Berkeley, California
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In his “review” last week San Diego Anon oozes about “...a beautiful lifelong career…”

It’s “beautiful” all right. IF you love to recruit everybody in sight and personally break pyramid scheme laws, exposing you to prosecution. IF you love to cheat folks them by selling them spendy very high-risk products like Transamerica’s Financial Foundation Indexed Universal Life (FFIUL) policy--leaving you wide open to legal action. The FFIUL is a policy that, if you live a reasonably long life, is just about GUARANTEED to go belly up on you, causing you and your heirs to lose the Death Benefit and the $100,000s you dumped into it over your lifetime. For the depressing details on it, please see my 29 June review on the FFIUL.

How do WFGers get away with committing their de facto crimes? Go to “brokercheck dot finra dot org” and search on the names of some of this MLM’s higher flyers. You’ll find that only WFG’s most notorious actors have had many actions filed against them, and even then many are dismissed. For example, let’s look at EVC Guillermo Haro, a long-term WFG agent near the top of this MLM's pyramid(s). On the FINRA brokercheck site you find 13 actions against Haro going back to 1989--even before WFG existed. Click the down arrows to read the details of each action against Haro. Many include testimony from his customers who allege he sold them unsuitable insurance policies and securities and failed to fully explain them. Haro had at least four customers disputes filed against him before the SEC finally *permanently barred him* from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with firms that sell securities to the public.

Given Haro’s long rap sheet of alleged and proven wrongdoing, you’d think WFG would toss him out on his ear right? WRONG. Haro’s still very much part of WFG, still speaking at Momentum, WFG’s main yearly convention in Las Vegas. Haro’s still whipping up the adoring WFG crowds. Google “Haro 2016 Momentum” and go to 1:00 of the 5:22 vid clip that pops up. You see “Guillermo Haro Executive Vice Chairman” right on that stage at the MGM Grand.

To circle back to our question: How do WFGers get away with selling you exploitative and abusive insurance policies? Notably the FFIUL? For at least three reasons:

First, WFG agents sell lots of FFIULs to their recruits. During my time at this MLM, we were expected to recruit like crazy and push the FFIUL hard. Recruits are an ideal captive market. Many new agents, high on belief, low on facts, and dollar signs dancing in their eyes, tumble down like newborn puppies for this terrible policy. Over time many of them begin to learn the FFIUL’s true terrible nature. Alas, by that time their pride, and being trapped in the WFGers’ web, keep them from telling anyone they’ve been played, or even admitting it to themselves. My upline is a classic case in point. He’s a normally happy and gentle person who suddenly got spitting mad and lashed out at me when I showed him the math for Transamerica’s FFIUL. Totally out of his character, he very roughly ended our contact. He didn’t want to hear that the FFIUL is a terrible investment for nearly every human being--unless you plan to die young from causes the adjusters can't rule a suicide. The WFG agents that wise up to the FFIUL quietly dump it when they pass the commission chargeback period (1 to 2 years) so they don’t trigger chargebacks and upset their uplines. When you figure a typical ~$400/month premium for the FFIUL for up to 24 months, that comes to as much as $9,600--a big chunk of your true “cost of doing biz” as a new WFG agent.

Second, Transamerica and WFG depend on the vast majority of their customers to drop their FFIULs. Research points to that. Search on “US Individual Life Insurance Persistency - Society of Actuaries” There at the www dot soa dot org site you’ll find this PDF: research-2007-2009-us-ind-life-pers-report.pdf. Go to PDF page 51 to the page titled:

“U.S. Individual Life Insurance Persistency — Observation Years 2007–2009 - Universal Life”

In there, you find that for the lapse rates average 9% for the first policy year--meaning that for every 100 people that buy a UL policy, like the FFIUL, 9 people will drop it within 12 months. By Year 6, per-year lapse rates settle down to ~4.5% per year. Doing the math on SOA’s data, if you carry out xUL ownership for 30 years, *only 1 of 5 people* who bought the policy will still own it. Remember, that applies to the UL market as a whole, the original Universal Life (UL) policies and their Variable (VUL) and Indexed (IUL) variants as offered by all carriers, collectively called xUL. We can expect FFIUL lapse rates to be much *worse.* Why? WFG markets to low- and middle-income market, people who typically have little or no disposable income. The FFIUL is one of the first things they’ll drop to pay for more immediate needs, like rent, car repairs, their child’s college tuition, even for food. Worst of all, the FFIUL’s Cost of Insurance (COI) charges blast into the stratosphere as you age into late life, and the policy gives you no real No-Lapse guarantees. If you live a reasonably long time, your FFIUL is virtually GUARANTEED to fail, causing you and your heirs to lose the Death Benefit and the hundreds and thousands of dollars you fed into it. Bottom line folks: WFG and Transamerica have it nailed. They know they're safe. They know too few policyholders will remain in 20 or 30 years to file class-action suits against these two companies for selling these awful policies.

Finally, the US insurance industry is relatively lightly regulated at the federal level. The insurance companies want to keep it that way. Aegon and other insurance companies make such fat profits on their products, they can afford to pay lobbyists to keep the Feds at bay, to stay minimally involved, to leave regulation to the states. This is a divide-and-conquer approach that limits plaintiff pools and thus limits potential contingency payouts for class-action suits, and makes it harder for smaller and less funded state reg bodies to keep up with the rapid changes in the industry, This makes it easier for unethical providers to stay a step ahead of the regulators. As soon as the reg bodies catch up with one terrible product--e.g. the Variable Universal Life (VUL) policy, the industry's already created and flogging a new terrible product, e.g. the Indexed Universal Life (IUL) policy, like Transamerica's FFIUL. For more on regulation, please go here: www dot researchgate dot net/publication/228341618_An_Overview_of_the_Insurance_Industry_and_Its_Regulation

If you insist on checking out WFG-offered products, *do your homework.* Before you sign anything or give WFG a dime, make sure your agent gives you *complete* docs to take home and thoroughly read over. If you are looking at any policy, especially one like the FFIUL with as many moving parts as a Swiss watch, demand a FULL QUOTE *including all the contract terms and the Policy Data.* If it’s the FFIUL, demand your WFG agent show you the real math--using a *calculator* to *prove* your cash will cover your all your premiums in your later life. Absolutely do NOT rely on your agent’s illustration software program, which fails to show crucial policy data. Before you ask your agent for his calculator math, do your own math first. This way you can double-check your agent's figures. I show you how to do the math in my 29 June review on the FFIUL. If you’re not good with math or English-language contract language, hire a fee-ONLY (not merely fee-based) financial advisor to thoroughly examine your FULL quote. That’d be the best $50--$100 you ever spent, saving you untold thousands in wasted premium payments. A fee-only FA sells no financial and insurance products and so has minimal conflict of interest and can keep YOUR financial interests uppermost in his mind.

If you have to buy life insurance, buy Term Life from any one of many online sites, like termlife2go, that sell them. Term Life is vastly cheaper than “Perm” Life like xUL. You can invest your massive savings in an ultra-low-load S&P 500 ETF in a Roth IRA. You’ll come out *waay* ahead in the long term.

In sum, WFGers combine two bad worlds. The agents operate within a multilevel marketing (MLM) structure, a structure that’s shown us time and again its great potential to abuse customers and newer agents. WFG agents sell you inferior and even harmful products from the woefully under-regulated insurance industry.

Your best bet folks: Save yourselves a lot of time, money and heartache. Buy *nothing* from WFG. Avoid this deeply dishonest predatory outfit like the plague.

Reason of review: Bad quality.

World Financial Group Cons: Inferior and harmful products.

  • agent misrepresentation
  • Harmful Products
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This is completely inaccurate. I was part of WFG and the policies they have is great if the agent designed it properly.

I have their policy for 15 years now and I am getting returns much higher than promised. Please do more research on the agent and the product so you will get a well designed program.


thank you


If you max fund from the get go everything you said is incorrect


I am not so well informed of WFG but got my FFIUL anyways from transamerica and have been very satisfied. I obtained my insurance sometime 2007 during that time was still western reserve then Became transamerica.

The cash I have invested into it actually grew. At one point, I was short of cash and needed additional emergency funds and managed to get some of my money from it. Now, they have a LTC rider that comes with the FFIUL. Nowadays, the cost of long term care is so grave as not every thing is covered by your health insurance.

Do you know how many people just got bankrupt Because of long term care? I’ve seen a lot as I work in the health field.

For me knowing I have this coverage gives me peace of mind coz I know I won’t let my family shoulder the finances or even just the mere thought of taking care of me if worse comes to worse. I am sorry you feel that way with WFG, but I cannot agree with you on this.


This is erroneous. Do you honestly think companies such as Fidelity, Voya or Nationwide would want to be associated to a company that scams people?

They have a reputation to uphold themselves. Companies do their homework.


World financial group is far more than just Transamerica… Do your homework and find that they are the brokerage firm that has over 100 different companies that they provide opportunity for clients to have the best fit products… In any organization you have an apple or two that might be bad… However the vast majority of people that are in the world financial group specifically are looking to help people have some type of investment quality insurance. Many of them do not use Transamerica at all.

They use company is like a voy World financial group is far more than just Transamerica… Do your homework and find that they are the brokerage firm that has over 100 different companies that they provide opportunity for clients to have the best fit products… In any organization you have an apple or two that might be bad… However the vast majority of people that are in world financial group specifically are looking to help people have some type of investment quality insurance.

Many of them do not use Transamerica at all. They used company is like a voya and nationwide and Pacific life… In fact voya Financial company was voted the most ethical financial services company in the United States… They are fully affiliated with world financial group… All of these companies including open Heimer fidelity Putnam MetLife Prudential John Hancock are all partners with world financial group…



Oh btw go do a real job. Stop misleading people. WFG is a great platform with numerous products to serve the nation. My friend who is an agent did a policy from Nationwide for my aunt 7 years ago.

She hasn't paid a premium since then and will never have to pay a premium ever in her life (when you run the inforce illustration of a program you will find more about it). She was paying $800 a month for New York Life.

Now she has a $1million policy with no premium going in because of the exchange that led to it. Dude you don't have a state license to give opinions like this.




I am a fully licensed (life health, 6, 63, 65, and 26) I do see some of what you are saying. I have seen the SAME coming from select quote and them trying to UPSELL and provide wrong products for people.

Now, I can say that there are some products that are not for everyone. I would NEVER buy term life without a return on premium...However, the return on premium which guarantees a FULL refund of all premiums is expensive. BUT WORTH IT as a forced savings account (of course inflation eats away at the value). A staggard staged term life strategy by investing the difference can work.

But when you do this it ends up being complex and downsides on the market make no guarantee of return and potential LOSS. Hense the concept of the IUL and the use of the 7702 IRS rules. can they work..YES ABSOLUTELY... but you have to have the RIGHT product with the RIGHT FIT...

there are many IUL options more than just TF. maybe you had a bad experience.. I have 6 offices in 4 states and we have 35 agents... we do NOT ask for ANY families to "sign up" or be customers.

in fact as a PhD professor I meet with clients and spent a LARGE amount of time educating people to the pros and cons of every investment and provide options so they have choices...

UGGG and shame on whoever it was you worked with.. I would welcome your response and you can reach me with looking up NO TAX RETIRE


Wow. None of this is accurate.


I live in Vancouver Canada and in my town I saw number of wfg offices open I would count 6 in a half mile radius where I noticed that all of them were displaying transamerica logo and all of the sudden they are back displaying signs wfg Canada Inc now

Am I missing something??!

By the way everyone I saw walking in and out of those offices were what appeared to be Asians.


Wow great review William with FACTS..incredible that WFG is still able to sell this FFIUL legally..hopefully you will open a few eyes to this disaster of an insurance and pyramid?!


Mornin John--merci mon vieux. JoeJ’s Aug 15th comment at Vanderbuilt’s site spurred me to write this latest.

He wrote:

“ [FINRA] Broker Check … and look up all their ‘top producers’ and you’ll see they have complaints, etc and IRS tax lien issues. So wait! these guys are teaching people about financial success, money management, etc, etc? Financial professional really!?...”

FINRA seems to do an OK job to give the docs behind each complaint and item.

This'll be eye-opening reading for some people. Most of the WFG big cheeses I checked have items on their record, including Jeff Levitan, Pedram Mehrian, Dan Charlier, John Shin, Ed Mylett, Penney Ooi, Eric Olson, Alec Chan, and Paul Hart. A few of these include former, pending or settled criminal charges, including sexual assaults and theft. Others are civil, including one lien/judgment for close to a million dollars.

Nearly all of these financial “luminaries” spoke at Momentum at least once. Over and over, you see customer complaints about Universal Life policies such as Transamerica’s FFIUL, and more than a few complaints on variable annuities too.

So John, if you have a little time to while away, noodle on over to Brokercheck and plop in a few names. I guarantee you won’t be bored :-0


Thanks I guess this isn't a one off office or agent..this is systemic and this proves it..and this is the top of the pyramid where all the decisions are in other words WFG and this pyramid of agents and recruits is rotten at the core! They really care about your future by seeing these complaints don't


John, I seem to be back on Finance Guy. As of yesterday.


John, I'm beginning to wonder if "Lost friend by WFG" is really the return of our friend B Bravo :-)


Hi William...I think it could be as "lost friend by WFG"hasn't lost anybody at this point except they seem jealous of the friend but they are against wfg but they have studied IUL' know I think we have somebody that is fabricating a nice story for the like making people believe they are against something while showing all the rosy #'s they supposedly saw and believe?!?!

It's BBravo or another WFG agent playing games and showing once again how they are not to be trusted!


John what you say “...making people believe they are against something while showing all the rosy #'s they supposedly saw and believe?!?!...” BINGO.

Some of the WFGers are starting to grok that the tired talking points gets them only so far.

That rah-rah blah blah attracts fence-sitters. Meanwhile it turns off folks that have even a little skepticism.

The less brain-dead WFGers learned to go out on a little limb. They "trash" the MLM meanwhile slip in the “all the fab bucks you can make” crapola.

This separates the honest folks from the soulless slimeballs who zoom in only on the money part and to *** with morals and everything else.

This combo “trash WFG/invent big bucks stories” approach lets desperate clever recruiters to come to places like Finance Guy and here at PC to do their stealth recruiting. Their “honest” and “credible” sounding tales attract fewer distracting comments and downvotes than we usually see piled onto the insipid trash, the pablum, that the typical brain-numb run-of-the-mill WFGer spouts from the playbook.


John, you wrote here, in a comment that got blasted away as "collateral damage," about how WFGers avoid us and instead comment in 6yo reviews.

Their efforts get only more desperate.

Check out the most recent comment from ~ 1 hour ago in Spanish, to target the largely low-info vulnerable immigrant market. It’s in the review from Jul 28, 2015 titled “Estafadores” (Spanish for Scammers). John, all you have to do is plop the text into Google Spanish-English Translator. You see right away it’s the usual WFG Playbook crapola.

WFGers can't justify their fraud with numbers and facts. So they try to hide the truth and ever more surgically exploit the vulnerable.

Here on PC and elsewhere.

Such pathetic ***.

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