Do you want the truth about World Financial Group, now rebranding themselves as Transamerica Financial Advisers?????
I was in the trenches with this company for many years and I know firsthand the truth behind this company.
What do they really do? They sell you a dream. They are in the business of selling you a dream of financial independence. They sell the dream of having the income to support a better lifestyle for you and your family, to be able to spend more time with your family. To set yourself free of debt and never having to work again. To earn travel bonuses, Rolex watches, Super Bowl style rings, cars......etc.
The Reality. You will become a professional meeting attender. You will spend even less time with your family. Be prepared to sit in meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting. Why??? Because you need to be trained. They will tell you to come to the office to get training on financial concepts and how money works. They will tell you enough to get you excited and that's the point. To keep you excited so you keep coming back and bringing more and more people to meetings and "big events". To keep you excited so that when you tell people about the "business opportunity" your true enthusiasm shows and they get excited and want to know more and agree to come to a "open house", "career night", "grand opening", "interview", "corporate overview", "business presentation meeting", "one on one", "group hiring interview".
You will be instructed and encouraged to bring and solicit your "warm market". What's that??? Your friends and family, co-workers, people off the street.....whoever you know or meet, they don't care. Just bring a body to fill a chair in the "corporate overview, BPM" to hopefully get them interested enough to join or buy a product so that they too get excited and the whole "churning" machine keeps running. The problem with using your warm market is you will soon find that your friends and family will start to avoid you and may not even take or return your calls. Good luck with that. The WFG/TFA leadership will assure you that those who avoid you are the ones missing out and that you represent a "noble cause" and not to be discouraged.
The Reality. Be prepared to spend all your time and money on meetings, seminars, self-improvement, getting licensed, rent, "plug in fees" and attending "Big Events". Big events are motivational seminars that parade a lot of people across a stage to receive recognition. That is awards, prizes, plaques, swords and sometimes even an actual check. As an observer to all this, you would think that these people are winning big time and making big money. Don't believe it for a second. This is a psychological manipulation and powerful marketing tool to keep on existing agents and recruit new ones. Most of these award winners are broke and pretending to be something they are not, making money they are not.
Expect to be pushed beyond your "comfort zone". When you could be at home with your kids, you will be in meetings. When your spouse is home at night, you will be "in the field" doing sales presentations; most likely for skeptical people who can't afford the products you sell anyway. When you have no money, you will be pushed to attend the next "big event", you will be encouraged to "find a way", "go all in", "risk all to win all", "if you can't afford to be there, then you really need to be there", "if you miss this, it will be the biggest mistake of your life", "if you don't attend you will be setting your business back by at least a year" they are masters of manipulation. They will make you feel like a loser if you do not comply. Their psychological power of manipulation is very compelling. They instill an environment of brutal competition, pitting associates against one another for greater production in the "base shop" and the loser is often publicly humiliated and stands to lose money as a consequence.
The reality is these "big events" cost a lot of money, offer little substance and are comprised of very little product training. There are several product providers that basically pitch you to sell their product. You will be expected to compete for seating that sometimes turns into pushing and shoving and battling for the first come first served seating. Some people try to reserve seats often winding up in heated arguments. Ridiculous. If you attend a big event be prepared for little sleep, hurried breaks, long winded testimonials from people that are misrepresenting the truth and a whole lot of pie in the sky dream selling. These people are masters of manipulation and intertwine their own religious beliefs to add to the perception of their conviction and belief in the business. Do not be fooled. Make them prove what they say.
The Business Format System. This is the "Bible" of the business. The ideas are sound; in fact the whole business model of WFG is great. The compensation is fantastic. So here are some encouraging words and what had initially given me hope. Again, the business model is AWESOME. But unfortunately, it is only a model. Here is how it works.
"The Law of Big Numbers". They will tell you that if you want to win big, then you will need to build a huge team, a "big base shop". They will tell you things like "get 10 and it's all over". They will show you presentations showing 10 agents with 10 sales at an average of $500.00 per sale will earn you $10,000 a month. Don't believe it. The numbers look good and it seems easy enough. Don't believe it.
"Charge backs" What is this???? Basically, when you sell an insurance product the buyer has a "look over period" to decide if they want to keep the product. If the client cancels....and they often do; your commission is reversed. If your following month's sales are low; you will actually end up owing the company money. So, you spend all your time in meetings, study for days on end and pay to get licensed (you have to be licensed to sell insurance products ((with some exceptions)), then you take time away from your family to go on a "field training appointment", you pay for gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, sit in front of a skeptical couple, try to fit them into a product, overcome objections, fill out the application, if you succeed in convincing them in a product, submit the application.....hopefully it's all filled out correctly or it will be rejected, order and schedule a medical exam, submit to underwriting and hopefully your client does not get rejected. Are you still with me????? So hopefully your client is approved and gets a good rating so that they can actually afford the policy. You may need to show that the client has sufficient "discretionary income" to buy the policy.
Congratulations!!!!.....the app was approved and the client is issued the policy. It's not over yet folks.....this is the simplified version....complex cases can require mountains of paperwork......Now you must deliver the policy to the client and you do. The client realizes the extra $400 a month is really cramping their lifestyle and is a burden. They cancel, you get a "charge back" and now all your time, effort and expense is down the drain. So you say, what happened??? Understand this...It's your fault. You wrote "bad business", "you're in the wrong market", "you oversold the client".....whatever it is, it's YOUR FAULT, even though you did EVERYTHING right. I'm telling you the psychological impact is overwhelming.
When you get frustrated and want to quit you will hear things like, "mental toughness", "would you quit on your hopes and dreams", "quitters never win".....they will mess you up in the head so bad that you stay on, plugging away, going deeper and deeper into a very dark place. This is also part of the psychology surrounding building a team, a "base shop". Now you are directly responsible for those you have brought in under you and to the clients you have sold products to. Most people find it impossible to quit under these circumstances that they continue, regardless of their personal dilemmas.
The Reality. Don't believe the hype....This is MLM.
This may be your reality.
Here are my suggestions.
If you are approached as a client, take a look and compare companies, products, costs and services. The products WFG/TFA offer are legit and may be good for you. The problem is the sales person, in most cases, is not an expert and has just enough knowledge to pass the licensing exams. So don't think for a minute that you're in competent hands and dealing with an experienced industry professional.
Understand that WFG/TFA will take ANYONE on as an agent as long as they do not have a felony or financial related criminal CONVICTION. Yes, a conviction. A person could have been arrested multiple times for anything and had the case dismissed or any circumstance not resulting in a conviction and they are eligible to become a WFG/TFA agent. WFG/TFA agents come from all walks of life. One WFG agent is currently (2011) awaiting trial for rape and assault while impersonating a police officer......so BEWARE!!
This business attracts all types of people. Some are not so good. Truth, there are also A LOT of very good people. I have to give them credit. But in my opinion WFG/TFA need to raise their standards of who they accept BIG TIME!!!!
If you plan to join the company as an agent; my words of advice are: ask A LOT of questions and be prepared to go around in circles in getting a straight answer. Ask to see tax returns of the people trying to portray themselves as millionaires.....they will sell themselves with such conviction and confidence that you should be equally assertive in having them prove it. You will be astonished at how many broke millionaires and outright liars you will find. Go in with your eyes wide open.
WARNING: DO NOT GO FULL TIME NO MATTER WHAT UNTIL YOU ARE TRULY MAKING A LEVEL OF INCOME FROM WFG/TFA THAT WILL SUSTAIN YOU WITH A MINIMUM OF 6 MONTHS RESERVE.
Understand that your life will be consumed by this business. Understand that the claims they make ARE TRUE......what???? Yes, the claims are true. There are people making big money......the truth is, VERY FEW......let me say again, VERY FEW. But maybe you are a "stud", and you are different and think you can rise against all odds and make it....some do. Good luck. I can only say that if I had been given the truth up front....I would have stayed with my $175K a year job and never, ever gotten involved with this company.
There are some positives to WFG/TFA, there are things to be learned, but there is a cost. They tell you it's FREE education. Don't believe it.
I have seen very little positive effect over the masses of people that filter through the company. The only positive effect, financially speaking, is for the top dogs. The people at the top of the organization. Their success is fed by the small people at the bottom. Consider this. The law of big numbers, tons of people "filtered" through the system. One product here, one there, a ticket here and there……multiplied by thousands and thousands all the while, small parts of those profits "rolling up" to the "up-line". Get the picture. The big fish are fed by the efforts of the small fish who dream of becoming a big fish. Good luck.
I have seen a very few profit in riches beyond what most people can ever hope to earn. But this is only a very, very, very few. Not like 1 in 10. More like 1 in 100,000 and that is a conservative estimate. And it is maybe 1 in 1,000,000 that really hit it big.
I have seen savings lost, families destroyed, foreclosures, bankruptcies, divorces, suicides, criminal activity, assaults, deceit, sexual harassment, credit cards maxed out, cars and other property repossessed, depression, despair, hopelessness, addiction, stress, stress related illness and all kinds of very bad things happen to good people all trying to fulfill this so called dream. It is a dream and for most will only be just a dream and nothing more. Unrealistic, unobtainable and understand the little fish only feed the bigger fish. No matter what success you have in the company, someone upstream (up-line) reaps the benefit of your hard work. Yet you alone will suffer the losses when they occur.
Don't believe the hype. For all of those who have posted such positive comments about the company all I can say is......keep drinking the Kool-Aid.
If my words help just one family stay together, prevent one divorce, separation, foreclosure, bankruptcy, suicide or other ill fated consequence.....well then my time was well spent here.
I challenge anyone to refute and disprove my words....trust me; I know what I am talking about. I could name names, but in fairness, it is everyone's right and responsibility to make their own decisions. My biggest complaint / concern is that the WFG/TFA leadership is NOT telling the truth about what really happens. They are way too busy dream selling and not reality telling.
I was successful with this company, but ultimately lost far more than I ever gained and it nearly cost me everything. My marriage, my home, all my money, my health, my sanity, my possessions, nearly all lost. I woke up just in time and I hope this helps anyone considering getting involved with this company.
Bottom line, BEWARE. Forewarned is fair warned. Participate at your own risk and if you proceed remember you read this. I told you so.
Location: Irvine, California