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Wow! WFG is a disaster. My girlfriend was approached by a friend that had become a WFG Consultant - they had some great conversations, my girlfriend expanded her knowledge of investments and from there decided to take her friends advice and invest using WFG.

The WFG Consultant recommended a TFSA and a Universal Life Insurance policy. At the outset, both investments seemed pretty good - the TFSA was invested in a decent fund and the numbers looked good on using the cash value of the Universal Life Insurance as an investment.

Once the applications were submitted and the documentation arrived the story takes a twist. The MER (management fees) charged on the TFSA turned out to be 3.45%, almost twice as high as is industry standard. This of course is how financial service providers make money, taking commission on sales - WFG sells products with above industry standard fees but people don't realize that unless they have done their research. So, you end up paying more for the same service through WFG.

The big issue though became the Universal Life Policy. It turns out that the WFG Consultant didn't know what she was doing and selected a number of incorrect boxes on the policy application form. The result was the issuance of a policy that had such high cost of insurance fees that my girlfriend would have lost not only all of the cash value in the policy but would have defaulted on the policy itself as she would not have been able to pay the COI as years went by.

When the errors in the policy were brought to the WFG Consultant's attention - she refused to acknowledge the problems with the policy. She was aggressive, manipulative and tried to take advantage of my girlfriend just so she could make her commission (and she was a friend).

While I agree that WFG brings investment and insurance opportunities to a sector of the population that is underserviced - their staff are unqualified to sell the complicated products they offer. They are salespeople not financial advisors. If all they sold were basic investments that couldn't result in massive mistakes like this, it would be no big deal but that isn't the case. WFG's mistakes will cost people their lifesavings.

Thank you,

Charlie

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Anonymous
#991654

WFG is for deceptive people.WFG is give you license to swindle and stay away from jail.

They lie, manipulate their way into peoples home. They start with no pressure info session. Once you gave them room to stand, they make room to lie down.

This is only financial firm, where their agent has whats so effer no financial knowledge or education.People stay away from these swindlers.

Anonymous
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada #967166

Lot of WFG so called financial expert failed grad 10 math.They have what so ever no financial training.

They will remind you wall street wolf movie. WFG teaches how to fend objections, how to make quick sale. it is all about money in their pocket. I call it small time crook.

They are doing is totally legal. All small sales makes big pay back. Folks stay away. Talk to your bank and their qualified financial planner.

They moto is no family left behind.which means with taking their money and putting in high cost insurance and investments.

Anonymous
#831870

I am commenting as anonymous in case someone reads this and sends it back to people I know.I was introduced to WFG by a friend.

I was real interested in the "education" aspect of the company. Also, the no pressure sales, and if you join them the no pressure in producing. Produce at your own rate. Or so I thought.

I was already working with a highly skilled educated financial advisor. My initial intent was to possibly join with WFG to help with my current position with my current Investment advisor boss. On my initial meeting, it was good, I thought gee they really have a way of training the uneducated. And it was no pressure.

Just informative. The people, most all Asian, were real nice too. I wanted to come to the meetings to learn more. I asked my friend who had only been with the company for 6 months, many questions, and since she was always an honest person, I thought she was really out for my best interest, thus answered the best she could.

I had my children meet with a WFG Financial Advisor and he showed them the IUL (which seems to be all they sell). When my daughter went to meet with him, my Friend was there, but I was unable to make it. My friend txt me asking if it were okay to sign her up as a WFG person so I could get my 3-3-30 going. I txt back, No, not yet, (as we wanted to review the illustrations first) She did it anyhow, as a "gift" to me.

I told her that I had my own plans, and this wasn't the time. She said she...

Red flag #2 came when my friend kept txting me that night. I missed the txt as I had turned off my phone, so, she thought I was mad at her. She finally said in a txt, She can't understand why I would be mad, she is out more than me, and that she spent a lot of time with me. She also confessed that this "gift" for my 3-3-30 was to surprise her husband that she made Senior Marketing Director for the month.

So, the gift, was really a selfish gift after all. Red Flag #3 came when I asked the Financial wiz for the Client illustrations verses the Agent copy he sent. He replied, "What do you need that for? if you have any questions, just ask me".

For the record, and for others reading this post who are unaware of the Client illustration, the illustration provides the client with all the details of the policy. This is very important to have so that the client has full understanding as to what they are signing up for. Finally after asking a third time for them, he forward them to me. This is Investment 101, give the Client their Illustration, not the "Agent" quote where it states "For Agents Only".

Red flag #4 After the advisor looked at my portfolio he seemed concerned. At my age, IUL's aren't very beneficial and are quite expensive due to the Insurance portion that needs to be paid. I asked him well what should I do? His reply without hesitation, "well, you could get divorced".

I was shocked when I heard that. He wasn't joking either. this way I could rely heavily on government to take care of me. In addition, I leaned that the advisor had been engaged for 12 years living with his finance and mother.

He hasn't married her, and why should he, this way she gets all the Government freebies, including the ACA Medicaid, as she shows no income, along with his mother who lives with him too and shows no income. Although having your own business provides you with a lot of write offs, and tax loopholes, I particularly find it offensive that a financial advisor would be that deceptive to not marry this woman so he can leech off the government dole. I guess that's what they teach you at Asian school. In addition, if he is this deceptive in things that matter, how would he be with our investments?

Red flag #5, my friend continually would make remarks about my boss, assuming he was hiding things from me, and probably didn't want me to know about certain types of investments. I found this to be un professional. When my boss chose not to join WFG as he saw it was a multi-level marketing organization, and due to my conflict of interest working for him, and then working for WFG, I decided not to either, she assumed that I was way too loyal to him, and I better hope he would be that way to me. From the beginning, I made it perfectly clear that I was not planning to quit my job, as I enjoy working with my boss and I have learned a lot.

He has integrity, and talk about an advisor who spends time with his prospects and clients. He spends far more time with people and may never see a dime from his work than my friend felt her and the WFG advisor ever had with me. Let's be real when it comes to our money, people don't like to be bullied into purchasing something, if they are not sure that it is beneficial. They need to trust and know they are dealing with a reputable, educated and honest advisor, not with some fly by night marketing wiz.

One comment above on this site, said, you need to really know your advisor before investing. I know mine, yet she jumped on this band wagon of WFG since September of 2013, and believes every word they say. I have been with mine for over 5 years. He's not out to make a huge commission off of someone if it is not necessary.

I know I can never tell my friend all this as She drank the WFG Kool-Aid, and she believes I am living in fear for not quitting my job, and moving ahead full force with WFG. Once some of these red flags became apparent, I read WFG's 3-3-30 plan myself. It was their online PDF document. It made my stomach turn.

It was true, that it was about selling IUL's but it was mostly about the "dream". The Dream of owning your own business (which my husband and I have owned one for over 25 years, and it isn't all bed of roses), The dream of traveling. (Traveling to these rah, rah, 4 day marketing events all over the world, which means I have to take precious vacation time to attend) The dream of tax write offs. People who have owned their own business have a real understanding of what write offs really are about.

You have to make money and pay for these events in order to write it off. But the money still has to come out of your pocket. In my experience every time I went to a meeting, there was another rah, rah, event that was being scheduled. Usually out of town, and some pressure that you must join it too.

When I was still in my observation stage they almost had me signed up for a $1500 trip, which I could "write off". Unfortunately, It was in Tax season, and I had Taxes to pay, that I couldn't "Write off." Thank God, I bowed out of it. So for all the money you'll make, much of it is then spent on these trips and seminars which you'll pour back into "your business" and theirs, because they are not free. Then lastly, developing your team!

Now, I have to be in charge of team of people underneath me too? I really have no desire for that responsibility. The supposed Dream of working your own hours, seems like BS. My friend works nearly 24/7 meeting her "goals".

She might enjoy it, but I like my down time and family time. I think I have the dream job now. Oh, yes and one more red flag I forgot to mention is my friend said that We must get our 3-3-30 all in one month and if I don't have my life license that is okay. Since WFG is a "Family Company" you'll want to get your family to join and purchase an IUL, and since you can't get paid a commission off your family anyway, get that in immediately, so you'll still get points.

READ THIS VERY CAREFULLY. You can get commission off your family, and your immediate family if you have a Life Insurance License. So don't buy into this propaganda. As long as your family members are 21 and older, you most certainly can get commission from selling them any life product.

Why give up your easy soft sell prospects to them for some lousy points which can only be used to go to one of their exotic Rah Rah events? In addition, my boss is so generous that even without my Life License, he is willing to give me a bonus of up to 50%, for referral and with my life License commission up to the full amount. In addition, I have read a lot of peoples positives and negatives regarding WFG. Over the past several months, I have read where people dealt with an advisor who didn't know anything about their product, and thus mistakes were made.

I get tired of seeing the response. Well, you need to go and find another advisor. Or you should have asked the questions. Most people don't know what to ask.

Most people don't understand that just because someone has a life license, they really are not educated in the products they sell. I have worked for over 5 years and I still have many questions even being around the Insurance industry all these years. It is a complicated industry. So, if a friend or advisor is being pushy for you to buy one of these products, you need to step back and take a breather.

There is a big commission in products like IUL and Whole Life products. There is a much smaller commission in Term. But Term might be better for you. In addition, you can purchase a Term life, and convert it over to an IUL without going through another health screening too.

It may cost more, but if your young and you are not sure if an IUL is for you yet, apply for a Term Life policy with a reputable advisor and company, get the facts on the IUL with that same company you will purchase the Term Life, and then at least you have some term insurance for now, and can in a couple years change it to an IUL when you are more settled in your career. WFG is a good place for people who are sick of their jobs, want to "own their own business", and live this type of "dream". They also do sell IUL's from reputable companies. But if all you are looking for is financial investment for retirement, then find an advisor in your area.

Ask a friend or family member who they have worked with and they will lead you in the right direction. Most importantly with WFG or IUL products don't buy into the fact that in a couple years you can start taking money from your IUL'.s This is not true. You most often need to be in the product for 7 - 15 years to make any kind of worthwhile investment. Then what you borrow, you have to pay interest on that money, and because insurance cost rises as you age, you may find your policy could be in serious jeopardy of lapsing, thus your monthly premiums will increase to keep up with the Life portion of the policy.

My boss recommends that if you are young and you want to purchase an IUL, don't do it for the "money that is being saved to spend on a home, or education. Do it for a long term retirement. If you don't have children now, then yes money can be taken tax free with interest from the savings portion for your future child's wedding or education.

But, keep in mind long term, not short term which in my case, the people were selling us on the dream of "short term" investments.

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Anonymous
to poohbear Walla Walla, Washington, United States #857074

Thank you for your balanced and well articulated observations.

Anonymous
Toronto, Ontario, Canada #790181

Hi Charlie.

I would suggest that you bring this issue to the attention of the regulators http://www.mfda.ca.

WFG is a good company. However, the particular member is not knowledgable. There are a lot of knowledgeable people in WFG.

I feel that client's interest should come first.

RasaP
San Carlos, California, United States #729195

I work at World Financial Group (WFG).I've worked at WFG for 10 months now, full-time.

I'm very sorry to hear about the bad experience of Charlie and his girlfriend with the agent that was setting up the accounts. People cannot trust everyone. They have to choose carefully whom to trust.

People should only trust investment advisers who they know have high integrity.Advisers with high integrity always want to help other people as much as possible.

-Rasa

Anonymous
to RasaP Los Angeles, California, United States #758662

Rasa, will you at least change your comment once in a while?copy and paste, and your friend in WFG with their " I am sorry to hear that " over and over again?

Do you have a degree in finance?

Do you honestly in your heart feel that you are the right person to toy with clients' financial future?Integrity only counts when the big picture is honorable, and WFG is not.

Anonymous
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada #693705

There are no World Financial Group products and they don't put MERs on them.The MERs are from the partnered investment firms.

Again, people are not asking enough questions to understand what they are hearing. I am Canadian so I don't know all the firms that are partnered with World Financial Group in the States. What I have found in Canada is that even with the MER's, returns are good in the funds of the firms partnered with World Financial Group of Canada Inc. The insured investments also have guarentees that prevent the loss of peoples' principle investment as long as the money is kept in the investment for the guarenteed period.

That is not available from banks. In the banks, the only guarentee you can get is a return that is lower then inflation (GIC's guarenteed loss of buying power).

In light of the 2008 financial crisis, I would rather pay the MER's in Segregated funds to protect my principle.Would you rather loose all your money or have a guarentee that will give you back what you started with(down market protection) and possibly steady returns in up markets?

Anonymous
to Anonymous #986247

Very smart WFG advisor. You can get high commision from these MER's.

Anonymous
Southfield, Michigan, United States #627382

David, claiming WFG "associates" get more product training than captives is absurd. Unless motivational speeches, DVDs, CDs and videos count as product training! Tell me, do they train you on all of the VUL products from hundreds of companies sold through TFG, just the highest commission policies, or WRL's proprietary products, which would make WFG's main slogan of independence to sell tons of products a huge lie? Having been with Allstate, independent, and with two career houses, and family with 35 years as a career advisor with MassMutual, I know first hand that captives get far more training than WFG gives, even some of them that don't train well do better.

BTW, Transamerica's career advisors consider WFG a joke for anyone with any experience and/or knows what they're doing. WFG is just Primerica mixed with a little NAA but selling VULs they dont understand to people who can't afford the risk or IULs using overly optimistic avg annual returns. I honestly feel bad for the desperate people & kids they pluck off the streets to become associates. They dont know any better than to accept the utter non-sense they're fed at those Amway-esque "opportunity meetings", the absurdly low commissions(is it still 25% for new people?), and the idea that they can come in and sell very complex investments with no financial experience, background, or knowledge and no actual training. But you're sure taught to recruit, recruit, recruit!

The OP was right about the advisor,...

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