Is WFG really a scam? Read this whole review to find out the truth…
WFG (aka World Financial Group) is an MLM financial services organization out of Duluth Georgia. I was part of the company for several years – even when it was called WMA (World Marketing Alliance), a company led by Hubert Humphrey, Jr. They primarily offer an insurance product called a VUL (variable life insurance) from Western Reserve and Pacific Life.
The History of WFG
Back in 1977, a football coach named Art Williams started an insurance company called “A.L. Williams”. They were one of the largest supporters of the idea “Buy Term and Invest the Difference”. To keep the story short, some of the leaders split up between a company called Primerica and World Marketing Alliance (aka WMA). Back in 2001, a huge financial company from the Netherlands (AEGON) purchased the company and rebranded it as World Financial Group.
What Changed My Life Forever
Even though I have gone to a bunch of Amway meetings in the past, what really turned me into MLM was one of the WMA/WFG meetings. At that time, they had a huge annual meeting in Las Vegas (around the 4th of July). There was so much energy and enthusiasm from the tens of thousands of people that were there. Throughout my time in WFG, I had the chance to learn from a bunch of the leaders including: Hubert Humphrey, Rich Thawley, Jack Linder, Monte Holm, Ed Mylett, Xuan Nguyen, Jeff Levitan, Penny Ooi, Yvonne Mei, and Joe Bonini. Each one of these people really did sell me the dream of making it big.
While WFG does try to be a full service financial services firm, they mostly sell VUL (variable life insurance). It’s kind of like a lifetime term insurance policy connected to a separate account (where you can select from a variety of investments which were very similar to mutual funds). I mostly sold Western Reserve Life policies and some American Skandia (now owned by Prudential) variable annuities. That wasn’t my choice… that was heavily pushed by the company and through the commission structure.
I recall when Aegon bought them off. Everybody used to talk about Transamerica (the pyramid building in San Francisco). Most clients never heard of AEGON or WFG before, so it was a way to leverage the Transamerica brand name to build up credibility.
The Recruiting Sales Pitch
While recruiting other agents, I learned a great sales pitch: Good company (AEGON), good product (VUL), high demand. They also sold the idea that they were the main financial services company that was really saving “Middle America” financially – while the other brokerages were just helping out the rich.
Looking at this as a business opportunity, all of that sounded pretty good. AEGON was a strong company that did have great products (I still do like VUL and other insurance products). Now how about the demand? While helping people get out of debt and boost up their retirement did sound good, the real deal was pushing life insurance.
Is It Really The Ultimate Opportunity That Many WFG Reps Claim it To Be?
After many years of running a variety of businesses, I’ve discovered that it’s easier to make money if you’re offering something that people are really looking for (and that you can make a great profit from). First of all, life insurance isn’t a product that people scream about and go running after (it really has to be sold). Another point, most people that want life insurance don’t even think about buying a VUL (so that’s beyond a normal sale – that takes some hardcore convincing – even with your family and best friends).
Another general issue is that it is a financial product and service that you’re offering. While financial products and services do sell very well, there’s something that you should know about. One of the biggest marketing methods of traditional MLM is selling to your market (mostly your friends and family).
In America, there are a lot of people that don’t save money (and that was part of the WFG sales presentation that I did). That’s a fact as well. The reason I mention this is because your friends and family that may not save money too well may be embarrassed to tell you the truth about their finances (which is something that you really need in order to make a valid sale – you really need to know your customers situation).
The next issue – retirement. I wasn’t so much of a debt solution provider, I focused on retirement. Why? If you go around solving debts with investments, you’ll be attracting a bunch of people that are in debt and don’t have much money to invest. So I focused on retirement. In business, tremendous sales are made with tangible goods…something that people realize immediate benefits from. Unfortunately, retirement can be far away for most people and the urge to solve their retirement problems is pretty low (compared to taking a nice vacation or buying a cup of Starbucks coffee almost every day).
I almost forgot the cost. Between my life insurance license, the 52-hours of life insurance training (that is required), studying for my securities exam, and passing 2 securities exams – I spent over a few thousands dollars. One of the most expensive MLM companies to get started with (don’t get me wrong – it does take some money to make money). They really do sell the dream to make you think that you will make enough to make it worth while…but most of the reps aren’t successful and don’t recoup their losses.
Does WFG solve a problem? They sure do. I still think that they help people improve their financial health. Is WFG a scam or a legitimate company. They really are a legitimate company…or else the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) would allow them to sell financial products.
Now do I think they have the best business opportunity? While WFG does solve a need, they don’t really have something that people really “want” (and spend money for). Making money through your own business can be a lot easier if you offer something that people are “hungry for” or actually “want” (instead of just needing it).
If you really want to build your own business, I suggest you get the knowledge first so you can make a better decision. Sign up for my free MLM training tips and learn how to build a passive-income business without going through all of the hassles that WFG reps have to go through.
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