WFG Review - Happy Kids Jumping in Swimsuits

Is World Financial Group a Scam? [WFG Review]

Welcome to my World Financial Group Review! Never before I met WFG people, I’ve trusted an MLM (Multilevel Marketing) business model, which WFG utilizes. I thought that MLM and Pyramid Scheme were the same. However, I always try to stay open-minded, and instead of blindly declining an offer to join WFG, I’ve decided to watch, learn, and make my own conclusions. After 3 years of close observation, I’ve opted-out. Why? Is WFG a scam? Please continue reading as I give you the answers and explanations in my unbiased WFG review.

Header Image with happy kids jumping in swimsuits. Text: WFG review. Is World Financial Group a Scam?

Company Overview

Name:World Financial Group (WFG)
Founder:Hubert Humphrey, founder of WFGHubert Humphrey
Headquarters:  
 USA:11315 Johns Creek Parkway
  Johns Creek, Georgia 30097-1517
 Canada:5000 Yonge Street, Suite 800,
  Toronto, ON M2N7E9.
Website:www.worldfinancialgroup.com
Price:One-time Non-Refundable Membership Fee of $100.00 USD or
$130.00 CAD plus applicable taxes. Conditions apply. *
Then, $70.00/ mo for licensed associates.
Rating:Star Rating: 5 of 10

WFG is a financial services multi-level marketing company. WFG is a subsidiary of Transamerica Corporation.  Since WFG doesn’t believe in the “one size fits all” approach, its licensed associates offer a broad range of solutions from many other well-known providers in addition to Transamerica’s products.

World Financial Group (WFG) consists of World Financial Group, Inc., World Financial Group Canada Inc., and their affiliated companies:

  • World Financial Group Insurance Agencies (collectively, WFGIA) 
  • World Financial Group Securities Inc. (WFGS)

Insurance products are offered through WFGIAs. In Canada, WFGIA offers life insurance and segregated funds and WFGS offers mutual funds.

WFG mission consists of 3 parts:

  1. WFG offers financial services to individuals and families across North America. Through its alliance with Transamerica, WFG is able to offer a wide array of life insurance and income protection solutions with a common purpose: to protect families and their dreams. 
  2. At no cost, WFG associates teach their clients financial literacy, which helps families in planning their financial future.
  3. For people from all walks of life, WFG provides the framework to build their own business in the financial services industry at a low startup and operating costs and a high level of support and quality training in leadership development and education in the financial industry.
The top members of the WFG executive team:  Thomas Dempsey - President and CEO of World Financial Group, Inc. George Chuang - President of Transamerica Financial Advisors Rick Williams - President of WFG Canada Inc. 

The top members of the executive team are:
Thomas Dempsey – President and CEO of World Financial Group, Inc.
George Chuang – President of Transamerica Financial Advisors
Rick Williams – President of WFG Canada Inc.

World Financial Group History

World Financial Group History

WFG planted its roots in 1977 when Arthur L. Williams and 85 associates founded their company A.L. Williams & Associates, which later became well-known for its controversial philosophy of “Buy Term and Invest the Difference” and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) structure.

One of the original members of the A. L. Williams organization was Hubert Humphrey. At first, without the knowledge or consent of A.L. Williams, Humphrey began to apply MLM techniques to his sales. Then, his methods were adopted and became the foundation of the organization.

  • 1977: Arthur L. “Art” Williams Jr. founded A.L. Williams & Associates – an insurance and financial services company that uses multi-level marketing.

  • 1990: A private company A. L. Williams & Associates was merged with Primerica and renamed Primerica Financial Services.

  • 1991: Hubert Humphrey left Primerica Financial Services and created Alexander, Inc., which shortly thereafter was renamed World Marketing Alliance, Inc. (WMA) Humphrey left behind “Buy Term and Invest the Difference” idea and focused on Variable Universal Life (VUL) insurance as a solution for baby boomers to better address wealth creation and tax protection need.

  • 2001: Select assets of WMA were purchased by AEGON and renamed the World Financial Group, Inc. World Group Securities (WGS) was incorporated in order to replace World Marketing Alliance Securities (WMAS) as a servicing broker-dealer. Humphrey retained WMA Mortgage Services, which became the foundation for the World Leadership Group. As part of the conditions of sale, Humphrey signed an agreement to not compete in the insurance industry until 2013.

  • 2012: World Group Securities (WGS) merged with Transamerica Financial Advisors under TFA name

My Personal Encounter With WFG

On a summer evening of 2015, at an enjoyable private house party with a music concert, I was approached by 2 beautiful ladies, let’s call them Mia and Karen (I don’t want to disclose their real names). These ladies found out from the host of the party that I was in a process of changing my occupation with a need to work from home on a flexible schedule as I had to be available during the days to my adult son with disabilities. Mia and Karen were WFG associates: at the time, Mia was a Marketing Director (MD), and Karen was a trainee. Mia had been working with the company for over 6 years, while Karen just joined recently.

Please note, that while everybody in presence was there for leisure, Mia and Karen were on the mission of finding new prospects for their business.

These two ladies introduced WFG to me and offered an opportunity to join their team and build my own business in the financial industry. I wasn’t interested in getting involved with the Multilevel Marketing company. Like most people, I was skeptical about network marketing and thought that all MLMs were scams. However, the ladies seemed very nice and a new acquaintance with people knowledgeable in the field of finance sounded useful. I didn’t mind exchanging the contact information with them.

Since I didn’t have to work 40+ hours a week anymore, I got time to look into my family’s financial planning, which was always on the back of my mind. I was making some contributions towards my retirement savings all my professional career, while my husband had no savings what so ever. I wasn’t completely illiterate about finances, but I felt like I could benefit from professional advice. I asked my new friends for help, and they dedicated several evenings to visiting us and going over our options and best choices for planning our income at retirement. My husband and I offered them a nice dinner, but other than that their help was free of charge.

One of the financial products they introduced to us, had all the features we were asking for. Not immediately, but in about 6 months we purchased the plan which was a combination of whole life insurance and savings for retirement. My friends earned some commission from that sale, and I was happy that many hours of their hard work were not left unpaid.

The product we purchased was complicated, and while my friends put a lot of effort to explain it to us, we kept forgetting the features, the cost, and other conditions… I wanted to have access to some learning materials – so, that I wouldn’t have to take more of my friends’ time. It turned out that WFG offers financial literacy training materials.

I was told that a one-time fee of $100 would give me lifetime access to their in-office and online training events and repository. That actually turned out to be unintentional disinformation. Hear a spoken word and always verify it in the legal documentation! Of course, I didn’t read every single word in the Associate Membership Agreement at the time of signing up… Or maybe I even did but was assured that the termination has never happened in the past and I’d be able to access WFG training and materials at any time in the future.

Associate Membership Agreement (AMA), last page:  GLOSSARY - "Termination: ...if Associate fails to achieve and/or maintain a personal commission level of $2,000.00 or more for the first full calendar year of membership..."

Well, 4.5 years later, I did receive a termination letter via email. Some of my readers reported that so did they, and they felt like they were scammed as they have only been with the company for only a little over a year. The chance to receive the licenses and earn $2,000.00 + in commission in your first year is very slim.

Screenshot of the Termination of AMA agreement email

After this Corporate letter, Mia emailed some additional information to all terminated associates in her team, explaining that those who still want to stay on WFG platform and learn financial knowledge, get incensed and do the business, could pay $10 or $15 (depending on the State of Residence) within the 60 days after the termination date and get their membership extended for another 9 months. “After 60 days, you’d need to pay $100 to rejoin.” – she wrote.  

Anyway, back to 2016… I paid the entrance fee of $100 and started learning. By the time I was more or less clear on what’s best for building my family’s financial stability in the future, I knew quite a lot, and there wasn’t much left to fulfill the requirements for the Life and Health Insurance Producer State exams.

With the encouragement of my growing number of friends at the WFG, I added the missing pieces to my education, passed both exams with a high score on my first attempt, and formally became an independent insurance producer, but not appointed with Transamerica yet. That would be my next step should I decide to move on…

I became confident that WFG was not a scam. Some of the arguments supporting my conclusion that WFG was a legit business were common for any WFG office across the US and Canada, but others, perhaps, could be subjective and unique to the Massachusetts branch. My optimism towards the company was boosted by my luck of meeting very friendly, hard-working, knowledgeable and reliable associates.

It took me a few paragraphs to tell you the story, but in reality, it had been 3 years between meeting Mia and Karen and getting my first licenses. In the meantime, I’ve learned the difference between a Pyramid Scheme and a legitimate MLM business, watched Mia working non-stop days and nights, and learned other advantages and disadvantages of network marketing. The MLM structure of the company was still my biggest concern for making a commitment to become an independent associate.

In 2018, I’ve made my final decision NOT to pursue the WFG business opportunity.

I didn’t lose trust or confidence that this opportunity could be developed into a profitable business. I watched my friend Mia slowly but steadily moving towards achieving her goals. I witnessed her advance in the rank from Marketing Director (MD) to Senior Marketing Director (SMD) – this happened in 7 or 8 years after she joined WFG.

Yes, it can be done – Mia has proved it!
But by what efforts and in what time frame?

Did you know that once you’ve achieved the SMD rank, you’d be required to give away your strongest team member and his or her “leg” to your upline?

That’s what happened to Mia. She had to start over again. She is extremely patient and committed, but she said that a lot of SMDs leave the company at this point. If they do, they lose 8 to 10 years of their life and their hard work. I want you to be aware Before You Got Involved!

WFG Leadership Level Average Earnings: SMD, EMD, CEO, Executive Vice Chairmen

The image above shows SMD’s average earnings for a rolling 12-month period. Would you agree that this is not a huge annual income? My last 9 to 5 job paid me more, plus excellent benefits.

I’m not afraid of hard work and I can commit and focus on my business full-time until I reach my goals. But if I work for myself, I want to love what I do. Wouldn’t you? I considered the opportunity with the WFG in the first place because I really like the financial industry. Learning more about the limitations in control of your business, the skill set and type of activities one must perform for success within the MLM model, the high dependency on your team size and its quality, and inability to diversify income streams, pursuing a network marketing opportunity just didn’t feel appealing to me…

While considering the WFG opportunity and taking these small steps in approaching it closer, I continued looking for some other type of business that I could run from home. 

I discovered for myself the affiliate marketing model, which offers much more flexibility. In affiliate marketing, you are in full control of the industry you join, and the direction and strategies of your business. You don’t need to recruit and train anyone. Your success depends on you only and is directly corresponding to the efforts you put to growing your business. In this article, I compare Affiliate Marketing vs. Network Marketing side by side – please check it out! 

The success rate in network marketing is very low, and it takes at least 5 years to only realize whether your business is even moving in the right direction. You may work hard and put a lot of effort into recruiting and coaching your team members, but they may not be as dedicated or as skillful as you are.

Mia spent a lot of her time training Karen for about 2 years and helping her prepare for her State Exams. Karen seemed really interested and committed, but then she left WFG to work with Primerica. As a side note, I warn you NOT to do that!

All Mia’s time and her efforts put into work with Karen were wasted. At least, I didn’t waste Mia’s time training me on anything other than the product I purchased! But, it was my right to opt-out if, in the end, I decided that the product was not a good fit for my family. That’s the nature of Mia’s business, and the business you are considering to get involved with.

I don’t know whether after reading my WFG review, you’d be willing to become an associate with WFG, but Primerica is much worse! Since I mentioned it, let me explain a little…

Primerica is also an MLM company offering financial products and services (see the diagram above and the WFG History chapter for A.L. Williams & Associates). However, their products are very limited compared to WFG, their philosophy and strategy are very narrow (“Buy Term and Invest the Difference”), and their business ethics are horrible.

Primerica associates break the law by putting their own interests above clients’ interests and churning the policyholders to replace their existing policy for the sake of earning a commission and recruiting a new associate. By canceling an existing insurance policy, the policyholder often becomes a subject to Surrender Fees and with a new policy, the contestability period starts all over again.

Many potential clients are not aware of the consequences of policy cancellation and fall under this scam. But, if a potential happened to be financially literate, Primerica associates’ initial charm, friendliness, and politeness disappear as soon as they feel resistance and disagreement.

Since Karen switched to Primerica, she tried to pull me along and I learned all of the above through my personal experience communicating with her new Regional Director.

I do not recommend either WFG or Primerica, but please continue reading to learn more about WFG, and if you decide to move on with the financial services network marketing company, do yourself a favor: choose WFG.

However, if you’ve checked my “Affiliate Marketing vs. Network Marketing” post and feel like affiliate marketing would be a better choice for you, but you don’t know how to get started, I can recommend you the company that I’ve joined and am still very happy with the training, tools and services, and level of support I receive there.

Click here to read my detailed review of Wealthy Affiliate

WFG Products and Services

WFG offers the following solutions:

I. Financial Education
WFG enables families to make better financial decisions by helping them learn key concepts.

II. Financial Needs Analysis
The complimentary Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) is offered by your licensed WFG associate to help you identify the core components of your financial health.

III. Power of Choice
Customers have access to a wide range of products and services to help plan for their financial future. Financial solutions offered by WFG associates are:

Car Crash - WFG Life Insurance
  1. Life Insurance
    A broad array of Life Insurance policies, including pure protection (Term Life Insurance), and various types of policies accumulating cash value. When the cash value becomes sufficient, the last group allows you to access the policy value through policy loans or withdrawals.
  1. Annuities
    WFG associate helps you understand and choose the product that best fits your needs among a variety of annuities:
    • Immediate Annuities
    • Equity Indexed Annuities (available only in the United States)
    • Variable Annuities (available only in the United States)
World Financial Group - Long-Term Care: Caregiver and a disabled person in a wheelchair
  1. Critical Illness Insurance
    This type of insurance can help with out-of-pocket medical and non-medical costs when a catastrophic illness such as cancer strikes you or your loved one.
    • Disability Insurance
      If you couldn’t work due to an accident or illness for an extended period, disability insurance can cover you even after your employer’s coverage has ended. Not only it provides income while you are unable to work, but it also helps to keep your existing savings and investments intact.
    • Long-Term Care
      In the later part of a person’s life, one may require a Long-Term Care. But in some unfortunate cases, the need may arise even earlier: serious illnesses such as Parkinson’s, stroke or heart attack may also cause the need for such services.
  1. Debt Relief Assistance and Tax Resolution program
    Debtmerica and its sister company, Optima Tax Relief, provide Debt and Tax Resolution Programs. WFG and Debtmerica have partnered to help families achieve their financial freedom. Debtmerica has a dedicated team of trainers and consultants to support WFG Associates and offices.
"No Debt" written in coins.
  1. Mutual Funds
    Mutual Funds allow you to pool your money with other individual investors to purchase financial instruments. Every mutual fund has a professional money manager, who is responsible for making investment decisions on your behalf in accordance with the stated investment objective of the fund. There is no guarantee that a mutual fund will reach its investment goal, it’s subject to market risk and may experience loss of principal

  2. Segregated Funds (Canada)
    In Canada, segregated funds are investment policies that provide guarantees on the initial investment at maturity or upon the death of the account holder. They are managed professionally and offer a wide array of investment portfolios to choose from. These policies may protect your funds from creditors.

  3. Group Insurance (Canada)
    A range of products is available to small business owners. A licensed WFG associate can offer insurance solutions to cover the owner, the employees and to ensure the future security of the business.

  4. Registered Retirement Savings Plans

  5. Group Plans

  6. Travel Plans
  1. Business Solutions
    Here is an incomplete list of available solutions. Your WFG associate will have a full list and all the details.
    • Executive Compensation Programs such as Deferred Compensation and Key Person Insurance
    • Business Continuation Programs, including Buy-Sell Arrangements
    • Retirement Plan Solutions such as 401k and 403b
    • In Canada, products and services listed above in “Group Insurance” are also available to help reward and retain personnel.
WFG College Education Funding - Graduation Cap Throwing
  1. College/Post-Secondary Education Funding
    • In the United States, 529 College Savings Plans can be utilized.
    • In Canada, several options are available to fund college education:
      • Registered Education Savings Plans
      • Joint Life Annuities
      • Guaranteed Interest Accounts
  1. Investment Advisory Services (United States)
    Properly licensed Investment Advisor Representatives of Transamerica Financial Advisors can provide professional money management services and work with the following types of assets:
    • Mutual Funds
    • Variable Annuity and Variable Life contracts
    • Exchange-Traded Funds
    • Individual stocks and bonds through separately managed accounts
    • 401(k)s/403(b)s
  1. Business Platform
    WFG helps entrepreneurs to quickly and efficiently start and build their own financial services organizations with a minimal initial capital. WFG guides the process step-by-step and provides mentoring and all required business tools.

Should the Clients Be Concerned about the MLM Structure of WFG?

WFG clients - Happy Family Illustration

My experience showed that being a client of WFG is like traveling in a Limousine with your personal driver and tour guide. Though I can’t guarantee that no associate at WFG is Primerica-minded, their company-wide training and philosophy are to serve clients in their best interests. They carefully evaluate the financial situation of each family and among their wide variety of products find a solution that best fits your family’s needs considering your personal psychology and level of tolerance to the economic fluctuations.

The positive outcome of working with a WFG associate is that while you are working with the one knowledgeable and properly licensed individual, there is a whole team of professionals standing behind the back of this individual. In our Massachusetts office, each team treats other members like an extended family, and the relationships between the teams are of warm and supportive friends. I hope that clients of any WFG branch get this feeling because WFG philosophy is that their main purpose is to help clients and each other, and they are financially motivated in doing so.

Should the associate working with you need help in answering your question, the team will come to the rescue. Should your associate move away, retire, get sick or die, another team member will take over your support. Most likely, you’ll get to know a few other team members soon after becoming a WFG client.

What Should You Expect if You Join as an Associate (aka Business Partner)?

If your goal is to become an Independent Insurance Producer and WFG associate, then you’ll become a business partner to the member who referred you and to the whole team in the branch in your state of the US or in Canada.

WFG is NOT a SCAM. If you are considering the possibility of becoming a partner, please >>read this article<< to find out how to distinguish between a scam and a legit MLM business.

World Financial Group is a legitimate business. In general, it can be trusted. But please remember that people are different, and of course, not all of them are trustworthy. I was lucky to meet Mia, but even she made a mistake and misinformed me about the membership fee.

WFG is an accredited business by Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating. However, it has only a 3-star customer rating and 163 complaints were filed by the customers with BBB only.

115 reports are listed on the Ripoff Report website

There are also some mistreatments and questionably lawful actions on the Corporate level. 2018 lawsuit alleged the Transamerica improperly increased monthly costs on 70,000 universal life insurance policies to avoid guaranteed monthly interest payments. Transamerica Life Insurance Co. will pay $195 million to settle this class-action lawsuit.

If you search for any big Insurance company, you’d probably find lawsuits going on at one time or the other for each one of them. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the Insurance business in general, not specific to MLM.

Working with WFG has its pros and cons. I don’t recommend this company for your home-based business not because it’s a scam, but because I am convinced that very few people can succeed in this business. It’s very hard to achieve a reasonable passive income in any company using a network marketing model, but WFG doubles and triples the difficulties.

If being an associate for an MLM in cosmetics, clothing or wellness industries, could allow you to treat it as a side-hustle, financial business requires your full focus, in-depts learning, and full-time commitment. If time to your desired level of success in other MLMs is averaged to 5+ years, you’d need 10+ years in the financial network marketing company to achieve your goals and meaningful passive income.

I’ll go over all the details and you decide for yourself whether this is something you’d like to do.

WFG is a Legitimate Multilevel Network Marketing Business

First, let’s look into why I am telling you that the World Financial Group is a legit MLM business.

  • WFG has been around for over 25 years; the headquarters office locations in the United States and Canada are verified and well known (see Company Overview above)

  • WFG sells a variety of quality products. In the United States, Insurance products are strictly regulated by state law, and market investment products require FINRA licenses and regulated by Federal law. WFG acts in compliance with all Federal and State regulations, its associates are properly licensed.

  • Prices of the products sold by WFG associates are the same as prices of the same products sold by other distributors.

  • WFG members and partners are NOT obligated to buy any of Transamerica or any other financial products offered by the company for its clients.

  • The multi-level structure of distribution of the earned commission is clearly defined and documented. It is available to every member at any point in time.

    Click here or image above for the US Compensation Plan, effective 2011 & updated in 2016

    Click here or image below for the Canada Compensation Plan, effective 2011 & updated in 2016.


  • WFG never promises its potential partner an easy work and/or quick money. The team always makes it clear to the freshly joining members that selling insurance is hard work; it requires evenings and weekend time because most potential clients work during the business hours.

  • Once licensed, there are no obligations to WFG. You just got yourself another professional occupation. You are more than welcomed to stay with your team and work as a WFG associate, but you don’t have to. There are multiple opportunities to work as an independent Insurance Producer and be appointed by companies other than Transamerica.

Steps to Become a WFG Associate.

  1. If you still want to become a WFG associate, you’d need a referrer. If you don’t have one, contact me, and I will connect you with my friend “Mia”, who is an SMD in Massachusetts. She will be able to find a trusted partner for you in any US State or in Canada
  2. Pay a $100.00 ($130.00 CAD) membership fee, register, read and sign AMA.

  3. Your “upline” partners will be your supporters and mentors.

  4. Start learning finances, products available on the market and business partners strategy by attending seminars in your local WFG office, participating in online webinars and learning independently at your own pace using WFG archives of the financial literacy training materials.

  5. In the US, prepare yourself for the Life and Health Insurance State Exams. In Canada, complete the Life Licence Qualification Program (LLQP) pre­licensing course.

  6. Pass the examination. WFG requires all associates to obtain their licenses within nine months of becoming an associate.

  1. Buy your license, make your first payment towards Errors and Omissions (E & O) professional Insurance, and pay an appointment fee – these are regular expenses of an insurance agent. Altogether these fees are under $500.00

    After you obtain your license, there is also a $70 recurring monthly fee, $45 of which goes to WFG for the website, marketing materials, and ongoing business operations such as payroll. The other $25 will cover your monthly payment for E & O insurance.
    Here is a fragment from the Canadian documentation shown during the registration process:
    “Please note that the fee provides access to the Launch Platform only. Once you obtain your licence, there are additional reoccurring fees that you are responsible for and must pay to remain active with World Financial Group Insurance Agency of Canada Inc. These fees include, but are not limited to, a monthly Platform Fee/E&O which covers Errors & Omissions Insurance premiums and access to technology and services.”

  1. You’d still need to make several sales in a field together with your WFG referrer. But as soon as you feel comfortable, you can start selling life or long-term care insurance on your own.

  2. Start learning variable securities and preparing yourself for the subsequent securities and advisory licensing which will increase your earning potential.

  3. Be prepared that once you reached the SMD level you’d be required to give the strongest “leg” in your team to the person above you – your “upline”!

Brief Illustration of the WFG Hierarchy and Compensation Plan

Here is the latest version I found of the “U.S. Compensation & Advancement Guidelines” – it was updated in May 2018.

A Base Shop includes: 

  • The Training Associates
  • Associates
  • Marketing Directors
  • Senior Marketing Director

You start as a Training Associate at a 25% contract level.
In order to move one level up and become an associate, you’d need to make 3 sales and recruit 3 partners within any sequential (rolling) 30 days (3:3:30)

The Associate contract level is 35%.
The promotion requirements are: 3 direct associates through the personal recruits, 5 life licensed associates in your team and 40,000 net points in 3 rolling months

Marketing Director (MD) is the first level of management. The contract level is 50%. 
Requirements for promotion are 10 associates in your team, 6 of whom must be life licensed, 3 branches of personal recruits (legs), one of which must be MD level, 75,000 net points within 3 months rolling time. Also, there must be $35,000 in cash flow within 12 rolling months or $20,000 – within 6 rolling months.

Senior Marketing Director (SMD) contract level is 65%. 
Per the 2018 report, the average annual income is $40,669 – $86,084.
The requirements to move on to the executive management are as follows: 3 direct recruits – all SMDs and either 500,000 net points in 6 rolling months or 750,000 net points in 12 rolling months.

Executive management:

  • Executive Marketing Director (EMD): 
    The average annual income is $193,621;
    the highest earnings: $2,091,572.
  • CEO Marketing Director (CEO MD): 
    The average annual income is $350,656;
    the highest earnings: $2,961,610.
  • Executive Vice Chairman (EVC): 
    The average annual income is $823,469;
    the highest earnings: > $9,000,000.

The statistics above are taken from the WFG official website for a rolling 12-month period through December 31, 2018, for North American associates who held life, securities and/or investment advisory licenses.

Pros and Cons

Smiley Face, Thumbs Up

Pros:

  • What I liked the best about WFG and the group of people I’ve met was that there was not too much pressure. They did remind and encouraged me to take the next step, but they didn’t do it in an aggressive and pushy manner. When I joined, I could participate in many company events and learn as quickly as I wanted, or I could lay low and do nothing until I felt ready to move on. It was an advantage for me, but considering the termination letter that many slow-moving associates recently received, I should probably now move this to the “Cons” section.
  • The financial literacy you achieve at WFG empowers you with a knowledgeable approach to building your own financial future.
  • Great variety of high-quality financial products to meet the financial needs of every family.
  • An opportunity to create your own business at a low starting cost in a rewarding field of helping individuals and families to plan their financial security by educating them and offering financial solutions.
  • A single direct sale earns a high commission.
  • With WFG you’d be able to build a business of your own, but not on your own. You have strong supporters “upline” because aside from human kindness and team partnership, they have a mercantile interest in your success: in order for them to move up to the next level, they need to bring you up first.
  • Another benefit of starting your business with WFG is that you don’t have a sales quota like most other insurance companies set for their agents as a requirement (you still have to make $2,000 in commission per year, or your contract with WFG could be terminated).
  • WFG offers great rewards in the promotion when you make more sales and recruit more partners. Such rewards serve as monetary encouragement for growing your business faster.
  • The most important benefit of being a WFG associate is that if you manage to build a large organization and advance in your ranking, you’ll be earning huge passive income.
    Today, you work very hard to move up in the hierarchy of MLM levels. Tomorrow, when you decide to retire, the team you’ve created will still be there – working and growing. Perhaps, you won’t earn as much as you used to while you were active, but your passive stream could be a very good addition to your retirement income.

Cons:

Sad Bee - cartoon drawing

All the disadvantages of the network marketing business model are multiplied when viewed in relation to any financial MLM, and WFG is not an exception.

  • MLM’s success rate is low. Period.
    Depending on what your definition of success is, the success rate with WFG is even lower than with many other MLM companies. That’s because, with other MLMs, people may feel successful if producing some low to moderate side-income in addition to their main earnings. WFG requires your full-time involvement. Earning some extras, while working a 9-to-5 job, is almost impossible, especially if you have a family and other obligations. There are only 24 hours a day, and WFG business will suck up most of it.
  • It takes not 5, but 8 – 10 years to establish reasonable life-supporting income from this business
  • The balance in WFG training between actual financial literacy, financial solutions and recruiting strategies is often leaning towards the last one. Please remember that while the facts in this review are solid and verified, all subjective moments are certainly based on my personal opinion. Since I’ve been more interested in financial education than in hiring tactics, this disbalance in training is a disadvantage for me.
  • Even if you work tirelessly, success is not guaranteed as it depends not only on your hard work but also on how committed your team is.
  • You are not in control of your business. Think about it… If this was truly your business, you would choose the products you offer to your customers, the strategy in your business operations, the ethics… In the MLM model, you fully depend on the World Financial Group, Inc. You must follow its policies and obey their rules.

    The company may change its rules and direction at any time. If at some point along the road, you disagree with the change WFG implemented, you’d still have to comply or quit and lose years of your hard work!
  • Business dress code in the office and in a field while meeting with clients. And again, this is my personal view. I am a business-casual dress type of person. Suits feel uncomfortable to me. I believe that professional appearance doesn’t always require a suit jacket.
  • WFG teaches and encourages you to make a list of everyone in your “warm market” circle and target them first as your main prospects. If you do this not very skillfully and delicately, you may ruin relationships with your close friends and family members.
  • The sharing of your earned sales commission doesn’t feel fair when you are at the bottom level. In order to tolerate this feeling, you need to remember that without this option, there wouldn’t be a passive income in the future.
  • From my personal point of view, one of the most negative aspects and absolutely unacceptable to my nature is that a WFG associate must promote his or her business non-stop, everywhere, every time, to family members, friends and everyone (s)he meets.

    Do you remember me mentioning at the beginning of this post that while all the guests at the party were enjoying the concert and social activities, Mia and Karen were still working their business? I don’t want this to happen to me. In my leisure time, I want to relax and enjoy the company of my friends. I also want my friends to enjoy my company rather than start avoiding me because I always pitch my business to them.

Conclusion.

World Financial Group is a legitimate financial service multilevel network marketing company. It is possible to build a lucrative business on its platform. However, the rate of success is very low as a successful business partner must be not only fully committed and hard-working, but also possess the qualities of a skillful leader, fine salesperson, clever recruiter and energetic coach. Your success depends on your team, and not solely on your own determination and persistence.

I do not recommend joining WFG as an associate unless… you are very confident that you have what it takes for achieving your goals in this business and fully understand that this should be your life-long commitment (assuming that you are aiming for success).

I love helping others. I love teaching what I know well myself. But, I have no desire to seek people who may need my help. Seeking means asking everybody until I come across the one who is actually interested. No, definitely not my call! That’s the reason I didn’t become an active WFG associate. And for this same reason, I joined Wealthy Affiliate instead.

At Wealthy Affiliate, I’ve learned to offer my help online and tune my website so that search engines display my posts in their search results to people who are looking for what I’m writing about. Isn’t this how you came over to my website? I didn’t chase you to tell you about WFG. You found me!

I work from home and earn a commission when people take my advice and purchase products or services I recommend. These days, most companies run their business online (at least, partially) and offer affiliate programs. If you have an established website (which I’ve created and hosted with Wealthy Affiliate), it’s easy to sign-up for free as an affiliate marketer with those vendors whose products or services I find helpful for my readers and of high quality.

I suggest to my website visitors only what I truly believe will benefit them. I always explain my perspectives in great detail, and my readers have a choice to follow my advice or not. There is no force of any kind. There is no recruitment involved. I also create a stream of passive income since a post I’ve written once is available on my website for years, and people find it over and over again. The direction and success of my business depend only on my own efforts and how my offered solutions to people’s problems are valuable to my readers. I build my own success!

If after reading this WFG review, you felt somewhat connected with me in your mind, had similar likes and dislikes, and thought that affiliate marketing could be a better choice for your work-from-home solution, please read my Wealthy Affiliate Review, join for free to explore this platform with your own eyes and through your own experience.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions privately via my Contact Page, or just leave a comment in the Comments field below this post.

Resources:

World Financial Group Official Website USA/Canada
WealthManagement.comWorld Financial Group YouTube channel, Compensation guidelines ( world-financial-group-compensation-plan.pdf file was removed from this location after the publication of this post: http://www.jasonleehq.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/); WFG Presentations


WFG FAQ:

What is WFG?

World Financial Group (WFG) is a financial services Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company. WFG is a subsidiary of Transamerica Corporation. Like any network marketing company, WFG offers people a business opportunity that potentially creates a passive income. Be aware that the rate of success is extremely low and depends on the size of the organization you manage to build.

Is WFG a Scam?

World Financial Group (WFG) is a legitimate multilevel network marketing business. The company has been around for over 25 years and offers a wide variety of quality financial products and services. However, the business operations, policies and regulations, and the compensation plan are controversial and trigger many complaints.

How Much Does It Cost to Join WFG?

One-time Non-Refundable fee that provides access to the WFG Launch platform: $100.00 plus applicable fees – USA; $130.00 CAD plus applicable taxes – Canada.
WFG requires all associates to obtain their licenses within nine
months of becoming an associate. Exams, license and appointment fees are additional out-of-pocket expenses. Once you obtain your license, there are additional reoccurring fees that you’d be responsible for.
From the Canadian registration form: “These fees include, but are not limited to, a monthly Platform Fee/E&O which covers Errors & Omissions Insurance premiums and access to technology and services.”

Is There a Relationship Between WFG and Primerica?

Primerica and WFG crossed their paths in history. Currently, they are not tied together.
In 1990, A.L. Williams & Associates, a private insurance and financial services MLM company, merged with Primerica and was renamed to Primerica Financial Services. A year later, Hubert Humphrey left Primerica Financial Services and created Alexander, Inc., which shortly thereafter was renamed to World Marketing Alliance, Inc. and later to World Financial Group.

Which is better: Primerica or WFG?

Primerica and WFG offer financial solutions for families and individuals from all walks of life. The philosophy of Primerica is “Buy Term and Invest the Difference”. Therefore, their set of products is limited and their methods of converting people to their strategy are unethical. WFG is more focused on families’ needs and people’s psychology and offers a wide variety of financial products for every taste.
The business opportunity offered by either company is known for a very low rate of success.

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30 thoughts on “Is World Financial Group a Scam? [WFG Review]”

  1. Hi Julia,

    You’ve provided a very thorough review of WFG. I have been curious about the company myself as I listen to Ed Mylett’s podcast and have heard the company mentioned a few times.

    Although I am not a fan of MLMs, I do not believe that they are all scams. It seems that WFG provides a lot of value with their products and services. Anyone who is interested in this company will definitely find value from your review. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Reply
    • Dear Eartha,

      Thank you very much for your feedback. I am glad that you found this review thorough and believe that it’ll help people in their decision-making if they are considering WFG in any aspect.

      I found LiveWealthyRetirement.com with a goal to help people find financial freedom at the retirement, or even retire early. Any career, including MLM, requires a lot of work during the first years. However, not every business continues to bring income after you can’t actively participate in it any longer. 

      In MLM model, your hard work in the beginning, is rewarded later by passive income coming your way in the form of commission from sales in the team you created. I don’t think that everyone will be making enough for the full retirement income, but it’ll make a good contribution to the diverse income streams, which we create when planning our retirement. Another one of many retirement income streams could come from a financial product purchased from WFG.  

      With the focus on supplemental income at the retirement, I think financial MLM company such as WFG could be a very good choice for both clients and participants. 

      Thank you again for taking the time to read this review and for your comment. 

      All the best to you.

      Reply
  2. It is refreshing to hear someone promote a company they are involved in with practical experience.
    I would agree if you have had a good experience and have researched the offer to ensure credibility then you can move forward with confidence.

    Most of us need financial advice even if it is only to keep up to date with the latest developments in the financial sector.
    Having been involved with an MLM that delivered a very satisfactory outcome I am not anti-MLM model rather one who advocate due diligence.

    You have explained World Finacial Group really well, thank you for this excellent post.

    Reply
    • Dear Geoff,

      Thank you so much for your feedback.
      I was building my trust to the company very slowly, one step at the time. By the time I met WFG people, I’ve already overcome my negativity towards MLMs in general. As I explained in the post explaining the difference between MLM and a Pyramid Scheme, it was acceptable for me to evaluate and perhaps purchase their product and become their client. However, I was not in the stage when I would consider becoming their partner. These people, however, showed themselves as very knowledgeable and responsible professionals – more responsible than any other financial advisors and brokers I’ve worked with in the past. Their work is really rewarding. I’d enjoy doing a big part of what they do – that is helping others to analyze their financial needs, explain their options and offer best fitting products. I hope that those who need my help and advice will contact me and let me know.
      Once again, thank you for your visit and comment. I am glad that you found my review comprehensive and detailed.
      All the best to you,
      ~ Julia

      Reply
  3. Hi Julia,
    Thank you for writing this article. I do not live in America so I had never heard of World Financial Group before.
    What an interesting concept, to pay only $100 and then be well on your way to be offering financial and insurance advice to people. Different countries sure have different rules and regulations regarding these sorts of things.
    I am happy that I read about a different finance model in a different country. It was interesting. I Don’t feel that I am qualified to talk about the specifics of financial literacy that you mentioned here. There are VERY strict rules around the qualifications and regulations that you have to have in order to offer financial advice or insurance advice in my country. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Dear Glenys,

      Actually, for $100.00 we only have access to financial education. We can’t educate others. We are not allowed to give any kind of a financial advice. The rules are also strict in North America. I learned finances with WFG for myself – to better handle my own family financial planning. I learned a lot, and then I passed the Massachusetts State Exams for Life and Health Insurance Producer. I paid another $50.00 for my exams to the state of Massachusetts (not to WFG). I also recently paid for my license, but none of this money benefits WFG. However, I am still not actively working as an agent, and my disclaimers there state that I am not giving any legal financial advice. What I do offer is to contact me in person, join WFG, learn financial literacy and financial products from the senior (and all licensed!) team members.

      I am sorry if my article was misleading. I hope this resolves the confusion. I’ll have to re-read and edit this post again if it makes people believe that for $100.00 we become financial advisers.

      Best wishes,

      Julia

      Reply
  4. What about Don Iley from Denver? He had 2 prior embezzlements, and he was with WFG over a dozen years. Maybe you should give your readers a balanced unbiased view if you wish to help them.

    Reply
    • Dear Phil Bicking,

      Thank you for your comment. I shared my view with my readers as objectively as I possibly could since it was based on my personal experience and personal involvement with the company. In my article, I showed that WFG is a legitimate business, and the people I’ve met and worked with were very empathetic and utilizing great business ethics.

      I’ve never heard of Don Iley from Denver, and since you’ve mentioned his name, I Googled it. My search didn’t return any results on this name in connection to WFG. The closest match I found was on Don Richard Iley of Parker, Colorado who was a business owner of an Iley & Associates accounting firm and was charged with stealing millions of dollars from his small business clients. If there is something we all should know, please share more info.

      I am inviting my readers to join my team and wonderful people in my upline. Even if someone in Colorado, who was with WFG for years, committed fraud, it doesn’t mean that the entire company is a scam, does it? Or, let me please hear more from you about Don Iley and how influential he was at WFG.

      Thank you again for taking the time to comment on my post.
      Warm Regards,

      ~ Julia

      Reply
      • I can share my own experiences. He recruited me to be an agent for WFG/Transamerica Financial Advisors. He was a top producer in the Denver office more than 10 years. You can find his picture on the stage receiving the award at the WFG convention.
        The guy was a con artist and WFG forced me to work with him. He was my recruiter and every single question I had was deflected back to him from the direction of the headquarters, and the front manager, the CEO, and the upper-level management.
        We know he was a con man because the proof is in the pudding. He had 2 prior stipulations with Dora that went unreported on brokercheck.org yet later the firm reported a story of a customer complaint that led to his termination.
        Finally, 10 million dollars is still missing the money he stole, and it was widely reported that it was placed in pensions.
        So now you can explain to your readers how to place millions in pensions via WFG simply by using the line of authority granted to them and the firm is oblivious to where the money came from.

        Reply
        • Dear Philip,

          Thanks a lot for sharing your story. I am sorry that you had such an unpleasant experience. I guess, there could be con artists in every business. That’s why I took three years to test the company and explore my local office and people in my upline before suggesting others to join WFG. I only promote trustworthy branches and honorable people. If someone wants to join WFG, (s)he will either join my team, or I will find trusted people in other States
          or in Canada through the local connections. An interstate team is also a possibility. Canadians would have to join an office in their country, but we do have connections and offer recommendations.

          Your comment will stay here under my article – so, that my readers could read your story and take in consideration that there is always a possibility of meeting dishonest people (within WFG and anywhere else). I don’t take the blame on myself for what Don Iley did. You wrote that he is no longer with the company. Then, he personally is no longer a threat. I am very happy with the service and training I received from WFG team in our Lexington, Massachusetts office. I’ve purchased Transamerica’s product, was thoroughly walked through all its pros and cons, and am happy with its conditions and current and future benefits.

          Thank you again for the warning. However, I still feel that my potential clients and/or future associates are safe with WFG and the team I am in.

          All the best to you,

          ~ Julia

          Reply
  5. Hi Julia and everyone,
    I agree you explained many things right but between the lines, something is not true!
    You will pay ( $100) for your initial fees + $ 268 for your life insurance license + more fees when you pointed with the providers & they will keep pausing you as a requirement to be in this and that event for training paid from ( $20 to $1000) depending if that need you to travel to another state or city, It’s your business so you need to pay for everything, your car gas, you need special clothes for each event, you need to pay for event ticket not less than ( $175) a person, pay for your hotel and food …..etc. not less that 3 days /nights!
    Furthermore, if you dream to grow this business, you have to have at least 3-5 Solid family relationship to start with them your (10 KTP) training, also you have to keep marketing/declaration about your business by the social media which some of them cost you monthly payment, you have to call people by resume or so (that’s mean you need to buy a lot of resumes) can cost you $300- $1000, and if you would like to create your own BLOG, that can cost you more. In the end, I would say that it can cost you more money – not only $100. This is normal with any business and it means that you need to invest your money between $100 – $1000 monthly. With the training and growing, it can take you a couple of months to make probably your first $1000 or less! You need to grow so you need to invest more and after a couple of years or just one year if you have a great warm market or if you can put at least 10 hrs. everyday (no weekend and no family time – that business can fit for a single person or for men, but not women with a family…) You can probably make $2000 – $5000 a month, and from that level, you reached after one or more year, you will grow up faster & make more monthly/yearly income. Again, that depends on how much money and hours you put in and whether your team members continue with you and don’t quit.
    So, if you read what Julia said + my comment and you feel you can do it, so go and fly!

    Reply
    • Dear Nana Ibrahim,

      Thank you so much for your input! It’s invaluable!

      My article is a review of the company, and I was trying to show that WFG is a legitimate business. My review is very honest and open – there is nothing “not true” even between the lines. In “What does MLM mean for a business partner?” chapter I wrote: “~ WFG never promises its potential partner an easy work and/or quick money. The team always makes clear to the freshly joining members that selling insurance is hard work; it requires evenings and weekend time because most potential clients work during the business hours.” You confirm this in your comment, thank you.

      I also wrote under “Your steps in becoming an Insurance Agent and WFG business partner.” header: “… 7. Buy your license, purchase Errors and Omissions (E & O) professional Insurance and pay an appointment fee. None of this money goes to WFG, these are regular expenses of an insurance agent. Altogether these fees are under $500.00”
      All these other expenses, which you mentioned in your comment and I listed in my article, do not go to WFG; the company doesn’t make any profit from an associate’s license cost or his/her marketing expense.
      You are NOT obligated to visit any WFG events, either local or out of state. You are absolutely right: every business requires some investment, and as you estimated $100 – $1000 monthly with WFG – that’s a very low monthly amount (basically nothing!) to build your solid business, which brings you $2000 – $5000 a month in a year or two (you said it!) People invest much more into their brick-and-mortar businesses and often don’t get any profit at all within the first 3 years. Even IRS anticipates losses from a small business within the first 3 years. You are talking here about a minimum of 12K profit within your first year: investing your max estimate – $1,000/mo, and earning your minimum estimate – $2,000/mo. That’s $1,000 monthly profit. That’s amazing! And you are telling us, that it gets easier over time…

      It sounds like you’ve done even more personal work with WFG than I have, and I take your comment as personal encouragement to continue on an be more active in that business. Thank you very much for your insights!

      I wish you great success in all you do, much love and strong health!

      ~ Julia

      Reply
  6. Julia,
    Thanks for your great summary and independent review of WFG.
    I’m a recent member and can support your assessment. The training alone is worth the membership fee but would recommend folks to work with a local WFG colleague or be open to WFG /WSB members. In fact, we are now in a US/CA Financial Literacy Campaign to educate more families on the basics of money and money management.
    Not only is the initial information valuable, but, the products from the insurance area and financial areas are always changing. The education and updates are extremely valuable to ensure clients and members can help families with the latest information and/or product offerings available.

    Reply
    • Dear Henry,

      Thank you very much for your input in support of my review! I totally agree that continued education is key to success for both associates and clients. Even though I haven’t pursued the opportunity with WFG and fell behind since I’ve written this review, I do remember how much attention was given to the learning and keeping up to date on all the insurance products.

      I wish you great success in your journey with WFG and your financial business,

      ~ Julia

      Reply
  7. WFG is a MLM and sells legit products
    I’ve got my licenses Life and Series 6 and moved to Waddell and Reed, more traditional investment co.
    The problem with MLM is recruiting new people in the system, in a limited pool of people and if you are not licensed even if you recruit all the people in USA, you are not making a dime.
    The products they sell, not the best, not the worst on markets, the financial plan they teach you can find it on Internet, or buy a financial book under $ 100 or check Dave Ramsey on Youtube. The license agents, some might know what they sell the others have no clue how a VUL will work.
    All in all , if you understand WFG survive because of recruiting constant new people in the system, you will not make money if not licensed, and after that to succeed you need to sell like crazy machine. By the time you do this, you will be pretty much in debt, if you want to keep up with the company training and motivational circus. Go for it. But if you do, go first for the license, not the crap and phony dreams they sell at recruiting presentation

    Reply
    • Dear Emil,

      Thank you so much for giving us your feedback based on your personal experience.
      It sounds like it wasn’t made clear to you when you first joined that without a license, an associate cannot make any money. I thought that I explained it clearly in “Your steps in becoming an Insurance Agent and WFG business partner” section. Thank you for stressing it out even more. That’s right! An associate needs at least “Life and Health Insurance” license to start making money, and Series 6 and 7 to be able to sell investment products.

      And you’re also correct that everything taught by the WFG or even the best Universities can be achieved through self-education. One doesn’t really need to go to a college in order to learn any subject and occupation. But how many of us possess such discipline and a high level of comprehension? We pay tens of thousands of dollars to have the material lined up and presented to us in a systematical manner, and for the ability to ask questions and receive clarifications from the experts. In my opinion, $100 is nothing for having instructors and mentors.

      I did not experience any misleading information at the recruiting presentations. Though, I attended only one and didn’t even pay attention to all “the crap and phony dreams they sell”. Any thinking person must understand that there is no easy money. People can get wealthy with WFG and earn good residual income, but like anything else, this requires focused and committed efforts. During my 3 years of observing the company and its business, I watched my friend’s tireless work, her promotions, and financial growth. She was happy because that was her passion, but as I mentioned in my update to this article, I opted out.

      Once again, thank you for your comment and for your warnings. It certainly must be a call of passion for one to succeed in this business (or any business for that matter).

      All the best,

      ~ Julia

      Reply
      • Hi Julia,
        I hope everything is well with you. We both give the answer to your readers. As a side note, no I was not misled by WFG, the first question I asked my “recruiter” was ” How I make money” and second “How fast I get my licenses? I’m not quite interested in diamonds, cars, or cruise trips in your selling pitch. WFG is not a scam and the business structure is based on networking-marketing. From the start, if selling is not a passion, vocation, or in your blood, you will not make as a professional seller, no matter what you sell: BMW, diamonds, dreams or ideas.
        Back to WFG. Why is it the best opportunity around? For $100 you can get licenses in the financial world. Take it to the bank. But again, with all licenses in the world, if you do not know how to sell, those are useless. You don’t have to buy a product, the only thing you have to give, is the list of your friends, family, and everybody you know to your “upline” and whoever is your upline or MD with license, will sell to your market, by the time you get license, you will not have a market, to sell to. You need constant recruiting to “build your business” By now, 2019, everybody should know how MLM works, the pay structure, in any MLM the turnover is so high, people come vs people go, and by numbers, 99% of people joining MLM will not make it, or make any money, or make a living. And the numbers do not lie. I’ve never seen on any WFG presentation tax return of so-called “successful” people in WFG. Anyway, as long as you know what you want, what you are getting to, WFG is the only MLM paying back $100 with a profit, that being said, getting licenses good enough for doing business with any financial entity. Indeed, it’s up to you, how fast you get it, and besides, $100 you might spend extra $$$$ to go to conventions, and somewhat to get used to with kind of a “cult mentality”, keep your critical thinking in check.
        All the best Julia to you and to your readers.

        Reply
        • Hi Emil,

          Nice to have you back! Thanks for your response. I’m glad to hear that you weren’t misled from the very beginning.

          I think that we are in agreement on most of the things. I did mention in the review that with the licenses received, people could decide to work with another company if they find out that the MLM model is not suitable for them.

          I like your mentioning of the “cult mentality” and your warning to “keep your critical thinking in check”. While participating in small WFG gatherings (I never opted-in for a convention!) and watching their presentations and training, the forced “cult mentality” was turning me off, but I just set a barrier for these parts of the speeches and never let them enter my mind.

          Many successful business owners advise in their motivational speeches not to try, but do. In my opinion, every person should first try in order to decide if the job is suitable for him/her. Many people end up opting-out, and perhaps, that makes the turnover so high. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Only those, who’ve made a positive decision towards the occupation and business operational model, should drop the word “try” and firmly decide to “do” in order to succeed.

          Wishing you great success in all you do!
          Warm regards,
          ~ Julia

          Reply
          • Hi Julia,
            The truth will set you free 🙂
            This is the last on this subject. I had good experience with WFG because I’ve got it what I Joined for.
            WFG is the marketing arm of Transamerica owned by giant insurance Aegon. You made it clear.
            Now the good stuff about WFG
            Aegon can drop WFG in a split second if no good for them.
            In the financial world, WFG looks like a joke to the real players.
            Transamerica in 2018 settled $195 million lawsuit
            The flagship product of WFG was at my time in this MLM: VUL (variable universal life) A product not suitable for the recruits or market WFG targeted. I do not go in nuts and bolts of VUL and why it’s bad for broke people, middle class, and bad enough for people not wealthy enough to take advantage of tax benefits in VUL
            WFG reps selling VUL, they do not have any obligations to put the client best interest first. They are in business to make money for them and Transamerica, not “helping families”.
            That’s why VUL, WFG aggressively (some cases at the limit of break the law) everywhere, meetings, conventions and on the families table.
            WFG reps they do not make any money by selling a Term Life here and there, mutual fund here and there, annuities here and there.
            So why VUL?
            The most commissions WFG reps, they get, is from VUL 100% paid by Transamerica
            Transamerica never loses money on any VUL sold, except in lawsuits.
            VUL is a black hole where the buyer’s wallet is spaghettified to nothing 🙂
            If You get a VUL:
            1. Bad returns because of cost, fees and not so good investments by Transamerica
            2. Surrender charges if you want to cancel
            3. Cost of Insurance will just grow and grow, eating from the cash value, in the meantime you just pump good money after bad money in VUL
            3. Just let the VUL eat itself and get over with the money lost

            Most cases the clients of WFG, drops VUL after paying years and years, Transamerica wins, WFG reps wins, whoever bought VUL lose
            Just one example of how money works, might not be accurate to the last $:
            I buy VUL this month $100000 Life insurance policy and I will pay monthly $200 ($35 goes to the premium $165 to my cash value).
            The WFG rep gets 100 % commission, let’s say $1000 upfront, and Transamerica will start making money if I pay enough, for them to recover $1000 paid to their reps.
            Next month I want to cancel. Because of the surrender clause, I lose $200 and Transamerica charges back his WFG reps. I lose, WFG rep loses, Transamerica wins.
            If I keep long enough paying monthly $200 Transamerica will make enough not to charge this WFG Rep back, the WFG will get monthly residuals from me keeping the policy alive.
            The only way I can win is if I die soon to leave my family $100000.
            I do not believe WFG changed this behavior (will not be any good to Transamerica), and suddenly start selling real financial plans not involving VUL, now they sell FFIUL, another insurance anomaly, and they got sued for.
            No, WFG does not help families, because their market does not need this kind of insurance.

            Thanks, Julia.
            I’m done with this subject. WFG was good to me. Your review is fair to your readers regarding WFG, a little bit on the optimistic side, you stated clear you did not join, you did not get securities license only Life insurance ( you still an angel 🙂 ) so you might not know it at the time “how WFG is helping families “. And besides, you let some other readers post some negative aspects of WFG. And if you bought VUL, please tell the world I’m wrong. We gonna fight to the end 🙂
            Cheers

          • Hi Emil,

            I know very little about VUL, but I was well familiar with IUL. When I got my license, it was allowing me to sell Indexed products (the rules have changed soon after, I believe). I think that IUL is a wonderful product for some families in certain situations, but it has to be used smartly.

            My friend, who tried to recruit me, helped many of my friends in decision-making on their financial choices. That was AFTER she knew that she lost me as an associate. I watched her evaluating each person’s family situation and suggesting different types of products, including Term Life, which I personally would never waste my money on. It’s not her favorite product either, but she was listening to what people were telling her and made her suggestions accordingly. So, I guess you can’t say that WFG does not help families, but certain dishonest associates do not and only try to profit. They are obligated by law to act in clients favor, and if they don’t — it’s their personal choice and responsibility. I assure you that I’ve met plenty of dishonest salespeople in all branches of finances and not only in finances. It’s easier for me to count honest insurance agents, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, and car dealers I’ve met during the years I’ve lived in this country – there will be enough fingers on one hand for counting. WFG insurance producer was one of the few honest salespeople I’ve met.

            Once again, I don’t like fights and controversy. Everyone has a right for own opinion as long as it’s not presented as a set-in-stone fact. Thus, I value your opinion, Emil.

            If someone else is following our conversation, I suggest keeping in mind Emil’s advice, do your own research, and aks your agent/ recruiter abundance of questions as many times as you need to fully understand the answers.

            Best,

            ~ Julia

  8. Hi Julia
    Sorry for some misspelling, I’m in a habit not to read what I write, only after I post. Let it be as it is. If you can correct me, fine. If you do not want to post last rant, perfectly fine with me. I’m done with WFG
    Regards!

    Reply
  9. Thank you, Julia, for posting this. I appreciate you joining after three years.
    I read the entire research and I sternly believe that I am the decision-maker of what insurance fits. It’s a personal choice. Yes, WFG is helping families by letting families know that they do need insurance and start saving! There are at times we earn a lot and do not invest right and later blame the company or the system. For example Term. need to be very careful of the Term Insurance. If one’s budget does not support to pay the UL, then Term might be good.

    Reply
    • Dear Judith,

      Thank you very much for your feedback. WFG is a legitimate company, but of course, the associates are just people and like everywhere, some work in client’s interests, others — in their own (even though it’s against the law). I was truly lucky to meet a very helpful and considerate Senior Marketing Director (SMD). She was honest and very knowledgable.

      After 3 years, I actually decided NOT to pursue the business opportunity, but my choice was based on my own qualities, skills, and interests. I watched the hard work of this SMD and her team, and while I know how to work hard, the cons of this occupation took over.

      You didn’t mention your relationship with the company, whether you are an associate, a client, or side observer, but whatever you do, I wish you creat success and believe that it can be achieved with WFG, but it’s not at all an easy job.

      ~ Julia

      Reply
  10. I have a sincere and simple question: Why are there hardly any reviews of customers making money by choosing WFG? Most comments are reviews from the employee standpoint. What about people mostly buying the retirement plan or other services and making money from them? I have friends trying to get me to buy the retirement and insurance. But, where’s the proof? Why are there so few satisfied customers willing to give good reviews? Please help. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dear John,

      Customers don’t make money. By definition, a customer is someone who spends money in exchange for goods or services. If you want to make money for your retirement, you need to invest – not to buy an insurance product. You will still pay for the service of managing your investments, and there is no guarantee that at the end you will make money because your investment depends on the market fluctuation, but you get a better chance to have a higher return on investment than the cost of the service.

      What is the name of the product which your friends are trying to sell you? It sounds like it might be a Universal Life, either Variable or Indexed.

      UL is a wonderful product, but it is an insurance product (not pure investment), and it’s not for everyone. UL protects your loved ones from financial hardship in case of your death. Customers, who made money out of this product cannot write reviews because they are dead now. It’s a high-cost product. However, if your goal is to buy Life Insurance and yet save some cash value for your retirement, this could be a good one for you. Please don’t buy it unless you fully understand how it works. If you live to retirement, you will get money back, but it will be your own money minus cost of the product plus interest earned during the years you had this product. The growth from the investment made on your behalf may offset the cost of your life insurance coverage, administration cost, inflation, or even get higher, but there is a good chance that it won’t. Think about this product as Life Insurance & savings for the retirement rather than investment.

      I hope this helps,

      ~ Julia

      Reply
  11. Hi Julia,

    I’m glad to come across such an unbiased review of WFG. You have thoroughly gone over all the pros and cons (what you felt & observed) of WFG and these are some of the things I have noticed too.

    My closest circle has strong reservations about WFG. Even I personally had/have and this is why I quit it twice. This is the third time I’m rejoining them. While the negative review circulating over the internet is true to some extent, the blame cannot be put on WFG. WFG only provides you a platform for doing business. How you do business is entirely on you and unfortunately, some people have exploited this opportunity and that is why everyone runs to another direction when they hear the name WFG.

    The SMD I supposed to train under is very ethical and transparent. He has never been pushy, nor hid anything and has never given me any false hopes of seeing this as a ticket to instant wealth. In fact, he completely supported my decision to leave if I felt it was not for me. These things really matter to me and now I totally trust him.

    There is a reason to share all this with you. I want to give it a good shot. My reasons being that I want to start a career in financial planning and WFG having agreements with so many financial institutions, I believe it’s a good platform to start my financial planning career. The second reason is that I’m applying to different accounting and finance jobs on a regular basis but nothing has worked out for me and at this point, I really want to get into my relevant field ( WFG is more a marketing company than finance but still serves many functions of financial planning). Lastly, I actually want to learn the selling and daily interaction with people skill set as I feel it is very important.

    I don’t have any goals of making to a particular level in a given time frame. Right now I just want to learn as much as possible and follow it with passion.

    However, I don’t want to have this hair in my mouth is that what I’m doing is borderline sketchy and something that is considered legal today but not in the future. I really want to make an impact in mine as well as other people’s life and also remove fears of my closest circle. The last thing I want to know that all the negativity speculated about it turns out to be true and I knowingly have ended up hurting a lot of people.

    With this, I ask you, should I continue with WFG?

    Reply
    • Dear Haider,

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story.

      While WFG is not for everyone, and their most promoted product (UL) is not for every family, based on what you wrote, it sounds to me that you are the right person for WFG and WFG is a good choice for you. You seem not to be needy and desperate to earn lots of money in no time. You said that you want to learn and your passion lies in the financial field. You also said that learning the selling skill was of your interest (which wasn’t one of mine! 🙂 ). You were lucky to have an honest and knowledgable SMD. I believe that this is all you need to set your mind on helping people first, and making a profit – second. Remember that there is more than one product WFG sells and don’t push to everyone only the one where YOU earn the highest commission. Listen to what people’s needs are and help them choose what’s appropriate to their situation.

      If you do that, who cares what others around you think… even your closest circle? Don’t let other people stop you from doing what you believe is right.

      Are you concerned about Public opinion? Historically, the public had a bad taste for MLMs. That’s because many scam artists performed under MLM cover, and way too many MLM companies made their compensation plan nearly impossible for the most associates to succeed. But, there are a few exceptions, and WFG is one of them. A hard-working associate has a good chance to make living with this company. It could take years and it WILL require a lot of hard work.

      I didn’t pursue WFG opportunity because of the selling aspect, and yet, I joined another MLM in a year after I refrained myself from WFG. Why? Because I found an MLM that works for me: it’s free to join with no obligation to buy any kits and stock inventory in my closet, the products are easy to understand, very beneficial for people’s wellness and currently are in high demand. The compensation plan is unbelievably lucrative and fair for all. And, most importantly for me, I don’t need to sell anything. The company creates a free website for each associate, which offers a digital store. All I need to do is share my site with others. Once they register, they get their own website and decide for themselves whether they want to buy anything and what they want to buy from their own online store. I help them to start: explain the industry, the products, compensation plan and how to get around their website. But later, they don’t even need me – though, I am always available. I love teaching, but I don’t like selling. This works for me!

      Thus, it is impossible to lose money with this new MLM because it’s totally free, to begin with. And yet… I receive a “pyramid scheme” remarks from people who don’t want to think and prefer to stick with the stereotypes. I feel sorry for these people. I am NOT questioning my own positive experience with this company and its products, my faithful intention to help other people, and my own dignity.

      The financial industry itself is tricky: it’s complicated for many customers to understand all the details and those financial professionals who work for traditional companies also often take advantage of naive clients and sell them products to gain personal profit rather than meet clients’ interests. WFG professionals are not an exception: there are honest people and there are swindlers.

      Make sure that you serve other people’s needs first, and you’ll see that it will pay you back generously. Don’t listen to those who didn’t take time to learn all the details about your business, consider all pros and cons with you, and yet are trying to turn you away from your passion.

      I hope this helps and encourages you. I wish you great success in all you do.

      ~ Julia

      Reply
  12. Very informative article. I also share your beliefs re: MLM, selling, and need for financial information. I was also under the impression that the fee paid was a lifetime membership to obtain that knowledge and no obligation to sell.

    Imagine my surprise when I recently received the cessation email from the Toronto WFG head office, especially since I’m not even licensed ! How am I expected to do this legally and, like you, my impression was that my membership allowed me to gain more financial knowledge. I’ve also sent two replies to the email without any response.

    Now I feel I was scammed !!!

    Snippit of email follows:

    “We are writing to inform you that your association with World Financial Group Canada Inc. or if applicable World Financial Group Insurance Agency of Canada Inc. (collectively, WFG) has been ended by WFG because you did not achieve and/or maintain a personal commission level of $2,000.00 or more for the first full calendar year of your membership or any calendar year thereafter. This termination is pursuant to the termination clause in the WFG Associate Membership Agreement (AMA).”

    Reply
    • Dear Steve,

      Thank you very much for the comment and for mentioning this letter. I received it too after 4 years of being a member and feel the same way. I also learned from my friend about a rather cruel rule that applies to those who worked as hard as she did to achieve the SMD rank: she had to give up (I’m not sure to whom…) the most active member on her team and basically, start over in order to move on.

      I don’t feel good at all about these latest findings. I just didn’t have a chance to update the article yet, but I’m planning to do so. It’s good that we at least discussed this in the comments – so, that others could get to this information while the post is not updated. Thank you!

      I’m very happy with the Affiliate Marketing and Wealthy Affiliate. If you are interested, you can check it out for free – the first week of the free membership gives your access to many resources including our awesome community where you could talk to people in live chat and get answers to all questions you may have. There is a push to upgrade to Premium within the first week with the offer of a 59% discount for the first month, but other than taking advantage of this discount, you can take 6 months to decide whether it’s something that suits your interests and needs. In 6 months, the free websites people build may be taken away to free up space on the servers. But those who build their free websites, are most likely ready to upgrade and move their work to their own domain names before 6 months are over.

      Currently, free members get 2 free websites with hosting, and Premium members get 25 free + 25 websites on their own domains. This will change on March 16th: free members will get only 1 free website, and Premium will receive 10 websites of any type. Those who joined before this date will be grandfathered. Here is an internal WA blog post that Kyle, the co-founder of WA, wrote about WA web hosting and change in the rules.

      Once again, I greatly appreciate your comment and will try to work on the update of this article as soon as I can.

      ~ Julia

      Reply

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