP told you to say (I used to say the same thing), but again this is proof of the deception Primerica RVPs like to use. Here is the exact words used on the BBB website:

    BBB Accreditation

    This company has been a BBB Accredited business since January 1980. This means it supports BBB’s services to the public and meets our BBB Accreditation standards.
    The following locations are locally BBB Accredited

    * 193 Hempstead St, New London CT – by BBB/Wallingford
    * 3919 Sherman Ave, Saint Joseph MO – by BBB/Kansas City

    So we look at 2 offices to get that A+ rating, that really seems fair right? Look at all of the blogs all over the net. Number 1 complaint about Primerica is the deceptive recruiting tactics. The reason you will hardly never see complaints about the products is that people don’t know what they don’t know. Their Primerica rep is Uncle Bob, Aunt Shelly, Cousin Joe, or Pastor Mark – why would they sell them crap? The Primerica reps tells them that Primerica products are the best and everyone else is a crook. Look on here. Never once has a Primerica rep provided facts, he/she just keeps saying how great Primerica is.

    MsgDave79 – I have been there & done that with Primerica. I wasn’t one of these people who didn’t make money and PFS. I did very well and I defended the company to the end, then one day I woke up. The facts are that everything you think you know about Primerica is spin from your RVP. If you can live with knowing you aren’t really doing what’s right 100% of the time you have found a home, if not just look around you will find a place where you can take care of your family while maintaining your integrity.

  119. Thanks for all this info! I was almost recruited by primerica right from under my well paying, long time job. But now that I have some info (the rep was very vaugue) it’s good to know that I would be better employeed selling things I want to sell…like my OWN home business. Think I will cancel my coffee appointment to find out more info…..
    Thanks again for all the clever banter :)

  120. I’d like to add that in order to be an “accredited member” of the BBB, all it takes is $350/year in dues and **answer** complaints. Since clever attorneys word all of the contracts properly, PFS is always going to be cleared of any wrong-doing.

    The BBB is a FOR-PROFIT agency and is not affiliated with the government.

  121. Hello all,
    DISCLAIMER, I just started with PFS,
    First the product. I was overpaying for a whole life policy for 10 years. It was sold to me as the greatest thing in the world. My bad! I met someone who told me there was a better option, it was. Now I’m not saying this was the best option but NO ONE else even made the suggestion, I know I’m going to get yelled at that I should have done the research, blah blah. Like most of us I didn’t. If someone shows you a cheaper option what is wrong with that. PFS saved me $800 a year and did all the leg work. My rep came to my house, gave me a quote and I gave him a check. I did’nt spend hours talking to reps, getting quotes, scouring the internet. I was happy with a cheaper easier option. That’s what most people want.(my opinon)
    Second the company. PFS is owned by Citi Group. PFS is a grain of sand on Citi Groups beach. Citi is spinning PFS off into a separate company. PFS is going public. This will allow Citi to concentate on the “banking” business. Also it give PFS more loan products to offer because they are no longer restricted by the parent company so the SMART loan will be one of several option to clients.
    Thrid: Me joining. Several months passed and my rep called me for the OP meeting. I went. Granted the presentation is a little corny, but the numbers made sence. So I joined. $99 for a background check, $25 a month for POL. We have all spent more at the bar in a night so please don’t make that an issue. I have since gotten my life license, $49 state fee, waiting to get that back. I do go to the meetings and at everyone it is stated that YOU MUST HAVE the proper creditals inorder to discuss, sell and get paid on the various products. Like them or not everything I have seen so far has been done by the book. Even the class is run to the minute. 15 minute break means 15 minutes. If you don’t make it back you do not get credit for the class and will not be allowed to take the exam. Now I don’t know if I’m going to make millions but the products, the company and the support system are real. Also they don’t claim to be “financial advisors”(who also work on commision) but offer “financial services”. They have yet to make a claim that is untrue. What’s is so wrong with that? Please forgive any spelling or grammer errors. It’s late.

  122. Chris,

    First congrats on starting in the financial services industry! If you can overcome some hurdles, most are in your head like everyone else in this industry, you can provide an amazing service to people and make a great income for your family.

    Like you I started with Primerica and stayed there for a very long time. I left after learning some of the facts that are not addressed while part of the Primerica team. I’m not going to beat a dead horse here (you can scroll up and read my posts), but make sure you do your homework and don’t believe anything ANYONE tells you. Not me & not your Primerica buddies…. seek out the facts and use those to make your conclusions. Chris, the owner of this blog, will tell you that we have spoken via email many times and I am not the type of person who is going to just slam Primerica because it is Primerica. If Primerica is better or close to competitive I will admit it.

    I know you are only repeating what you are hearing at your opp meetings, but the $MART loan was the only loan Primerica said they would ever market. ALL, let me say that again, ALL other loans were rip offs and something sold my crooked banks and mortgage brokers! 100% of the time $MART was the only way to go. Now they are going to add more products, what does that say? So soon we will be hearing that Primerica has decided to go with GUL (permanent term) as an option too?

    Just know what your options are. I am thankful to Primerica everyday for giving me the start in this industry, but I couldn’t represent a company that put itself first, client 2nd, millionaire earners 3rd, 100k+ RVPs 4th, then finally the actual reps last.

    I know that I am probably coming across as a jerk, but I do not intend to do so. All I try to do is give people the info they will not get easily from their RVPs. I think the 2 yr no compete clause, no trailers on investment until Regional Leader, life insurance that is only guaranteed for 20yrs, $25 fees for NTO/lapsed/declined policies, facts about the costs expensive life/heavily loaded mutual funds/deceptive loans, etc…

    Good luck to you and your family!!! Just remember Primerica could be the greatest for your family or a stepping stone to something even better. What is important is that you carry yourself with integrity. In the end it is your name & your warm market that will be your clients.

    Cheers!

  123. X,
    Thanks for responding and not calling me an idiot. It’s nice when grown-ups can have a discussion where differing opinons are presented with it not being taken as an assult on one’s family.
    Ultimately it comes down to the fact that bashing or praising PFS is silly. The key is formulate your own idea, not regurgitate what a blog says. Talk, read, ask, listen, come to a conclusion. It’s easy. Also I want to thank Chris Wondra for giving us a place to have our cyber debate. By the way anybody need life insurance? See I didn’t ask about a re-fi because I’m not licesned. PFS taught me that.
    Good night all.

  124. Hi, my husband and I just bought into a life insurance policy back in Oct 12/09…it went into “underwriting” process (we paid the first month premium of $142.27) and just two days ago (Feb 11/10) our rep came back, told us our prem. went up to $185.02 (because of me). We also put in $150/month in the “common sense fund”….after talking about it with my husband, we realize now that we just simply can’t afford to pay this every month. (Date of issue was Jan 26/10) Can we get out of this? I really hope you can help us….we really “trusted” this rep and I just wish I would have done my research before signing on the dotted line.

    Thanks!!

  125. Chris – I hope you do ask a lot of questions and I think that if you are open minded you will see a lot of potential in this industry. If I could make a suggestion take a look at Chris’s original blog on $mart and you will see 9 points I made about Primerica life. (http://chriswondra.com/2007/11/24/primerica-mortgage-a-consumer-report/) These are all of the things I learned after I worked my way up through the Primerica ranks and things I wished I had known from day one. My goal is not to convince you to leave Primerica, but provide you with real life facts that go beyond the hype of the meetings.

    I truly believe that Primerica is filled with really great people, but the RVPs and “trainers” seem to neglect to inform the new reps of the facts.

    Just keep your eyes & ears open and have integrity in your business and you will do great!!!

    JS – sorry to hear about your frustration. My advice to you is to first and foremost shop around. Primerica insurance is extremely expensive and has limited rating classes so you should be able to get a much better policy somewhere else. Whatever you do DO NOT cancel your Primerica life insurance until you have another policy approved & issued. As hard as it is right now it would only be worse if one of you passed away without coverage. (Basically even bad coverage is better than no coverage!) You can find an independent insurance broker to help get you quotes for insurance. (Great term companies to look at are SBLI, Farmers, ING, American General, Banner , TransAmerica , Genworth, West Coast, etc..)

    Since money is tight I would stop the investments immediately until you can find a number that works. I honestly didn’t know the common sense fund was still around, but it was a dog when I was with Primerica. Go check out American Funds. (Check out T Rowe Price or Vanguard too. You can pick an index fund if you aren’t too comfortable with picking a good fund)

    Finally I would call Primerica Home Office and speak to someone there. (800-257-4725) They can definitely help you.

    Again I can not say this enough. Since you already have Primerica life approved do not cancel it until you have another life insurance policy in hand!!!!!

  126. LoL, you know what’s funny… all this Primerica’s investments suck! and stuff… in 2007 we’re #1 for our seg funds in Canada, the Primerica Aggressive Growth was #1 Global equity in MoneySense… Now with the market crash, they’re trying to jump up and say OH LOOK YOUR FUNDS SUCK… well… don’t all funds suck right now? and then they say NO NOT THIS CHINA CLASS FUNDS!!! -_-’ LoL, it’s funny because they select the argument.

    But anyways, the load is 5.75% and it’s a DSC and after 7 years the load is 0% I do understand that people can’t retire in 7 years…. I also understand that the vast majority of agents don’t only do term. I’ve yet to run into a situation where BTID from day one was “bad” for the client…

    People talk about SMART… I don’t, because I neglect that product, I just project if they were to pay an extra $100 on their debt how much sooner they’d be debt free, and help them decide what’s better, focus on paying down debt, or save money. Of course I don’t get paid on helping them focus on their debt if I don’t do a SMART, but the fact I’m doing something for my client for FREE means, they feel obligated to introduce me to their friends. And then I make money that way…

  127. Buy Term & Invest the Difference is never a bad idea in my mind. As a matter of fact I preach that to my clients everyday.

    I beg to differ on the funds. They are very expensive funds and the majority are underpreforming. Primerica is a broker/dealer and does not have any funds of their own so I assume you are talking about Legg Mason Aggressive Growth. I will be completely honest that I do not know how the funds in Canada work, but I can tell you that in the US Primerica funds are very heavily loaded.

    You are never smart to neglect the $mart loan if it is anything like the one offered in the US.

    Since I am not familiar with Canadian products I wonder. Are the 25,30, & 35 yr term policies guaranteed for the full term. In the US all Primerica policies are only guaranteed for 20yrs. Also do you find Primerica life in Canada is competitive in the market for your country? Here in the US Primerica life really isn’t competitive.

    I’m not here to attack Primerica reps, but actually tell people my experiences and the things that most Primerica reps don’t tell the new recruits & clients. You seem to be a very honest and up front person and believe it or not we probably agree on a lot things, but we just wear a different jersey!

    Cheers!

  128. Just some points because I don’t know much about all the details on the rest (my nephew is in Primerica and I am being open and objective when it comes to the facts on Primerica), but I’m a techi guy and I decided to look at the S1 filed for Primerica to go public and it should be known that there will be no more SMART loan come April 1st, so this should not be an issue on the blog anymore. Primerica will be going Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac on all their loans. Continuing to be fixed interest and term and unlike the rest of the industry, it appears they will refi at current year on the loan (instead of the majority of the industry that is 5 year increments). As far as commissions, it seems the PFS agents are going to take a hit on this one. The commissions won’t be as high as the SMART loan however there will be a lot higher approval rating, no more arguing over which is better rate or time in debt and overall since agents won’t have control over the points on the loan, market rate will be market rate.

    I’m still researching the insurance aspect….Will post more in the future.

  129. MSGDave,

    Thanks for your post. First and foremost the $mart loan was the darling of Primerica. For over 2 decades Primerica reps have been told over & over that the $mart loan was the only loan to have and how crooked every other loan was. Now all of a sudden Citi is dumping them and they change everything. This is simply proof that all along everyone preaching against the $mart loan were 100% correct. What does that say about a company who knowingly sold a crap product to their own sales people & their families?

    There are a lot of changes going on in the lending world right now & not very much beneficial to the client. (Especially on the refi market) I wonder if Primerica will be doing FHA loans? This is without a doubt going to be the majority of loans in the coming years.

    As you research the life insurance I suggest you look at the following issues listed on Chris’s other blog. (http://chriswondra.com/2009/05/11/the-primerica-opportunity-a-guest-post/)

    Your nephew has a great opportunity to get all of his licenses and potential have a break into a fantastic career. Without Primerica I would not be here, but for me doing the best job for my clients was crucial for me.

    I will say it again that Primerica isn’t a scam! They have a great system, but ask any of the “big” earner and they will tell you that Primerica is not in the financial services business they are in the recruiting business that just happens to sell financial products.

  130. Xprimerican, Can you please give me some advice.
    My husband was approached by a group leader at our church about Primerica. He was presented with the usual “Common signs of a MLM meeting” as listed above. Because my husband is out of work he apparently seemed to be a good person to approach.
    This friend from church was just training and had a Primerica VP with him. We live in Texas and were told that Primerica was opening up an office in our area and that they were looking for people who were motivated and willing to work hard. (When I checked I found out that there are already two Primerica offices in our city ???)
    It all sounded real good, but I was suspicious. Any good job or business opportunity that is presented should have full disclosure, right? I didn’t feel as though we was being presented with everything up front and did not like it when we were asked for the name and numbers of relatives and friends.
    That was three weeks ago. Well, today the friend returned with another man and our Financial Needs Analysis. Before the young man would even open the package, he basically wanted us to answer the question beforehand about whether we would sign up with them today if what he presented could save us money. Well, we told him that until we saw what he had to offer we could not make any promises.
    He would only open the FNA to the blueprint page and told us about our foundation, until I told him that we already had life insurance. (The VP for some reason failed to record this. From the look on his face at the time, it was probably because he was not expecting to hear a forty year old woman say that she had already had colon cancer.) He then proceeded to explain term and cash value life insurance. ‘I’m the best salesman from Louisiana to Texas’, ‘I’m already training more people than most’, ‘No insurance agent will even meet and talk with me on tape because I will disprove everything they say,’ ‘Yada, Yada, Yada’.
    My dilemma is that my husband is not sure if this is what we really need to do. We don’t want to get into something right now that we will regret later on. He thinks that the money sounds good though, maybe too good.
    The friend says he already has seven people under him. He just received his license and according to the young rep is now going to be receiving 50% commission (I can’t remember the word he used) and he will be receiving 25% on everything that those under him sale totaling about $3850.00 and he is only working part time.
    I have a job and will not be working to recruit anyone. I really don’t get a good feeling about this, but at the same time I don’t want to discourage my husband if this would be something he could do to make a living.
    What would you advise? Please give me pros and cons. I want my husband to have his eyes wide open about this.
    Thanks

  131. Hawk,

    First off welcome to the blog! I can only imagine the stress your family must be going through while your husband is looking for a job, so I wish him the best of luck finding something soon. Now on to Primerica.

    This might shock you, but I don’t think Primerica is a scam in any way! There are a lot of issues that led me away from Primerica, but I would say 99% of the reps are very good people. (They are just trained to sell Primerica products only and have almost no clue how the rest of the industry works)

    The “opening of offices” is a typical recruiting script used by Primerica reps to establish urgency and make the potential recruit feel like they are getting into something on the ground floor. Although it’s not a lie, because they do want to open more offices, it is a little deceptive and I’m very impressed you caught onto it. As for the names & numbers of your referrals this is the life blood for the Primerica office. It is a lot easier to sell products to referrals than in a cold market. (This is how they sell a very uncompetitive market is through people’s warm markets)

    I can’t imagine why the young guy went on and on about his great selling ability, but to me that would shoot you in the foot at a clients house! LOL!! I would assume he was trying to impress you since he was in full recruit mode. (the tape recording thing goes back to the company’s founder. I met with a Primerica rep a few months ago who refused to answer any question on tape! Funny how that turns around??)

    It’s hard for me to make a suggestion to you about what your husband should do. I am very grateful for Primerica because it gave me my intro in this industry, but it’s not for everyone. I will highlight some of my sticking points with the company & let you and your husband make the decision that is best for your family. (My advice if he does join Primerica is to not do any appointments in his warm market until he is licensed so he can receive the compensation. They will tell you that is his training, but since his friend is doing so well , why can’t he go on his appointments to learn instead of using up his warm market)

    Pros:

    * They offer an entry into the financial services industry.
    * The majority of the people in the offices are positive & upbeat. (they are fun to be around)
    * The licensing is done in Primerica offices so you won’t be going someplace else to get licensed.

    Cons:

    * High pressure to recruit people and take the trainer to see your warm market. (This is how your trainer makes money while the new recruit is unlicensed)
    * $99 to join (not bad), but also $25 per month for the web access. This is something that should honestly be free. $300 per year isn’t a lot, but it is a huge money maker for the company. PFS reps are trained to say they will pay for your life & securities licenses, but there are additional requirements for that to happen. It’s not guaranteed or a given.
    * Expensive life insurance. Primerica life is about 30-70% more expensive than other equally ranked companies
    * Primerica life insurance policies are only guaranteed for 20yrs. So if you buy a 25,30,35 yr policy it is only guaranteed for 20yrs. PFS reps are trained to say that it won’t go up, but why not guarantee it like other term carriers.

    I just realized I posted all of the points on Chris’s other blog.. Here is the link – http://chriswondra.com/2009/05/11/the-primerica-opportunity-a-guest-post/

    Some other important stuff:

    * You do not own your own business in Primerica until you reach at least the SVP level. (you are a contractor that can be terminated at any time from Primerica)

    * You are signing a 2 yr no compete clause. So if your husband decided to go to another company with his licenses and was able to save his clients significantly on their premiums he couldn’t do it without violating the no compete clause.

    * The FNA (financial needs analysis) is not a plan. It is a sales tool that is designed to lean the client to Primerica products.

    * The reason recruiting is pushed so heavily in Primerica is it generates a whole new group of people to sell products to. The chances of your husband’s family shopping around is very small. That is why they can sell expensive insurance, investments, and mortgages to people.

    If I knew all of this going into Primerica I would have still joined. The only difference would have been the way I presented it to my family & friends. I wouldn’t have did the whole “we do what’s right 100% of the time” stuff and labeled everyone else in the industry as crooks.

    The licenses he will receive are worth some serious income to your family & equally as important the ability to positively touch families is an amazing family.

    Just remember we do what’s right 100% of the time isn’t a slogan!

    Check out the questions I sent you the link on and ask the PFS trainer about them. I can promise you he/she will not answer them honestly.

    Good luck to your family!

  132. The facade is very important to Primerica. For those who don’t know me, I held the number one spot in Google for “Primerica Scam” for almost a year… in that time they tried to topple me numerous times… failing every time. Well, they finally got me for “spam” because I had links to my other blogs/businesses on my own page and Google agreed to take down my entire blog network… just goes to show how far Primerica and/or it’s followers will go in the name of image. Be careful Chris.

  133. Overstreet

    Sorry to hear about your blog. It is very sad because there was a very open discussion that I was very proud to be a part of. As you know no one ever address 1 single fact I ever posted. It was easier to name call and lie than address the real facts.

    It is a sad day to loose a blog that helped so many people. I wish you the best & hope that the same thing doesn’t happen here.

    It’s funny that such a large company can be threatened by a handful of knowledgeable people and someone who runs a fair & open blog.

    This is the primary reason I left the company. They just wanted to keep people in the dark! Lack of knowledge is what keeps Primerica reps content.

    I wish you the best of luck!

    (Sorry to hijack the blog Chris! I just wanted to make sure Overstreet know how much we appreciated his work)

  134. I’m currently talking to an old friend who has a 30 year term with PFS. He said the rep did mention that if “things aren’t going well” that his premium might go up in 20 years, but that the company is SOLID and he has nothing to worry about. When asked if he wanted a GUARANTEE or to “hope” the company is still doing well, he chose the guarantee.

    Another funny point…during the presentation, they taught him the Theory of Decreasing Responsibility. Then, they added an increasing benefit rider to his policy.

  135. educated consumer March 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    What a read, great website you have here Chris.

    My “friend” ( you know, one that only calls when they need help moving, but are NEVER around when you do, haha) started with Primerica and asked that I see the presentation for his training, sure whatever, an hour wasted on a rainy day, who cares right?

    I did research the stuff they had in the FNA, compared their options to what I currently have as far as my roth and life Ins. I’m invested in CLass A share mutual funds so my 5% fee was the same, one fund is the same one that Primerica guy recommended , should I change? ( an American fund family FWIW). Life Ins, the couldn’t save me anything significant but it was definitely competitive, but after reading this I think I will see if I can do better.

    Seems like much of the issues brought up here are having to do with what the reps say about their product. I personally haven’t dealt with ANYONE at ANY company that doesn’t swear their product is the best and all others suck. Did Walmart save me money on normal grocery bill? Nope, in fact it cost more since I drove 10 miles further and paid the same at the register. Is Hyundai really worse than Ford? Is Ford really worse than Honda? If you ask a Ford dealer, yes Hyundai’s suck, and Honda says Ford sucks. A house builder will tout their homes. Fidelity has catchy products that are no different or cheaper than what Chuckie is offering.
    I guess because Primerica is MLM they get bashed more for the stuff EVERY SINGLE other company does. I don’t want to join and they honestly didn’t even ask me but I might give it a shot to get my friend to the next level or whatever ( as long as he covers the $100, haha)

  136. Educated Consumer,

    Thanks for the post.

    This may come as a shock to you that I am saying this, but if you are pleased with your options with Primerica then my recommendation is “go with your gut”.

    If you look at Chris’s other pages you will see 9 issues I have with Primerica life insurance. Take a look at those and if you are still leaning towards going with Primerica then do so. As for your American funds (my favorite fund family by the way) the decision should come down to who you feel best working with. If you haven’t spoke with your broker in years why continue to do business with him/her.

    In all honesty I have found myself bashing Primerica a time or two and I am working on sticking with the facts. It’s hard because I put my integrity on the line with Primerica and I felt like I lied. Primerica is a huge & profitable company, but it is not the company it started out being. The vision of Primerica (AL Williams) was one where they client had someone fighting every step for them all the time providing the sales force with an amazing business opportunity. Primerica is now just another large company making tons of money. They do this buy peddling uncompetitive products via an very unique business model.

    This industry (insurance, investments, mortgages) is filled with crooks and clowns. All I have ever done is suggest a client does their research. Whatever decision they make is theirs alone.

    Good luck with joining the company. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you can get him to pay the $100. (Don’t forget about the $25 per month charge too). Get those licenses and there is no telling where they could take you. Financial services is a fantastic career if you ALWAYS do what’s best for your clients. My philosophy is show the client all of their choices (in my case up to 30 companies) and tell them the pros & cons of each. That way they always know you are doing the best job for them.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  137. SOLUTION – Ok, I see that there are a lot of biased opinions in this discussion. My humble advice is to pay the $99 IBA fee and attend the training meetings. The Independent Business Application (IBA) fee is used to pay for a background check, because this is a highly regulated financial industry and they don’t want crooks and scam artists to represent Primerica – besides, you make up for the cost by having them pay for your life insurance license for you!)
    Learn all you can and you will be wise to facts about their company operations, reasons for doing the things they do, and successful past history. Learning the facts from the “horse’s mouth” will dispel all these misrepresented claims against Primerica. Obviously, Megan wrote from her experiences, which may have been negative or maybe not amounting to her personal expectations. The truth of the matter is that in order to be superstars in anything, it takes hard work, commitment, and determination. Not all of us can be basketball superstars, but that doesn’t mean that the NBA is a bad organization if we don’t succeed at it.
    Primerica is more of a financial education and recruiting operation for logical reasons that I have uncovered from taking pages of notes while attending multiple weekly meetings for the past 10 months. First of all, from the education I gained from the regular training meetings is that Primerica focuses on educating middle income families on how money works and ways you can streamline your financial situation. If you choose to buy our financial services as a byproduct of your newfound education, great, but if not…the Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) is FREE! There is no risk, no high-pressure sales, no badgering, etc. Second, recruiting is used to build your own team which will eventually become your legally-owned personal business (sales team) that you can own and sell when the time is right for you.
    To simplify this, let’s say that you are a salesman selling shoes for a living. If you are selling shoes for a company who pays you to sell their shoes, you are considered “Employed”. If you open up your own company and sell shoes on your own, you are considered “Self-Employed” – like an attorney, doctor, or plumber. However, if you become ill for a month, you will not earn any money because you are not providing your services during that time. If you own your shoe store and hire workers to sell shoes for you, then you are considered to be a “Business Owner” – like a McDonalds franchise owner. The difference between a Business Owner and a Self-Employed professional is that that Business Owner has the freedom to take time off and still earn money.
    Primerica offers two business models: one can be simplified as being Self-Employed where you go out and do FNAs all day long and earn commissions on your sales. The other opportunity is that you go out and recruit people (preferably friends and family because they are considered your “warm market” and are easier to break the fear of “selling” especially if you have no sales or presentation skills). By recruiting new members, they are never required to buy any product (except the $25 online productivity tracker subscription which is the cost of doing business anyway) and you would train them on Primerica’s products, licensing, services, and presentation delivery. If they have ambition, drive, and determination, they may succeed, and even out-perform you! But in any case, you will be able to take a month off to go on a massive vacation trip if you like. The definition of Financial Independence is having enough time and money to do the things you want to do in life without having to worry about working.

    Bottom line is that, I claim to be no expert, but I have been educated from the inside about the reasons they do things the way they do. The next time that someone claims that Primerica is a “Pyramid scheme” or “Multi-Level Marketing scam”, ask them to define what they mean by that. What is a “Pyramid scheme” or “MLM scam”? If they can’t clearly explain it to you, then even they don’t know what they are talking about and you should not trust your opinion on their misguided stereotypes. Direct them to the following links and ask them how their opinion fits the published definitions:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing

  138. Phil,

    It’s nice to see a well-written response from a PFS rep. I’d like to ask a few questions…

    At the end, you tried to bring in the pyramid/MLM objection. You, being an educated person, have to realize that you MUST recruit to make any money in PFS. It’s not a SCAM, it’s not illegal, but to have any success, you must recruit. We all know why it’s set up this way…more warm markets to get in front of to sell the outlandishly expensive and often-times misleading products. Do you agree with this fact?

    Have you fully researched what the true cost of getting your insurance license is, without the “help” of PFS?

    You used the phrase “Learning the facts from the “horse’s mouth”. What rumors are you speaking of?

    In regards to your NBA analogy, how many NBA recruits have to pay to join? How many are “gently encouraged” to buy over-priced insurance and ask their friends to do so as well?

    In reference to:
    “If you choose to buy our financial services as a byproduct of your newfound education, great, but if not…the Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) is FREE!”
    What education are you TRULY teaching people with an FNA? In our industry, this is nothing more than a pamphlet I’d have sitting in the waiting room of my office.

    “The difference between a Business Owner and a Self-Employed professional is that that Business Owner has the freedom to take time off and still earn money.”
    From your deep research, when exactly do you “OWN” anything at PFS? Do you truly believe that you can take a month off from PFS and maintain a steady income without any hiccups?

    On what grounds do you think it’s acceptable to pay “(…$25 online productivity tracker subscription which is the cost of doing business anyway)”?? What other company makes you pay to track your business or become better at selling the company’s products? Why is this a “cost of doing business”? Because they’ve trained you to believe so. I’ve never heard of this set-up outside PFS. Get out your calculator…how much money does PFS make MONTHLY off its reps? 100,000+ reps at $25/each. Really…$30,000,000/year to help the reps track the less than 3 policies per year that they each write? This is okay with you?

    Again, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to help people financially. At what cost to your client and to your own wallet are you willing to do this? It’s a very rewarding career. However, I urge you to snap out of the spell you’re under and investigate the many companies that will gladly take an intelligent person and train them properly. They will have multiple products to offer, competitive prices AND will pay you a SALARY!!!

    • Me again… this board is fascinating. Ex-Primerican, you are at least fair. Ken… it seems like you subscribe to “If I keep saying it louder and louder, it must be true.”

      re: On what grounds do you think it’s acceptable to pay “(…$25 online productivity tracker subscription which is the cost of doing business anyway)”?? What other company makes you pay to track your business or become better at selling the company’s products?

      Ever heard of Quickbooks? Simply Accounting? As a self-employed person in other areas, I’ve ALWAYS had monthly fees to pay in order to track and build my business. It took me a year building a web content business to even turn a profit – not unusual, you invest into your business and the payoff comes after a lot of hard work.

      Let’s put this another way – why should anyone get a free ride? Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone plunked a free business in your lap and you could make money right away without investing anything? This probably keeps OUT a lot of people who aren’t serious and would suck at business.

      I keep taking chances on businesses because I’ve had some successes over the years, I know I can do it, and short term investment for long term payoff sure beats making my bosses rich and whiling away my time in deadend jobs.

      re: They will have multiple products to offer, competitive prices AND will pay you a SALARY!!!

      LOL – yes, and why do they do this? They then control how much you make, regardless of how much you bring in for them. Which is how companies get rich and regular working Joes don’t.

      I’ve had all kinds of jobs. I’ve owned businesses. I’ve spent tens of thousands on college and university. I’m a self-starter. This type of business may not be for everyone, but so far you’re not making a very good case for it being a scam or being so evil and horrible people shouldn’t consider it as a career.

      In my own experience, the Primerica people I’ve seen DO NOT recruit people under false pretenses. They don’t sell people things they don’t need. They don’t use shady, pushy, slimy direct response tactics to trick people into sales. Do some? Sure. So do some of the employees at major banks to get bonuses and commissions. So do salespeople for every company you could possibly think of. There are good and bad eggs in every company.

      Some reps really ARE about helping people and educating them.

      re: From your deep research, when exactly do you “OWN” anything at PFS? Do you truly believe that you can take a month off from PFS and maintain a steady income without any hiccups?

      Without building a business to a comfortable level, having trustworthy staff, etc, when can ANY self-employed person do this? It takes time to get there, but it’s not impossible. If someone has a cushy job where they already get a great salary and 3 or 4 weeks paid vacation a year, this type of opportunity probably wouldn’t look very attractive. But for the other 95% of us, it’s at least an option we might not have had before.

      I just think if you’re going to continue posting the same things over and over, you should back it up with more than the same old rhetoric. If you’re so experienced in business & finance, why are you all up in arms with someone investing (sorry, spending, you call it) $25 a month on productivity software???

  139. Great post from both Phil & Ken!

    Phil instead of going over everything Ken just covered I wanted to hit one aspect of one product that might open your eyes. Yes I could mention the cost of Primerica insurance, but any Primerica rep will simply say that value is more important that costs. As a matter of fact I used to train my Primerica reps how to overcome the price objection. They would simply say Mr. & Mrs. Client if price was the only issue we would all be driving Yugos right now. What is really important is value! So I won’t even try to bring up the inflated cost issues although Primerica offers nothing of additional value compared to other major term carriers. (It’s actually quite the opposite. Just read my other posts)

    Let’s look at Primerica’s 25,30, & 35 year term policies. When you sell/buy those terms you believe they are guaranteed for the full term. It makes sense because every other term carrier guarantees their policies for the full term of the policy, but let’s look at Primerica 25,30,35yr term. Did you know that those policies are only guaranteed for 20yrs? So on year 21 the premium can go up.

    So a few simple questions:

    1. Do you feel it is ethical to sell a policy to someone who thinks it level for 25,30.35 yrs when it is only guaranteed for 20yrs?

    2. Did they ever mention that to you during your training & opp meetings?

    * I know you might think I am lying, but Chris can verify what I say is true. I also asked him to review his own Primerica life policy to confirm this. Maybe he will be kind enough to verify what he has learned.

    I hope this info helps!

  140. Ken,
    I think that you’ve long since passed a point of objectivity. it is clear that you are biased. first and foremost, lets clear up some things.

    1. You don’t HAVE to recruit. We have several people in our office that are tax specialists and CPAs that “double dip” by working with Primerica, and crossing their clients from each business. They get clients from their tax business and then refer them to themselves to help them with their finances (i’d assume once they see how much they make and how poorly they are doing with it). Same with the CPAs. So you are not correct, we do have people that make money and do not recruit, and they are just fine being part-time. Will they be million dollar earners? No. But thats also not their objective.

    2. the $25/month is not required, and you can turn it off if you like. So its not really a “cost of business”. You don’t HAVE to have it. There is an option when you go on POL to turn it off.

    3. In regards to the NBA analogy,….LOL. i’m glad we went there. I play professional basketball, and I can tell you that every NBA player PAYS. You are not going to the league without an agent, and they certainly will get their 10-20% depending on who they are. There are costs of being in any organization, such as player’s associations, etc, so be careful about commenting on industries that you are not associated with nor do you understand.

    4. We have several people in our office that make 6 figures with Primerica that truly can (and do) go on vacation when they feel like it, and really only work 3 days a week: our opportunity meetings, our fulltimers meetings and our saturday training. So to answer your question, yes, much like in any industry (see any one of the bailed out banks and how their execs were spending our tax payer dollars on vacations and corporate jets), those that are successful have more leisure. So whats your point?

    5. Ken, you are right in that I’m sure there are many more options out there in regards to life insurance, securities, etc, and on a case to case basis, there are instances where Primerica is not hte cheapest and/or best fit for clients. I have clients that I save thousands on car/home insurance, and then others that already have the cheapest stuff. As long as you give your client that information, then you are doing whats best for your client. It sounds like your beef with Primerica, isn’t with Primerica, but rather with bad Primerica representatives. And there are some, but then again, there are some really bad agents with other companies that sell some of our poorest clients whole life policies for: $14,000 for 400k of coverage? Really? Does that seem like an accurate fit for a family that doesn’t even make 80k a year, while their “friend” that sold them the policy makes more than 10k in commission? Lets be real here…

    Our target market is those uneducated and financially exploited low-to-middle income Americans. We set them on the right track and teach them basic things that, suprisingly, MANY people have no idea about. We have a client in our office that had 37 credit cards, and he thougtht this was okay. and you sit here and talk about shopping rates, checking mutual fund fees?

    I think you’re out of touch Ken, we are not here trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the in touch and educated, and financially plugged in people of America. We are here to get those that are close to the edge, ignorant and exploited people back from the edge and set them on a path that will truly help them. If they find a new found interest in financial services, and move forward with their education and find better options for themselves, then great! But guess what, we at Primerica still win, because we set that person a path to financial freedom,…whether on a 20-30 year path as a client or 5-7 year path as a business owner.

    I think that many of hte discussions here have gone into so much detail that they lose site of the purpose of what we do here in financial services. Its a growing sector (up 40% in the last ten years) becuase people are starting to realize that a focus on money must be had in order to be comfortable and happy in this country.

    We can argue about the nickels and dimes of whether i’m paying 21$ a month for my life insurance policy when another company can offer me the same policy for 18.47$ a month…and because there is that company out there, Primerica representatives are evil misrepresenting scumbags….SMH

    The point is, this person is protecting their family, and when we all as agents deliver the death benefit check to their beneficiaries, somehow i don’t think either the said dead person nor their beneficiary will care whether Primerica was the cheapest possible policy. They will be happy, that someone took the time to approach their deceased loved one, and that their deceased loved one thought enough to be responsible and protect his family. I think this is an important fact to remember considering about 50% of Americans possess NO type of life insurance.

    I think that instead of sitting here and criticizing the organization as a whole, and swaying potential recruits and clients elsewhere, which I think is also in its own right somewhat unethical, you should make it clear to people that:

    When dealing with ANY life insurance company, first understand what your purpose is in dealing with them and if you can get past that point, do some research and see if you are comfortable with what they are offering you.

    Just a parting story for you:
    I had a client a few weeks ago, who i save 600/yr on car insurance. She was also a good candidate for life insurance, with a 10 year old son and a minimal group policy through her job, and a home. When we went to write her policy, she told me, “You know, I know that Primerica life insurance isn’t the cheapest, but because you saved me the 600/yr, I will use that towards my life insurance, and i lose nothing.” We wrote her a policy which cost her400 a year, and she had 200 to spare.

    So could she have gone online and search out some obscure company that would have given her the same policy for 362 a year? Maybe….but at the end of the day, she was happy with saving 600, gettin the policy done in one clean swoop with an agent she was comfortable with that she felt she could trust,…i.e. me :-)

    XPRIMERICAN, I will look into your claims about policies not being guaranteed for the lifetimes.

    Thanks guys

    • Hi GreenLady, how does one go about tuning off the POL $25.00 per month access to the website? I was just on and could not find it. Thanks. P Rob

  141. Greenlady,

    Just to clarify my claims of the non-guaranteed 25,30,35 yr policies.

    If you are in the United States Primerica policies are not guaranteed for over 20yrs. You can verify this directly from the schedule of premiums.

    I just wanted to make it clear that on 25,30,35 yr policies only the first 20yrs are guaranteed. (If you happen to be in Canada Primerica policies are guaranteed for the full term.)

  142. Many years ago, prior to obtaining my AS Degree in Financial Planning and my TC in Financial Paraplanning, I was recruited by Primerica. Sadly, things did not go well for me. I was unsuccessful in setting up appointments with neighbors and friends to speak to them about how I could help them with their personal finances. Today, 4/19/2010, I am once again being recruited by Primerica. However, this time my education with financial planning is much more knowledgeable and complete. While Primerica is a sound business model and an awesome opportunity, I will have decline the current offer. Why? They do not do real financial planning. Real financial planning is a six step process (see cfp website). Not doing real financial planning is a great disservice to the people I desire to help. The business being built is owned by Primerica, not by the person building it. If I leave Primerica, I must leave behind the business I have built. This concept is true of any captive agent. Although I may need to pay additional overhead expenses in really owning my own business, as a financial professional not affiliated with Primerica, I can perform real financial planning (give real planning service to my clients). I can truly be my own business owner (the business is mine and mine alone). Provided I obtain my CFP certification, I would like to be seen as a CFP and not perceived simply as a licensed insurance or securities agent employed in a MLM seeking commissions.

  143. First let me say that I have been glued to this blog for 3 days (and I never read blogs!!) Thank you to everyone for your insight. I do have a question about the no compete clause. I was thinking about joining Primerica. My philosophy, if it isn’t what I expected after the training period, I come away with some knowledge and a license. I know a little about mortgages, less about life insurance, and practically nothing about mutual funds. I am also not dumb. I will be doing my research and learning as much as possible about these products through Primerica and through other venues. I could never sell something to someone if I didn’t really know what I was talking about and I could never force something on someone if I knew there was a better product out there. With that being said…if I go through this training and am not satisfied, does that mean that the license I do receive I will not be able to use for 2 years because of the no compete clause or does that mean that I just cannot try to reconnect with any clients that I may have brought to Primerica? Thanks in advance for your help.

  144. Congrats on doing some research before you take the plunge. This blog is filled with a lot of great information, but you will notice that I have posted many times about Primerica Life Insurance and that goes unchallenged. (at least intelligently) To me one of the biggest issues is selling a 25.30,35 yr policy that is only guaranteed for 20yrs. That’s HUGE! You will never believe how many Primerica reps argue with me that the policies are guaranteed for the full term, but that just is not true. The policies, in the United States, specifically state that the premiums are only guaranteed for 20yrs and they still tell me that I am wrong. Needless to say a great website to compare policies is http://www.term4sale.com – here you are able to run quotes from all companies including Primerica. This will be a real eye opener.

    To answer your question about the no compete clause. When you resign from Primerica your 2yr no compete clause begins. What it basically says is that you are not able to contact any clients, contacts, or recruits you brought to Primerica. You are not allowed to tell your clients you are leaving or anything like that either. Of course there are loop holes around the clause, but I opted to honor it. (The loophole is if the client contacts you)

    Basically I think Primerica RVPs make their fatal mistake when they mislead people. See I would have still joined Primerica if I would have been told the truth. The ONLY difference would have been the way I conducted myself while sitting at the kitchen table. I wouldn’t have been repeating the “we do what’s right 100% of the time” because I would have known better. I am sure that I would have ended up leaving the company sooner as well, but the point is I would not have felt like I lied to people.

    I could go on and on about Primerica products & the opportunity, but that is because I spent so much time with the company. The company it’s self is not bad it is the RVPs and below that are clueless in what they sell. See they focus on recruiting a new person and getting into their market ASAP. This is how they move the product so quickly. Find the 9 issues I have with Primerica life on Chris’s blog and let me know what your Primerica recruiter says about them.

    I hope this info helps.

    PS – Regardless of what you do Financial services is a great career field and we need honest & sharp people. The fact that you are even asking questions puts you ahead of 99% of Primerica people….. do your research and if you choose not to follow through with Primerica please find another company!!! You will be an asset to the company you decide to work with.

  145. Thank you XPrimerican. I did sign with Primerica. I am still hesitant, but plan on learining as much as possible in their training courses while researching and learning as much as possible on my own. I have my eyes wide open and am not afraid to pull out of Primerica if I am not comfortable with their business policies. I could not live with myself if I had to lie to make a buck off of someone.

  146. HELP PLEASE!!! May 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I’m a 25 year old barbershop & beauty salon owner. A very good friend of mine came up to me informin me about a great way to make money.He got me to go to one of their meetings. I really liked what I saw. As a business owner myself, $99 to start off a business is a joke compared to the $80,000 I invested to open my shops.

    I been goin to meet with them. The team captain is on the verge on becomin a RVP and he is very convincing and seems like a nice guy. But then again I know it’s all a business and it’s just the big fish feedin off the smaller fish . Honestly it sounds like a great way to make extra cash. I just need to know if I should even waste my time.

    I have not even paid the $99 and I’m wonderin if the licenses that they say you have are they yours ?

    Plz help asap

  147. Previous poster,

    I honestly can not tell you if you are going to waste your time or not. I was very successful in Primerica (according to their standards) and I have became even more successful as an independent rep. I will say that if it weren’t for Primerica I would not have gotten my start in the industry. My only issues with Primerica is the lack of training & the misleading of new recruits conditioning them to believe that they are the only company and that they do what is right 100% of the time.

    The important thing to realize is that if you join and get your licenses you will have the ability to go and work some where else if you choose to.

    If you spend sometime reading Chris’s blogs you will see there are a lot of holes in the Primerica system. The biggest hole is the lack of education the Primerica rep has. He/She truly believes that they are doing the best job for the client, but the truth is something very different.

    Here is a simple test:

    Ask some of the Primerica reps a very simple question. Ask them if their life insurance is guaranteed for the full term. So if a client buys a 25,30,35 yr term policy how long is the premium guaranteed for? (The answer to the question is that the policies are only guaranteed for 20yrs. After that the premiums can go up. Every other term carrier I know off guarantees the premium for the full term! That is a pretty huge thing!)

    If they admit the term is only guaranteed for 20yrs then the next question should be then why would we ever sell anything longer than 20yrs?

    I could go on & on, but I’m sure you can just as easily read the previous posts.

    Something else to remember is that you do not own any of your business in Primerica. Not even when you get to RVP. You must qualify for ownership. Another ridiculous thing is that Primerica reps below the level of Regional Leader will never see a single penny in trailers on any investment they write EVER! (Primerica is the only company I know that denies trailers to their entry level positions!)

    With everything I know now I will tell you that I would have still joined Primerica to get the basic information and license. What would have changed is the “cult like” conditioning I fell for. This we do what’s right 100% of the time and everyone else is crooked is insane. If you run comparisons Primerica products are not even very competitive.

    The reason Primerica is so successful is the system. They are able to take a recruit & sell him/her the products, then get into that recruits market and sell more products virtually unchallenged, eventually they will get another recruit and repeat the cycle.

    Just remember that the people you are talking to in Primerica are not liars… they actually believe with all of their heart they are doing the best job. It is the lack of training and misleading from their RVP that puts them in this position. Ask your potential RVP some tough questions and watch their reactions….. 99% of the time there will be tons of beating around the bush and very little answers.

    (Also they will just say that I was a quitter or a looser who couldn’t hack it in Primerica OR they will say that I am a insurance agent who is pissed Primerica is replacing all of their policies. Let’s make this very clear – I was one of the most successful Senior Regional Leaders in my state & in the top 25 in the entire company…. also I have NEVER, again NEVER, seen Primerica policy even come close to replacing one of my many term options)

    I hope this helps!

  148. X,

    I’ve been reading your posts and just finished reading your entire page. This morning I attended the Opp meeting. I did not pay any fees, nor did I list any references down. My recruiter scheduled another “interview” for Monday. After understanding how all of this works, I want to ask if you think it’s ideal for me.
    In November 2007 my father passed away from pancreatic cancer. It killed him within two months of being diagnosed. My parents did not have life insurance nor mortgage insurance at the time. My father worked mostly off the books, so my mother received no type of compensation. My brother and I also received very little from Social Security because of his taxable income. (I was 17 at the time, my brother 15). With 50% of our income gone, my mother struggled hard to pay the bills, cutting into her savings to pay the mortgage, etc. She worked 8 in the morning until sometimes 9, 10, even 11 at night. Shortly after in March 2009, my grandmother, her mother, passed away. This was a great loss to all of us, but mostly my mother. Shortly after that, my mother suffered a heart attack August 31, 2009. She was in a coma for 2 weeks before I had to take her off life support. She had cardiac arrest for about 10 minutes, and though the paramedics were able to revive her, she suffered catastrophic brain damage, and was showing no signs of upper brain activity; only brain stem. She was perfectly healthy, no heart disease, no high blood pressure.
    Now I’m in a position where I’m 20 years old, left with a mortgage and bills, with no job. My mother had the heart attack during my first class of my first year of college. I was attending NJIT for an industrial design degree with a scholarship paying part, and financial aid picking up the rest and then some. I went to school for a couple months, but with all the classes I missed (keep in mind i was going to class, and then going to the hospital after class when my mother was there) it was impossible to keep pace, especially with that major. I spoke to my dean, and we agreed to have me withdraw, and I could return when the situation was right and I would be assured of my scholarship.
    “Thankfully” my mother had life insurance, but of course there’s a catch, as with all “good things”. The policy fell within the “contestable period” which I understand must be solely a NJ thing? I’ve been waiting since December for this money and have yet to see a dime. My lawyer is already at the point of filing a law suit for the entire sum plus lawyer fees and fees for “bad intentions” I think he called it. He’s a very good family friend and has treated me wonderfully.
    The things I’ve learned in the past few months astound people double my age. Things they don’t even know, i.e. letter of administration, surrogate bonds, and the process of trying to find a missing safe deposit box that has yet to turn up. No clue as to where the box could be, but I know she had one.
    My point is I’ve been through this struggle at this early point in my life, and during the presentation I really saw this as an opportunity to help people and families like my own. I have no interest in soliciting my family, nor do I want to recruit. I feel that defies the purpose of what I’m trying to do here. I now need a job, and also saw this as an opportunity to help people so they wouldn’t have to go through what I and my family went through.
    Do you think I should go to the interview Monday?

  149. HELP PLEASE!!! May 10, 2010 at 10:44 am

    X thank u for your information. I’m gonna give it a shot. Not because I think I have a future in this business but for the knowlegde n experience I will gain, and of course the licenses.

    I already have my business which with the help of god I’m very succesful.

    Once again I thank you for answering my questions n helpin me keep my eyes open.

    I hope your business is doin good and god bless.

  150. Young Guy,

    I am very sorry to hear about your family & the problems you are having trying to get everything squared away. I went through something similar with my mother and as you know the worse part is the emotional drain. I will do my best to answer your questions, but please understand I do not claim to be the one with all of the answers.

    Let’s start with the easy incontestability clause. This is very common with insurance policies and I have never seen a policy that does not have a 2 yr incontestability clause. If at the time of application (or policy issue) everything was “on the table” (basically all medical conditions & histories were disclosed) then I agree you should sue the company!

    Now for the hard questions – I can tell by your post that you are very intelligent, caring, and seeking an opportunity to not only make a living, but to help people avoid the hardships your family dealt with.

    Should you join Primerica?In all honesty that is a decision only you can make that decision, but I will tell you that during my career with Primerica I have hired and trained hundreds of people while I was in Primerica and those not wanting to see family or recruit just do not make it. Primerica’s system is designed to use a recruits existing warm market to generate business. The reason for recruiting is the ability to get into new warm markets. Unfortunately Primerica products are not that competitive (I’m sure you will hear differently from the PFS reps) and if you do not have that warm market relationship it is very easy for a client to shop around and get better & cheaper insurance, better mortgages with less costs, and better performing mutual funds with a fraction of the expenses.

    Something else to consider is that you will come in at the rep level and not be able to get promoted with out recruiting. So you are going to be stuck at a 25% commission level. When I left Primerica I considered working for another MLM Financial Services Company (Capital Choice) but I opted to go independent. For someone like you you could join a company like capital choice and get your introduction to the industry. You can get promoted based on your own personal efforts and you are not required to recruit in order to get promoted. Another huge advantage is that you are able to provide multiple carriers for you clients. This allows you to provide options better options for your client!

    Primerica might be the right fit now while you learn the business, but keep learning and growing regardless of where you go. I’m not sure if you read the other blogs that Chris has on his home page, but do a little research. Remember that the majority of people in MLM companies are very charismatic and have very good people skill. Just make sure you ask lots of questions if you do go to your interview and get the answers. Once you have all of the facts you can make the decision that best suits your goals.

    Any company would be lucky to have someone like you who is not only a go getter, but someone with integrity!!

    ~ I wish you the best of luck.

  151. PS – sorry for all of the typos, frags, and runons…. I’m traveling today to S. Cali to do as peaking engagement for the “Smart Women Finish First” charity so I sent this from my Iphone in the airport.

    ~ Cheers!

  152. Help please – good for you! Just remember that this industry needs all the good people we can get. Just keep your options open and Primerica could very well be a stepping stone for you just like it was for me. Do yourself & your clients a favor and just avoid the “we do what’s right 100% of the time” crap. I’m telling you that is one of the reasons I left. I understand that there is always something better around every corner so you can’t have the best products, but to me it is wrong to lie to people and say you do. Primerica’s uniqueness is the system. It allows you to see people who are forgotten by the rest of the industry. There is no need to lie to people about things. Don’t sell a client 25,30,35 year term and forget to tell them that the premium is only guaranteed for 20yrs. (that’s lying!) Pretty simple in my mind. You will do great just being yourself and being honest with people. If someone shops around and decides to go with another company so be it. Just don’t let your uplines mislead you. If they say something that doesn’t seem right or isn’t in writing (in the policy not some handout) come on here and ask I will be glad to give you the straight scoop.

    See Primerica reps are constantly bashing me for putting down there company, but they will never admit that I just provide the facts & let the potential recruit/client decide for themselves.

    I am very sincere when I tell you that I hope you fall in love with helping people like I did. Just remember that YOU work for your clients, not the company!!!!! I don’t care if it’s Primerica, banner, Smith Barney, or any other company. They trust you and buy because they believe in you. Learn, Learn, Learn and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. Keep http://www.term4sale.com in your bookmarks because it is a great tool for comparisons.

    Wishing you the best!!!!

  153. HELP PLEASE!!! May 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Thanks once again X

    At this moment am in the process of remodeling my whole shop. I was suppose to start training for my licensing. My shop is my #1 priority. Primerica is not goin to pay my bills so it’s on hold for now.

    I feel where your coming from when you say lying to ppl is not right. Especially when the first few ppl you target are friends and family.

    My question is about the 20 years guarantee. What happens after that? I’m not into lying. That is the way I run my business.

    Once again I appreciate the time you take to help me out. Don’t worry about what ppl say about you on here because one person can make a difference. Ppl are just close into what they belief.

    Another thing, whenever you are in the Miami area, you are welcomed to come by for a haircut. Thank you

  154. Miami sounds nice, especially during the winter!! Haha

    To answer your question – After the 2oth year the premiums are no longer guaranteed and can premium can increase, but not beyond the maximum monthly premium listed on the premium schedule in the Primerica policy.

    Now to overcome this Primerica reps will say that they never have raised rates, but let’s get serious. One thing is that these 30 & 35 year policies are fairly new. So it is unethical to make that statement. I have also heard reps say that all companies do the same thing. That just is not true.

    If you go to the website I listed above you can see who is guaranteed for the full term & who is not. So most carriers are significantly cheaper than Primerica, offer guaranteed premiums for the full term, better terminal illness riders, etc.. .If you are interested in all the points you should look into when buying a life policy let me know and I will post them.

    Just so those PFSers don’t think I am soliciting business you can take the information I provide and you can get online to run your own quote. From there you look up a local insurance broker (I recommend you always deal with a person not just a website!) and tell them you want $x amount of coverage from “z” company. I actually had someone call me this morning who did all of their research online and called me to basically start the process. I complimented him on doing his research.

    Good luck on remodeling your shop!!

  155. HELP PLEASE!!! May 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you once again for the info. Keep up the good work .

    I see what you are sayin about the policy. It’s good to know what I’m gettin myself into.I check out the website . Got me some answers.

    It’s summer all year long here in miami haha. Take care

  156. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of finances and helping others. I recently graduated from school with an aerospace engineering degree because family always argued that finances wouldn’t be a safe way to make money. My uncle has been in Primerica since I was 16 and has tried to recruit me since I started college. I’m 22 now and I’ve been to a bunch of the recruitment meetings and what they say seems like something I would want to do, but after researching and looking at the Premiums, “guarantees” and their rates, Im not sure primerica would be something I’d like to do. I always thought it would be something to help people but in reality it seems they hurt some clients in the long run. The Idea of one day becoming my own boss is what caught my mind from the get go. It is why I went to so many recruitment meetings when I was younger. I just have a couple of questions.
    1) My first question is what other companies could I look into as a starting place?

    2)What would be the best way for me to help “clients” ? (As in should I start off with a company like Primerica or should I just work on becoming a CFP?)

    My ultimate goal is to become A certified Financial Planner (CFP). I know there are certain courses to take in order to become a CFP, but my question that I was wondering about is would working for a company like Primerica or Capital choice count as part of the 3 full-time years of related work experience?

    Any information would be great and thanks for your time.

  157. My email is prlegend521@hotmail.com if anyone has any information they would like to send me.

    Thanks again!

  158. Confused,

    Congrats on doing your research! Only you can make the best decision for yourself, but like you once all of those facts start coming together I knew I could no longer represent Primerica.

    1) Since I started with Primerica and put over 10yrs on the clock with them I’m not really 100% sure on what your options are. There are lots of MLM style companies out there that will offer you better contracts, better promotion guidelines, and most important you own your book of business. The problem with these companies will be their lack of flash when compared to Primerica. Primerica has had over 30yrs to prefect their pitch and it shows in the recruiting meetings. Remember when it all comes down to it you will be the one your clients trust so it doesn’t matter if it’s Primerica, Capital Choice, or one of the many other companies out there. What you can do is get your licenses (Life license, Securities S-6 & S-63, and Mortgage license) then get set up with insurance brokerage house, independent broker/dealer, and a mortgage broker business. My advise though is to go to work for an insurance company, investment company, or mortgage company. This way you will get you into the industry, get some training, and give you a salary. It’s really hard to give advise over the internet, but even if you end up with Primerica just realize you are not stuck there!! (Personally I think Capital Choice is a much better company for the reps & definitely they offer better products for the clients)

    2) The best way to truly help clients it to know what you are doing before you do it. That’s the problem with Primerica. They take uneducated reps, give them some minimal training on how to sell Primerica products, and set them loose on their family and friends. Just ask any Primerica rep about the 25,30,35 year life insurance policies that are only guaranteed for 20yrs. A large majority of the reps don’t even know this, those that do typical say that happens all over the industry, and all most 100% of them will spew the same BS of – “We have never raised prices”. Primerica is the only term carrier I know that is still selling terms that are not fully guaranteed. Regardless of what you do get some knowledge! Don’t trust anyone & do your own research.

    Here is something to think about:

    1. Would you want to buy the product yourself. ie Would you want to own a non-guaranteed life policy that is significantly more expensive than a fully guaranteed one?

    No here’s the funny part. You can actually go out and work for an independent insurance broker and sell better products at a much better pay rate. Typically you come into the industry at a 50% contract (vs a 25% with Primerica) and you will make it to 85% fairly quickly. (RVPs best contract is 95%, but most of their sales now are in the 60%-75% range because of banding comp cuts).

    If I were you I would log onto the CFP website and shoot them an email asking them your question about becoming a CFP.

    Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but I wish you the best in whatever you do!

    This is my parting advise:

    “Do the right thing for your client EVERY TIME and you will not have to look for business it will find you!”

    Also check out – http://www.term4sale.com to compare quotes.

  159. PFS is a joke. Plain and simple. They will hire any “monkey” to represent their organization. I have family that are head monkeys in the organization. If you read most of the posts that are “for” PFS they all say the same empty rubbish. You see, that in fact is all they them. They are trying to sell a dream… How does that saying go..Wish in one hand and **** in the other.

  160. I am an equity research analyst with a brokerage firm in Nashville and I pay attention to Primerica’s stock (I would be happy to send a research report to anyone who emails me). I was interested to read many of the comments on this site and would like to find out if anyone has a perspective on the results of the company’s recent push to boost recruitment — good, bad or mixed? Also, what is the general tone of business at mid-year? Many thanks.

    • Attn Mark Hughes:

      Google: Inc.Primerica”
      That may help you. Since the IPO , the push for new recruitment has increased. Now that we have shareholders , of couse they want to make money for them. Depending on who you talk to you are right on the money. Good , bad < mixed. Of course the company is very high , doing a lot of different things to retain reps, increased compensation , bonus programs , over rides etcetera. Starting a wealth management entity inside the company, lots of players. If you wish , e- mail me @ sengerj7@comcast.net
      They want to get to 200,000 reps. It is the main objective of the company, before the IPO, Compelling prospective shareholders to buy into the company. I do believe that you could have stock information & such e-mailed to you every day. Ask for more if you need it. E-mail me and I will give you my cell ##. Good day!!!!!!!!!!

  161. Mark,

    Read the blogs and there should be enough to answer your questions.

    I will tell you that although I am not fan of Primerica there is little doubt in my mind that it is poised to make a lot of money. Primerica has found a way to sell products that are very uncompetitive in the industry. They do this by hiring a new recruit and then going into that recruits warm market. This eliminates the fear of the new client shopping (who is normally a family member or close friend of the Primerica rep) around and finding better priced & better features in the products.

    The only concern would be with Primerica is if they passed something similar to the Business Opportunity Act that was defeated a few years ago. If reintroduced and passed this would be death blow to most MLM companies. (I don’t think this is likely to happen because companies like Primerica, Amyway, Herbal Life, etc will through tons of lobbyists into DC)

    I personally own Primerica stock. I spent enough time with Primerica to truly understand the way Primerica reps think and they will sell anything their RVP tells them to sell. If you did research on the old $mart Loan you will see. (I was convinced myself) We (Primerica) sold an expensive, high closing cost, fixed rate loan that was horrible. However you had Reps believing that selling someone a 9% rate made more sense then a 6% rate. It has been proven 100% of the time mathematically the client would be better off going with a conventional loan, but Primerica reps refused to believe it! This is one of the reasons you will see words like Cult, Kool Aid, etc… When I was with the company I refused any facts that were presented to me that showed Primerica was not the best.

    This is the primary reason why I believe Primerica stock will continue to soar.

  162. I am so grateful I stumbled across this page.

    Little background info: 27 year old pc support tech and coder.
    Currently unemployed actively looking for a job, not a business opportunity.

    Yesterday, I had a voicemail from this woman who received my resume from a local chamber of commerce and was very impressed with my background and would like to discuss her company and what she has to offer. Side note: My resume is posted on a dozen of employment sites but not with the chamber of commerce.

    Regardless, I returned her phone call and it was the most vague and round about conversation I ever had. (My preschool daughter is more direct). She explained that her office is expanding to a nearby city and is very impressed by my skills. She noted my managerial skills; which I have very little and none listed on my resume. Was she even looking at the correct resume? She was pushing how interesting the financial industry was and that I would be a perfect fit. She wanted me to come in for an open house to meet with the VP’s and see if I would be interested in coming on as an associate. (Red Flag). I tried to get as much information as I could out of the conversation, but all her responses were carefully worded and scripted. She could tell I was loosing interest, she then explained she wanted to hire me as a trainer. Again, no experience in that either. I told I will get back to by the end of business today if I was interested in going to the open house.

    Well, I googled primerica and the first auto completion was primerica scam. Hmm!?!

    I spent a good hour visiting blogs, posts, and pages and many were neutral, some negative, and zero positive. Then I stumbled across this posting – Ken and Ex you guys rock! I really appreciate your time and dedication you have put into your responses. You have helped me tremendously. I know very little about the financial industry, and even less about sales. You both have saved me time, money, and some very uncomfortable last minute exit strategies. To be completely honest, I find it insulting that this woman would even call me. I’m a techy and damn good at it. Unfortunately, today’s economy and job market is making desperate people in need of a job make uneducated decisions. I think that the threads on this post can be summed up with this – Just the facts ma’am.

  163. Thank you Ken, and the others.
    My roommate is now working for PFS. He wont stop harassing me and telling me how stupid I am for not joining up with him. I was reading your initial blog on here and to my surprise its was almost everything I had posted in another blog about PFS. I am neutral to PFS and I hope he makes a lot of money but my main focus was on recruiting. Its just nice to know I am not alone with seeing the slime in the PFS system.

    By the way I am a former P&C underwriter from HIG. That might be a big reason I didn’t buy into them lol

  164. Just found this blog, and read through it. I don’t know what’s what, but what really stands out to me is that Ken has been posting here for WELL OVER A YEAR raving against a company he has no affiliation with. This straddles the line between pathological and highly suspicious.

  165. Or a desire to help people?

  166. I recently started with Primerica. I still have my day job but wanted to expand my knowledge and try something new in my free time. I wouldn’t call Primerica my second job but it is a business opportunity. I find it refreshing to have people who are positive and encouraging while they are training you. If that is what you call (brainwashing) it certainly lifts my spirits and gives me enthusiam . I know that whatever business that I do will also help them make money. How is that any different from my 9 to 5 job that has and a boss who consistently complains that no one is performing to her (exceedingly high expectations). I make her and the company money all the time. I will continue to be employed by my current employer but I want to learn how I can become debt free and build my retirement income. If this opportunity will help why not give it a try? Recently the bank that I have been doing business with for 30 years showed me how much they appreciate my business. They offered me 7% interest on an auto loan. When I got to the dealership that had the pick-up that I wanted they were able to seach and get me 4% interest! Then a rep from the bank called me and offered to save me money by refinancing my home and bring the interest rate down. We went to his office and spent a couple of hours filling out all the paperwork and him checking our credit on the computer. He turned around and congratulated us on locking in 4.5% interest on a refinance. Later we got a “Counter offer” from the bank because their fees associated with our loan exceeded state and federal regulations! So they offered to lower the fees by $1000 but then our interest rate would be 5%!!! We said NO THANKS. Working through Primerica we were able to lock in 3.75%. I am sure that each situation is different but this has put a really bad taste in my mouth for a bank that I have done business with for many years! These days know one knows who to trust but if they can show me that it will save me money toward retirement and help me and other break free from the “scams” of the banking industry why not give it a try!

  167. CAB,

    I’m glad you seem to find a home with Primerica, but I think it is important that people know the facts, wouldn’t you agree?

    Isn’t it important that people know when they buy Primerica’s 25 – 30 – 35 year term policies that they are not guaranteed for the full term? (Primerica is the only term carrier that does this! Why not just make it guaranteed?)

    Primerica life insurance is extremely more expensive! No matter what reps like to say it is not competitive. Typically a client can get approximately twice the coverage for the same price as Primerica. (That’s HUGE!)

    On the loan – Primerica has finally given up on their most deceptive product (the old $mart Loan) and is now selling the exact product they were bashing for almost 20yrs before. (Doesn’t that seem hypocritical?) Also the costs are not as competitive as you seem to lead on. As of today the best rate Primerica offers is 3.75%, but that is for a 10yr loan and you are buying down the rate by almost 1%. If you look at the 20-30yrs loan Primerica’s best rate is right around 4.375% and you need to buy down the rate by as much as 2.375% (on 20yr note). So yes they are still ripping people off. Now I know you will say I am lying so I am emailing Chris the rate sheet as proof. Again EVERYTHING I post can be verified!!! (A client would be better off going to a real broker and get a better deal. Like you I hate banks and suggest people use them as places to store money, nothing else. You never invest or take out loans from a bank if you can avoid it)

    I am seriously happy for you CAB. If it weren’t for Primerica I would have never have gotten my start in the industry, but leading people to believe Primerica is the only company that does what’s right is nothing short of lying. 100% of the time the client is better off going some where else. Now if that client doesn’t have the desire to search out better options for their family then Primerica is a great place.

    I have always said this! The reason I post is for those people doing their research. They need to have some solid information to work with. I have told people many times to take what I am telling them then call Primerica Home Office in Duluth GA to verify it. How is that wrong? The God’s honest truth is that reps are not educated on their products and mislead client because of it.

    If you could have a life policy that:

    * Had better terminal illness rider (double that of Primerica)
    * Waiver of Premium for both people
    * No conversion issues for the spouse
    * Guaranteed Coverage for the full term not just 20yrs. (rates can’t go up after 20 yrs like Primerica)

    And most importantly 30% – 70% cheaper premiums!

    Which would you choose? Who in their right mind would choose Primerica over the policy listed above? This is exactly what Art Williams talked about in this speeches about competing. What’s sad is Primerica has fallen so far from the company Art Williams envisioned.

    That is why we post. We have been down the route you are going and realized that the saying “We do what’s right 100% of the time” was more than convention talk. We really meant it.

  168. “On the loan – Primerica has finally given up on their most deceptive product (the old $mart Loan) and is now selling the exact product they were bashing for almost 20yrs before. (Doesn’t that seem hypocritical?) ”

    What’s next? Cash Value insurance???

  169. ConfusedAndUnemployed December 13, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    At Ken and Ex-Primerican… Im reading through all of these comments and i must say i am sooo confused. I’ve went to one of the meetings for Primerica and heard some of the pitches mentioned. However I keep seeing you guys say how you the pay is crappy.. and your hurting the people who you’re suppose to be helping. I’ve been on job after job after job, and im not seeing any other opportunities out here!! I’ve been unemployed for years and I need money now!! Noone else is calling me for job interviews and Primerica is offering an opportunity (from what I’ve been told). Im a graduate from Howard University and its STILL hard to find a job. Its kind of hard to turn down a company when you dont have anyone else trying to give you a chance… o_O In need of serious help… Please respond ASAP im suppose to meet again with them this week..

  170. I’m a primerican and I love this site!!!!!
    I hate ripping people off, as a vlaue and love the truth. The truth will set us free from tyranny, from ignorance.
    Thank-you to everyone who cares to dig deeper and smarter than me. I needed a learned eye, I went all around. A shame, behind every great fortune there is indeed a great crime.
    Might I add though there is a larger social picture here that primerica in its business model fulfills.
    One Primerica apparently licenses more life licenses and attempt to educate the most mutual licenses I’m assuming is their strategic goal.
    It enables an individual to take control and understand with a vehicle towards understanding, tutoring to those educational requirements. I believe this is a great thing everybody should own. Becuase we have a life long relationship with money.
    Now, how does this affect the population who need it and either dont know or ask, for at least some help right now. I would argue that the Primerica canbe compared to a medical model, Primerica does NOT have the best rate, nope, the number show it.
    Primerica is more like an ER room, a stabilizer for dying financial plans, quick educate a fix up to recovery to those who might never have been approached with any help whatsoever.
    This communication barrier to the general public, which many Financial services business are struggle to reach, primerica fused the AVON model, basically selling inferior products via franchised individuals, and selling ,well, Money.
    I basically pointing out a paradox, here, traditional financial advisors who work to rpovide the absolute best, need to both invest time in one family, be earnest, knowledgable, willing and able to meet them.
    I am reminded of a quote: “speed, value, cost…pick 2 of the 3″
    I’m rambling, hopefully you can see the issues

    Im conflicted about the greater good and the realities of the financial services sector and the real need for public empowerment.

    This is really a case for the lesser of to evils.
    No help, or inferior help.

    Here are some quick angles I merely play devils advocate to.

    Primerica is a vehicle for transfer of knowledge, it is up to the owner of new knowledge to expand.

    What would other readers do.
    I recently decided I want to learn what I can about money, since our lives are often dictated by it in many ways. Ive already paid Primericas franchise fee, and like many Ive seen its hard to say no when primerica opens the classroom doors for you, gives you a text, classes, rewrites, helping myself and hopefully helping others. I feel obligated to keep my intention to my recruiter, but at the same time with this new knowledge cant see myself doing this without telling them “Go to this bank ask for this and do the work yourself” How would I eat, and what if something else happens. Like Ken I will not stop looking for a better deal.
    I think I need to find a new house to work for.

    Any philosophers out there?

    I’m surprised there are not more Primerica people on here! Heres where truth is invited
    BTW I never sold anything yet, but have paid myfees and have been fence sitting for a while, but do know life license and mutual fund licensing will be in my future, some how some way.

    • Primerica is a good company for the most part but from my 21/2 year expirience the grand opportunity was not there, I leraned a lot becuz the my uplines were knowledgeable but I found they were jaded. I am serious about the “cause” but I found myself not being able to do whats right for the client 100% of the time. I wanted to help people & the clients saw that so I got biz but not nearly the volume I needed. The focus of mass recruiting was not my taste either, its hard to convince sum1of a grand opportunity if they can’t see it in you. i found capital choice & it all came together. Do a comparison with other companies, then see where you fit. recruiting will always be a factor but its HOW you recruit that makes the difference, you dont want to fel pressure to recruit or make the client feel pressure or push your family in friends away cuz you canstantly harping on them about a great biz but you broke. Do research so you will be comfortable with yor choice but whatever choice you make if you dont give it 100% it wont work.

  171. Jule,

    Good luck to you. The reason you do not see many Primerica people consistently posting on here is that the info we provide is accurate and they can dispute it. I have said it over & over, but Primerica isn’t a scam. However, it is also rarely, if ever, the best choice for the client. If a client isn’t willing to shop around and do a little research Primerica is great, but the truth is in most cases you can find better products for a fraction of the cost.

    On the rep/business side it is very scary how little the reps know about the products they market & the actual products that are out there. It is easy to slam cash value policies, but the truth is term vs term Primerica can’t win. Pay is minuscule, ownership is very difficult to accomplish (and even then it’s not what you would think ownership means), and finally the IBA is designed to protect only the company and does nothing for the rep. It truly is disturbing how many Primerica reps do not even understand their own no-compete agreement. They really do believe they own their own business.

    Primerica has it’s place, but the “we do what’s right 100% of the time” is very misleading!

  172. My wife and I are pondering getting involved wiht Primerica. I wasn’t immediately told about the SMART loan in my first two meetings; I’m currently in the process of providing them information so they can create the FNA. I’ve been trying to find information that would help me make a final thumbs up/down decision about going with these people, but I’ve been uncertain because I think my situation differs from the people who are saying why PFS is such a bad way to go.

    My situation is thus: we don’t have the best credit, and we have significant debt, but we’re up to date on things like our utilities and mortgage. We both have decently-paying full-time jobs, but would like to find a way to have more of our money available. Primerica made what they were offering sound very appealing; a means to have cheaper insurance and build up money in a mutual fund that would grow enough to eliminate the need for insurance in our later years. My wife and I don’t have much in the way of emergency savings and our retirement account balances are fairly low. (For the record, my wife and I are in our early 30s.)

    Basically, I guess I’m wondering if someone like me, who probably couldn’t get a conventional loan (thanks to weak credit) or afford to pay more on my mortgage than I already do, might be better off at least in the short term with what Primerica offers.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. You can even send biased info to my spam bucket email, pricejunk6@gmail.com

  173. I love primerica. I work full time as a teacher, primerica is an extra 20,000 a year for me.

  174. kudos to Jules, nice job.I am in Primerica.We never said that our products are always better.Most of the time ,when we get there, they have nothing, or we can beat them.All these facts ,not seeing them at the kitchen table.I do suggest that if you are better go market that!!We have no worries.If you really dig you will find out that some heiarchies in Primerica do more Term that alot of insurance companies out there.I am not bragging though, I simply wish every one well.I think everyone out there should take heart in one of the oldest addages out there. Have a good idea, market it.But what I really meant to say is , EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  175. Jeff,

    You are almost there, but you are still bringing convention talk to the table. It doesn’t work! I would love to know the hierarchy that does more term insurance than TransAmerica, Genworth, SBLI, West Coast, etc…

    As for sayings I think the most important one to remember when you are a client or potential client in anything (especially financial services) is Caveat emptor. (Buyer Beware)

    I can understand why reps with PFS sell their products (get a commission, chase the ring, get a promotion, etc..), but I just can’t wrap my head around owning an inferior and expensive money. How can a commission be worth short changing your families protection?

    I do not want to instigate another more ridiculous and unproductive debate. This blog has been an open forum to give people information should they come seeking it. The sooner both sides of the debate realize this the better.

    If more PFS reps were honest about the business structure & the products this wouldn’t be an issue. Here are just a few points if PFSers should do.

    1. Stop telling people they own their own business. It is not true and it even states so in the IBA.

    2. Stop misleading potential recruits. Stop with the “interview” calls! Tell people the truth it is a MLM business opportunity.

    3. Just say it’s a MLM, because it is. I trained my hierarchy to say the same thing about all jobs being a MLM. It is just a word game!!! Here is how you identify a MLM – If you need to personally recruit people to get to a higher commission level it is a MLM.

    4. Admit that Primerica Life (USA) only guarantees their premiums for 20yrs. (Let’s not play the games of never raising rates… that is insane!) Just FYI Primerica is the only term ins company I know, in the US, that doesn’t guarantee their premiums for the full term. (Also Primerica Life Canada is fully guaranteed! If they do it in Canada why not the US?!?!?)

    5. Stop lying/misleading people with that crap about War Clause! I do not know of a single carrier that has a war clause.

    6. Stop lying/misleading people about Primerica life being the only company who paid out claims during Sept 11 attacks while everyone else hid behind the war clause. (see #5)

    7. Stop misleading people about terminal illness rider. Primerica has one of the most anemic TIR in the industry.

    8. Finally stop believing everything you hear from your RVP, opp meetings, and fast start schools. I know it sounds great that we are all “whole life” agents who are pissed about Primerica reps replacing their products, but it’s a lie. I have NEVER, repeat, NEVER had one of my products replaced by a PFS product. I have replaced Primerica products 5 or 10yrs later and I still had a better product. Verify, verify, verify…

  176. After a friend of mine consistently contacted me about getting involved in this business opportunity with him (for several months), which entailed selling Primerica products, I finally agreed to sit down with him tomorrow morning for a Q & A session . Of course being the skeptic that I am and always wanting to learn more about products or services I may be offering, I decided first to educate myself about the company. That’s when I came across this forum. And thank God that I did or I may have been making a huge mistake.

    After scouring the Internet about Primerica, most of the reviews and blogs that I’ve read turned out to be mostly negative. In fact the only positives were written by newly recruited reps. Yes those who have been keenly brainwashed by a friend or relative. I got involved some yearts ago with a similar company called COMBINED Insurance. Maybe some of you have heard of them. Though their products were different (mostly cancer, Medicare gap and accidental death insurance products), their techniques and principles behind their marketing model was quite similar. Recruit, Recruit, Recruit! And sometimes sell.

    There is no doubt that these kinds of companies are legal and legit (or they couldn’t have continued to be in business for this long) and for those at the top it can be quite profitable. But in order to get to the top you have to: A. Conceal some truths about what you’re selling, B. Spend countless hours recruiting ding dongs who don’t have the skills to sell a paper clip but do have a pulse, and C. Be lucky enough to be in a warm market that never dries up.

    I have been in sales for most of my adult life and I can tell you that selling intangible products and services such as these can be a b**ch and there are a lot of ups and downs along the way. It is possible to do however, and it can be very lucrative and rewarding. But if and only if you are selling something that you truly believe in.

    Now one positive thing I can take from all this is that it has re-sparked my interest in the investments & securites industry. And therefore, I am going to get licensed and join forces with a reputable company with reputable products & services. But that company is NOT Primerica.

    Greetings,

    Kevin

  177. Confused here’s an alternative to PFS. As Primerica offers a legal plan consider going directly with Pre-paid Legal. You can do an internet search for an associate and then take a look at other Financial organization which will allow you to be independent.

    If you would like to talk on a confidential basis feel free to email me at
    asktermite@yahoo.com

  178. Dear X

    I used to be in the Marine Corps. Do you even know what brainwashed means? Your fixation with these so called facts of yours are not worth debating.You have simply talked your way out of being taken seriously.Do your homework .80 billion in face amount in 2010.Do not be impressed, it is something that no one else wanted to be apart of, even with all your facts.Have a good idea, pursue it. don’t have to be persuasive.you get there first , give a good accounting of yourself, do it over and over again.I will not say you are wrong,i own one . funny thing is , no one would sell me what you are talking about .no one. I will not change , am 53yrs old. underwriting , more expensive.I sense in undercurrent in your writing that says you really wanted to be successful.Sorry it did not work out. As for all the financial experts good luck to you all.Our country needs the help

  179. Jeff,

    First of Semper Fidelis. I know you might think we are enemies, but we have more in common than you think. There will come a time when you realize that your integrity has been stomped on and you will understand where I am coming from. Unfortunately you are not willing to do the leg work now to figure it out, but there will come a day that you wake up and realize the hype doesn’t hold up to the facts. Devil you are in for a very interesting ride & I would love to be a fly on the wall when it finally dawns on you that your best buddies (your Uplines & RVP) have been feeding you half truths.

    With that being said I appreciate you determining that I have not found success. I was very successful by Primerica terms, but you are right I didn’t find success there. The reason was that once I learned the truth I couldn’t continue to say something knowing it was not the truth. You might be able to deal with that, but I could not. When a family puts their trust in me I want to provide the best options for them. This is absolutely impossible when you represent one company. Why you can see that I can’t fathom!

    Look I am not trying to disrepect you being a 53 yr old Devil Dog, I am merely giving you facts that you refuse to consider. You are in over your head with me. I have accomplished in Primerica what you are hoping to accomplish. Just a little word from someone who has humped the same terrain you are heading down. Stop and think about the hype you are being sold! You and I have worn the same uniform twice now! You might think I’m a jerk, but I post merely to prevent other reps from learning what I did the hard way.

    In the end I know I will never loose a single client to Primerica, ever!

    Good luck to you brother! (And I mean that with sincerity from one Marine to another)

  180. I just wish you would have stuck around.At this moment , the brass are attempting to re-work the life product . evidently the life product is going to lower by another 5%. Also we evidently have 2 new products on the table , sponsered bt ING. Disability???Health?? Look MARINE.The company knows some of the things you are talking about.ThaT IS WHY THE BREAK FROM CITI WAS so important.Their hands were tied when changes were needed.Companies are looking to have us market their products.Also losing reps to other companies is a problem.Also the new wealth management entity being created inside the company is a plus.It is supposed to compensate up to 5 times more .alot of good securities reps left the ranks.Partners , Mellon Bank of New york .Blackrock. The list goes on. I am doing my best to ignore the hype,why? Recruiting is a bitch.No one wants to work. I also think that my best suit is to become soo good @ the product presentation, that I can not be ignored.!!!!!!!!!!!
    My other choices where I live are limited. 10 to 12 $ an hr. Give me a break I made that in 1984. Also need to conquer adhd. Its a problem.
    It will not be a matter of realizing any thing for me.If you cannot get enough appointments, or recruit, good luck.by the way when my term runs out @ age 67, it will cost 544.00 a month.Just drop it probably.
    By the way from one MARINE TO ANOTHER.just try and help me be successful here. I have latched on your words. Any help i could be to you?
    My sister is my rvp.She is not happy with me. very experienced. I will give you answers on the 20 yr guareenteed. Just give me time .I know what the answers are.One thing for sure, we essentially are resposible for changing out policys that are sooo inflexible , you begin to wonder if they are actuarily possible. I am trying to concentrate on Longterm Care.How about you?

  181. Knowing what I know Jeff I could NEVER represent Primerica again. It’s not so much the cost alone, but everything. “Getting away from Citi” is just another one of the hypes. Whose mortgages do you sell? Who owns the majority of Primerica stock? Who owns the profits off of the insurance policies?

    As for lowering prices on life by 5% they should be focusing on 20% or greater. Primerica isn’t just a little more expensive, it’s a lot more expensive for a lot less bells & whistles compared to the industry.

    I can not deny that Primerica is successful, but not for the reasons you see. Primerica is successful because of the system. Sell someone a dream who has little to nothing, program them that everyone else is crooks and Primerica is the only good company, sell that recruit products, then go into that recruits market and sell products, then find a recruit and repeat the cycle.

    Honestly Jeff if you are a personal producer you are insane to defend Primerica or even stay there. Primerica is a classic MLM and you are dead in the water unless you recruit. If you like the idea of the structure of MLMs then you should look at Capital Choice. I always ask people in Primerica the same thing – Why did you join Primerica… Was it to help people or make extra money for your family?

    If YES is the answer to either question above Primerica isn’t the right place for you. 100% of the time your client would be better off with another company (in both price & value) and without a doubt 100% of the time a rep can make more money other places. (even when you figure in over rides. Yes other companies allow you to recruit and receive over rides!)

    I actually considered Capital Choice because it was like AL Williams, but I decided I wanted out of the MLMs all together. I now own my agency and recruit & train new reps, but they are free to work with various companies in order to provide the client with the absolute best product. Capital Choice is still somewhat limited compared to a noncapitve agent, but worlds ahead of Primerica.

    Look we are never going to agree and you are interested in what I have to say, so let’s both agree to just stop posting. Everytime a Primerica rep posts on this blog it makes the company look worse. I have never backed down from my position and no Primerica rep has ever had a decent argument to prove me wrong.

    Just take some time to read over my posts and address some of the issues directly with your home office. You will be shocked to learn how archaic Primerica & it’s products are. (regardless the type of hype you hear at your meetings! PS – I have NEVER lost a policy or product to Primerica, EVER… so that is a lie. The only way Primerica replaces policies (term vs term) is if the rep lies about war clauses, forced conversion, etc)

  182. Attn X :
    I think you are looking at this the wrong way. I think its good for you all to be replacing all the Primerica policies. The program is really about raising awareness. Its business that Companies get replaced . Just imagine that you do not have to market anything , then someone finds you, and then you replace!! Easy money right? My thoughts are that you should hope that everything stays the same so you can cash in!!! That is business. Things happen for a reason. This is an awareness issue. I think that you should pay attention to the one women Jules upstairs. She has it right. I do think that you are angry , & your opinions are jaded. I think you are a smart guy, but an angry one. You will not care about any thing that anyone says, but you. I say that with sorrow knowing that we used to be in the same uniform. Just remember We originally issue , then years later , you get to replace. Zoweeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep up the good work, but I will not break , not for the reasons you think. I need to find a way to wrap myself around this program , and not say anything that you say our reps spew,. I think its boring , people do not want to here it any way. Keep on posting Fellow jireen Its good to keep hearing from you. By the way , I can hardly take all the hype . And I do not bother agreeing with anyone on these matters, what is the point ? All you are saying is that other products are better , and you make more easier money . You should be glad!!!!!!!! NUF said , good day to you.

  183. What really matter Jeff is the family we see. If Mr. Jones has Primerica life insurance and is paying $50 per month for $250k in coverage and he can come on here, get educated, an learn he can get $500k for the same $50 per month. That’s what’s important! The family who needs the most bang for their money.

    I find it insulting that you take the amount of facts and information I provide and turn that into I am angry. I post for one reason and one reason only – I was a rep just like you at one time. I loved the company and really believed in what I was doing. I was misled just as you have been misled. The only difference between me and other reps is I dedicate a couple minutes every day or two to help other PFS reps learn the truth. Some reps refuse to address the facts.

    It’s not about making the money, but about making the money ethically. If you run an ethical baseshop in Primerica then you are good to go. How many baseshops tell people that they “own their own business” (lie), tell those buying policies greater than 20yrs that they are only guaranteed for 20yrs regardless of the term (not telling them is lying), do fake prospecting phone calls & interview (another lie), etc…

    I wish you the best, but let’s not continue to go back and forth. Even though you admittedly do not like the hype and are “trying to wrap your head around the program” you continue down the path of Primerica without looking or verifying anything I have said. I have an idea for wrapping your head around a program – try integrity & truth…. verify what I am saying and see where it takes you.

    I also think it is funny that you said it is about me. I have defended Primerica on this blog too when people make ridiculous statements that are false. I have never profited once form my posting and even when people request for me to contact them I publicly say no and ask them to address everything in the open. I point people (just like I did you) to alternative options – maybe its for products or maybe it is for business opportunity, but it never comes back to me, ever! I wish you could see I am merely trying to provide some truth behind all of the hype.

    • My question to this thread is this: If Primerica is not the way to go then what is? When I say what is I ask this in the sense of a term Life agent? Where does a person look to when they want to sart in the business of helping realzie they need more to their life insurance then what their bank provides for free…
      The concept of helping realize that term is better then Whole is great. That investing the difference from whole to term into Mutual Funds is ideal. But again, how do we help ourselves while helping others, when Primerica is the only vehicle I know of to join that does this with a rookie???
      Thank you

      • There are a few companies but I prefer capital Choice which was founded by Dick Kinnard, former Primerica VP and A>L>Williams brother inlaw. The agents broker through the company to offer clients the best rates & products. Transamerica has the lowest rates in the country & the best benefits for the client.

    • Hello X:
      I have not been on in awhile. I was wondering about your persistence with the 20 yr. guareentee on term coverage. I wanted to tell you straight off , that in the State of washington , we do not have a 25 or 35 yr. term offering. The State of washington only lets us gaurentee to 20 yrs. If you call the commisioners office of any state you can get the straight scoop. They tell us that their is no way that any one can predict out past 20 yrs , what your actuarial experience is going to be . In other words , the glorious crystal ball. Our State is tough on this. You can also bet that it affects premiums!!!!!! . I wanted to hear that from you, but o well . Hope everything is well with you.

      • Jeff,

        Good to hear back from you. I am not licensed in the state of Washington, but I did go to the following carriers websites and verified that the following carriers offer a 25 & 30yr guaranteed term. I could not find any offering a 35yr guaranteed term, but these carriers absolutely offer a 25 & 30yr guaranteed term products.

        Hartford
        ING
        West Coast
        AAA Life
        TransAmerica
        Genworth
        Prucco
        Western Reserve
        Banner
        Principal
        Independent Order of Foresters
        United of Omaha Life
        Aviva Life
        Principal National Life
        Protective Life Insurance

        * there are at least 20 other companies that offer fully guaranteed 25 & 30yr term products.

        I hope this info helps you out…

        Good luck to you too!

        • After rereading what I posted I wanted to make it clear that those carriers listed above offer fully guaranteed 25 & 30yr term life insurance in the state of Washington.

          I didn’t want any confusion. I’m not sure who told you that no one offers guaranteed level premiums over 20yrs in your state, but the facts speak differently.

          Again I hope this information helps you. Remember I have walked the exact same path you are on. I was very successful at Primerica (by their standards) while I was there, but I felt the product I provided the client & the training provided to the reps were mediocre at best. The bottom line is that it all comes down to providing the best product to the family who trusts you with their money. It’s not just about better pricing, but better value for the price. This is the reason I say 100% of the time the client can find a better product compared to Primerica. It’s not just about the check they write, but what they get for that check.

          Thanks for getting this discussion back on civil ground!!

  184. I saw a term policy for $58 a month convert to whole life after 20 years to $980 a month. I think a term to term is the way to go, but if a company sells whole life usually they convert their terms to whole life right?

  185. Rick,

    Conversion options are all over the board. Most of the carriers I use all you to convert to GUL and a few actually still allow you to convert to another term policy.

    On the GUL it is typically 30% more expensive than Primerica term for the first 10yrs after conversion. When it comes time to renew the Primerica policy again (should you live that long) the GUL was a cheaper option. Not to mention going into the whole thing Primerica policies are normally 30-70% more expensive than other term carriers from the very beginning. (PS – the rumor is Primerica is going to announce that their term will be able to convert to permanent term at the end of their term on the new custom protection series. Heaven forbid!! What are Primerica reps going to say then?!?!?!?!? It’s no different than Primerica reps being conditioned to trash conventional mortgages and then all of a sudden that’s all they sell. Notice no Primerica rep mentions that any more! Just a little bit hypocritical!)

    The new product will be announced at the GA Dome this year, so I can’t wait to hear PFSers spin this!

    Have a great weekend!

    PS – take a look at the table of premiums on a Primerica policy. I think you will be shocked to see what the premiums can jump to after the non-guaranteed period. (on the 21st year and every year after regardless if you own a 25,30,35 year term. )

    • So, I know this is a goofy request, but could you (all) try to clicking on the “reply” on a comment when replying to a specific comment? (I put this comment as a reply to X’s, just to show you what it looks like.)

      This is a new feature (for this blog) called “threaded comments.” I’m thinking it will make it easier to have conversations like this around topics. And make it easier to follow who’s replying to whom and what.

      Thanks!! And thanks to all for the insightful and respectful discussion. It’s amazing that I never really have to moderate and tell people to be nice.

      Chris

  186. I have been a Primerica client for over 5 years, and my father has been a client since 1979, when they were known as A.L. Williams. I have always felt that they have had a significant positive impact on my family. Recently, I was told that I should be wary of this company, that they are a “scam” and a “pyramid” scheme, and that I should do some research on this company on the internet. I decided to do so, and this is what I found.

    There are some very favorable articles that have been published on this company lately.
    They have been featured on/in
    -The Wall Street Journal.
    -The London Times
    -Fox Business News
    -Jim Cramer’s Mad Money
    -Wikipedia
    -Google Finance, among others.

    Here are some interesting facts I found on the company:

    -Been in business since 1977
    -Regulated by the SEC, FINRA, and the Dept. of Insurance in every state they are in.
    -Maintains a positive rating with the Better Business Bureau
    -Rated A+ by AM’s best, an independent insurance rating company (similar to Consumer Reports)
    -Owned for 20 years by Citi, the largest corporation in the world.
    -Recently went public, April 1, 2010. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange
    -Warburg Pincus, a private investing firm, invested $240 Million into the IPO (Initial Public Offering)
    -Before Warburg Pincus invested, they spent over $9 Million investigating the company
    -The stock is up over 50% in the last 10 months, and has been called the “IPO of the year” by Jim Cramer and others.

    Here are some links you can explore yourself:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303960604575157722249937544.html

    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4133597/primerica-ipo-soars/

    http://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:PRI

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/financial-services/rip-off-report-inves/rip-off-report-investigation-9cp7d.htm

    As a matter of fact, this is the only negative information I could find on this company:

    -Blogs, such as the one here, posted by anonymous people, who do not have to post their credentials, their real name, or anything to show that they are telling the truth, or even know what they are talking about.

    I’m sure there are some people in Primerica who are not on the up and up. They are a large company. However, with all the government agencies, consumer advocacy groups, media, and investors looking so closely at this company for the last 34 years, I’m sure that if they were a scam, pyramid, or into any kind of shady practices, someone would have found out and shut them down by now.

    I’m glad that I had an agent over 5 years ago. The simple financial advise they give
    is going to make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars to my family over the next 30 years. When doing research, don’t look to the “gossip”, look to the facts.

    PS: You may see this post on multiple sites, I don’t like to see any of the few good companies out there get bashed undeservingly.

    • James,

      You mentioned facts, but provide none when it comes to the products. If this was a blog about the profitability of the company then your post might have some merit. Instead you post nothing about the products themselves.

      So let’s set the record straight.

      PRI stock is a great stock to buy in my opinion. (I actually own stock myself) The reason is quite the opposite of what you might think though. Primerica is a profitable because they use their system to sell expensive products to the recruits warm market. I’m not saying it’s a scam, but the products are very expensive. The reason cost is hardly ever mention is because a recruit family will normally not shop around. If someone wants to pay more great, but don’t ride the moral high horse.

      The facts speak completely different than you believe. 100% of the time you can find better (and less expensive) term insurance, cheaper mortgages, and better investment options. (it could the mutual funds or the horrendous annuities marketed by PFS for metlife. )

      So why not take a little time to look at your options before you post something like you did. You will almost certainly find out you can get twice to nearly 3 times the coverage for the same premium dollar. The premium will be guaranteed for the full term, have better conversion options, better terminal illness riders, etc…

      So let’s make this easy… Primerica isn’t a scam or a pyramid scheme. On the other hand it is not this great company out fighting for truth & justice. It is merely a MLM selling expensive products to the recruits family, exactly the same way Amway does with their products. There is nothing wrong with that, but let’s get real. That we do what’s right 100% of the time doesn’t hold water when you look at the facts.

      I always finish with this…. Don’t believe anything I say! Call Primerica and verify what my posts say. Call and get some other term quotes, mortgage options, and other investment options… In the end the client will quickly realize there are tons of other options that are better for the client. If a client doesn’t want to do the research, great… but don’t claim Primerica is the greatest thing since sliced bread until you know all of the facts.

  187. Wow. Really glad that i found this post. Just had my 2nd interview today with Primerica today. Something about my last 2 meetings had my “spider-sense” tingling, if you know what i mean. Something just seemed fishy to me. I’ve been in sales since i graduated from college, and i like to think that can spot it whenever i’m being sold to. Here is what i was dealing with.
    First off, the recruiter left a message on my cell at 7pm one night. Kind of odd hours for a business call, but i didn’t think much of it. When i called back the next day, i got their voice mail after a few rings, but not exactly the business voicemail i was expecting. It was a generic “You have reached the voicemail of 8-5-8-5-blah blah…” Immediate Red Flag, but i shook it off. Maybe a new business cell phone or something and she hadn’t set the outgoing message (although that’s the first thing i did when i got every company phone i’ve ever had).
    I’ll preface this next part by saying that most of the interviews that i’ve been on (for other jobs, not PFS) have been a kind of mutual feeling out between me and the company, trying to see if it’s a good fit for both myself and them. Usually the interview consists of the interviewer doing a brief explanation of the company, making sure to point out awards and such. Then asking me questions and me selling them on how awesome i am and why i would be good for their company. Primerica was very different. It was all about how awesome they are and how i could make a ton of $$$ there if i worked hard. I felt like she was trying to sign me up for their financial services. I only answered 3 or 4 interview style questions before i started to feel like i had this job if i wanted it (on the 1st interview, mind you). “Hey,” i thought, “maybe i just killed it and she loved the answers.”
    Next she wants to schedule a 2nd interview THE NEXT DAY. I’ve been interviewing pretty steady for a couple months now and that seemed really strange to me. She said if i had any questions i could ask them at that time, when i was meeting with the RVP. So i go, and i’m not the only one, there’s about a dozen people in interview attire. I’m thinking, “This is interesting, maybe they are just knocking these out one by one or some kind of group interview.” Nope, slide show by the RVP saying how much $$$ i could make and how awesome PFS is (although with much more detail). Felt more like i was investing in them instead of fighting for a job there.
    Another big Red Flag that shot up was when we went around the room introducing ourselves and saying what we did. There were guys that were former building maintenance guys, IT professionals, one dude was a Hometown Buffet manager. How the hell was a 55 year old janitorial supervisor and a 40 yr old restaurant manager going to be able to do financial services without anything close to prior training? I was in B2B outside sales for the last 5 years, and i can see how that would qualify me for this a little, i mean it involves some sales to do financial planning, but those other guys?
    We never got to ask any real substantive questions to the RVP. I was shuttled back to the office of the recruiter who got me there and she wanted me to start training tomorrow. Seriously? 1st interview Wednesday, 2nd Thurs, and start training Fri? She could tell i was feeling uneasy and asked if i had questions. I tried to frame them without coming right out and asking if it was a pyramid scheme (i still thought they could be legit). She had an answer right away to down all my questions almost before i had them asked and i almost felt dumb for asking them. I told her i was skeptical and she said she would pencil me in for the training and if i decided i didn’t want to come, then to call and cancel.

    Sorry if i was ranting a bit there. I guess i kind of needed to get that off my chest. The whole thing just felt slimy to me from the get go and i was pretty excited when i found this blog. I’ve decided i am not going to go. I’ve always trusted my instincts and mine were screaming at me that this was a scam trying to get me in the door. Thanks again.

  188. I am presently taking the insurance class at PFSU to obtain my license. I have completed 12 of the required 20 hours, and I am considering NOT completing the remaining 8 hours. The reason why is because of the company pitching that was going on by the trainer during the class.

    I believe that having the trainer who is there to “get us through the course to pass the test” should concentrate on the course materials and save the rah rah, Primerica is wonderful stuff for the broadcasts from HQ and the weekly RVP meetings.

    I have recently discovered this blog and find it very interesting. I was asked by my RVP to bring my significant other to a weekly meeting so that what I was getting my self into would not be so much of a mystery. Upon leaving the meeting, my companion turned to me and said that it looks like you joined a cult.

    I do have to agree that you are constantly asked by your upline to bring guests to the meeting, in the hopes, I would imagine, of them wanting to join.

    I am having second thoughts on staying with PFS.

  189. This is from Kens earlier email
    Some would argue that the reason Primerica doesn’t offer any cash value policies is that their sales force would then need to study for and pass the securities exams, which are certainly not easy. Again, revisiting the early concept of “validating” an MLMs existence is the products

    Note that to sell cash value insurance you don’t need an investment license but you do to invest the diferance in mutual funds. Most of the reps from insurance copanies don’t have the investment license. I know many life companies that none have the license. About 25% of Primerican’s do have the investment license.

    Ken why are you lying about such a small thing? I have sat across the kitchen table with competing agents at least 20 times and not one time did they have an investment license but it is amazing that they ALL said to the client that the cash value is an investment and we all know legally it is not and that it is only savings not a real investment. I have a small office with about 20 licensed agents and out of that I have 7 that have the investment license (series 6) and 9 that have a mortgage broker license. Also 3 that are now licensed investment advisor reps (series 65). All 20 have a legal license. 6 have a P & C license. 3 have the series 26 so they can supervise others with a series 6. I make sure to do product training of ours and other companies. By the way we have beat the quotes for other companies about 78% of the time (I track it) and when our price is not better we don’t sell it. As far as rates on loans I just closed one for 4.15% so not to bad.

    As far as the loads for mutual funds we are about average with the industry. We offer the same products as most other financial companies. We actually can us 11 companies to find the best for our clienst. We run a program from Morning Star that compares what the client has. It goes over risk, gain, fees, ets and puts them side by side for the client and if they have better I tell them to stay as they should.

    So Ken her are some facts not put a pie in that hole.

  190. Wow, I’m glad I found this blog page. Seem’s to me, from all the writing Ken and Xprimerican have writen over the past few years, they’re to busy sitting in front of the computer, spewing trash, because they’re too lazy to get up and out there to get the job done. So, they have no other option but to try and lay blame on a great company, with one of the BEST products in the insurance industry.
    Primerica has NEVER claimed to be the CHEAPEST, only the BEST for its customers. Compairing apples to apples, you can not compete with a Primerica Insurance Pollicy. You’ve heard the ole antiage “You get what you pay for”.

    Plain and simple, if you work, hard, you’ll make it. If you can’t do that, don’t bother. Primerica recruits for a purpose, to look for Winners. You’ve just gotta go through some loosers in the process.

    Ken and Xprimerican? Good luck to you both. Maybe there’s a future in journalism for you both. God Bless.

  191. Thanks Dan for all the information you provided in your educated post. It’s nice to see Primerica continues to have such high standards with their reps.

    I will skip over responding to your insults and go right into the facts:

    Primerica has NEVER claimed to be the CHEAPEST, only the BEST for its customers

    Please how Primerica is the best for the client. Let’s look at it:
    1. Primerica is the only term carrier that doesn’t guarantee their premiums after 20yrs. So you sell a product to a client for 30yrs and it is only guaranteed for 20yrs. How is that good for the client?

    2. Primerica Terminal Illness is the lowest in the industry. 40% or $250k. With the waiver of premium it is higher, but you have to pay for that. Every other term carrier offers a minimum of 50% or $500k and most are 75% or $750k. Where is the client better?

    I could go on and on, but you will be like the countless uneducated reps who attack with absolutely no facts. It is actually people like you who give the company a black eye. You don’t verify anything. You believe your RVP and the convention talk instead of looking for the facts your self.

    Let’s look at a case I just replaced and you tell me where the client is better off:

    Primerica policy written in 2006
    30 yr Term only guaranteed for 20yrs

    Husband – $450k
    Wife – $350k
    Child Rider $10k

    Total Monthly Premium – $102.00

    Replaced with Genworth (guaranteed for the full term – 30yrs)

    Husband – $500k
    Wife – $500k
    Child Rider $10k

    New monthly premium $69.73 for the entire family.

    NOTE – this was written almost 5 years to the day after their Primerica policy was written. So the clients are 5 years older and still every major term carrier blow the PFS policy away.

    Those are real numbers. No BS, no games, all facts.

    Now if you would like to take a challenge why not post the last 3 life cases you have written. We can do a real comparison. (PS – I have the new PFS rate book so no lying) In the end lets see where the numbers fall.

    I can promise you someday you will look back on this post and realize how foolish you have been. If you have any integrity you will one day become a former PFS rep who is pissed because your “friends” used your relationship to sell trash to your friends and family.

    PS – save the God Bless. It is obvious you are simply another drone playing Christian. When you lay your head on the pillow tonight ask yourself what happens if I am right. How many families are you misleading? You can call the home office in Duluth and ask them about the two questions I asked. Both are 100% accurate. Their response is “we have never raised rates”… That’s laughable. How long have they had 25, 30, & 35 year products. The answer to that question will shock you!

    Keep drinking the kool aid I know how sweet it is! Just wait someday you will wake up.

    • If I may,

      I want to know the fine print of that Genworth’s policy..

      Guaranteed Renewable without proof of insurability?
      Guaranteed Renewable up to age 95?
      Conversion to a Whole Life/Permanent Life/Cash Value Policy?

      or is this a Return of Premium Term insurance?

      just skeptical about this life insurance thing…

  192. i am not here to bash Primerica, I was a part of the company for 21/2 yrs. I learned a lot, The reason I left was the opportunity I visioned seemed unattainable I learned more about recruiting than how to make money, I recruited 20 people while I was there and non did anything, the presentation were to long by the time you got to the products folks wanted you out the house. It seemed I was making a little more than my uplines but nowhere near enough. the premiums where high so what attracted me to the biz on giving clients what they needed I could never do and the fact if sum1 got declined then what. I was introduced to CapitalChoice by a friend who I initilally turned down b4 getting with Primerica but I decided to check it out, totally AMAZED me same concept different method. i learned how to make the money 1st doing whats right for the client i amde more monet in 10 months than I made in the 21/2yrs with primerica now the recruiting is easier cuz they SEE Im doing it. my contract is 75% through the door, the life products are a lot more competitive actually I rewrote ALL of my primerica biz & saved all of my clients BIG money 7 gave them better policy’s. Example I had a client with $250K on him & hs wife in good health with Primerica they were paying $113 month 30yrs put them with Transamerica $750k 30yrs $84 100% terminal illness, 30yr gauranteed premium, settlment option renewable up to 105. Now they have what they need, i work with many insurers instead of just one so if a client gets declined I can put them with sum1 else. When I found out who started the company Dick kinnard i knew why it worked so well plus its more freedom here than @ primerica not a whole lot of conflict of interest problems. I actually made enough to go to the national convention in less than a year of being with the company & in the running now for the incentive trip next year, It wil be a year for me in August. I only try to recruit 3 people every 2 months those who see the opportunity, ready mentally to make a change and the time is right. so I don’t have to give LONG presentations, my presentation is 15-20mins, app is 10mins then Im gone. If I see the need to put the opportunuty out there I will. My referral calls are simple I just ask to do the dime theory that the referee had & Im done & it works 90% of the time. the annuities is after the fact which I was not doing in Primerica now I am. This opportunity fit my vision, after 5 months in I got laid off 7 I have not had to look for work if I was @ primerica it would not have worked that way. i still have friends in Primerica & i wish them well, non of my uplines are doing as well as I am but they have planted their flag. primerica does work if you have th PATIENCE & ENDURANCE to give it 5 to 10 years IF you make it then. But I did not have that long.

  193. Skeptical but Open-minded August 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I am finding that when the topic of Primerica is searched for, there is a large variety of opinions. Some are middle of the road and sound reasonable while others sound so enthusiastic about the program that I feel as though I’m reading about some sort of cult that, should I choose to join, I would never be able to leave. I have been to similar meetings before, but have yet to attend a Primerica recruitment meeting. I am more than skeptical to say the least, and felt that Ken gave the most reasonable review I have seen thus far. I actually have a friend who works for Primerica. He has been constantly bugging me about coming to a meeting, about joining the company, all the things that Ken mentioned representatives are trained to do. It has gotten to the point where he speaks about nothing else, in fact carrying on a conversation is near impossible. Frankly, it is more than a little irritating. Ken’s suggestion that constant badgering could ruin relationships is true. I do not want to become the tirelessly ranting corporate “finance expert” that my friend has, regardless of the opportunity to become rich without real work.

  194. I’m glad you found value in the time I’ve spent here. Why on earth would I lie about what I write here? The normal response would be “Because you’re afraid of us taking your business” This has NEVER happened. If the products were good or the prices within reason, I could see that argument. If I ever get in front of a Primerica client, it’s an instant sale. All I have to do is show some of the obvious mistakes their presentation has, mimic what they were told word-for-word. Then, they realize I DO know what I’m talking about and I gain the instant credibility the PFS rep just lost.

    • Thank you for this… everyone.
      First, Ken, I am of a kindred spirit with you. Your writing style and logic are the same as mine. Having spent several hours reading post after post from beginning, skipping most of the middle, and finishing with the end… I must know what it is you do for a living? I don’t know how to send or receive private email conversations with you without the possibility for spamming to take place.
      Second, The emotional responses that lack proof are just that. Name calling works well in said arena. For those of us who have owned businesses and sold them and are looking to buy another business… name callers are easily seen through.
      Third, Some of the responses were so honest by the first timers what their feelings of something not being right. I too have felt the same… where are the facts, the numbers, the proof, the business plan, what it will cost me and why, percentages of people that get in a drop out, what happens to their recruits? Who gets them? So many business questions.

      Biggest point, thank you all.

  195. Ken, you might not be lying as you cliam, but as seeing as you are not part of the business for years we all are certain that your information is outdated.

    I have been a rep for 2 years, and I can tell you directly that the effort in reflects the effort out. I’ve done some effort and make some money. It is pocket change, but thats the effort i’ve put in. No one asked me to quite my fulltime job.

    Yes you work like a slave for about 5 years to build your client base and you do get ownership of the business once you reach RVP.

    With all things of this nature, it is a numbers game, the more clients you have the more money under management you get the more trickle income you get from each.

    It isn’t for everyone, but it does work.

  196. Are you an MBA as well?

  197. Forgot to add.
    “X” What I posted to Ken is also directed to you (All the compliments and the questions). Same feelings towards you and what you have posted… and especially HOW you have posted it. Factual, and without stooping to the name calling that both you and Ken have received. Against my better judgement, I’ll post my email address here. jgee2 at socal.rr.com

    Thank you X and Ken. And X, the shorter version of your name is far more fun.

  198. Jon,

    Thanks for the post. Some things have changed at PFS and I still have a lot of friends who are RVPs & SVPs with the company. About every three to four months one of them call me to “recruit” me back into the company. They give me all the “new changes” and thing I will be back in the company again.

    I called my friend who is a RVP just now and asked him about ownership. He told me that the ownership guidelines are still the same as when I was with the company. Maybe he’s wrong, but he is one of the top RVPs the midwest.

    Regardless man I am happy you like working with PFS. Just keep your eyes open…. one day you might see an opportunity where you can do the same thing (business wise) outside of Primerica while being able to provide much better products for your clients and much better pay for your family.

    We just had a RVP with 20yr with Primerica join our agency. IN all fairness he wasn’t a huge builder, but he was averaging 10 recruits x $10k in premium per month and still left. The point is sometimes your opinion changes based on your life experiences and the things you see.

    Good luck man!

    • X,
      I am not in PFS. I lazily tried to use the post to Ken as my basis, then add kudos to you while pointing to the post to Ken, with the statements therein. Confusing, sorry.

      But… was asked for the second time through another friend to join PFS. MLM is not how my mind works and reading the excellent postings by you and Ken have added insights that the emotional comments can’t erase.

      Having owned two businesses and sold them both (unrelated to this field), I am now looking to purchase a book of business from a retiring agent or two. The problem is, Allstate has been my suitor, but I know independant is best… but also THE most difficult direction to find someone whose book can be purchased along with all that needs to accompany said arrangement.

      Long story getting longer, I have several of my licenses for the state of CA, but need to get a few more. Allstate actually lets the qualified buy a retiree’s book of business, but knowing the indipendant direction is best… how in the world can a complete no namer, like myself, find the best avenue to start this process?

      Feel free to email me any insights, reading material, classified sections, online blogs, anything, that will possibly put me face to face with an independant who is looking for someone who wants the best for their clients, and is willing to fight for them, as if they were his/my own parents, brothers and sisters.

      Thanks X. Your tireless efforts here(blog) are well received by this Lone Ranger, without question.

      Cheers!!!
      Jon

  199. Hi Jon,

    Sorry I was confused. (Nothing unusual! Haha)

    I’m not very familiar with buying a book a business, so I will be no help to you there. My recommendation if you are looking to go the independent route is either find a Lifemark Partner or a local FMO to work with. I just referred a friend in Arizona to Shurwest Financial Group in Scottsdale. I have a couple associates who have worked with them and really enjoyed their time with them. They eventually left the industry, but had nothing but good things to say about them.

    I am really sorry I can’t offer you anything better, but that’s pretty much all I have.

    Also I vowed when I started posting that I would never cross the line and contact anyone outside of the public forum. As of today I not violated that promise to myself, so I apologize for not emailing you. I will be glad to answer any questions I can on page openly though.

    I wish you nothing but the best man!

    • Thank you again X!!!

      No worries on the private contact… I get it completely and felt it was necessary to cross that line for me, to insure my sincerity and uprightness. I have a contact who does mainly investing out here (series 6 and 63, oh and one with the 7 as well), so I will research Lifemark (which I just saw a commercial for them the other day that caught my eye) and a local FMO… Are there specific names I should look to engage considering my desire to learn a huge amount, continue to learn, all while buying a book of existing business? At 47 with a family, starting from scratch would be an expensive startup cost. Because I have the cash, I’d rather find a strong indipendant providing the best for an array of clients, so I can do what I do best… research and given them the best for their needs and application.

      Thanks again X!

      P.S. The person that gave us a talk about PFS, asked why we weren’t interested. I suggested that my wife text back to her, “my husband (me) did some research and we were not interested and would go in a different direction.” It seems my wife said she replied with something like, researched… what did he find? Then she went to another PFS meeting and texted us to look up 100K careers via Google. Which I did. Nothing there about PFS. Not sure her angle.

      As you’ve mentioned, there are those in PFS making 6 figures, but not many. I have to own my book of business from the beginning… the people I sell to/help with the best products, will be treated as family, nothing less.

      Thanks you for the best wishes!!! Right back atcha my friend!!!

  200. Wow, I’ve learned so much by reading these posts! I feel as though I have more insight now as to how these businesses work. I was left a message by a overly sweet young lady last week. Was left nothing but a name & number as well as a “possible management opportunity”. I knew from that small amount of info that this was probably not something I would be interested in, but thought I would look into what business this was. Googled name & number & turns out to be a PFS rep. I’m surprised that so many people really do this not to mention make money at it. I thrilled that there are those out there who are helping some as well as themselves along the way. I have no education in any aspect of the financial market, so for me to go out & sell these products is ridiculous. I think this is one of the biggest problems of this issue. I would want more of a thorough education on how all these things work before I would sell them to anyone. Now that’s just my opinion. I think to be really fair to a client you would need more than just training from one company. Sorry to be ignorant on the subject as a whole, but it’s scary to me to sell something that is such a big deal when it comes to peoples lives. Just to recruit anyone without any type of experience in the inductry (other than just sales experience) is crazy to me. Thanks to all who left educated, respectful posts from someone who is not educated in the field. Therefore I guess I won’t be selling any financial dreams anytime soon!

  201. My son and daughter in law had a rep in yesterday talking to them. As I listened I could feel the hair on the back of my neck raise. The kids were honestly looking for financial planning help and here comes this snake oil salesman offering them a qet rich scheme. And unfortunately my son is so desperate to get out of dept he is considering it no matter what I tell him. I am spending today researching the company and making copies of articles to have him read. I am hoping he inherited my brains and healthy skepticism and will make the right decision.
    I feel like they prey on the helpless. My son had lost his job and he and his wife and child are living with us. The last thing they need is this company. Thanks for this read and if you can direct me to any other concrete evidence to show him I would appreciate it.
    I life by if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Wish he would.

  202. I have seen and read of negative and positive things about Primerica. I want to clear a few things here so that the company and its structure are fully understood. I cannot speak on behalf of Primerica or represent them in any way in this post. What I am writing is from my own personal experience and what I have seen firsthand.

    First I have seen and read a lot of different things online calling Primerica a scam. It is NOT a scam as it is a company in the most heavily regulated industry in the country. They are in the financial services business which is regulated by every alphabet federal and state agency in the country. They are a public traded company on the stock market (PRI). Being on the stock market means they also get regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This is on top of all the other agencies that regulate this company. It is very misguided to believe that all these agencies would allow for a company to scam people and to do it since 1977 when Primerica first started.

    Primerica is a marketing company that markets financial products to the general public. There platform is to market to a warm market instead of a cold one. What that means is market to people you know as opposed to people you do not know or cold prospecting. This is not new in any industry as they all do it. Ever worked as a bartender and was asked to tell all your friends and family about the place you work at and have them come in? Ever work for a Real Estate company and was told to tell all your friends and family what you do and who you work for and ask these people if they are in the market to buy, sell, rent, or lease a home and if they are not do they know someone who is? The examples are endless. Primerica’s concept is not new by any stretch. It goes back at least to the 70′s. Let’s say you work for another financial service company like Metlife, New York Life, or any of the other big companies. What do you think they do? They will try to recruit you to come work for them. The difference is they already want you license and you have to pay for all your own licenses. Primerica pays for your insurance license and then your securities license. Those 2 licenses alone would cost you over $1,500 to obtain if you had to do it on your own. Primerica ask for nothing in return. All you have to pay is $99 for an application fee. Now let’s get down to how they do business. They do a variance of what is called “project 100″ in the business. Every insurance company does this and most other commission based jobs do the same. They ask you to write down 100 of the most influential people in your life with there phone numbers. Then they tell you to call these people and make appointments with them. This is the base of your business and what is called the warm market. While you are talking to these people they will tell you to get referrals from them to be able to call them for appointments. You are suppose to keep at this until you run out of names and referrals to call and this is where the typical agent gets stuck because no one teaches you how to get new business. Then out of frustration a good portion of people leave the business within the first 2 years because of frustration of not being able to make a living. This is what Primerica tries to avoid by having you recruit and build your business. By recruiting you will be able to keep your income from crashing because you will get paid a percentage of all new business brought in from your recruits. This is something that is not offered at most other financial companies.

    The next time you go on a job interview I want you to ask the interviewer these questions;

    1. First, I would like 25% commission on everything I sell and I want to see that percentage get far higher as I improve.

    2. I would also like the opportunity to earn free merchandise based on my sales.

    3. I would also like the opportunity to qualify for free trips to exotic locations based on my sales.

    4. I expect you to provide me with the very best website and free online training plus leadership training.

    5. When I bring in and train any new sales people, I deserve to be compensated a percentage of their sales and when they do well, I expect that you reward us both with bonuses.

    6. I would like the opportunity to rapidly advance within the company.

    7. As my advancement progresses to supervisory role, I would like to be given ownership in the company.

    8. Once I have brought in and trained enough sales people, I expect to be able to branch out into my own office within this company.

    9. When I do well, I expect LOTS of praise and recognition, plus free products, special awards, fabulous trips, and even cash bonuses

    10. I would like my friends and family also to work here.

    11. By the way, I need to set my own schedule and work only when it suits me and my family.

    Once you ask for all this do you think you will get it? At Primerica you will if you work for it and put the time in needed to do so.

    As for the statement of Primerica being a pyramid scheme; let me give you the definition of the hierarchy structure of any company.

    A hierarchy is typically visualized as a pyramid, where the height of the ranking or person depicts their power status and the width of that level represents how many people or business divisions are at that level relative to the whole—the highest-ranking people are at the apex, and there are very few of them; the base may include thousands of people who have no subordinates). These hierarchies are typically depicted with a tree or triangle diagram, creating an organizational chart or organigram. Those nearest the top have more power than those nearest the bottom, and there being fewer people at the top then at the bottom. As a result, superiors in a hierarchy generally have higher status and command greater rewards than their subordinates.

    In Primerica you command how far up the hierarchy you go by your own performance. You rely on no one to promote you. You do not need to have any educational degrees to advance and all you need is the proper state and federal licenses. Each office is independently run. That means if you can work hard enough to gain your own office, you decide how you want to run it and what hours to keep. You just have to keep in compliance with all company rules, state and federal laws. That is the only requirement when you have your own office.

    If this is all negative to you then this is not for you and you should be satisfied with what you do now for employment. If this sounds too hard and you do not think you can achieve what is required then Primerica is not for you. If you want to try your hand at financial independence without having to give up your current employment, then Primerica may be for you.

    The negative remarks I hear are from people who have failed in Primerica. I have never heard any negative remarks from anyone who has been successful with Primerica. The definition of failure is giving up without realizing how close you were to success.

  203. If you want to talk about a pyramid scheme, just look at any company. The CEO is at the top and then the pyramid fans down. You have your VPs under the CEO then some mid level manager and finally the workers at the bottom who number in many but have little power. Corporate America is a pyramid.

  204. Primerica Is supposed to be putting together a FNA for me. In the mean time I have a term policy with northwestern mutual for 325k and my agent wants me to convert to a whole life policy. Primerica said its not a good idea. They also want to look at my current term policy (which I can’t find). The guy from primerica recommended I do a
    3 way call with NW mutual to ask some questions about the policy and lie about who was on the line. I have been very unsettled by this. Why not just say I need the info and my rep from Primerica would like to make comparisons. I don’t know what to do?

  205. I know this blog was created in 2009 but it gave me some very good questions and answers about this business. My husband and I spoke to a PFS rep a couple weeks ago and he invited us to the “open house” they are having tonight. I feel more “well armed” and more willing to go listen but not fall into the brainwashing. Thanks

  206. From what Ken and some of the others were saying, most importantly that the individuals supporting Primerica (PFS) won’t respond to the message is makes me believe that the company is all it is cracked up to be.

  207. First of all, I’m not a part of any MLM. But I am doing my due diligence on the industry b/c I am interested.

    I noticed that Chris had no response to Tom’s very sensible and straight-forward explanation of how Primerica works and operates. He’s making sweeping generalizations of every person in Primerica…and c’mon now. That can’t be a logical stance to take.

    People forget the real reason why people even look to MLMs and entreprenuership in the first place: Because they hate their jobs, the office politics, the glass ceilings, and the corporate structure!!!

    In every profession and industry on the face of the planet you will find individuals who are bitter about their experience with that profession or industry. From clergy, lawyers, doctors, musicians, actors, corrections officers, businessmen, etc. You name it and you’ll find them. Take their advice with a grain of salt, but ultimately the decision to do or not to do something shouldn’t be based on their experiences, buy yours. In my opinion Chris Wondra is just a bitter ex-primerican. So take what he has to say with a grain of salt. I’d much rather listen to someone that stayed the course in whatever MLM their in than someone who quit.

  208. Just wanted to add a few more comments…I see so many posts aboout Primerica’s insurance and mutual funds being more expensive than other competitors.

    You get what you pay for. Everyone shops at Wal-Mart (the low-cost leader), but I don’t know a single person who shops at Wal-Mart because they like it! The service is poor, the morale of the employees is low, and if there were a better option with better service most people wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for great service (think Target, Publix, Kroger, etc.).

    That’s why people pay more to stay at the the Ritz-Carlton. Sure they could’ve stay at a Super 8 and paid less money, but Ritz-Carlton is know for its world-class service. You feel like the you’re the only patron in the hotel from the time you check-in to the time you check-out. This is free market capitalism folks. Price is the silliest thing to debate about. When you base your products and services on price you have seriously limited you business!

    As a company, a business owner, or whatever I (we/you) can charge whatever price you want to charge for your products and services. If I’m (you/we) are adding value to the consumer then price becomes irrelevant. The cleaners that I use charges more, but I don’t mind b/c they always do a great job, they’re always organized, my clothes don’t come back to me damaged, and I always look good!

    Consider the difference in purchasing a Mercedes-Benz and a Hyundai. At the core, both vehicles will get you from point A to point B. Both are made of basically they same materials. But b/c of the “perceived value” of a Mercedes-Benz people are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars more for a Mercedes than a Hyundai. So debating about a few dollars in regards to term insurance or investments sounds ridiculous to me. Is your advisor good? Is he honest? Does he provide excellent service? Do you feel that he/she has your best interest at heart? That’s what matters. And people who understand value won’t have a problem paying more (Assuming that Primerica’s products do cost more which I must admit I don’t know).

    Lastly, starting a traditional business in America typically costs thousands more than starting a business with an MLM. Not to mention most new businesses in America fail within the first 2 years. Everyone seems to forget this. Starting any business entails taking on risk.

    Most MLMs have a low cost of entry, you get access to professional marketing materials, access to training, access to a network of other individuals in the company, some successful and some not, who are usually more than willing to show the new recruit what it takes to be successful, (which you would be hard pressed to find in the traditional business model), not to mention the cost saved on hiring people to handle the administrative duties of running a new business.

    In closing, I am currently a financial professional for a major regional bank. The turnover in the banking and investment industry is extremely high, in most part b/c people are lazy, unmotivated, not willing to do the work necessary, and not willing to face their fears in order to obtain success. No matter what profession you work in you know and work with people who fit the above description.

    In my opinion, MLM is not to blame. That includes Primerica.

  209. I just thought I’d comment on my experience at Primerica and another financial services firm, ING Direct.

    I began my journey in the financial services world as an intern during college. I’ve interned for financial advisors at Merrill Lynch and Ameriprise. Both advisors were very successful. But both had one thing in common, they weren’t totally in business for their own. At Ameriprise, the advisor had expenses such as office, assistant, marketing, errors & omission insurance, technology fees etc. So the poster’s experience does not correctly state that “every other company pays those fees.” On the other hand, at Merrill Lynch, the product limits are very high. A financial advisor must produce $10mm in new assets annually for the first three years. They have an account minimum of $250,000 per account, hardly a target for the middle class. The Merrill lynch financial advisors are paid approximately 50% on the fees they collect. While that sounds great, most fail at Merrill Lynch. When starting out, you don’t get an office. Most people get a small cubicle in a large office filled with advisors. The “team” morale does not exist because all advisors are against each other. The world of financial advisory is very competitive. If you’re thinking there are programs out there that prepare you to be a finance wizkid, think again. It is mostly a sales focused job. And most advisors don’t have much finance training.

    Now onto my experience at what some would call a reputable firm, ING Financial Partners, an arm of one of the biggest banks in the world, ING Direct. At ING Financial Partners, there was an errors and omissions insurance fee of $2700 per year, a technology fee of $4800 per year(while everything was filled out on paper applications), and that was it. I was offered a desk, computer, and phone. The size of the desk was about 3 foot wide. It was a long desk shared by many other financial advisors. At ING, they pushed whole life products and proprietary mutual funds. The mutual funds charged a similar fee as those provided by Primerica. The term insurance offered by ING was definitely a little bit cheaper compared to Primerica’s Term Now policies. However, Primerica’s custom advantage product is pretty comparable. The thing I hated most about the quoting system at ING was it used a “Super Preferred” rating which is almost impossible to get unless you’re some super healthy god. So all-in-all, the rates are pretty comparable to Primerica. Go figure. Yes, I have the quoting tool to compare.

    As for buying term and investing the difference. I have compared the whole life policies offered by ING Direct with Primerica’s buy term and invest the difference. ING’s whole life policies have horrible rates of return for the first 5 years. There is no liquidity. You have to take a policy loan. And you have to buy coverage for your entire life. What’s the point?

    My comparision:
    ING Direct’s Whole life global plus product
    $225/month in premium for $150,000 of coverage

    Primerica’s custom advantage product for $300,000 of coverage
    $125/month

    Investing the difference at 8% over 30 years provides a much higher return, honestly. Would you trust an insurance company to handle your investments or a mutual fund company(which focuses solely in investments).

    Take it from someone with experience in the financial services industry since college. Primerica does provide an opportunity.

    One thing I do agree with the poster is that at Primerica, in the beginning, you are a professional recruiter. The entry level commission rates for registered representatives are poor in comparison to other companies. At ING, my commission rate was 44.4%. At Primerica, the entry level commission rate is 25%. In order to get a 50% commission rate at Primerica, you must recruit 3 people of which one of them recruit 3 people. But you’ve got to think about how undifficult it is to recruit 3 people. From my experience, seeing approximately 40 people per week, I successfully convert 2-4 per week into Primerica. So with that said, it is not difficult at all to earn a comparable commission rate.

    The major benefit of the current Primerica is that they will pay for your life license and securities license. Yes, they now pay for your securities license contingent that you pass a kaplan or testeachers course with a grade of 65% or better. According to Primerica news, their securities business has grown significantly since the inception of the securities business.

    The original poster is against mutual funds with front end fees. One thing the original poster did not account for is the standard aum fee charged by most advisors at the large banks/financial advisory firms, which is 1.25-1.50% annually. Yes it is true that the first 5 years, the fees leave more money behind. But most people invest for the long term, that’s where the class A mutual fund beats out the fee charged by financial advisors. The thing that I hate most is that people automatically trust financial advisors of big name firms. When in fact, the people that are most qualified to buy/sell stocks/bonds are professional traders. And professional traders often go on to own hedgefunds focusing on high net worth advisors. The difference between a mutual fund and an advisor at Merrill lynch is two fold. A mutual has an army of research analysts, financial analysts, and other related “finance” experts working the books. Therefore, you’re actually getting professional advice. At Merrill lynch, Ameriprise, ING direct, you’re getting one person to pick your stocks and bonds, and that same person must spend hours a day finding people to invest in order to earn a commission. Why would you want to invest in someone who doesn’t spend all day watching the market and making predictions using financial concepts/principles? That’s why i’m a firm believer in mutual funds, they offer instant diversification, follow major indices, and are offer well priced in comparison to hiring an advisor at any big name bank.

    Is Primerica successful, yes they are and they will be. Their liberal recruiting system automatically creates horror stories. But what people don’t hear about is the horror stories at big banks with high AUM requirements. It is not easy to achieve $10mm in new assets per year for three years. At Primerica, there is no sales quota, so you can learn as you go, work part-time, focus solely on friends/family. But then again, you can also go out. For $25/month you get electronic applications for life insurance and securities. Great, much better than ING’s platform.

    Take it from someone a bit more knowledgable about the industry. Many big name firms like Axa, ING, Ameriprise, and others will make you pay a lot for E&O insurance, office space, and marketing materials.

    Last note, market materials for Primerica are offered for download as a PDF, which you can print. Primerica is changing daily and from my personal opinion after being with them for a year, they are becoming increasingly competitive.

    Yes, I am a professional recruiter now. I spend 8 hours per day interviewing/presenting the opportunity individually to potential agents. And I spend 2 hours per day training new agents(sales, opening accounts, conducting financial needs analysis, marketing, and recuiting/building a team).

    Will I survive, only time will tell. My plan is to stick it out for a year as a “professional recruiter” and see if my training produces quality sales agents/recruiters. Yes I am paid a bonus based on the production of the commissions that my recruit’s recruits produce.

    I believe in the MLM model. There are no AUM production requirements; I don’t have to pay for an office(but I do), I don’t have to pay for E&O insurance like that compared to other firms, and I don’t have to pay for an assistant.
    For $99 and $25/month, it really is a great deal.

    The real reasons why 97% of people who join Primerica fail.
    1. Lack of sales training.
    2. Lack of will(won’t put in 40+ hours per week).
    3. Looking for a comfortable salary position.

    Recruiting people into a business which is largely commission based is not easy. That is probably the number one reason why people fail at MLMs. They don’t see enough people and convince enough people to join.

  210. x do you still come around? I would love to own my own agency but I need to start somewhere. After reading here it won’t be primerica. What I’d your opinion of Capital Choice? Thanks

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