November 5, 2009, 5:43 pm


by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Primerica Series
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My friend just called me to let me know that Primerica is finally going public! After several unsuccessful attempts to sell Primerica, Citigroup found no other choice but to offer the first Primerica IPO. In fact, Citigroup is expecting to get as much as $100 million.


I don’t have time to write more about Primerica IPO right now, but I’ll come back with more thoughts on it later on… Let’s just say this could mean significant changes in many Primerica agents’ business models…

While you can read the full story over at Bloomberg, I was more concerned about each individual’s business model.

As I have mentioned in my Primerica Reviews, Primerica’s business model is based on recruiting. The real way of making money through Primerica is to build a sales force who sells insurance products to their relatives. We may debate if their term insurance products are good or not, this is not the point of the post. My main question is, will Primerica’s business model be threatened by this IPO?

Primerica IPO impacts


When you read Primerica’s contract, it clearly stated that clients of Primerica remain under the control of Primerica if the agent was ever leave the company. So, what if a major insurance company buys Primerica shares to take over control of it?

Some say that it will take over a huge sales force (more than 100,000 Primerica agents). Others, the evilest of us, may think about buying one of the biggest client databases in term of insurance products.

This would mean that the so called “business” Primerica agents built could change hands within a few years (and a lot of millions invested in stock ). I am not saying it will happen overnight, but it is surely a sign that nothing can be taken for granted.

The potential new owner could also decide to cut the pyramidal aspect (commission wise) and name Regional Directors and VPs and pay them as salaried employees (this would cut their pay checks drastically and significantly increase Primerica’s profit… which is always good for shareholders!).

And what could Primerica agents in the face of an IPO?


Not much unless they have $100M to spend on the shares! While $100M will provide new cash to Citigroup and won’t really affect Primerica’s upper management, it still opens a breech. This breech will force Primerica to open its books and show how interesting (or uninteresting) the company could be for a potential bidder (hostile or not).

Then again, another point is the following: Do you feel safe building a business that is not yours? You can’t really call it a team since they are not your agents and they don’t sell to your clients… I am wondering…what about you?

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hum do you think that the money raised will all go to Citi? it’s quite a good deal for Citi!!

I remember back in early university having these guys on campus attempting to recruit young business students for summer work promising lots of $$ and riches. Too bad once you attended one of their preachy sessions you realized all these guys were worried about was making money off of you making money on other people.

I can’t see these shares being priced anywhere near what Citi would want and it might just be a cents on the dollar effort vs. getting $0 for something.

Life is good ,and the bull market is back!


Without having seen any of the documents, there is a concept called novation where a new set of legal rights and obligations are entered into between the parties. The IPO may result in the novation of legal rights between the parties.

Most financial services companies state clients are theirs if an agent leaves. I am not sure how this would change the agent model. Isn’t the larger implication if the IPO is successful, now that you have quarterly earnings expectations to meet, sales and marketing tactics may be more aggressive?

“sell to their relatives” lol If you only knew what the leaders of this company have planned for the next 32 years. :)

by: The Financial Blogger | November 6th, 2009 (11:52 am)

Well if you a real independent selling different products, the clients would remain yours. Or, if you look at Investor Groups for example, there is nothing preventing you from calling all your client and ask them to switch to another mutual fund company.

Your point is good regarding quarterly earnings expectations, this will surely change their business model as several agents are part time in the US. They will probably look towards more results from their sales force.

I do not know whether it is a good thing to invest in the stockmarket nowadays. I mean, the plunge protection team could be a sign that the market isn’t a free market after all?

by: The Financial Blogger | November 6th, 2009 (1:48 pm)

clueless, and if you only knew that those leaders won’t be there for the next 32 years 😉

by: Answer This | November 6th, 2009 (7:09 pm)

Who moved my cheese? Citi knows the value of the life policies but the agents can go. Put the glass of kool-aid down for a moment and consider what is in YOUR best interest. Also if Citi is going to keep ownership of a block of business how does that effect agent “ownership”?

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Of course the money generated from the sale will go to Citi. That’s the point. Citi needs the cash!

The IPO will likely be offered exclusively to Primerica salespeople who’re at a certain contract level or higher.

Think about it. There are many hundreds of Primerica business owners who have 6-figure incomes and hundreds that are near or well-exceed the million dollar income, on an annual basis! Let alone their accumulated wealth due to years in the business.

$100 million isn’t a lot of money. I would bet that the stock will be sold quickly to the sales folks at the RVP level and above and any stock which isn’t purchased will be doled out to RVPs and up through bonus program incentives to generate more sales volume.

Ultimately the company will be owned by its sales force leaders. I’m already hearing the buzz among them as they’re anxiously looking forward to purchasing stock of their own company, and they have the money to do it – very wealthy people, and very ambitious people.

Once that’s done, the sales force leaders will be in charge of their own destiny. The only weird thing would be that the major shareholders would theoretically have voting privileges on the bonus and payment structures that they pay to themselves (and all the other salespeople). Sounds a bit like congress!

But seriously, so long as they practice what they preach (no debt, invest wisely, etc.) that same model should continue to translate into a successful business. Primerica currently has no debt, 4.7 billion in assets, and profits of about 500 million per year. When others were dying, they were still growing, and will continue to grow due to their proven MLM system.

The chance that a competitor would buy them out is zero (based on exclusive offerings to the sales force), but also based on logic. Citi has been trying to get a buyer for ages. If they couldn’t get one before, I doubt anyone will come in now! And remember that most of the financial giants are currently struggling. Where would they get the cash? Where would they get the leverage when they’re already overleveraged?

Well said, Jeff! You hit the nail on the head!! Go Primerica, Inc!!

by: Answer This | December 16th, 2009 (12:51 pm)

Didn’t many PFS past and present agents own Citi stock? Something to consider is PFS will live and die by their field force. That’s MLM. The way the market is currently changing they will have to redesign their products and agent contract.

Now ask yourself this. Why should only RVP’s and above get special preference on stock purchase? Are you not one big family? At some point agents are going to ask themselves the question, what about me? Agents say they are in business within a business, but many in my opinion have more loyalty to the company rather than their own self business interest.

I’ve said it before if PFS offered a better opportunity for me I would consider going back. It’s business. It’s nothing personal. Primerica taught me that.

“When others were dying, they were still growing, and will continue to grow due to their proven MLM system.” So it’s not the BTID concept or the products? You hit the nail on the head.

That’s exactly what many of us have been saying. It’s the system and the contracts. Recruit and sell to the warm market. Recruit and sell to the warm market. Keep doing that and a person can make a good income.

What’s funny is at times on message boards we will see a reference to the $99.00 stat up fee. Well what is the real cost if a person builds a team and decides they wish to leave? Now the consideration is $99.00 with a non compete…What’s the true cost to the agent? Hmmmm. “I’m just sayin”

To: Answer This

I’m sure many PFS agents own Citi stock. Must have seemed like a good buy back when they were the largest in the world. Not sure what you’re getting at. If you’re thinking that Citi will offer some sort of stock swap, I doubt it since that wouldn’t raise the capital they’re looking for.

As for selling it to any agent – they might, but I doubt it. Not because of special status, but rather to use it as a motivational tool for people to acheive that status by growing their business (which of course makes more money for Primerica’s Insurance and Investment companies).

As for the MLM versus the BTID (Buy Term & Invest the Difference) – I don’t see how they’re opposed to one another.

The MLM is for the sales rep to grow a business. Businesses either advertise or use referrals or both. MLM is just the ultimate extreme of the referral model. Nothing wrong with it, but it can make for annoying sales people. But every business (including an MLM) needs a product to sell – that’s where BTID comes in, it’s the strategy for the customer to buy their products.

And they do have good products, nothing wrong with Term Insurance or Mutual and Segregated funds, but nothing you couldn’t get anywhere else either, and BTID is certainly not a philosophy unique to Primerica. It’s just unique that a company would market it. Typically BTID is talked about by TV financial gurus (Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, etc.), consumer magazines, financial book writers, but Primerica was the first to actually market it as a business strategy – and they’ve done pretty well.

I have to agree with Jeff furthurmore it is a great idea for primerica to stand on its own two feet because siting under a company that was at the pinnacle of the finacial sector an now lay in ruins is not the best look for a company with the potential of primerica because the fact is that if no sells rep ever sold another policy ever agin primerica would still rake in a cool 400,000,000 a yr from the policies that people pay into everyday now you show me a company that would still be in the black without anyone showing up for work. lastly primerica’s own numbers give it credibility as a Sovereign company. Quite impressive if you ask me.

Jeff – I spent 2 years as a PFS agent, but have since gone as a fully independent agent with direct appointments to many different companies. However I do take some exception to your comment that Primerica was the first to introduce BTID. Now one might argue that by association they did introduce it, however the reality of the situation is that Art Williams of AL Williams introduced BTID. Art’s philosophy was that the salesperson was the King or Queen of the industry. Art eventually sold his company, AL Williams, to Sandy Weill, Citicorp and said this of the experiencee, “For twenty-three years, I called thousands of plays as head coach of A.L. Williams. Some good, some bad. But the all-time worst call for me, personally? Selling A.L. Williams.” [Coach: The A.L. Williams Story, p. 318]

Now to the point of BTID – remember Ramsey, Orman are TV Personalities and they reach out to the greatest viewing audience. And yes, BTID can be a great philosophy for many clients, however there obviously is a purpose for other types of insurance.

Plus, independent agents don’t really need a company like PFS and typically clients can be better served by an agent with access to multiple top-rated, national carriers. Hopefully Primerica agents will seize the opportunity to reach for freedom, expand their understanding and learning about insurance industry and insist on doing “The Right Thing for the Client EAch and Every Time” without the constraints of an emotional attachment to a single company.

Just open one’s mind and let information flow. financialsuccessatcomcastdotnet.

Look at the numbers of Primerica. The profits are coming from policies that are 10 years or older. The only segments of the market that are growing are the Spanish and black markets which have high cancellation rates. I was recently told that only 25% of all new policies are staying on the books for more than a year. No look at the sales force, they have hovered at just over 100,000 reps for over 15 years and have lost nearly 20,000 securities licensed reps in that same time. They at one time had over 40,000 securities reps they are now under 20,000. I was with the company for 14 years a Regional Vice President and left because of being captive and no being able to do the right thing 100% of time. I also was not pleased that they called the reps independent but Primerica owns the clients and the reps for two year after you leave. They have one of the strictest no complete clauses in the industry. I am to understand they will be bringing more products in the securities market but they are still greatly under paid on the securities they write and the trails. Until now Primerica was able to keep the Citi shareholders at bay with only paying them a 12% of profits. I feel that the new shareholders will not be satisfied with that and since quite a few SNSDs at Primerica were heavily invested in Citi and lost a ton, they might just push the envelope. It’s possible they could do ok but they still won’t be able to compete toe to toe with an independent that knows what they are doing. I guess we will see after the New Primerica emerges in the next week. I guess I would end by saying if you want to build an organization selling a costly life product and a limited portfolio of investments Primerica is perfect for you but if you want to build a financial services agency and do the best job 100% of the time than you should do what I did. Feel free to send rebuttals to me ay wilerbear1 at yahoo dot com.

Bryan speaks the absolute truth. PFS people are good people, simply uneducated about financial services. 2 years with the company was perfect as I got my 6, 26, & 63 only to find out that as a Senior Rep I wouldn’t see trails on sales until I made Regional Leader. In other words, I had to recruit a bunch of people, my own production won’t get me to that level. The purpose of recruiting is clear in my mind – can you say, “warm market”. In the warm market you can rely on emotion to dictate the sale over product performance. Why not be free to write business with major top-rated carriers that suit client needs? Let the companies compete in the market place for the agent’s allegiance. Learn how to move on financialsuccess at comcastdotcom.

by: Answer This | January 13th, 2010 (12:08 am)

25% staying on the books? With advance on submission? Does Primerica report to vecter??? The chargebacks must be vicious.


Just semantics my friend. I consider evolution from A.L. Williams to Primerica one company. You’re technically correct that they’re under different owners, but the personality of the company didn’t really change.

As for BTID – I didn’t just mention TV personalities. I mentioned financial books and magazines as well. You know as well as I do, that for long term investment strategies (10 years or greater), nothing in history has ever beaten growth stock mutual funds (or their growth stock segregated fund cousins). Any Andex chart will confirm this. Investments tied to an insurance product always perform poorer (any many times negatively), even if it’s a growth stock mutual fund inside an insurance policy because of the fees involved. For the average person, BTID is the best way to go. I’ll admit that for taxation purposes where someone has maxed out their yearly 401K and Roth 401K/IRA contributions, a UL/VL policy could become an investment tax shelter if the person could contribute enough money that the fees involved become proportionally less than their marginal tax rate from a normal mutual fund, but this typically involves very wealthy people, which is not Primerica’s market. How many people really invest the maximum to their 401K AND the maximum to their Roth AND have more money to spare for further investments? Very few. My experience is that the vast majority of insurance agents market these permanent insurance products inappropriately in order to get the great commissions at their client’s expense. It’s no accident that insurance salesmen have a bad rep.


Chargebacks vary from person to person (including their heirarchy). I’ve never heard of such poor results, though I have heard of as high as 25% chargebacks (which means 75% remain in force). You know that RVPs are actually given a rating based on various performance factors including % of policies that remain in force, and this rating determines their eligibility for bonuses. So the company does have financial incentives to promote quality sales. Such poor performance couldn’t be sustained for very long without going out of business, and their compliance auditors might get involved as well because something’s not right if that’s what’s happening.

As for the pay level, Primerica pays crap compared to its competitors – no question about it. The only way you’ll not starve is through recruiting and building a business hierarchy or working like a dog. But that’s communicated right up front in my experience. And if you do successfully build a business, you’ll earn a lot more than you would working for a competitor even with their higher commission rates. But very few have the staying power necessary to get through the hard times at the beginning. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a part-time business to make some extra cash each month for some financial goal – it’s not a bad option at all, since other competitors typically won’t allow part-timers. No different than a part-time real estate agent.

I am well aware of the RVP rating on the Quality of Business(QBI) % of not takens or chargebacks. I also have connections in Primerica and see the income numbers. There are some increasing there numbers but the vast majority of Primerica’s top leaders (SNSD) level have taken 40%-60% declines in income over the past few years. They keep talking about record recruiting but the only thing that matters is income. My firm does take part timers but they have to produce once in a while. We hire part timers not Some timers. The reason I don’t fell good about the IPO is they can never duplicate the growth they had in the early 80s. They had a niche, and a enemy (Cash Value Insurance) which are far a few between today. Now they are trying to switch the enemy to fit their Debt Watcher program which I have a version of that I pay $250 a year for it’s unique. Primerica is the cheapest place to get you life, 6 & 63 licenses but once you get some seasoning you should look for a independent broker dealer and leave Primerica. Some spoke that they can sell their business. what they don’t tell you is your upline has first right on it before you can list your business for sale with Primerica and Primerica must approve the sale, you must be over $250,000 in income, have 5 years of growth and produce a RVP that makes at least 50k. I have watched RVPs get next to nothing for their business and then Primerica tried to get them to sign a more restrictive No Compete. Primerica is good to you until you leave. If you are producer like I was you letters weekly reminding you of the no compete. I had some great coaches that helped me develop a exit plan and deal with the no compete. To those Primerica reps that read this I was one of the top 1% of the securities producers for almost a decade. No only people that can’t make leave but so do those who have an open mind, “That what you don’t can cost you”, it’s that way in mortgages, insurance, securities and what you don’t know about your own Broker Dealer. Just Google (Revenue Sharing PFS Investments) and if you don’t know what revenue sharing is it’s a fancy word for legal kick backs. That’s were some of your commissions go. Also your SNSDs are probably getting your marketing dollars. The vendors at your big events are probably paying to be there, I know they did at mine. I did the work and produced and then the dollars that the vendors were suppose to give me for marketing went to the hierarchy to offset cost for the SNSDs event. Yea that fair. I was part of the system for over 14 years. I thank Primerica for teaching me a career I can be proud of but I simply outgrew their platform. Primerica is the the financial planning what a starter golf set is to golf. You can do some basics but if you need a specialty club you rout of luck. you just have hope that the club you have will work and not backfire. Do that in the securities industry and you can FUBAR someone entire plan.

Ok sematics or opinion, I’m not sure if that is what I’d call it, however I’m also not overly concerned with the history of it all.

When comparing the passion and determination and personal sacrifice demostrated by Art Williams and the 6 other original RVPs – Frank Dineen, Virginia Carter, Bob Turley, Fred Marceaux, Bobby Buisson, and Rusty Crossland to the leaders at Citigroup today, it just looks and feels quite different to me.

Manuel Medina-Mora appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Citi Consumer Banking for the Americas and Chairman of Citi’s Global Consumer Council while he maintains his role as Chairman and CEO of Citi Latin America and Mexico and continues to report directly to Citi CEO Vikram Pandit..

I don’t know, then just seems like a different company culture to me. Even if I were to consider John Addison and Rick Williams, co-CEOs the company looks and feels like a different culture. Same company or different company?

So is it the same company or different? you decide, but either way it is 2010, not 1977 and we can’t relive the revolution.

AL Williams lead a revolution role in the insurance world during the late 70’s and 80’s. I would argue that Art and his leaders modernized the life insurance world and force major insurance carriers to examine and change their product lines to better suit today’s world. However, at this point in time there is a vast numbers of product lines being presented by so many topr-rated carriers such as ING, American General, Transamerica, Ohio National, Lincoln Financial Group, Jackson National and the list goes on and on.

So my real question is: Why would an agent choose to limit their professional access to a single company? Companies which I deal with readily admit that their product lines are expansive enough to meet every situation and client so they work with independent channels. You see, the revolution is over. Art WON! He won big, not just for PFS but for the entire insurance industry and the clients whom they serve! It is time for the PFS warriors to lay down their weapons, pick up their pens and start writing business that will benefit their clients and their families. That is do the right thing for their clients, everytime. Don’t do it just because the RVP preaches it, do it because you know it because you have studied the profession. Instead of making accusations about non-PFS agents as if they are the devil, look around for yourself. Be open-minded once more, search for an opportunity once more, really dream again!

You can dream BIG! Take charge of your destiny.

Products continue to change and will continue to change. The agent that does the right thing for their client everytime must be equipped with knowledge and understand and be able to apply this information in the field. Financial services just ain’t so simple as BTID anymore than basketball is all about the pick and roll play.

Do the right thing every time for the client. Step up the game. Face your fears and go independent. Invest in YOU! No one company has all the products to meet the needs of every person in the world!

Ready to be an advisor not a salesperson find financialsuccess at comcast dot net

BTID as I said has plenty of application, however is there any reason why one company’s policy is the right policy for every person? Are the client’s best interest served by an agent that can sell only 1 company’s term policy. If an agent is going to do the right thing for a client everytime, then they must have the flexibility to shop the market and find the product that works best for the specific application.

Please tell me this – why does a person need life insurance? OK, you say to protect the family’s income stream. (I agree). Since we agree on this point, then we must agree that protecting a family’s income stream is important. In that case, what happens if the breadwinner doesn’t die, but is sick or hurt and can’t go to work? No income stream – what does a Primerica agent offer to protect against this type of income loss? Some statistics claim at certain times in a person’s life, they are 7 times more likely to become disabled than to die – and the best we can do is talk to them about life insurance. REally? is that true?

So maybe an IPO is a good thing if the board of directors will broaden the company vision, return to the foundation of the company which Art Williams had for the company, make the salesperson king and queen, and most importantly go after top contracts with top carriers. The question is – will they?

YOU know what? _________ A company already exists and people can find financialsuccess at if they’re willing to seek out companies such as what PFS might become. Why wait?

Corrections: I intended to say companies readily admit that their expansive product lines are NOT expansive enough to meet the needs of every situation and client.

And yes, you can work your business on a part-time basis because – guess what? IT IS YOUR BUSINESS – really, no foolin’

by: Answer This | January 13th, 2010 (9:47 pm)

Great exchange going. As for the BTID currently there’s a big market for Final expense. Today people are looking for guarantees. The baby boomers are looking at safty of principle and considering the distribution phase of their life.

PFS just won’t change or allow the agents to change. As for the part-timer who is just looking to make some monthly income they could do better going directly with Pre-Paid Legal rather than marketing the plans through Primerica. Directly with PPL they could get paid daily, earn renewals, build nationwide and in Canada and have ownership after 12 months. Now the kicker no underwriting and no licensing in most states and provinces.

All it take is a bit of information and then do a comparison. Watch the Pro-PFSer’s will come back and defend the company and not their business interest.

Actually Primerica reps can already sell Pre-Paid Legal.

by: Answer This | January 14th, 2010 (2:12 pm)

Jeff sure they can sell the Primerica Legal Protection Program, but there is a big difference between compensation and agent agreements when selling it directly with Pre-Paid Legal. Here’s one.

Directly with PPL if an associate dies they can just pass the business on to the spouse. PPL associates have ownership after being an associate for 12 months.

What happens to the business generated by the sales of PLPP in the case of an agent death? Just for a minute forget the product and consider the contracts. Bypass The Middle Man. one more thing, get this. At PPL directly the spouse can be included in the associate agreement under the same associate number.

This isn’t a promo for PPL, it’s just information.

by: Answer This | January 19th, 2010 (4:09 pm)

Is anyone going to announce all the new company advancements that were supposed to happen in early 2010?

There’s lots of new things coming, but they’re not for public information yet. IPO information is expected around April I think.

In case anyone hadn’t heard already, Warbus Pincus has agreed to purchase $230 million worth of Primerica stock with the option to buy another $100 million. Here’s the article:

What I find comical is that while some like Answer This, Russell and (yes even you) TFB claim to be just “telling it like it is”, or “giving your honest opinion” or however you want to put it; you all do the same thing. You try to point out every possible reason (factual or theoretical) why a person can not be successful in Primerica. Or how Primerica reps are getting the short end of the stick. Meanwhile there is person after person succeeding in this company. Who you may ask? The ones that WANT to!

Joe Ward in Chicago has been in the company for 13 years. For the first 11 years he worked hard, but didn’t build his business right. He had big months but it wasn’t consistent. In his 11th year his income was $13,000. He realized he needed to make a change at last and now in his 13th year he is about to hit the $300,000 mark (12-month income).

Salai Thang is an up and coming star. He is working out of Maryland and is from Burma. He started with Primerica 6 months ago. I have heard this guy speak and he literally can not speak a straight sentence of English. Yet he goes out and works hard. He has already made between $40,000-50,000. Over $26,000 of that was done in the last 2 months! His reason for working as hard as he does? He is providing for his family in Burma. If your reason to succeed is big enough, you will do what needs to be done!

Brandon Neil in Utah made it to $1 million in 12-month income in 7 years BEFORE HE TURNED 30.

Shakil Islam started when he was 23 and set a record for being the highest paid new RVP when he made +$250,000 in his 1st year as an RVP 4 years later.

We all know Art Williams story. If not, read the book Coach.

How many of these people do you think complained about the qualms of “being a captive agent” (-TFB)? How many of these guys do you think had the mentality of “Why should only RVP’s and above get special preference on stock purchase? Are [we] not one big family? At some point agents are going to ask themselves the question, what about me” (-Answer This) How many of these guys do you think are wondering if they need to “seize the opportunity to reach for freedom, expand their understanding and learning about [the] insurance industry” (-Russell)?

There is going to be adversity and trials anytime you try to become successful. You can either be a SPECTATOR/COMMENTATOR on the sidelines talking about how difficult it is to get to that level or you can work hard to prepare for and overcome the obstacles and become a PLAYER. Players don’t see obstacles and complain. Players look at obstacles with determination and excitement. Between players and commentators, who has really accomplished something significant?

And the best way to become a player? Get a good coach! Plug in to an office where people are reaching the level of success you want to achieve. In Primerica, that may mean the office closest to you is not the best office for you. You may have to drive a little further or you may have to move. What is the price of success for you? What will you pay and sacrifice to get to your dreams?

This IPO is going to be a wealth builder for anyone willing to work hard to position themself for the down-pour of wealth. The important question is “Are you going to be out there alone trying to catch as much as you can or are you going to bring other people with you?” Like what Warren Buffett said: “When it is raining gold reach for a bucket not a thimble”.

Art never complained about being captive, because he never was until he sold to Citi, now read Coach to understand how upset Art was after he sold his dream to corporate America!

I’ve never said a person can’t make money as a PFS agent, however a PFS agent can’t do the right thing for all of their clients 100% of the time. Think about it – the market is well, 25 – 55 when I was there, however I recently hear an agent say the PFS market is 25 – 45. Regardless the market is limited. As an independent agent, I can service clients of all ages.

I sold a PFS policy about 3 years ago, just before I left. Today, I can still sell a policy to this individual for less money per month with a new 15 year term for less money than what they are currently paying assuming they have the same rating class and 3 years older. Plus a policy with more options at the end of the term as well.

Being in the business of financial services isn’t all about the agent making a ton of money. What about the client? When was the last time a PFS agent spoke to their client about an income stream risk greater than death in many instances? Yes, I’m speaking of disability.

Yes, funds can be good for some clients. However not for all clients. I’m beyond the point of caring if PFS agents are willing to educate themselves or not. If they wish to walk around with their head in the cloud and pretend like they know everything about insurance and financial planning, then let them go ahead and do it.

Logic can’t argue emotion. Anyone ready to become knowledgable, work hard, gain access to multiple carriers, multiple product lines and the training and support to build a business where they can earn real income on their production as well as the production of others, then I know the system beyond PFS.
It isn’t that people aren’t willing to work. It is simply that it only makes sense to work in a system that properly rewards them for their own productiont as well as their leadership. Why place yourself in a box? Why not expand horizons? I just can’t count the number of times I heard the question, “Are you opportunity minded?” Somehow PFS RVPs think the opportunity train stops at their door.. NEWSFLASH – it doesn’t !

First, my apologies to WarBURG Pincus for the misspelling. I am excited to see how much our stock is going to grow.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious about Art. A lot of people were going to be confused and stuck on that issue had you not cleared that up. Whew!!!

And you can serve clients of all ages? Really?! How is that possible? Younger people and older people need financial advice? Man I wish somebody would have told me that sooner. This is like a revelation to me! I mean I saw requirements that you could have an IRA account as early as 18 but I didn’t realize that anybody out there would actually do such a thing. And the variable annuity we offer through Metlife… I was sure that was just listed there to add a line to our product list to make it look longer. Come on Russell. 25-55 is a target market. Just because a person is not in the target market doesn’t mean we won’t/can’t help them.

If you think changing that client to a policy with one of your shiny new companies is what’s best for the client then do it. As your number one priority is the client, that is what you should do. I tend to think they would be better off keeping it with Primerica, but I am biased so who am I to talk?

As for making money, Bruce Caulk, a new $1 million earner in the company said it best in a quote (unfortunately I don’t know who he was quoting). He said, “You should aim to make a million dollars in Primerica not for the money, but for the type of person you become.” Do I need to explain what this means? Let me know. Here’s another thought provoking quote from Mr. Zig Zigler in his book “See You at the Top”: “Almost without exception you can measure a person’s contribution to society in terms of dollars. The more he contributes the more he earns.” If anyone wants to understand the full context of what Zig was saying, you should definitely pick up that book.

As there are over 100,000 licensed reps in the company, the absolute largest financial services marketing company in the country, I think it is safe to assume that at least one or two have mentioned a client look into getting some disability coverage within recent history. As that is not a service we provide currently, our clients should seek that coverage with a company that does. With all these IPO changes coming, who knows? Maybe disability and medical are headed our way! We’ll see. Personally I would be happy if it was a simple referral service like our Home and Auto Insurance program.

I was waiting for your advertising paragraph because you love to do this in all your posts on this thread. It is slightly shady though, bashing Primerica to the tune of objective advice and then inserting your email address for a possible personal gain/recruit. I am guessing you aren’t trying to help people reach their financial destinations, but rather you are more the type that is helping build wealth. (Sorry for the bad humor. I couldn’t resist.) Say “hi” to Barney as well. Apparently Primerica wasn’t his thing either. The company is still small enough that you probably know him.

Why are you so bitter towards RVPs? If you were a Regional Leader I would assume you knew about the benefits of taking your RVP promotion. That is if you had a well diversified business. So what happened?

by: Answer This | March 16th, 2010 (11:16 am)

No one has said people can’t make money at PFS. It’s sales. The issue as i see it is the spoon feeding of information. Hey I don’t blame PFS as I said it’s business but the we are the only company doing it right and everyone else is evil is a bit much.

It seems no one ever talks about the end result. ALW/PFS has been around for over 30 plus years..Who know s how many millions of clients. With this down economy and the concept of BTID there should be massive promotions going on about the success of the concept.

As for the incomes. Blindly work the system and it can happen. This is a great way of looking at things going forward. “I’m beyond the point of caring if PFS agents are willing to educate themselves or not.” (From Russell)

PFS isn’t going to change unless they change the system. If they are making money why should they? Which is it? Client first or making the first million?

I love Zig Zigler’s book “See You at the Top”. He can answer your question best. His answer to your question best states the philosophy I aim to follow in becoming successful.

“You can get everything in life you want, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

As most people want to be financially independent, I know that the more people I can help reach that goal, the more success I will see. The next question is, “How do I help all the people that need help financially?” Only about 5% of the US population ever achieves financial independence these days. There are so many people that need help and I can only meet with so many people a day. How do we solve this problem?

Recruit, train, license and develop people. Simply put… Duplicate yourself. The more “Me’s” I have out there, the more people I can help. This is referred to in the business world as increasing your distribution.

If one of these people wants to become a big leader in the company, GREAT!!! We will help them get there. For those that only want to have an extra $1000-$3000 per month in income, GREAT!!! We will help them get there.

Again, “You can get everything in life you want, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Why is it you say “Blindly work the system and it (the incomes I mentioned before) can happen”? In anything in life that a person wants to accomplish what sounds like a better idea? Go out and just try to make things happen or get a coach/mentor/teacher/counselor that has achieved what you want you want to accomplish?

When climbing a mountain, would you rather try to figure it out yourself or would you prefer to have a guide that has climbed up and down the mountain a few times? Most would agree that the safest and most likely chance of success in reaching the top is going to come with having a guide. In climbing that mountain the guide is going to advise you to do things that you may not have thought to do and may not feel comfortable doing. Most will heed that advice. That is not “blindly” following advice, that is trusting the guide’s experience. That is called being coachable. The hardest part about being coachable often times is doing those things that are uncomfortable. When I climbed Mt. Adams (a pretty gentle mountain in terms of mountain climbing), I saw so many people coming down the mountain and I would ask them how it was at the top. You can always tell which ones didn’t make it. They have a tone of relief rather than of accomplishment. For most, the climb is too uncomfortable. Out of our group of 15. Only four of us made it to the top. The rest turned back along the way.

The same is true in Primerica as with any business. If you want to achieve the level of success of a person, heed their advice in how to build your business. If the RVP, SVP, NSD or SNSD you are being coached by doesn’t have what you want, then move on to one that does. When you find the leader that has what you want then stay there and follow their guidance. The likelyhood though is they are going to ask you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. Things you have never done before. They are going to push you and stretch you and expose your weaknesses. But if you are not coachable, it is all for naught. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” (can’t recall who said it, sorry) The funny/sad thing about that saying is that the teacher has likely been there all along, but it is not until the student is ready to learn that they actually see the teacher.

What is the “end result” you are referencing? Client examples? If you are talking about client examples, I am pretty sure that is a “no fly zone” as that would be a testimonial for investments. Are you talking about advertising BTID on TV and print? If I talk about TV personalities that are already talking about it then somebody is going to chime in about how ridiculous those people are. Maybe it doesn’t need more talk. Maybe it needs more doing. More agents sitting down with clients showing how it works and getting people started rather than the megaphone of the media.

But then everyone knows agents and companies don’t make nearly as much money with a term policy as they do with all the different types of cash value policies out there. That would be a pretty big sacrifice and change for a lot of people in the industry in the short term.

So what happened he asks. Bruce Caulk heard him in person. Zig Ziglar heard him in person. Both great speakers and very motivation. However irrelevant to the conversation.

Bitter – not an ounce of bitterness. I spent 2 good years with PFS, learned one strategy very well – BTID. It has its applications. One annuity product – it has is applications. Shining new companies – hardly, many have been around longer than ALW has been alive.

Here is a math problem the next time someone is hearing the speech about over 100,000 reps. Check out the number of reps that are making $50,000 +. I simply don’t remember the number because it really isn’t that important to me any longer but is it 5,000? 10,000? How many of those 100,000 reps have persistency beyond 1 yr? 2 yrs? I’ve been hearing this 100k reps for at least 5 years and recruiting numbers are up. I don’t know and it doesn’t keep me up at night either.

I love the book Coach by ALW. P. 318 (epilogue) – The Big Regret: Selling the Company – “For twenty-three years, I called thousands of plays as head coach of AL Williams. Some good, some bad. But the all-time worst call for me, personally? Selling AL Williams.” ……”Strangely, I didn’t realize what others did: Leadership changes… Company culture changes … Inevitable”…. “But the truth is Sandy bought the company – the 225,000-member distribution system, that is.” – WOW – I just caught that one – Sandy bought 225,000, PFS advertises over 100,000 – did I read that right? “However, I deeply regret it hurt and disappointed so many of my AL Williams teammates. My departure certainly didn’t go as planned. I wish I’d done better. I apologize to all the AL Williams people.”

I read this book on the recommendation of my RVP. It taught me much about the AL Williams Empire.

Just one product is like saying, ” I have canvas All-Star high tops in all sizes, why do people go to other shoe stores?”

by: Answer This | March 25th, 2010 (9:29 pm)

Russell you have to also read Sandy Weill’s book ‘Tearing Down The Walls” to get the whole picture. Sand got ALW just for distribution purposes. I think most local library’s have it..

Well anyway here’s an article.. I know many won’t agree but it’s just an opinion..

(Mr The Financial Blogger, I love your discussions!)

I think that we’re getting lost in semantics here. From what I understand, the post-PFS agents here are saying that Primericans have other options besides the products that they currently offer. The current Primerica agent(s) are NOT saying that that is incorrect necessarily, but that they are either FINE with that or willing to wait until after this IPO dust is settled to make any further judgements. Sounds fair and reasonable to me.

But people don’t cross the street to avoid insurance salesmen because Oprah or J. Kemp or Gandhi told them to. Insurance agents past and present have left families destitute like Art Williams family was. And make no mistake: THAT IS EVIL! If you haven’t or wouldn’t do that, no Primerica agent would call you evil. Without competition there would be no advantage for THE CLIENT who is the unnamed individual we are all talking about. There is a place for Primerica in the market and a place for whatever/whoever else benefits the client.

Russell, if you don’t mind me asking sincerely: if you don’t care to educate “Primericans” why are you even blogging? I don’t see any clients on here, just. Potential recruits. I mean no one has asked any of us for financial advice in this thread. (i’m just sayin) I appreciate your contribution to the discussion though. You make clear points. I guess ART’S CRUSADE lives on albeit in the hearts of a few. Art believed in a simple solution that was best for families. Not all the mumbo jumbo products that were common in the seventies, eighties and nineties. That’s why the big insurance companies couldn’t compete with AL Williams, right? Just listen to those old speeches and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Thanks for reading ,

C. White

Because “Jay Leno” told them to cross the street . Darn auto correct!

C White thanks for your comments, I’m not sure if we are simply talking semantics. 2 yrs in PFS of hearing people say, “we do what is right for our client’s 100% of the time” just grates on my ears. One must ask one question, “is the world we live in today the same as the world Art Williams founded his crusade?” Can anyone answer with a straight face, yes? I don’t think so, if so then I’d love to hear the argument. Insurance companies and products have changed and probably more importantly tax laws have changed. Economies have changed as well – where is USSR just to point out one major power shift since 1970’s. The list simply goes on and on.

When I say I don’t care to educate “Primericans”, I do say this somewhat tongue in cheek. In fact, nothing thrills me more for a person to be willing to step past initial education and be willing to test the waters of additional learning. The challenge is that some accept statements at face value, then internalize the statements and close their minds to additional information. When a person’s mind is close minded or in other words, not opportunity minded, it really isn’t worth the time or effort to attempt to get them to reopen their mind. Hopefully this clarifies my position.

Lastly I’d like to address the concept of selling to one’s warm market. This aspect Primerica has very right on one front – if a person is committed to the purpose of life insurance then absolutely you want your friends and family to know of such a beautiful opportunity. I firmly believe many American’s are seriously underinsured and leaving their families at risk. The low cost of term insurance is something most family should build into their budget especially if they have young child at home. This is all about personal responsiblity. This is a crusade all life insurance agents should take on. However is there only 1 way? I can show people absolutely not. Each situation is unique, therefore we need a lot of “sneakers” in our store.

Buddhist Proverb, “When the student is ready, the master appears.”

Keep an open-mind and be amazed. How many times does an active PFS rep hear or speak “Are you opportunity minded?” yet fail to remain so in their own mind?

Just try again! Why wait for an opportunity to develop when they exist all around?

by: tori lulu | April 2nd, 2010 (2:11 pm)

go primericaaa


If you had stayed in Primerica where do you think you would be right now? Would you have had the motivation to get to RVP, SVP, SNSD? You were already a Regional Leader, right? One promotion away? Would you have a $30k baseshop (annual premium not income)? $100k baseshop?! I can’t say it is any easy task to try to figure out where you would be had you made a different life decision, but if you can I am curious to know. Also, I can’t recall if you said when you quit Primerica.

I ask because they announced the stock option incentives and all the other bonuses the company is doing as of the IPO. I can’t help imagine what kind of advantages you would have had in your pocket had you stuck with Primerica. Although, I guess another thing I don’t know about you is what kind of a business you were trying to build. Were you wanting to build a business in Primerica or only be a self-employed financial services pro? That would impact what incentives you would have a shot at.

On a side note… Leave it to Answer This to find an article to sling a spoonful of mud at Primerica. In fairness, at least it does show that not everyone thinks Primerica is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Everybody is entitled to an opinion… And yet Warburg Pincus still decided to stick with their decision to buy $230 million of stock. And then 364 other companies also decided to invest in Primerica as well. If you want to read about what else is being said about this IPO and Primerica’s stock, google Primerica’s ticker symbol PRI (or probably better “NYSE:PRI”).

Back to Russel… Thanks for finding where the teacher/master quote came from. I always like to give due credit to the source when I have the presence of mind to do so.

For clarification purposes, my “shiny new companies” remark was directed as more of a “grass is greener” comment referencing your departure from Primerica for whichever company you are working with now. As I said, if it “is what’s best for the client, then do it.”

Regarding your math problem, here’s how I look at it. 100,000 licensed agents in Primerica means that we are the biggest distribution system out there. Metlife, Genworth, American Funds and a few other companies know it and are taking advantage of it. That is the reason Primerica gets calls all the time from financial services companies to distribute their products. To add to the intrigue of the 100,000 number, more people are being added as new upper income earners in each category every year. People like to point at the 100,000 life licensed agents number and say that is an indicator of your chances of success. There are also 26,000 securities licensed agents in Primerica. About 6,000 of those are RVPs. So if you get your securities licenses (which is not terribly difficult, correct me if I’m wrong) you could say a person would have a 23% chance of becoming an RVP. Out of those 6,000 RVPs, over 2500 of them make over $100k per year. So if you work hard and become an RVP, you could say your likelihood of making over $100k per year is 42%.

I like these odds. You can look at this and act on the ways you can make this happen for you or you can look for reasons why this is not going to work for you. Either way, you are most likely going to find what you are looking for. Now for a legal bit provided by the wonderful legal department we have here. Just to be fair…

Important Earnings Disclosure: Primerica income figures are based upon rolling 12?month gross cash flow (including advances) as of March 31, 2009.  The cash flows stated are not intended to demonstrate the earnings of typical RVPs/representatives. Rather, the cash flows that have been cited reflect the potential that comes with building your business, and there is no guarantee that you will achieve any specific cash flow level. Most RVPs/representatives do not achieve the levels illustrated.  In the 12?month period ending in December 2008, Primerica’s sales force consisted of approximately 100,000 life?licensed representatives, to whom the Company paid a total of $622,000,000 in compensation, an average of $6,220 per licensed representative.  Average RVP earnings are typically higher.  Actual gross cash flow is, among other factors, dependent upon the size and scale of a representative’s organization, the number of sales and the override spread on each sale, and the ability and efforts of you and your downlines.  Having said this, Primerica provides a tremendous opportunity for individuals who work hard and who desire to develop a business with strong income potential.

Tell me, what percentage of businesses fail every year? What percentage of people that want to play in the NBA actually ever make it? In all things where the reward is truly great, hard work is going to be required. And only a sliver of those that begin the process will taste success. Don’t try to shortchange success. If you want it, work for it.

We got to hear from Art Williams as he spoke to the entire company during our live broadcast on Thursday. He is simply amazing! What a leader! He may have had his regrets about how things went in the past, but he sure is proud of where the company is now. That’s for sure!

Russell, since you are itching so much to tell everyone about the company you work with (my guess is to recruit them), why don’t you just spit it out already? Why are you holding back? Put it out there for everyone to know since your opportunity is so fantastic. Let everyone in on this greatly diversified dream company you are with (so long as it ok with TFB to do so of course). I know I am curious as all get out.

Here are some parting numbers for you all to chew on:

Cash paid to field force
1991 – $250 million
1997 – $365 million
1999 – $431 million
2000 – $520 million
2005 – $600 million
2008 – $622 million
Company Goal $1 billion

Primerica is looking for ways to pay their field force more. Ask yourself this… Is your company?

To everyone out there, the company is looking for players. If you want to be a player and get your own piece of the pie, contact your local Primerica office to get more information. As part of the live broadcast on Thursday, they announced that if you already have your life license you can join the company and have the $99 IBA fee waived. There is even an incentive for those who may have left Primerica for whatever reason. Take advantage of opportunity when opportunity is knocking.

Hey Russell, I hate to piggy-back on the comments of cmbare, but I got juiced as I read your response. Let me clarify my statement regarding semantics. The Crusade is what you seem to be debating over. This is why you seem to be referencing products and attempting to inform Primericans that theirs are antiquated and lacking variety. YOU’RE MISSING MY POINT. The plant reveals what is in the seed, meaning that you can ONLY measure something or someone (with any degree of accuracy) by their body of work. That is what cmbare is getting at beyond other things. You are devoting time to providing clients with solutions, right? So are the agents of Primerica. You want to do what is best for your clients? So does Primerica. And before you reiterate that you got sick of hearing the right thing 100% of the time consider this: In my neighborhood you can still find 80% of the population with Cash Value Life insurance of some sort. The focus that you’re putting towards “other products”, that focus being good or not for the client notwithstanding, is at least misplaced here. Frankly, the Crusade rages on whether the times have changed or not. There is still more incentive for an insurance agent to do wrong and issue a policy that fattens his or her pockets more than protect the family. Jesus said to look after the orphans and widows and I think that’s what Primerica agents do. I am not one, but the ONLY company that came to my house to relieve me of my CV life insurance was a Primerica agent. Say what you will, but their method is reaching the target market. Furthermore their body of work that you can see from cmbare’s comments above prove at least that they are actively out their helping families through basic financial advise (for free I might add). Ask Primerica clients like me if they need to do more and I will tell you most assuredly no. Blogging this all is semantics. Shouldn’t you be thanking Primerica agents for getting into homes that typical agencies would impersonally advertise (usually unsuccessfully) to get in to? Thank them for teaching the ABC’s of investing! THEN you can come right behind and do YOUR OWN FNA for those families. I think you are misdirecting your efforts here.

by: Answer This | April 3rd, 2010 (1:11 pm)

OK what are the incentives to go back?

by: Answer This | April 5th, 2010 (5:24 pm)

I was reading this article and had a thought. Has anyone read the prospectus?

by: Answer This | April 5th, 2010 (11:09 pm)

Here it is folks. Give it a read…

Starting on page 23 should get things jumping..

Hey I’m just sayin.. If it says recruits=Sales who am I to argue..

AT, FEEL FREE TO ADDRESS THE QUESTION AS WELL SINCE RUSSELL HAS DISAPPEARED. Why for the last year have you been devoting all this time into a company, that Warburg Pincus invested in to the tune of a few hunned million, to basically “enlighten what you imply is a deaf crowd. Stating that you’re supplying “just information” to the tune of 30 or 40 posts looks and sounds a lot to me like a crusade in and of itself. Primericans may resort to CV or whole life of some sort, but your argument is redundant as well: true ownership, independence, freedom to offer multiple products, cheaper rates and semantics. BLAH,BLAH,BLAH!!!!!

Make your mark like a true pioneer! Definitions of a pioneer include the following:
1. One who ventures into unknown or unclaimed territory to settle.
2. One who opens up new areas of thought, research, or development: a pioneer in aviation.
3. A soldier who performs construction and demolition work in the field to facilitate troop movements.
4. Ecology An animal or plant species that establishes itself in a previously barren environment.

Please respond to the plea I made to “Russell”! Thank your friendly neighborhood PFS rep ( notice that I said PFS REPRESENTATIVE not independent *insert their specific individual name* representative ) and get the hell off this blog!

Men and women lie, numbers don’t! Bring your crusade to my demographic and then blog all you want! Until then, onl;y PFS got to me and mine…….

Answer This, you are my hero in that you don’t let a company who can be so much more than a one hit wonder become full of the “kool-aid drinking” zealots that infest MLM and other legitimate businesses like mine (a furniture retailer). You are the bane of my existence in that instead of letting your actions speak louder than your words, you resort to chopping up the inadequacies of your direct competition. To paraphrase Sun Tzu : “Therefore one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Seizing the enemy without fighting is the most skillful” and “All warfare is based on deception.” The war that you are waging against PFS (proven by your need to either have the last word, or numerous, albeit it redundant responses to various posts)
Come now, my friend. Peace means not having to have the last word in a debate. Agreeing to disagree is the way of JESUS, not most in business, I understand but seriously. TFB said it originally and it has been answered to date as best it can be: “We may debate if their term insurance products are good or not, this is not the point of the post. My main question is, will Primerica’s business model be threatened by this IPO? ” If you have questions about this directly AT, ask one of the friends you have in Primerica currently!

The war that you are waging against PFS (proven by your need to either have the last word, or numerous, albeit it redundant responses to various posts) have proven beyond a shadow that your agenda is not entirely noble. You have to at least admit that!
(added after proof-reading)

by: Answer This | April 6th, 2010 (3:50 pm)

CW I am so happy I have you to define my agenda. Now considering you say “only PFS got to me and mine” does that mean PFS was the only company that helped you?

That being said are you saying your loyal to PFS rather than what is the best interest of you and yours? That’s where we may differ. I consider what’s best for the family and not for any individual company/carrier. Hey as the saying goes “you do you”.

As this is TFB’s baby I would never take it upon myself to ask anyone to not post. Yet that’s just me. I do consider others. Client first.

No I’m not saying I have any client relationship with TFB. It’s just a general statement.

Lol. A T, you are a funny mamma jamma. I guess I should rephrase. Your agenda is in question because this is an open forum, right? Just seems to me that u have invested (pun unintended) time into the discussion for whatever reason and what do you have to gain?
I on the other hand am here to not just “do me” but to be discover more than one side of the coin. The independent agent that came to my home had nothing to offer me from any of his options. My simple humble point is that isn’t the point of all this discussion to reach more people with quality, inexpensive or competitive products that they desperately need?

I AM the client in this instance. I’m not a PFS agent. My loyalties are properly placed. I could be a potential client to any agent on this blog. If you can aid and navigate me financially, do tell. We differ in that I get the feeling as far as this blog goes, its the agent. Crusade first. Not clients like me.
In short, the best place to help clients or potential recruits is probably NOT ON THIS BLOG. IT’S “kneecap to kneecap.” I’m not trying to be offensive or anything like that. I’m just sayin!
Keep it 100

Lastly, I like your on latent ability to lay bare the facts and stick to your story. I laugh everytime you tell someone to “do them” Independent agents rule, right? I get it totally. Just the facts, not bashing. I get your message. It’s all love,

by: Rafael Bastidas RVP | April 9th, 2010 (10:42 pm)

I Love Primerica I been an RVP for 12 yrs I dont care what anyone says , This things is Awesome, I didnt even speak English when I started but what now i make over 40k a MONTH WOOOOHOOO ! Wish you would have stuck it out like i did

Hey, I’m a primerican and Loving it! It’s a great company and the loyal and the proud have just had a great payday! Too bad for that RVP who bailed, My RVP just got 1700 shares and more coming! Just for being loyal and the stock is doing nicely too, up over 30 some % in just a week! I’m staying! There is no way, that they are going to shaft me! I wouldn’t even be here right now but for Primerica! They came to my home and gave me more info in 1 hour than my other agent who sold me a CSV policy! Hey, they did me and my family a favour! (Canadian spelling), I’m on track to be out of debt in 2 years and we are properly covered and our investments are doing just fine, thank you very much! I was treated with respect and dignity and my agent is still very helpful and now I am going to do for my family what these people did for me! No one cared to come to my house before Primerica, now all these people are trying to compete for my business! I tell them to get lost! Go find their own warm market! What’s wrong with recruiting your own family and friends, it’s business and they get protected! No one was going to their doors before but now I am and I am going to be big because I am not a quitter, I have found a place were I belong. Enough said! PRI stock: $23.34 Woot! Woot!

@Russell – you are correct.

@Jeff , you said this, ” I consider evolution from A.L. Williams to Primerica one company.”

You can personally consider it all you want – but it’s not. ALW does’nt exist anymore and split off in, arguably, five firms:
*World Financial Group
*Helping Build Wealth
*Capital Choice

PFS is no more “ALW” than any of the others listed above. In fact, culturally, some of the other firms resemble ALW more closely than PFS.

PFS is a multi-level marking firm that happens to sell term insurance. They are not a a financial services firm as most people expect.

PFS is an old, stody, behind-the-times company. Generally speaking they have three challenges when compared to an independent firm and those listed above:

*Clients: Primerica has a solid philoopshy, but their implementation (ie, “products”) are below average.

Their term is expensive and only guaranteed for 20 years. No other term carrier has “scheduled” premiums anymore.

Their 529-plan is below par, and their variable annuites is at least 2 years behind the industry.

*Business Model: Primerica is the worst place to build yourself a financial services business. Their commissions are very low (see my video here:
Ownership is next to impossible.
You can’t put your name on the door.
You don’t own your clients.
You don’t “own” your Adivsors (bad choice of words, I know).

*Cultural: PFS is more about recruit, recruit, recruit instead of doing the right thing for the agents they already have. Read the posts here and you get this “cult-like” vibe from the Primericas. “We’re the best”, “No one else is any good”, “If you’re not in PFS, you’re stupid”, etc.

When I resigned from PFS in 2006 (after 16 years. I was an RVP for 8), it was shocking how good it felt to be “free of the cult”. I felt like I was part of the human race again.

And, of course, my clients were better off and my Team started earing real money.

In addition, they are very uncompetetive in their products and buisiness models. You’re technically correct that they’re under different owners, but the personality of the company didn’t really change.

by: Answer This | April 30th, 2010 (9:47 pm)

LOL..I ran across Mr. Thomas site a while back. Very informative.


I will assume you are female and want to do the best for your clients, here is some examples for you.

….The problem is women pay much higher rates with Primerica than almost any other insurance company in Canada. Some examples:

female born 25/01/1988 (22 years old) (preferred rating)

Term 30 $500,000 coverage

Unity Life $42.30/month
BMO Life $44.10/month
primerica $81.23/month

The rates are not even close.

What female wants to pay more (a lot more) for less coverage? Another:

Female born 01/18/1982 (regular health) 28 years old
term 20 $500,000 coverage

Equitable $26.55/month
Western life $27.07/month
Canada Life $27.45/month
Primerica $54.63/month

For $1,000,000 coverage term 20…
Here is what she can get:

Equitable $47.70
Manulife $47.99
Primerica $101.18

So double the coverage, more options for less money vs. the $54.63/month for only $500,000 of coverage.

If she wanted to be covered be covered for life. UL/T100


Transamerica $96.25/month
Desjardins $98.03/month
BMO $99.06/month

by: Answer This | May 6th, 2010 (3:28 pm)

First Company conference call:

If I recall correctly they said 53,000 new recruits and 97.000 current licensed Life agents.

Wow, when I resigned in 2006 they had 103,000 life agents and were recruiting 15,000 – 20,000 per MONTH.

I didn’t realize they were declining this dramatically. I believe it will only get worse…… ther term carriers are getting more competetive and innovative, and there are a LOT of alternative business opportunities popping up.

Interesting story, today I was at an American Funds Advisor meeting in Irvine, CA when I bumped into an former Primerica SVP who, when I left, gave me a “hard time” about leaving. He said no one has ever left the company and been successful, blah, blah. A year later he left and joined LPL! Anyway, I saw him today and he said leaving Primerica was the best business decision he ever made.

by: Answer This | May 6th, 2010 (7:03 pm)

Mr. Thomas maybe you can answer this for me. I posted it in another section. Do you know if the terminal illness benefit on the base of a PL contract also covers a spouse if a spouse rider is added? I keep hearing some of the new people promoting the TIB like it’s something new available only to PL clients.

As for the numbers that’s a lot of people to go through. LOL.. I’ve met former PFS reps. who left the company and the industry and now want nothing to do with the financial services industry period..I will say this they are easy clients, but sometimes getting referrals are tough because of past experience.


PFS’ TIB is ONLY for the primary, not the spouse, same for Waiver-Of-Premium. This is one of the drawbacks of combining husband/wife on one policy.

Almost every other term life carrier has TIB, and many are better. For example Genworth Life’s TIB is much better:

-PFS: 40% for max of $250,000
-Genworth: 75% for max of $500,000

And, Genworth is cheaper. It is ironic that PFS Reps can sell Genworth’s LTC policy, but they can sell Genworth’s Term Life which is superior to Primerica Life.

by: Answer This | May 6th, 2010 (8:32 pm)

I wonder how many reps. know that?

by: Answer This | May 7th, 2010 (9:54 pm)

FYI here is a breakdown of the PFS business. It starts on page 106.

Thanks to “AnswerThis” for the pdf.

Recruiting vs Retention

On page 106 there is an interesting statistic….

Between 2007, 2008 and 2009…PFS hired 677,995 Reps

But the life licensed reps increased only slightly…

2007 – 97,103
2008 – 99,361
2009 – 100,569

Leaving a lot of dead bodies… Something wrong with this model, don’t you think?

by: Answer This | May 8th, 2010 (1:46 pm)

No problem. I enjoy reading your web site. Thank you..

Oh one more thing. I did notice they said they currently have 4000 RVP’s.
After all those years and all those people who went through the system.

by: tony vera | May 15th, 2010 (8:56 pm)

Genworth? you betcha. That’s why I got it. Primerica rhymes with AIG to me.

hey i just wanted to post after reading this blog… I understand what everyone’s issue is with my company… they make the point of saying we are captive agents and we have outdated products and the commissions are less than other companies…but heres the thing:

I was given and opportunity to work for this company and make a few hundred bucks a week working a few hours a week… I work in one of the best hierarchy in the business i’m direct to a RVP making 1.5 million a year… so i think i’ll go with he’s plan… because i don’t have the option somewhere else…

In a previous comment a guy said the ownership sounds more like a Franchise… well yea… but it’s a franchise you bought for $99 dollars and sweat equity (going through the numbers) working hard for a relatively shorty period of time when u equate it to anything else.

We always equate this business to college because that’s really what it is its a Work STudy program .. and on the way to RVP you are able to make money and position yourself to make PROI (predictable reoccurring income)… nothing else i’ve seen or that has been presented to me has allowed me to do this… so if you guys know about something else that provides an opportunity for better.. than go do it.. but i know for me, Primerica provided me with the opportunity and so far it’s payed off…

It took me about 8months of hard work but at a Divsion contract i’m making about $4k a month working alot less than i was working at the Job i had… AND LET ME DEFINE WORK.. sitting down with a family and writing a SALE… not prospecting.. thats advertising… but if i sit down with a 1 or 2 families a day and i spend about 2 hours on average with them and i make a little over $1k a week
5daysx2hours=10 hours a week=$1,000 (oh and prob about $250 in overrides) $125/an hour if you want to even break it down like that… Show me another company providing me with that potential and .. and honestly i wouldn’t care because this company showed me first so I’m investing my time in what’s working for me…

The 1st Step to Greatness is Total Commitment… if you join Primerica and basically continue looking for other companies that are better … i’m sure you can always find a “grass is greener” company… but My belief is that you’ll make it anywhere as long as you do the right thing and work hard for long enough time. So not put for energy and focus into a proven system.

So if you where committed to selling Sand on a Beach you would eventually become good at selling sand on a beach if you keep at it long enough and GO THROUGH THE #’s

Funny, just as I got an email notification that jfromtx posted here, I am on the phone with a PFS RVP who is joining our firm!

jfromtx said this… ” RVP making 1.5 million a year… so i think i’ll go with he’s plan… because i don’t have the option somewhere else…”

My response:
1) Ask your $1.5M-earner how many Agents in his hierarchy there are. Then ask how many earn even $50k, and do the math. The reason he earns that income is beacsue he started many, many years ago, and has 100’s or 1,000’s of agents like you.

2) There ARE lots of other opportunities. In fact, all of them are superior to PFS. Simply because PFS is outdated, they’ve been around since 1977, and their culture, promotion guidelines, product mix is still in that era. There have a LOT of innovations in products and mult-tiered hierarchy structures since then – many smart people have looked at Primerica (and other companies) and fixed the flaws that no one could have anticipated in 1977.

jfromtx said, “he 1st Step to Greatness is Total Commitment”

True, but the question what/who is the commitment direct to? To the company? Or should that commitment be re-directed toward your business? How about your clients? Maybe your constituents (your downlines)?

The wrong answer is “the company”. That is a very clever ploy by Primerica. They get people to confuse their loyalties – they instill a sense of commitment to them, the company.

Look, Primerica is nothing more than a vendor for your financial planning practice. They provide the licensing, the selling-agreements, the product mix, they do the pay roll etc. They’re a vendor for your business, like AT&T and UPS are. You don”t have “loyalty” to AT&T, if Verizon is better for your business, right? Or you don’k keep using UPS, if FedEx performs better?

So, if another vendor can help you do a better job for your clients, use them. Primerica has to EARN your business. And, if another broker/dealer pays out more income to your sales agents, why would you penalize them for misguided loyalty?

Last thing…. your income example is not very good. One of my agetns, a former RVP in Tucson, closed a variable annuity 2 weeks ago. He earned $39,980. We did the math and had he written this VA when he was at PFS, we would have earned $19,200. That’s a $20,000 difference! For a product that is cheaper and has better guarantees.

Kate Just out of curiosity where did you get the numbers. I checked with a rep and it came out nothing like that.

yes he’s been around 20+ yrs and does have 12 direct rvps a couple thousand licensed reps

but my whole point is if there is another company that offers the same opportunity to build a business not just make a HIGHER commission on products.. I’M highly aware of companies paying MORE COMMISSION… but my whole point in Primerica is not to have to SALE the rest of my life its to …build an organization that’s going to pay me $10,000-$30,000 a month without me having to touch a life app/mutual fund/

So whats other company offers you an opportunity to pay $99 to get in on a part time basis and provides back office support and licencing and education for $25/monthly AND allows advancement to where you can have ownership.. not just in the book of business (clients) but also “licensed reps”

Micheal: if a person decides after building an organization at PFS that hey i rather work for somewhere else I know Primerica isnt the end all be all but it’s a vehicle … Bill Whittle in Baton Rouge said that people who win in Primerica are either incredibly naive.. (meaning that you believe hard enough that your crazy enough to pull this off) / or incredibly tough … (meaning you have the toughness and back bone to bare through the hardness of the business)

My Last point is this and it’s the same as another poster… Primerica is the only company that came and sat down with me and offered this Opportunity and I jumped on it… No other company reached out to me… so for that yes i’m loyal.. untill They give me a good reason not to be… but so far every time i send them a app with money the keep direct depositing money in my account… every time one of my recruits do a sale the deposit money in my account..

PS.. that RVP who QUIT and is Joining your firm.. just made he’s upline that much richer… lol isnt that Great?…

Hi jfromtc

Short answer: my company, Thomas Financial Group, is a finer alternative. $0 to get started, we don’t charge $99 and nothing per month. Higher commissions, especially securities, as you saw in my example above,

All of the primary princples of our firm are former RVP’s (most over 2 decades with ALW and PFS) and we simply took what learned, observed what wasn’t working anymore, and built a modern-day, “Primerica” in an independent platform.

I’m not sure I’m following your reasoning… the RVP I’m hiring is going to make his upline richer? The upline is going to lose the RVP and his entire hierarchy. And his upline has been accused of insider trading and is on his way out of the business (ask me privatey for who that is).

I’ve hired 6 RVPs since I left PFS, and over 100 Reps. None has ever gone back. None.

For more info, see here:

Anywho is reading this, and follows the cell-phone and handheld market, here is a good analogy. Primerica is Apple and our firm (among other independents) is Google’s Android. Applie (ie Primerica) is captive, restrictive and controlling (but looks pretty). Andoid is open-source, free, scalable and available in many devices and has very few restrictions.

by: Answer This | June 29th, 2010 (3:04 pm)

jfromyx: You say your loyalty is due to PFS is the only company who sat down with you and educated you. Did they educate you on the potential of using a trust? What about disability Insurance? What about critical Illness coverage? What about Final expense or medicare supplements?

As for BTID, what if the client doesn’t save or has a health issue (finances) at or near end of the term guarantee period? Did they go over the different conversion options of different policies?

The old crusade days are over. It’s straight up business and sales. You were given a presentation and offered a product. You can be as loyal as you wish but your 1099 not W-2.

Oh one more thing. As for the income you mentioned I know people in Pre-Paid legal who are making those numbers and more. Compare your PLPP contract with going directly with the company. PPL ownership is after 12 months..What are the qualifications of PFS ownership? Hey I’m just sayin.. (bypass the middle man)

They educated me about a trust. They do not offer disability so dont know how they could have educated or offered.Pre paid never educated me on IRA or helped me look at my 401k. Just out of curiosity, how many 100k earners are there or mill earners.

Every company has their niche and pre paids is different than PFS. Why is there so much hatred. By the way does Pre Paid now offer life insurance or investments so that there is money to put in the trust. I am just sayin.

I beleive both are great companies that offer great services. No need to bash either or pit against each other.

Why is there so much energy on this thread bashing
PFS is not perfect nor the darn company you work for either. Some people make it…some people dont. I have never worked for Amway or Quikstar but beleive they work as well as long as you work it

And according to some of you on this thread every company must be a scam or sucks because only 5% of America will be financially independent or better.

Someone earlier commented that ownership is almost impossible, well how possible is it anywhere else. Just because you put money in and buy something and call it your restaraunt just means you could afford to buy it and younow own it but if you cant sell it what do you own. I have seen Mcdoalds franchises go under. Does that mean Mcdonalds is a scam…it don’t work

Why dont some of you use your energy to improve your situation and stop pissin in everyone elses cereal.

I guess Warbus must be stupid and in on the scam also.

by: Answer This | July 1st, 2010 (2:28 pm)

cj are you a client or agent? Something to consider is PFS agents do not work for Primerica. They are independent contractors. as for warbus I’m sure they had their business reasons just as Citi once did. PFS isn’t a scam but today there are other options.

I am both. I thought I had said that earlier when I said I asked my agent. It was meant to be a joke saying I asked myself because I saw kates post and was wondering where she got those numbers.

Yes there are many options out there. As much as I detest and don’t like people who sell whole life I do not bash them or their company(just the actual product)

I am not one of those overnight making 300k a year reps. I have been in the company since 2003 and I don’t have the frickin watch yet. But I have watched people around me go to 100k, 200k, and 600k. I have also watched people do some bad things and get terminated.

From this I truly understand that it depends on me with some luck also. I guess when I saw this thread it hit me the wrong way. People bashing PFS. Then PFS people bashing people that don’t.

I truly love what we do. One of my first clients would have had 30k through work and maybe 50K of that UL stuff(which in every policy I looked at is disigned to blow up) for more money than the 300k i put on her and 10 on her 3 kids. yes I was upset when she died but there was a calm feeling know that 100k went into a trust( yeah sorry i sold her a PPL cuz obviously we dont talk about that stuff) so all her kids will have options.

Am i saying we are the only company that does correct things …no.

But I couldnt look and watch people take all this energy to bash a company that has been around. I have met had dinner and lunch with ART. Is some of the element gone from the old days. Of Course companies evolve. Do we still keep the main thing the main thing..yes. Is our message the same…yes. We have not got into all those creative mortgages that killed our economy. We have not created products to further complex life insurance. Return of premium. Really. Most of the ones i have seen have no relief if they die vefor the 30 years where they could have saved the extra premiums anywhere outside of a policy.

Ok i am rambling. People please stop poo pooing on others opportunities even if you failed at it. And please keep selling whole,universal, and variable. So much easier to replace polices than convince those who dont have any to get some

Comments in what CJ wrote…

Everything you said “good” about Primerica can be done elsewhere. It is not unique to PFS. Primerica does not have a monoply on good ideas – in fact, they so old, out dated and set in their ways that they are woefully behind the times, especially in regards to Multi-Tiered-Override-Structure (MTOS) systems. A lot has improved in the last 30 years.

-Why does PFS still require “give-ups” to get promoted to RVP?
-Why, if a downline passes you up and earn her RVP promotion before you, do you NOT regain her as a 1st Gen RVP once you do attain your RVP promotion?
-Why does PFS pay over 6 levels of Generational Overrides, but the average Rep earns a little over $6,000 per YEAR (it states this in their own FNA on the Cash-Flow Quadrant Page). By the way, less than 100 Reps in a company of 100,000 Reps even have 6 generations deep of RVPs – so all the rest goes to the company.
-Why, when you write a sale at a lower level, such as Senior Rep, and years later when you are an RVP, your client adds money to that account, you get paid as a Senior Rep, NOT as an RVP?

There are many more “minor” issues that should have been fixed a long time ago, but PFS doesn’t. (Other companies have).

For anyone looking into PFS, there are some of the questions you need to get answers for. Don’t believe all the hype.

Would you get involved in a business where an agent, such as CJ, doesn’t even earn $50k after SEVEN years? (In the one of the most lucrative industries in U.S.).

CJ said, “Am i saying we are the only company that does correct things …no.”

And he said, “And please keep selling whole,universal, and variable. So much easier to replace polices than convince those who dont have any to get some”.

Funny, I often make a similar statement to Primericans. The easiest life sale we make in our Agency is replacing PFS LIfe. (PFS Family Headquarters knows my name by heart!). It’s the arguably the least competitive term insurance in the market.

We have a saying, “Replace Primerica and Invest the Difference”.

Did you know that Primerica Life policies….
-Are only guaranteed for 20 years? So, if you buy a 25. 30 or 25 year term, the premium CAN go us after 20 years? This is called “scheduled premiums”, as opposed to “guaranteed premiums”. No other company even sells scheduled premiums anymore, PFS is the only one.
-When you go to renew your expired Primerica Life you can only get annual renewable term, or decreasing term, not level term.
-The terminal Illness benefit is only on the primary, not the spouse (and is pretty weak – 40% of the face amount, up to $250,000. As an example, Genworth is 75% up to $500,000).
-Waiver-of-premium is only on the primary not the spouse.
-If you get declined, or rated, your Primerica Rep has no recourse for another carrier. You’re SOL.
And, most importantly, they are VERY expensive! I can find return-of-premium term (which I don’t like), that is within just a few dollars of PFS’ premiums.

Ironically, one of Primerica “partners” Genworth has very good term, but PFS doesn’t let it’s agents sell it!

So, keep on selling Primerica Life… teach clients the value of term, and investing in mutual funds, the theory of decreasing responsibility, then independents like me can come in and just give ’em more coverage and longer guaranteed terms and replace your business. Primerica is the “whole life” of the term industry now.

Term is just the start of product problem….. if y’all want more detail about PFS’ products just say so and I post more info. Here’s some of the potential topics.
-they have only one 529 plan. A poor one.
-they have only one variable annuity. a poor one.
-they have only 11 mutual funds. Thank God American Funds is one of them (it’s the best product Primerica sells).
-they have only one term product (details above).
-they don’t allow their agents to Advise on “outside” products suchs as P&C, health, disability, real estate, taxes etc. They don’t allow their reps to get designation such as CFP (or they can’t advertise it, if they already have it). So, does that inspire confidence in a potential customer?

Their agents truly want to “do what’s right” and they do have a sound financial philosophy, generally speaking. The problem is that they are constrained to selling very, very poor products, and it penalizes the clients. Too bad.

They could take their energy, beliefs and philosophies and super-impose them on an independent-Advisor platform and REALLY help their clients (and earn more income, of course).

There is a whole another discourse on the so-called “Primerica Opportunity”, but I’m tired! If y’all want to the details of that works, and the loop-holes, just hollar and I’ll post.

by: jfromtx | July 1st, 2010 (3:58 pm)


Half of something is better than a Whole of nothing

Have you ever shopped at Walmart of Target… both of these companies have superstores that carry almost everything you could want… the keyword being ALMOST… if i walk into Target and as i’m shopping i’m putting items in my basket… but at the end of my list that last thing i need is not in there… .i’m going to go ahead and check out and I’ll find that other item at another store…

You have to understand that PFS is a Financial Services Marketing Organization… our Focus is on Distribution the Same way Walmart is… question: what if walmart stopped focusing on distribution and just focused on WHAT ITEMS THAT DIDNT CARRY… it wouldnt be anytime soon but they would eventually stop growing and eventually go out of business…

Do some walmarts suck to go to.. YES… but some walmarts i enjoy going to… can i get better prices for some items sometimes somewhere else.. Yes, alot of times. But why does Walmart continue to win?? Because they know that you can’t turn the corner in my town without running into a Walmart

So they know the will reach the masses…

ok so here is any example of a appointment I had last week…
i Sat down with a family with 3 little kids and no insurance…

I put 350,000 on the man and 200,000 on the wife and 10,000 on all the kids… for $72.08

neither of them is investing anything so we start out putting $200-$300 in a target asset allocation fund and I also am going to follow up with them on VA because they do have a little saved in a savings

I signed them up for Debt Watchers to help them take control of their debt and their FICO score ($15) so that they can qualify to buy a house in the future

that’s almost $500 i make for helping them… and educating them on something they never would have ever thought about if they never had sat with me… If i was with PRepaid Legal… i probably could have sold them on a will which i suggested they said they would think about it… but i’m sure when i sit down with them again to go other the hypothetical they will see the value in setting up a will and doing a plpp

I took a look at the thomas financial group and hey it looks like they may have found their niche and hopefully that company will succeed… I think anyone who looks at both of the companies you would see pros and cons… but i’m sure that losers they will loose where ever they go so it doesn’t matter what “vehicle” they use they’ll quit and find something else to blame for it

With the IPO like i said i’m pretty sure that alot of changes will happen with commission and the products … especially the loan products…

I agree with CJ.. people always want to Sh*t on your parade so that they feel better and you start questioning yourself…

Last thing .. I worked at Target for 3 years and had a total of $0.80 in pay increase I’ve worked at PFS for 8 months and my pay increased %35…

Could i be making more money at another spin off of PFS… probably but why start over somewhere else when i’ve halfway mastered this system…

Micheal’s post is mostly true.. i dont know why there are replacements to get promoted probally because if you promote a person who’s doing 1/3 of your baseshop premium… you would loose some income… I understand that you would still overide all the business the RVP does but you now have to rebuild a Base shop back to 30,000 or what ever they where doing previously…

and i dont know why you can’t regain someone who passes you to RVP.. maybe its to promote competition .. to make people fight for their rvp promotion.. I dont know.. ( i could build a house on what i dont know.. lol) but what i do know is, I’m going to be and RVP.. and if i get to the TOP and I’m Making a merly $250,000/ year.. and i look around and see TFG people maybe making 2x that, than hey maybe i’ll come back to this site and say… you know what PFS doesnt work

I do want to thank Micheal for the info he provided though he’s defiantly made me think

by: Answer This | July 1st, 2010 (5:13 pm)

jfromtx I’m not comparing PPL with PFS. To me PPL is an add on with the ability to build individually from the marketing organization I’m with. (One of them). It’s about the business side. If you leave PFS or get terminated you lose all the business. If I were terminated or left a marketing organization it wouldn’t effect the other business.

What many just fail to see is PFS agents are not employees. They are independent contractors. Self-employed people. Yet for some reason the company loyalty runs deep. I was once the same way until I left. Once you get that legal letter you understand it’s business..

If PFS is where you wish to wear your hat that’s great but consider what Michael said. As an independent(s) we can come in and replace your program very easily. You can’t say the same. That speaks volumes form a business stand point.

Oh yes as for the PLPP program compare the cost of the plan along with the trial and Pre-Trial benefits with the PPL expanded plan. If you so choose use an example of a lawyer charging $200.00 and hour… Out side of PFS with PPL directly the client can get a standard plan and also identity theft protection for the cost of the PLPP.

The standard plan cost $16.00 a month. There’s the Will, Living Will and Durable Power Of Attorney.. That needs should be addressed and stressed. Going through probate without a plan in places is not fun, not to mention what if there’s a disability or sickness. Who can make the financial or physical decisions? If it’s not on paper it’s time to go to court and get permission..

Yet I forgot it’s about distribution…

I apologize i meant to say”I am not saying that primerica is the only company that does the right thing. But as I said all this company bashing(which I have not done any of) is for foolish people. I do have a few questions In your company what are the guodlines to be promoted. What do you have to do to have ownership in your company. How many levels do you pay at. How profitable is your company. Why does the sun rise in the east. Why does the sun set in the west. Why cant they fix the darn oil spill. Why do democrats hate capitalism. Why do republicans like capitalism. Why dont you work for Genworth. Why did warbus invest in such a bad company.

Ok i am out of questions

Ok just looked at Michaels website. Cool. Man. I am happy for your success. Truly. I am sure if I dig deep(which i dont have the time) I could find some flaws. Looks like your moving up. I will not poo poo on what you have done

I’ll answer CJ’s questions that are 1) Serious, 2) applicable to this thread, and 3) I have the ability to answer correctly.

“…guodlines to be promoted.”

Well, too many details to cover completely, but here are few innovations:
1. Each product has it’s own guidleines and it’s own “track”. So an Advisor could be at x% for life, and z% for securities. They are not linked.
2. Each promotion is based upon that product’s production. So, securities revenue counts for securities; and life premium counts towards life.
3. No recruiting required, but if you have Advisors they count toward your promotion. (Note: the Branch President (RVP) promotion – see below – does have some recruiting requirements).

Cool features….
-No give-ups. You recruit someone, they are part of your business for ever.
-If a downline “passes you up”, their production still counts toward your promotions, contests and recognition.
-If your downline passes you and makes it all the way to Branch President before you do, you GET THEM BACK as a 1st Generation BP once your make it to BP. No time limit.

I actually have an Advisor in this situation. She (let’s call her Jen) is below-BP (ie, RVP), and she hired a Primerica RVP who is now a BP with us (let’s call him Larry), So, Larry is “above” her in all levels/products, so she doesn’t get any overrides. But, all of Larry’s production (and that of his Team) counts towards Jen’s promotions, contests and recognition. And, one day, when Jen makes it to Branch President she will immediately have a 1st Generation RVP direct to her. No time limit.

By the way, the 1st Gen override for securities at my firm is 9%. PFS is 6%. Capital Choice is 3%.

(P.S. Larry was in PFS for 14 years, and RVP for about 4. Never made $50k. He was in Capital Choice for 6 years as an RMD, never made $50k. After 13 months with my firm he earned $100k, and in his income $45k, coming off of May with $31k).

Run this scenario by your RVP and see what they say!

“…How many levels do you pay at?”

In the Base Shop, for securities, we pay 9 levels deep. PFS pays 6. We pay from 25% to 70%. PFS pays from 15% to 50% (not 62% like they tell you.)

PFS pays 6 Generational Overrdies, we pay 3. Reason? As I explained in a above post, this is largely wasted commissions as less than 0.001% of PFS Reps even have 6 RVP’s deep. After 35 YEARS! We saw that and decided to pay “just” over 3 Generational Overrides and take the other 3 levels and throw is back in the Base shop (not to the BP’s, but give it to the below-BP level Advisors.). I have part-time Advisors who have higher commission rates that Hector LaMarque!

The easier way to address the spirit of CJ’s question is…

1) What % of the revenue does your broker/dealer pay to the Field Force?

2) Then, in what proportion is that revenue paid out? Meaning, does most of it go to BP’s? To Advisors? To Middle-Managers? etc.

For us, answer 1 is 88% goes to Field. Ask PFS what their’s is. They won’t tell you. (It’s about 72%).

Answer 2 is, most of it goes to below BP. For example, we don’t believe in a Base Shop bonus that only goes to RVP’s. Instead, skip the Bonus and just pay that commissions to the Reps.

“…How profitable is your company.”

Not as much as PFS!

1) We are a privatley held firm, not public. So we don’t answer to anyone.
2) Our goal was to build a firm for Adivisors, not stock holders. Our “profit” is gaged by how much money our Reps earn, not how much profit our company keeps.
3) Out goals was always to make enough to run the firm, have good reserves, and the rest goes back in the Field.
4) The CEO of our holding company gets paid “in the field” as opposed to a Salary, he basically overrides the field. So he is affected personally by every compensation decision we make. (Addison and Williams of PFS earn almost $2m in Salary).

For those that are seriously investigating Primerica (and other firms) have to remember is that PFS is not the only game in town, anymore. They’re just the oldest and the biggest (like Microsoft or IBM). But they are NOT the “best” when viewed as an Advisor or as a Client.

For stockholders, sure, it’s a good investment. But those reading this thread are, most likely, Advisors. And you have different criteria for “good” than someone trying to make a profit off of a stock.

Anything you can do at PFS, you can do better at an independent firm. There are other options nowadays. A.L.Williams was the original, and from that firm we have (at least) 5 offshoots:
-Capital Choice
-World Financial Group
-Helping Build wealth
-Thomas Financial Group (full disclosure: this is my firm)

Of all of the above, only Primerica choose not to improve upon ALW – they run it the same way. The other four have made changes and improvements, all in their own way. What you need to do is research ALL of them before you sign on with ANY of them. I always tell my prospective Advisors to research them all before then enter our program (often times they don’t even know about the others until I tell them).

They are all different in product mix, MTOS structure, freedoms and cultures. What they have in common is financial services for the middle/upper class, commissions, overrides, no quotas, no previous experience.

All of the companies listed above are successful by anyone’s definition, but that doesn’t mean they’re all right for you. You need to find out which is right. But I will say that PFS is the worst of the bunch; hence hte bashing, because most Primericas act like they’re the best.

They have the worst products, the lowest commissions, the most unfair override structure and the least freedoms of all five firms.

by: CALE HERNANDEZ | July 2nd, 2010 (10:29 am)


“This would mean that the so called “business” Primerica agents built could change hands within a few years (and a lot of millions invested in stock ). I am not saying it will happen overnight, but it is surely a sign that nothing can be taken for granted.”

“The potential new owner could also decide to cut the pyramidal aspect (commission wise) and name Regional Directors and VPs and pay them as salaried employees (this would cut their pay checks drastically and significantly increase Primerica’s profit… which is always good for shareholders!).”

And back to the original topic of this thread… Here’s a couple updates on what’s happened since April.

It’s been a while since I posted here on this subject. To give you an update…

The independent market has made great improvements in the last couple of years in term insurance and variable annuities; while Primerica has had no product improvements and is going through a major mess.

They were (finally) shedded from CitiGroup, and they’re losing Reps faster than they can recruit them.

2010, 2nd Quarter Results (posted on Yahoo! finance)

*Recruits increased by 13.6%* in second quarter 2010 compared to the same period a year ago and sequentially increased by 12.3% compared to first quarter 2010 due to positive momentum generated from our IPO and the new equity-based sales force incentive programs.

Our life licensed insurance sales force experienced a slight *decline* of 1.3% to *96,066* at June 30, 2010 from 97,354 at March 31, 2010 impacted by difficult economic conditions and license renewal cycles in certain key states.

Issued life insurance policies decreased by 2.9% to 60,406 in second quarter 2010 from *62,202* a year ago in line with a year over year decline in the size of the life licensed sales force.

My summary: Their recruiting has INCREASED by 13%, but their salesforce is DOWN to 96k. When I left in 2006 they had over 100,000. Also, their life app count is down to 10,000 per month. At one time, they were doing over 40,000 per month (when I left it was around 20k).

In that time period our firm has transferred three RVP’s and over 30 Reps to us.


I created a YouTube video (in 2 parts) that is an in-depth expose at the inner workings of Primerica’s Term Life Insurance.

The announcement and links are here:

Feedback welcome. Feel free to discuss any facts I have wrong.

Michael Thomas
CEO of Thomas Financial Group

by: Answer This | September 8th, 2010 (12:25 pm)

Just a suggestion to the Primericans. Do not click on the links provided by Mr. Thomas. As I say it’s best for you not to read or post on message boards because you will be hit with facts and once you do some research you will have to take the mirror test. Do you really do what’s right 100% of the time? Are you doing what’s best for the client or for the company? Are you doing the best you can do or what you are allowed to do?

For those with an open mind take a look. For those who drink the kool-aid I suggest you stay away from his information. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Disclaimer: No I am not affiliated with Mr. Thomas in any way.

“PFS people are good people, simply uneducated about financial services.”

LOL! This is rich coming from someone who has probably been pawning off cash value insurance on unsuspecting consumers who don’t realize that they pay for two things, and will only ever get one.

“2 years with the company was perfect as I got my 6, 26, & 63 only to find out that as a Senior Rep I wouldn’t see trails on sales until I made Regional Leader.”

This is another outright, baldface lie. I have a friend who has been a district for the last year, and he’s made trails from the very beginning.

“Feedback welcome. Feel free to discuss any facts I have wrong.:

LOL! You don’t have any facts. Just a bunch of lies.

“Do you really do what’s right 100% of the time? Are you doing what’s best for the client or for the company? Are you doing the best you can do or what you are allowed to do?”

Please! Who the hell do you think you’re kidding with this BS! Selling cash value insurance would be best for the company. But Primerica doesn’t sell it, because they no it’s garbage. They also know the con job cash value life insurance agents put on their clients. It’s why most of the large insurance companies have had their fraudulent ass sued off. For example, All-State, State Farm, Prudential, etc. Do I even need to talk about AIG and others? Do you really want to do business with companies that have been sued for fraud?

See my comments in May. Primerica charges more for women and is the only company that gets away with this in Canada.

Here is is again….

The problem is women pay much higher rates with Primerica than almost any other insurance company in Canada. Some examples:

female born 25/01/1988 (22 years old) (preferred rating)

Term 30 $500,000 coverage

Unity Life $42.30/month
BMO Life $44.10/month
primerica $81.23/month

The rates are not even close.

What female wants to pay more (a lot more) for less coverage? Another:

Female born 01/18/1982 (regular health) 28 years old
term 20 $500,000 coverage

Equitable $26.55/month
Western life $27.07/month
Canada Life $27.45/month
Primerica $54.63/month

For $1,000,000 coverage term 20…
Here is what she can get:

Equitable $47.70
Manulife $47.99
Primerica $101.18

So double the coverage, more options for less money vs. the $54.63/month for only $500,000 of coverage.

If she wanted to be covered be covered for life. UL/T100


Transamerica $96.25/month
Desjardins $98.03/month
BMO $99.06/month

Hi there I ran some quotes and Brian Poncelet where are you getting your figures and quotes for primerica insurance from?

you are way off on you numbers when it comes to primerica rates.

the primerica rates are just about the same as the companies your were quoting.

I hope you are a little more diligent when it comes to doing calculations for your clients.

Hi moe,

Sorry about your name (I think the three stooges will be mad). The information was correct at the time I get my information from term4sale.

Let me know if you hear from Larry or Curley with new information.

ha ha.. I called Larry and Curley, they said you we were comparing the primerica standard rate vs other companies preferred rate..

If the primerica preferred/preferred plus rates were compared against other ins. companies standard rates that would be an unfair comparison too.

Larry and Curley says…

Moe, if you are female all females are charged more with Primerica than any other insurance company in Canada!

We don’t know if you are female, but we are sure you have a mother and may even like women like us, so why is Primerica so mean?

Example standard rates….

41 year old female term 20 $500,000

Monthly rates

Canada Life $45.90
Equitable $45.90
RBC $46.40

Primerica $89,78

Moe, you can check out Brian’s quote page

Hi Brian, you are right… sexism still exists in canada.

that is why Primerica will give that 41 yr old lady’s healthy twin brother much better rates than rbc equitable and canada life.

41yrold 20 yr term 500,000

Primerica $795/yr

Canada Life $1115/yr
rbc 839/yr
equitable 830/yr

do your male clients/favor and get them a Primerica Policy

Sorry Moe,

I have a regular non-smoker, smart 41 year old male T-20

Equitable $735
Tranamerica $735
Manulife $738.84

The advantage is you can convert this into permanent. Primerica no luck.

Also, I don’t think Primerica offers disability or critical illness insurance. So if you are self-employed or want better coverage, Primerica is limited. Sort of like a plumber who only has hammer and wants to fix a leak.

by: Answer This | March 10th, 2011 (5:49 pm)

Is there a Life Settlement market in Canada?

by: Super Scar | October 14th, 2011 (6:57 am)

As a Primerica client, I can say that without mentioning the other benefits to the Primerica policies (automatic child coverage for free, and other adds) you can’t compare policies between companies. Also, since people who get permanent policies pay more for less insurance, that shouldn’t even be part of the discussion. I’m not sure if Primerica feels this way but every time a company tries to sell me disability insurance, which is one of the biggest scams in the business, I immediately decide not to do business with them, period.

@Super Scar

Not really sure what you’re saying here. Of course, you can and should compare to other companies.

I agree that whole life is not the way to go. Term and a mutual fund is a better alternative.

But, as far as term goes, Primerica’s is the lowest quality term you can find. Almost every other major carrier has lower rates, longer guarantees, better terminal illness benefit, and the ALL have free unlimited children on the kids rider.

Hi Super Scar,

If what you believed was false, when would you like to know?

I assume you don’t do taxes, or are incorporated. True?

Let me know assuming you are male, (you can see above that Primerica charges the highest rates for term insurance for females in Canada) we can also keep this basic for you as well.

by: Super Scar | October 15th, 2011 (4:05 pm)

First, I’m in the US so I guess it’s different here. I know several people who have term with different companies and I know what they are paying, and it’s all pretty close, my impression is that I am not paying more than they are for the same coverage, except one friend who I know pays less but who gets none of the extras I’m getting with Primerica. Second, I know more than one person who was persuaded to add children and are paying for it in addition to their own policy. So, unless these companies changed their policies in the last year and didn’t tell them, I think it’s safe to say it isn’t always available.

by: Michael Thomas | October 15th, 2011 (5:31 pm)

@Super Scar

Background: I am in the U.S. as well. I was in Primerica for 16 years and a Branch Manager (RVP) for eight, and I have owner four Primerica Life policies over the years. I now havew an independent financial services firm and we frequently replace PFS policies.

The rates between PLIC and other firms are not close. When comparing term policies it’s important to keep the rating classes in mind. PFS is VERY strict in rating thier clients. So, a client may get a “preferred” rating with PFS, but a “super preferred” with ING, for example.

Here is a spreadsheet of recent Primerica policies we’ve replaced:


-68 replacements (issued policies, not just sample rate quotes)
-Average $76,342 increase in coverage
-Average 6 years added of guaranteed covered length

What “extras” are you referring to in your Primerica policy?

The only extra I know of that is uncommon (but not exclusive to Prmerica) is the “Increasing Benefit Rider”, which I consider a gimmick. Just get the proper coverage from day-one.

All child riders cost money, and Primerica’s cost’s more than average, $6.50 per $1,000. Most are $5. So, I have no idea what you mean that your friend paid extra for his child rider. Of course, he did, and so do you on your PFS policy.

Summary, you can always do better in the open, independent, term market than with a captive company, such as Primerica (or Farmers or State Farm).

Super Scar,

Do you own your own home or rent?

If you rent (say like term life insurance) why pay more for less? a
In Canada, you pay the highest rates rates if you are a female. If you are a male the “rent” is high as well (Primerica). You also have less benefits like the choice of converting term to permanent.

My understanding is most Americans like freedom and choice. Also if they can pay less and get more, even better…just like Canada. Why stick to one company?

by: Super Scar | October 16th, 2011 (8:23 am)

Brian, the reason is because I’ve already been sold the wrong life insurance before. I was never educated about it until Primerica. And, my Primerica person has really helped me in many areas, not just life insurance. Also, the companies you listed in your previous post – sell whole life/universal life which is just plain bad for the consumer. I won’t do business with them, term or otherwise, now.

I’m willing to bet they try to sell whole life to everyone. My Primerica person helped a couple of my friends and showed how their agent could have sold them term but didn’t. (and I know all about how difficult it is to collect on disability insurance, I know someone who had to go to court)

I don’t think it’s a coincidence those companies are cheaper, either. In 2009, when Primerica’s rating stayed A+, Equitable and Transamerica’s ratings were downgraded to BB+ and ManuLife was given a negative outlook. I’d like to be sure I’m with a company that will be in business when I need them. (I never knew about looking up ratings either, before Primerica — I feel much better educated now, and I owe that to them.)

Super Scar,

You forgot Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Sun Life, Desjardins, Standard Life, Great West Life and many more.

Here is what is looks like:

Female non smoker term 20 $500,000 age 41 ( June 15, 1970)

RBC $42.84/month
Canada life $45.90/month
Bank of Montreal $46.90/month


Primerica $89.78/month

Since our insurance companies are well funded (like our banks) and is regulated by the government all insurance claims have been paid for over 100 years here in Canada.

Does Primercia offer disability insurance ?

by: Answer This | October 16th, 2011 (2:36 pm)

Super Scar if you found our Primerica does business with carriers that also sell permanent products would that be an issue?

@ Answer this,

I think now we know now Super Scar (is a Primerica rep trying to pretend he is a customer) knows a lot about taxes and uses a macroeconomic model to to determine that Primerica is the best value …yes they charge double, for females, (he does not have a mother or a sister or knows any females), but who cares?!

by: Super Scar | October 16th, 2011 (6:58 pm)

First, you aren’t far off, I have worked for investment banks since the 80s so I know how to get information when I need to. You don’t have to use a macroeconomic model to know that insurance companies were in ratings hell in 2009.

Btw, Primerica purchased Smith Barney when I was there. I was in SB’s research division, though. I found this post because I just went to an open house at a Primerica office and decided to google the company. (The RVP suggested I google “which company has the most six-figure earners”)

I know a lot about investing but not enough about insurance — for example, I thought everyone made women pay more until your post. Also, I never do my own taxes. I just have had my share of insurance people and investment advisors come to my office to see me and then, before they even ask me anything, try to sell me disability insurance! When did this start being the norm? It’s crazy — I’ve never seen anyone collect disability without going to court or being followed by a detective. It’s enough to make a person hate the business altogether. I resolved to never talk to those people again. I know someone who wanted to invest $100k with an advisor and the first thing they tried to do was sell him disability. I told him to read “One Up on Wall Street” and do it himself. I just don’t understand when this mindset took over…

@Answer this, I know Primerica does business with other companies, some of whom I like and some I don’t. Is that what you mean? I don’t know who they do life with, though. All I know is, they didn’t try to sell me universal life or disability! 😉

For those following this thread I would like to clairfy this statement by Super Scar

“The RVP suggested I google “which company has the most six-figure earners”)”

In raw numbers they have a high number… about 2,500. But, they have 100,000 licensed agents and they recruit 20,000+ per MONTH. So, percentage-wise they have a very poor track record in getting Reps to earn money.

Also, those 2,500 Reps are those that have earned $100k at ANY point in their career, which doesn’t mean they are earning that currently. Primerica won’t publish that statistic.

By their own admission the average Primerican earns around $6,000 a YEAR.

By way of example, in my Agency 48% of Active Reps earn $50k and 22% earn $100k. And, we also don’t have quotas and allow part-timers, so these are pretty good ratios, I believe.

by: Answer This | October 17th, 2011 (1:47 pm)

The reason PFS won’t push UL is because they don’t currently offer it. There are carriers who offer a TermUL or a Guaranteed UL where cash values are not a main consideration. Yet I’m sure for some those products can be debated.

Primerica works within a specific target market range so many agents just may not see the needs of people at older ages or if a person did not take the BTID concept to it’s full term. So as much as people may bash CV products currently there is a good size market for term conversions, Final expense or just people still having a need for coverage after the retirement years.

As for disability as there have been some issues within that line of product I have seen some people who it has benefited. The same with critical illness, terminal illness riders and chronic illness riders along with other benefits and riders.

Now for when considering the agents who may earn over $100,000 I go by what I once heard on a old ALW tapes. He said it really doesn’t matter what anyone else earns because it’s not like anyone is going to give you any of their money. You just want to make sure you have the opportunity to earn what you want or need. .It’s kind of funny the RVP would tell anyone to Google $100K earners because an independent agent has more opportunity than a captive. Then again it may just be that the RVP may not know any better

This is my opinion only. I just think for the person who has no desire to recruit it is much harder to earn from personal production at PFS rather than at other places. The same holds true for those who may wish to build an organization but most people just don’t look at the bug picture from a business perspective rather than an emotional one.

In the big picture it all comes down to you do you.. These battles have been going on for years and it’s said PFS is down to about 90K licensed agents and is supposedly having problems getting people licensed to the point they wanted to get the DOI’s to make the testing easier..’s been over two years since this thread started. No buyouts by any other company and PRI was rated the #1 IPO for 2010. All this jibber jabber about earnings. The company is built on part-time reps and thrives on part-time reps who earn $500 – $1000 monthly or so for a few hrs of business a month. I’ve just started in this business and avg about $300 hr for my efforts. Already have over 100K in managed IRA / investments which will pay monthly for years to come. This business makes me all my vacation money, plus love those override$ from the other reps I’ve trained. $50, $100, even $725 once that just shows up in my account when one of them does business. If this is a scam….I’ll take two.


“’s been over two years since this thread started. No buyouts by any other company and PRI was rated the #1 IPO for 2010. ”

I wouldn’t position the IPO as a benefit of PFS if I was in Primerica. It was/is a disaster.

1) It was two years ago, and is completely off the radar now.

2) PFS got all the downsides of the an IPO (public scrutiny and pressure to perform quarterly, which is ad odds with “doing the right thing” for Reps); and none of the benefit (cash – it went to Citigroup, not PFS). PFS’s IPO was a “spin-off” IPO not a “raising money” IPO.

3) No have “buyouts” by any other company, as Theubers stated, demonstrates no one wants this company – I wouldn’t brag about that. Remember, Citigroup has PFS in it’s “toxic asset” group (true name) for two years looking for a buyer. They all backed-out, including Flower Insurance. Finally, they shedded them in a spin-off IPO.

“The company is built on part-time reps and thrives on part-time reps who earn $500 – $1000 monthly or so for a few hrs of business a month.”

Really?!? According to Primerica’s FNA, the average reps earns $6,000 PER YEAR, and that included the 60+ million-dollar earns (if you subtract the $100 million in commissions that goes to them, the average drops down to $5,0000 YEAR.)

Try disclosing that at the beginning of every recruiting interview and see how many people join.

“I’ve just started in this business and avg about $300 hr for my efforts.”

I’d like to see the math on that. Are you including prospecting time, driving time, plan-design time, follow-up time? To be fair to salary employees who get paid per hour you need to be honest about this.

“Already have over 100K in managed IRA / investments which will pay monthly for years to come. ”

1) If you are below Regional Leader you get NOT trails on this business ever.

2) Even an RVP would make less than $1,000 per year in trails on a $100,000.

3) $100k under management is nothing to brag about. Unless, it was was misprint. We just hired a Primerica who originally came from Morgan Stanely with $10 million under management. He went to PFS and lasted less 3 months, before going Independent with us. The reaons? No trails for his AUM and even at RVP the commissions stink.

” This business makes me all my vacation money. $50, $100, even $725 once that just shows up in my account when one of them does business.”

Do you consider this good money for being in financial services? Really?

-Michael T.
Former Primerica RVP
Helping Primericans go Independent since 2006.