October 10, 2007, 7:00 am

The Primerica Paradox: The Approach

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career,Personal Finance,Primerica Series
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I am well aware that this topic has been debated upside down and inside out over the internet. However, I do not feel that many of the opinions expressed were based on rational analysis. I found that several people would eradicate Primerica from the surface of the Earth while others would build a temple honoring Hector La Marque, one of Primerica’s most successful financial consultants (gurus).

I have been approached by this company and I really reflected upon their financial model before having formulated an opinion on it. I have decided to present a series of three articles on Primerica: The Approach, The Discussion and The Final Conclusion on Primerica.

In fact, I had many experiences with Primerica. The first one happened when one of my friends told me that he was going to a financial conference on how to make more money. He could not remember the name of the company and as he is barely familiar with the financial industry, I did not bother too much with details. Anyway, the conference was free and I had nothing to lose besides my evening!

So, I attended the meeting which seemed more like a sales pitch, about Primerica, than anything else. The way they work is pretty simple. Each Primerica advisor asks their clients for references. These people are invited (like my friend and I) to this kind of meeting presented as a finance conference. As the invitation comes from a person you know, you may be more interested than if an advisor called you out of the blue. They gather about forty to fifty people in their offices and the room is covered with Primerica Reward Trophies and plaques: $50,000 premium, Team leaders, Golden Primerica Rewards etc.

They were big talkers, welcoming and very captivating. They talk about how banks are mean and want to run with your money (I guess Customer Revenge would agree on that part!). They also explain that Primerica agents are here to help people with little or no financial knowledge. They want to help them build a strong financial plan so clients are not left with nothing at retirement. Then, they show you pictures of successful Primerica advisors who made so much money last year. They talked to you about how they felt privileged when they were the first parents to arrive at their children’s activities since they have flexible schedules or when they came into this big Atlanta stadium to receive their Primerica gold watches. They basically got the whole room pumped up before several financial advisors set out to meet with the guests.

As I had studied marketing, I was able to detect most of their tricks to get people on board with catchy phrases such as “was the only one at my son’s hockey practice. Make other people’s money work for you! Become an entrepreneur; come with us to help people”. I was sitting there and watching how people reacted. We were six friends that attended the Primerica (sales pitch) financial conference. Four of us were almost ready to quit their jobs the next day and jump on the bandwagon to financial freedom. The other two (my wife and I) were amused to see them falling for the big umbrella.

The Primerica advisor that invited us through her client came to see us and asked us questions. She was there with two purposes in mind: Recruit and Sell. I guess their mantra would be the following: “if you cannot enrol them as Primerica recruits, then cover them with Primerica products as clients”. She asked me a single question:

– Hello Mike, nice to meet you. Tell me, which field do you work in?

– Financial services, I’m a banker.

She was livid for a moment, as if she was a drug dealer that discovered that I was an FBI agent.

– Well I guess I would not be of any help then.

– I guess not. I smiled back at her as she turned around to prounce on another one of my friends

After the meeting, the six of us ended up in the parking lot to further discuss the “Primerica Strategy”. One girl asked:

– So Mike, when are you going to join Primerica? You seem to be a perfect fit for this kind of job!

I could see the fire in her eyes; they were burning for those financial dreams.

– Take a minute to look at the cars in this parking lot, I said. She looked around and stared at me with a big question mark on her face:

– I don’t get it, what do you mean?

– My Mazda and your Hyundai are the most valuable cars in the place. If you were making as much as they claim, don’t you think you would drive something like a Benz or a Bmer?

This is how we how left, in our respective cars, with “our” Primerica advisor in the background driving “her” 1990 Buick.

Stay tuned as next Monday, I will write about the discussion I had with one of my friends, a Primerica advisor who tried to recruit me.

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by: Answer This | November 12th, 2011 (1:55 pm)

tammy one problem is ALW/PFS has directly engaged the industry and other companies. Now that they are getting it agents just can’t ask “can’t we all just get along”? When you say they have great products I ask compared to what?

If you want to make it at PFS it’s best you not be on messages boards and just put on blinders and recruit, recruit, and recruit some more. The more questions you are asked the more answers you will seek. That’s when you will have to make a decision on accepting what’s true or accepting what your told is true.

I too went for a meeting with a friend whos mother has been working for primerica for 25 years, and she is starting up> i meet with her a year ago and didnt want to go back something was not right. i just got married and my husband and i went to go see her to start investing or maybe switch our rrsp’s since they claim higher rates of return. Is this true, should i go to a bank instead. all i hear is about working for them and i dont care about that i just want to know about their investments. should i do it or no? i dont know anything about fiances.

Just an interested blog reader.
Not a Primerica fan, nor a detracter.
First of all pyramids are illegal – period.
When anyone alludes to Primerica being a pyramid – they are the joke.
Their recruiting style is because of people.
Most people are NOT motivated, don’t do what they say, quit, give up,and just don’t know what they are doing or talking about, most of the time.
98% of all people are NOT highly successful – don’t blame Primerica for that.
Small Business Administration says 90% of all business fails in the first 5 yeas, 95% by 10 years.
If you you “get involved” in ANY business their is a very large chance you won’t be successful.
There is an old saying: 70% of all people believe they are above average.
You all know the 80/20 rule.
Step back and take a look at where you work.
Most of the people are just getting by in their job and their lives.
I am a manager for one of the very large big box hardware stores.
I hire 10 people. They say they want the job. 6 never show up.
2-3 don’t come back after the first day – I may suggest they find out they actually have to work! 1-2 will quit within the first month.
I usually end up with 1 new emloyee (long term) for 10 that I hire.
Therefore, I hire all the time.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at the front of the big orange store and you’ll find a “Now Hiring” sign there all the time.
You know every company hires all the time or they go out of business. Maybe some of you detractors can show me one who does not hire?
I don’t agree with Primerica’s hiring model, but apparently it works for them.
As far as their products:
In every field there are high cost and low cost producers and there has to be some in the middle. That’s where Primerica seems to be.
Most people have no idea about their own finances.
They consistantly make the wrong decisions and end up broke or poor by retirement. If it weren’t for employers, most people just wouldn’t have anything other than SS.
With investments, the investment counselor is the most import factor!
Investments – long term – perform pretty consistantly. It’s the investor that doesn’t perform. Most people get sold on the “no load” philosophy. No load means no advice. And I mean even if you have an advisor who is fee based – it’s a load and it probably costs you more in the long run to have someone draining your balance every year by 1-2%. And then there are the people who don’t want anyone “knowing” about their money – so where do you suppose they end up? What they really mean is they are ashamed for someone to know about all they crappy money management they have done and how little they have.
I am currently researching for a book and looking at many type of financial and other blogs.
I am amazed at the vitriol expressed by and to total strangers. Especially when the people with such anger seem to have such very little basis or knowledge of what they are angry about.
Could be that the anger is internal and only needing a venue.
When you read a blog such as this, remember at least a very large part of it is based on opinion not fact. Consider that many of the commenters may be competitors of the company in question.
In short, I don’t know why you are here, but if you are basing you financial future on blogs of any type, you better look for real advice.
If you are considering working for a company or changing careers, you better do a lot of research and I don’t mean reading blogs – they will only confuse you.
I have worked for several companies large and small.
They ALL have their business and management styles and the problems that go along with running a company.
Employees have a certain mindset, so do enterpreneurs and 1099 types. 1099’s are the real estate agents and brokers and financial people of the world. Not enough of what it takes to make a company, but someone who desires a little more freedom than a “job” gives them. They have to take a chance on their own abilities and work ethic. Just a lot of the time this doesn’t work – for whatever reason. The company is not to blame. To be successful you have to make things happen – whatever comes along. There is always a reason to quit or give up. THE primary strength you must have as a basis for any successful future is – you can’t quit – you can’t give up.
Looking at this blog, I see the norm. Some people take a look at a company or product and run away. Not for them. Some start and poop out becaue life is tough and they aren’t. And some seem successful. Take a careful look at “The Financial Blogger” he doesn’t seem to want to really committ to any opinion. Just an agitator – good for blogging!
If you’re going to research whatever it is you’re looking for, take these blogs for what they are – opinion – everyone has one

by: Freeman | May 8th, 2012 (2:44 pm)

Scam? They help people get out of debt and people call them scam? It don’t make sense. Small company? It was the best IPO of 2010, who the hell goes public during recession unless your a successful company. Everybody got bailed out by the government except for primerica and they still insist that it’s not a legit company? Whoever talks bad about this company is either an idiot or someone that is making shittt up because all that the company does throughout these years is they kept proving people wrong, by what? Evidence. So if they got evidence, then all the people that talks bad about this company is GUILTY of being a fukkking idiot.

Hello! I am not sure why several people are attacking Primerica. How come you are not attacking the big companies? They have done so many scams! I am a college graduate. I am a well-rounded person with great networks. Yes, I have heard great comments about Primerica. 🙂 They help people get out of debt. Also, they create strong relationships…not for the money! Also, I have attended the meetings…and I have seen good looking cars. However, others choose to not want a fancy car. They are not a business. They are a family. One of the advisors was a manager for Bank of America. She quit her job and she dedicates all her time to Primerica. THEY HELP FAMILIES. How do I know to trust them? They have Primerica insurance…(Primerica team). No, it is not require for them to have insurance from Primerica.

Banker Mike, nice story..just to let you know different people different priority. I’m with Primerica only 2 years.. You wanna check out my Beamer my fool buddy. My contact no 4168161442.. Don’t be shy.. I’m always here to show you what Primerica did in my life. By the way how much you got paid from the competitors( if any) to write that shit. Folks I’m openly inviting you all to check what I use to do before and what I’m doing now.. Nothing secret. Folks PRIMERICA really works. Don’t listen to those loosers who has nothing to show in life, born as slave and will die as a slave. Primerica is very simple. Contact me I will show you how. You don’t need to get recruited or buy anything, just know the truth. At least no one like Mike will be able to fool you or take you folks for a ride.
Faisal Akhtar
Cell 4168161442
Toronto. Ontario

by: The Financial Blogger | September 13th, 2012 (5:07 pm)

Hey Faisal,

please tell me in your team:
– what is the average income?
– what is the turnover rate?

oh wait, I know you’ll say that everybody works 20 hours and make over 100K… yeah…. right

call me a loser if you want, I work 4 days a week and make over 100K/year on top of having a wife and 3 kids. I guess I have nothing to show in life 😉

hi, i just thought i’d throw this into the ring. i am a primerica rep(not doing much, but that’s my choice). i am trying to start something as revolutionary as Art Williams did in 1977. i am/will face the same adversity and different opinions but i will perservere because i know that what i can envision WILL change many lives, including mine.
We all have differing opinions but all i ask is that people due some research into what they are doing. and then decide.
one more thing, there are 3 types of people in this world
1. those that MAKE things happen
2. those that LET things happen, and
3. those that WONDER what happen.
Thanks all for reading and CREATE the life you WANT!!!!

I have to ask, why is everyone so obsessed with cars on this forum? Is a person’s character or competence defined by the type of car he/she drives? Even Dave Ramsey (formerly a member of the Primerica BOD and a bestselling financial author in his own right) says that he drove older-model cars when he was building himself up financially, and that he NEVER buys a new car even today, and after understanding the devaluation of new cars, I can certainly see his logic. In fact, one of the best pearls of advice I ever heard from Ramsey was “if you’re willing to live like no one else, someday you’ll live like no one else”.

Real people see character, not flash. After seeing the presentation and before getting into Primerica, anyone should ask themselves this question: “Would I be willing to show this to others for free?”. If the answer is “yes”, that means you really believe in what Primerica has to offer. If you’re just in it for the money, your clients and recruits will sense that, and you likely won’t succeed. However, if you’re in it to help other people (as my recruiter helped me long before I joined), the possibilities are endless, not only in terms in money, but in personal growth as well.

People like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman are bestselling authors because they take the complication out of personal finances and explain it to everyday folks in terms they can understand. That’s what Primerica does. You don’t need an MBA in Finance to understand the Rule of 72 or the principle of debt-stacking. It’s just common sense, but I’ve been amazed at how many people aren’t aware of these simple formulas, which I feel they should be teaching our kids in middle school.

Finally, not everyone in Primerica will get rich, and not everyone wants to. Some folks just want to match or double their income part-time, and they’re not going to get there putting in 20 hours a week at Walmart or Target. Decide what YOU want, and go for it, because nobody else is likely to do it on your behalf.

Hmmm….my previous post has mysteriously disappeared. I said absolutely nothing derogatory. Is this an edited blog?

Apologies! My post is now appearing. I don’t know why it wasn’t showing up before.


I have been paying the premiums for Primerica’s “MODIFIED
PREMIUM TERM LIFE INSURANCE TO AGE 100” For a total of 35 years
now. My ex-wife purchased it in 1988. I need as much help educating
my self about this policy. I hope you can help. Here are a few
questions I have right off the bat:

1) Is there any cash value under this plan?

2) If not, Can it be converted to a cash value plan?

3) Do you have any idea on what range would the premiums change too if it can be converted to a cash value plan?

4) Would I be better to suck it up and cancel my plan with
Primerica and go to a better life insurance company with much better
return for my money.

5) Do you have any recommendations on which are the top insurance
companies to switch over to?

your help with this matter is greatly appreciated.

Thank you and have a terrific day,


i dont want to breack your last vision of primerica , but you dont think that most of poeple here was starting in the business , most of those who work was at client’s home and those who had nice car probly dont park in the same parking as the old ford tercel lol. i personaly work for primerica and the first years i made 5000$, cause i was building my network. seconde years 97000$ , i went RVP after the second years and third years i made 372 000$… you probly just dont understand that those who realy sucess just work enough to sucess … the secret of money is working. not realy different then other job , execpt you’re paid better lol

by: Elsie Lammers | October 15th, 2016 (6:48 pm)

O totally disagree with Primerica agents are there to help the ones with little knowledge the one femal rep i had dealings with was out to fill her pockets with my investment and she stopped short of nothing to get my retirement fund and only to fill her pockets leaving me broke in my retirement. i have nothing good to say about. I hope that one day karma means with this lady of many faces. I don’t knwo how one person can do this to another.

by: Elsie Lammers | March 4th, 2017 (8:18 pm)

Yep that about sums it up as for the meetings but it does go further as for me. The person who invited me found out if she got to know me and she played her cards right she could be in store for a nice pot based on my retirement moeny except me and my former husband were getting divorced but we didn’t get divorced for 10 years after the fact. regardless we had this money to make a long story short the funds came from a holding company and she convinced me to transfer the funds into my personal name and so the investment in both names bang tax debt I didn’t think of that besides we were friends! Right do friends do that . The story behind this is that she wanted the money into my hands and she got it. I had all kinds of debt she said not to pay off because of penalties etc. This is just the beginning years down the road and I keep finding out other things like upon my request…..now we’re taking on my identity I wanted various things done. She never followed up anything in written form only by phone. I still don’t know whats all in my file needless to say this cost me my whole and complete financial wealth that took us all of our lives to get. I found out there were forged and manipulated documents. They have no morals or values. The company backs these people up.

by: Michael Camil | May 13th, 2017 (11:14 pm)

Instead of going back and forth with with brain washed Primerica reps, all you need to do is look at their financial reports. Out of 117,000 licensed reps, they sold about 70,000 policies!! Not even one policy per rep!!

Hi there some Primerica agents trying to sell us life insurance and wanting to help with our financianes. So then can they not convert whole life? Can anyone answer me? My sisters and I don’t have a lot of money to throw away. Is this not a good company?

by: Elsie Lammers | August 22nd, 2017 (8:22 am)

Janie: stay away run!!! This company took me for all my retirement funds further they are not educated financially ( some may be but the majority are not). If you feel you must invest get professional back up before you do anything consult professional accountants and lawyers before you do anything. Do not take there word alone on your financial future . Usually as from my experience you will not be the winner. Good luck!!!!